Ethiopia Set To Issue First Eurobond As Roadshow Ends

Ethiopia is planning to issue its first Eurobond tomorrow after finishing off an investor road show in New York today, and will become the second-poorest country on record to tap the international debt market.

Ravenous demand for higher-yielding debt has encouraged a slew of countries previously shut out of international bond markets to issue securities for the first time – including Rwanda, Senegal, Azerbaijan and Zambia.

Even countries with (very) patchy history of repaying creditors – like Ecuador and Greece – have been welcomed back.

Ethiopia is one of the poorest countries in the world, with a gross domestic product per capita of just $1,240 (adjusting for PPP) according to the World Bank. A successful issue would make it the second-poorest country ever to tap the international bond market, after the Republic of Congo in 2007.

However, the International Monetary Fund predicts that the country’s economy will be the eighth-fastest growing in the world this year.

The deal will have a 10-year maturity, and orders for the debut are already being placed with the banks, JPMorgan and Deutsche Bank.

The country’s maiden bond has been rated B1 by Moody’s, deep into the “junk” range of ratings,
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