After the shelving of the issuance of a sovereign sukuk and eurobonds denominated in US dollars, Cairo is turning to the Chinese bond market.
Egypt is set to issue more than $500 million in bonds denominated in Chinese currency (yuan) to diversify the sources of financing for its economy, Egyptian Finance Minister Mohamed Maait announced on Monday 29 august.
“The Ministry of Finance has started talks with the Chinese authorities to issue more than $500 million in yuan-denominated bonds. It is also looking into the selection of banks that will pilot this issue,” he said at a press conference.
The minister also indicated that the Egyptian authorities are also considering issuing green bonds denominated in Japanese yen.
He also said that the operations of issuing a sovereign sukuk for an amount of 2 billion dollars and bonds denominated in US dollar have been postponed, due to “high interest rates” and “difficult market conditions”.
Egypt plans a 15% increase in spending and a 14.5% increase in its budget deficit in the 2022-2023 financial year, according to the state budget adopted by parliament last June.
The Egyptian government announced on Monday August 22 that it was “close” to an agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on a new multi-billion dollar financing program to support the country’s economy. which bears the brunt of the consequences of the Russian-Ukrainian conflict.
But the American bank Goldman Sachs estimated, in a recent analysis, that the most populous country in the Arab world could need more than 15 billion dollars to meet its financing needs over the next three years.
Last March, Egypt raised $500 million through a bond loan denominated in Japanese yen. Six months earlier, the North African country had issued green bonds worth $750 million, becoming the first country in the North Africa and Middle East (MENA) region to issue such bonds. bonds intended to finance low-carbon projects.