* Amount is higher than planned in January
* Increase of 52 pct over last year's issuance
* Countries issued over $2.9 bln in debt through June
(Adds details, table, bullets)
By Loucoumane Coulibaly
ABIDJAN, July 8 The countries of the
eight-nation West African franc zone have increased their
planned debt issuance to 3,458 billion CFA francs ($7.18
billion) in 2014, up more than 52 percent from last year,
according to the regional debt planning agency.
The target is significantly higher than the 2,979 billion
CFA francs included in an issuance calendar released in January.
"This increase is notably linked to the economic
perspectives within the union, which is expecting growth of 7.2
percent in 2014 following a rate of 5.7 percent in 2013," the
agency, UMOA-Titres, said in a statement on Tuesday.
The agency said that 1,418 billion CFA francs had already
been raised through treasury bills and bonds in the first half
The eight-nation Economic and Monetary Union of West Africa
(UEMOA) comprises Benin, Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, Mali,
Guinea-Bissau, Senegal, Niger and Togo. They share a regional
central bank, the BCEAO, and the CFA franc currency, which is
pegged to the euro.
"We are increasingly working outside of the zone in order to
bring in more investors ... The investors are serving the needs
of the states," Adrien Diouf, managing director of the agency
UMOA-Titres, said during a conference in Ivory Coast.
Ivory Coast, the region's largest economy, is due to issue
the most debt: 1,369 billion CFA in total. The amount includes a
$500 million Eurobond, which UMOA-Titres' new calendar says will
be issued on July 17. The date was originally set for May and
has already been pushed back several times.
Having issued a 100 billion-CFA franc Islamic sukuk last
month, Senegal is now expecting to issue its own $500 million
Eurobond in the second half of the year, though a date has yet
to be fixed.
Below is a table with details of each country's issuance.
The figures are in billions of CFA francs.
Country T-bills Bonds Total Issuance
Benin 298 100 398
Burkina 175 55 230
Ivory 264 1105 1369
Guinea 0 0 0
Mali 350 0 350
Niger 111 93 204
Senegal 103 573 676
Togo 131 100 231
Total Regional Debt Issuance 3,458
($1 = 481.7500 West African CFA francs)
(Reporting by Loucoumane Coulibaly; Writing by Joe Bavier;
Editing by Larry King)