CAIRO: Egypt will delay the second tranche of an international bond issuance that had been expected in November, the finance minister said on Monday, highlighting the difficulty the country faces in financing its recovery.
In its first international debt sale in five years, Egypt sold an initial tranche of 10-year bonds in June worth $1.5 billion from a new $10 billion programme and had been expected to make a similar issuance in November.
Finance Minister Hany Kadry Dimian blamed the impact of China’s economic slowdown and resulting volatility in global markets for the decision to delay.
“After we announced our intention there was some turbulence … in the Chinese financial market that had a negative effect on liquidity in the global markets in general, especially on investors who intended to invest in growing markets,” Dimian said.
“So we found that it is for the best to delay our issuance,” Dimian said on the sidelines of a conference.
Asked when the next tranche would now be issued, he said: “We are monitoring the global financial market situation very closely and will choose the right time to enter (the market).”
Egypt’s $10 billion bond programme aims to tap international markets over a period of several years, though the full amount of the programme is not expected to be used.
Foreign portfolio investors left Egypt en masse after a 2011 uprising against veteran leader Hosni Mubarak, freezing it out of the international debt market.
The June issuance had underscored the return of economic and political stability in the eyes of foreign investors.