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Capital Markets

African debt capital markets: Senegal and Côte d’Ivoire have mixed fortunes

Senegal sells Eurobond; Côte d’Ivoire faces looming payment

Senegal issued a new $500 million, 10-year Eurobond last month. The 144a/RegS notes, priced at 9.125%, are the highest yielding of the four sovereign Eurobonds issued since 2007 in sub-Saharan Africa excluding South Africa. Led by Standard Bank and Standard Chartered, it was in part offered as exchange for Senegal’s existing 2014 bonds.

Senegal has its problems, notably a lack of oil deposits. It furthermore shares a currency with Côte d’Ivoire, as both countries, along with six others, are members of the Union Economique et Monétaire Ouest Africaine. As the UEMOA president said recently, Côte d’Ivoire is the organization’s big brother but it is dangerously ill: heavily burdened with debt, and now recovering from a violently disputed election.

President Alassane Ouattara, greets the crowds after his inauguration ceremony on May 21

President Alassane Ouattara, greets the crowds after his inauguration ceremony on May 21

Analysts no longer expect devaluation of the CFA (West African) franc. The French treasury guarantees the franc’s peg to the euro. France assisted in the overthrow of former Côte d’Ivoire president Laurent Gbagbo in early April by forces backing the internationally recognized leader, Alassane Ouattara, who is a former head of the BCAEO (the UEMOA’s central bank), and a former IMF head of Africa.

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