Rwanda plans debut $400 million eurobond

by | April 18, 2013 11:06 am



Rwanda said it plans to raise $400 million in a debut sale of Eurobonds as the East African country seeks to accelerate economic growth.

The government appointed BNP Paribas SA and Citigroup Inc. as lead managers for the 10-year bond offering, Finance Minister Claver Gatete said in mobile-phone text messages Tuesday.

The banks will arrange investor meetings in Asia, Europe and the U.S. starting Thursday, central bank Governor John Rwangombwa said in comments posted on Twitter.

“There will be strong interest” from investors that don’t track benchmark emerging-market indexes, Stuart Culverhouse, chief economist at investment bank Exotix Ltd. London. It “will give them a bit of a yield pickup,” he said.

Less than 20 years after a genocide killed about 800,000 Rwandans, President Paul Kagame is boosting transport links and energy supplies and promoting regional trade to lift the land- locked tea- and coffee-growing nation into a middle-income economy by 2020.

Rwanda’s economy will expand by 8 percent this year, Kagame said in an interview last month, from 7.4 percent in 2011.

That’s almost double the 4.2 percent forecast by the International Monetary Fund for neighboring Burundi and Uganda.

Rwanda will use $200 million to repay loans on the Kigali Convention Centre and a development plan for RwandAir, the national carrier, according to a copy of the prospectus.

Another $150 million will be spent completing the center and $50 million on a hydropower plant, according to the prospectus.

The government is also planning to sell stakes in 13 state- owned companies focusing on agriculture, services, transport, banking and insurance industries by the end of the fiscal year of 2014 to 2015, raising about 10 billion Rwandan francs ($15.7 million), according to the prospectus.

Rwanda is rated B with a stable outlook by both Standard & Poor’s and Fitch Ratings, five levels below investment grade at both companies.

Kagame, who has been president since 2000, said last month in an interview in Miami that the government was planning to sell about 350 million euros ($457 million) in debt before the end of the fiscal year.

With Rwanda’s rating the bonds may be priced to yield 7 percent to 8 percent, said Exotix’s Culverhouse. Zambia, which is rated one level higher at B+ by S&P and Fitch, yields 5.4 percent on its $750 million of dollar bonds due September 2022, which it sold in September, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Rwanda is joining other East African countries looking to sell their first Eurobonds this year.

Kenya, the region’s largest economy, plans a sovereign bond by September, raising as much as $1 billion, Finance Minister Robinson Githae said last month.