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UPDATE 1-Ethiopia says "not yet decided" on any Eurobond issue
May 14, 2014 / 9:57 AM / 4 years ago

UPDATE 1-Ethiopia says "not yet decided" on any Eurobond issue

(Adds quote by minister, details)

ADDIS ABABA, May 14 (Reuters) - Ethiopia has not yet decided if it will follow other African countries and enter the international debt markets, Finance Minister Sufian Ahmed said on Wednesday after his country received an international credit rating.

Ethiopia, which has previously said it was considering issuing a Eurobond, was awarded a ‘B’ rating by Fitch on Friday with a stable outlook. Kenya, which plans a Eurobond worth up to $2 billion, has received a ‘B+’ rating by Fitch.

“This (rating) result offers an opportunity for Ethiopia if it decides, to enter international capital markets. We have not yet decided,” Sufian told a press conference in Addis Ababa.

Ethiopia has mostly relied on domestic resources and Chinese loans to finance big infrastructure projects across the country. It has not made clear when it might tap international markets.

“It depends on the global financial situation,” Sufian said when describing the timing of any Ethiopian Eurobond or other international borrowing. He said most financing for domestic projects was already secured.

Foreign investors are closely watching Ethiopia, attracted by a decade of high growth and a market of about 90 million people. But the authorities have been reluctant to open up the economy, which is now dominated by the state.

Reporting by Richard Lough; Writing by Drazen Jorgic; Editing by Edmund Blair

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