Morocco’s external debt rises 14% ytd to $29bn in Q3

By bne IntelliNews January 7, 2015

Morocco’s external debt increased 13.7% ytd and 1.8% q/q to MAD266.9bn ($29bn) at end-September 2014, data from the finance ministry showed. The ministry did not specify the external debt to GDP ratio. The ministry noted that MAD38.6bn worth of foreign debt were raised in the first nine months of last year, including MAD24.1bn for public enterprises and MAD14.5bn for the Treasury.

In June 2014, Morocco sold a EUR1bn ten-year bond that was rated BBB- by Fitch, in line with the sovereign rating. The bond has a coupon of 3.5% and spreads at issue of 233.5bps over German Bunds.

The central government held 52.3% of the total external debt at end-Q3, while state-owned enterprises held 47.2%. The debt was 17.5% USD-denominated, 69.6% EUR-denominated and 3.9% JPY-denominated. Nearly 77.1% of the external debt stock carried a fixed interest rate and 22.9% had a variable interest rate at end-Q3.

Bilateral creditors held 28.6% of Morocco’s external debt at end-Q3. The share of multilateral creditors reached 45.7% of the total while bondholders, the IMF and commercial banks held 25.5%.

Morocco’s total public debt reached MAD554.2bn at end-2013, equalling to 62.5% of GDP, up from 59.6% of GDP the year before, according to official data.

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