Egypt intends at least two foreign-currency bond issues in Q1 2019 - minister

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12/03/2018 | 12:36 pm
CAIRO (Reuters) - Egypt is aiming for at least two foreign currency bond issues in the first quarter of 2019, the finance minister said on Monday.

Finance Minister Mohamed Maait declined to say exactly how much Egypt was seeking to raise. Previously, he had said the target was about $5 billion.

"It can go up, it can go down. It depends on the moment of decision making," Maait said on the sidelines of a business conference.

Asked what currencies the bonds would be issued in, Maait only said: "It can be two or more ... in the next quarter, we are planning for the first quarter of 2019."

Maait also said Egypt was aiming for economic growth of 5.8 percent in the current financial year that ends in June and for at least 6 percent in 2019-2020.

Separately, deputy finance minister Ahmed Kouchouk said Egypt was aiming to lengthen the average maturity on its debt to 3.5 years by the end of June from two years now.

"The maturity of our debt has reached less than two years. We are aiming to increase it to 3.5 years by the end of the current financial year, and then increase it to nearly 5 percent in the medium term," Kouchouk said.

Egypt's foreign debt stood at $92.64 billion at the end of June. Its borrowing requirement for the repayment of external debt is $10.51 billion in the current financial year.

(Reporting by Patrick Werr and Ehab Farouk; writing by Aidan Lewis; editing by Larry King)

Thomson Reuters 2019
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