The Infrastructure Development Bank of Zimbabwe (IDBZ) is expected to issue US$30 million worth of infrastructure bonds within the next few days, impeccable sources told The Financial Gazette's Companies & Markets (C&M) this week.
The bonds are part of moves by the cash-strapped government to mobilise US$50 million for infrastructure projects across the country.
An IDBZ spokesperson had two weeks ago told C&M: "The IDBZ is ready to issue the bonds (which) will be launched next week."
This, however, did not happen last week, but a bank insider said they now expected the bonds to be unveiled to the market by tomorrow.
The issuance of the bonds should in fact have taken place months ago soon after a media briefing by Finance Minister, Tendai Biti in February.
C&M understands that an IDBZ official who was responsible for resources mobilisation had left the country to join continental bank, Afreximbank, leaving the IDBZ in a quandary.That hurdle has since been overcome, said the source, indicating: "They should be out on Friday."
Biti told a media briefing in February that Treasury had mandated the IDBZ to issue US$50 million worth of Infrastructure Develop-ment Bonds, saying these would complement for infrastructure projects budgetary resources allocated in the 2012 Budget.
"In addition to mobilising resources for infrastructure development, the bonds also facilitate inter-bank market operations," said Biti.
Biti noted that the bonds would have a five year tenor; 10 percent interest rate per annum; government guarantee; prescribed asset status; liquid asset status; half yearly coupon; tax exemption; tradability; and lender of last resort security status.
"Treasury will establish a Sinking Fund to facilitate interest and principal payments.Modalities are being finalised with the IDBZ for the issuance of the bonds," Biti said.
An executive with the IDBZ indicated that the bank would issue two batches of infrastructure bonds, with the first one likely to be used to raise US$30 million and the US$20 million balance being raised later.
"It's also likely that instead of a five-year tenor, the bonds would bear a three-year tenor," said the executive.
It was not immediately clear if Treasury had assented to this development.
The IDBZ was created by the government as a vehicle for the mobilisation resources for infrastructure development in Zimbabwe, with finance from both domestic and international sources.
The bank's mandate is to mobilise financial and technical resources of appropriate duration and cost for public and private institutions involved in infrastructure development and to facilitate investment in infrastructure.
In his 2012 national budget statement, Biti said unlike government funded and managed programmes, projects managed through the IDBZ had higher utilisation levels, benefitting from implementation capacity support for the implementing a