25 June 2012

Tunisia to Launch Bond Issue On American Market By Mid-July

Tunis — Tunisia will issue by the second week of July a bond issue on the American financial market, following the guarantee agreement the United States and Tunisia signed last June 8.

The project will be submitted, on Tuesday, to the National Constituent Assembly (NCA) plenary session.

The Finance Ministry pointed, in a memorandum sent to NCA, to "the need to finish off the approval procedures before the end of June, in order to achieve this process by the second week of July, especially as documents of entry into effect of the agreement have to be handed to the American side ten days before the date of issue."

Henceforth, the NCA Finance, Planning and Development Committee adopted, on Monday, the draft law stipulating the approval of the agreement for the U.S. government's loan guarantee on the American financial market.

This loan guarantee, estimated at US$30 million, will help Tunisia mobilise resources between US $400 and 450 million, i.e., between 640 and 720 million Tunisian dinars (MTD).

These amounts will be repaid over a seven-year period, at an interest rate ranging between 0.5% and 0.75%, the same rate applied on the American Treasury bonds. The guarantee on principal and interests could reach 100%.

The Bank of America Merrill Lynch and international Natixis bank were designated to carry out this issue, whose amounts will be dedicated to reinforce the State budget.

Tunisia's Central Bank (BCT), as was the case for the other issue operations on the international financial market, will supervise this operation on the American financial market.

Committee chairman Ferjani Daghmane said that Tunisia's resort to a bond issue on the American financial market is part of the Complementary Finance Act that stipulates recourse to funding through foreign indebtedness by means of 1.8 billion Tunisian dinars.

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