UPDATE 1-Kenya finalising Eurobond mandate with JP Morgan as lead manager
(Adds co-arrangers, rating)
NAIROBI Oct 23 (Reuters) - Kenya is in the final stages of mandating JP Morgan as lead manager for a debut Eurobond of up to $2 billion in size, the country's finance minister said on Wednesday.
Plans for the east African country to sell an international bond have been delayed several times since 2007, mainly due to political turmoil at home and financial crises abroad.
"We are negotiating a mandate letter with JP Morgan with a view of course to sign a contract," Henry Rotich told Reuters by telephone. The deal is likely to be signed in a week, he said.
The minister said among the points being finalised with JP Morgan include co-arrangers, an issue that the government has left to JP Morgan's discretion.
"The negotiations is to agree on the partners they are bringing on board and also to sign the contract with them," he said.
The contract was likely to be signed as early as next week, Rotich added. Kenya is rated B1/B+/B+. (Reporting by Duncan Miriri; Editing by George Obulutsa, Ron Askew)
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