November 5, 2015 / 2:43 PM / 4 years ago

UPDATE 3-Angola raises $1.5 billion in debut Eurobond to fund growth

* Eurobond with yield of 9.5 percent maturing in 10 years

* Angola economy suffering from the lower price of crude

* Bond deepens ties with international capital markets -finmin (Adds Fitch rating of Angola bond)

By Herculano Coroado

LUANDA, Nov 5 (Reuters) - Angola sold its first Eurobond on Thursday, raising $1.5 billion via a 10-year issue with a yield of 9.5 percent whose proceeds will be used to support long-term economic development, the finance minister said on Thursday.

The oil-producing southern African nation has said it issued the sovereign debt in order to be less dependent on traditional sources of credit such as bilateral and commercial funds.

Angola has suffered from the lower price of crude, weakening its currency about 35 percent against the dollar this year.

The government has said that a sovereign issuance could enhance Angola’s transparency in the management of its public accounts and better manage the state’s financing costs.

“This inaugural issue is an extremely important step for our country and we view this as the beginning of a long-term relationship with the international capital markets,” Finance Minister Armando Manuel said in a statement.

Manuel did not give details of how the cash raised would be used. He concluded a 10-day roadshow across the United States and Europe in New York on Wednesday, having gathered more than 100 potential investors who included fund managers, banks and pension funds, officials said.

Fitch Ratings assigned the bond maturing in November 2025 a “highly speculative “ B+ rating, in line with Angola’s sovereign rating. Angola is rated Ba2 by Moody’s and B+ by Standard & Poor’s and Fitch.

The government hired Deutsche Bank as leader of a consortium that included Goldman Sachs and ICBC International to arrange the meetings with U.S. and European investors.

Angola’s initially announced plans for a debut Eurobond in 2011 but delayed the deal.

The economy will grow more slowly than expected this year, the government has said, as lower oil revenues hit public spending, hobble the currency and push up debt levels in Africa’s second largest crude exporter.

Luanda in October cut its 2015 growth forecast to 4 percent from a previous estimate of 6 percent. Angola relies on oil exports for two-thirds of tax revenue and 95 percent of foreign currency receipts. (Writing by James Macharia; Editing by Catherine Evans)

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