Macedonia places €450mn seven-year Eurobond

By bne IntelliNews July 20, 2016

Macedonia has successfully placed a €450mn seven-year Eurobond with a coupon rate of 5.625%, the finance ministry said on July 19.

The issuance was re-launched after the deal was postponed on July 14 following an objection by a member of the opposition SDSM party, who questioned the legality of the issue. The ministry initially planned to issue up to €650mn. The opposition criticises the government for allegedly racking up huge debts.

“The Eurobond was issued under favorable conditions considering the complicated political situation in the country,” the ministry said in a statement on its website.

According to the ministry, “if there were not malicious interference and obstructions by the opposition, the interest rate would have been more favourable, below 5% per year, due to the great interest from investors.”

The funds will be used for financing budget gaps in 2016 and 2017, as well as for repaying maturing debts.

SDSM said in a statement on July 19 that the re-launch of the Eurobond directly violates the law on public debt, and was conducted without previously obtaining a legal opinion from the minister of justice.

The finance ministry claims that the issuance is completely legal and made in consultation with the justice ministry.

Lead managers of the new Eurobond are Citigroup, Deutsche Bank, Erste Group and SG CIB.

Macedonia last tapped international debt markets in November 2015, when it raised €270mn through the sale of a five-year Eurobond at yield of 5.125%. In July 2014, the country also sold €500mn worth of seven-year Eurobonds.

Macedonia is rated at 'BB-' with stable outlook by Standard & Poor's and at 'BB+' with negative outlook by Fitch.


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