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Deals of the Year 2012: Kingdom of Morocco

Kingdom of Morocco
Size $1 billion 10-year and $500 million 30-year debut Regulation S/Rule 144a bond
Bookrunners Barclays Capital, BNP Paribas, Citi, Natixis
return to the Middle East and Africa Deals of the Year index

Moving to north Africa, debt was again the most interesting area of the capital markets, and nowhere more so than in the Kingdom of Morocco’s extraordinary $1.5 billion 10- and 30-year dollar debut in December.

This presented investors with something unusual. "The key challenge here was not one facing many sovereigns, like market access or banking problems," says Charlie Berman, head of public-sector EMEA at Barclays, a bookrunner on the deal. "The challenges instead were about a very rare type of issuer: an investment-grade debut in the dollar market. There really aren’t many of those left."

Morocco was not a total novice – it has issued in euros several times – but still "most investors were looking at the name for the first time," says Darrant at BNP, also a bookrunner on this deal.

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