Results of international bond talks imminent

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A delegation led by the Minister of Finance and Economic Development (MoFED) is expected to return to Ethiopia this week, from a European trip, to disclose the interest rates of the international bonds they negotiated. 

The Ethiopian delegation, led by Sufuan Ahmed has been in Europe for talks with potential investors, interested in buying the Eurobond that the country issued.

Moodyís, Standard & Poorís and Fitch gave Ethiopia B+ and B credit rating, respectively, in May this year. Ethiopia wants to secure alternative financing to accelerate mega projects, which tend to require huge amount of hard currency.

According to Haji Ibsa, public relations head of MoFED, the delegation will arrive this week. He said details will be released when they return.

There have been reports that Ethiopia selected Deutsche Bank AG and JPMorgan Chase & Co to undertake the bond sales. However, Haji stated that other firms will be included as well.

In its first ever rating Ethiopia received impressive rates from Moody, Standard &Poorsí and Fitch, and the bond sales are expected to be in high demand from potential investors in Europe and America.

Experts mentioned that potential investors are already showing a high degree of interest in buying the bond.

Zemedeneh Negatu, Managing Partner – Ethiopia and Head of Transaction Advisory Services of Ernst & Young recently told Capital that the Sovereign Euro Bond issuance affirms the ascendency of Ethiopiaís economy to global investors, which is now the fourth largest GDP in a Sub-Saharan Africa at USD 118 billion.  ìOverall, Euro Bond issuance by Ethiopia is timely since there is a huge and relatively cheap capital around the world looking for attractive investment destinations. There are also many global investors looking to participate in Ethiopiaís growth and therefore buying the bond gives them an excellent opportunity,î Zemedeneh added.

The alternative financial source for Ethiopia will be new to the country. Previously Ethiopia depended on bilateral loans from foreign countries and international financial institutions.

According to the public relations head the country will gain hard currency with lower interest rates, while at the same time earning trust with financers and international companies?