NewsNorth AfricaTunisia needs $2.85 bln in external financing this year


Posted on Monday, 30 January 2017 13:56

Tunisia needs $2.85 bln in external financing this year

By Reuters

Finance Minister Lamia Zribi arrives for her first cabinet meeting in Tunis, Wednesday Aug. 31, 2016.Photo: Riadh Dridi/AP/SIPATunisia needs around $2.85 bn in external financing this year and plans to issue a Sukuk Islamic bond worth around $500m to help cover the deficit, Finance Minister Lamia Zribi told Reuters on Monday.


Zribi also confirmed a Reuters report that Tunis plans to sell 1 billion euros' worth of Eurobonds and hold a roadshow on 5 February.

More Eurobond issues later in the year are possible depending on how the country's external financing needs are covered, she said.

"After a delay of a few years, our plan this year is to issue $500m to diversify our resources and cover the deficit of 2017," Zribi told Reuters on the sidelines of a government development presentation, referring to the sukuk issue.

It is the first time the government has given details of the sukuk issue plan.

"We are going with 1 billion euros in the European market, and we will start with the roadshow on 5 February," the minister said, confirming earlier reports on the initial Eurobond plan.

Struggles with economic reforms

"If we don't manage to fulfill our external financing needs of $2.85 bn then without a doubt we'll go to capital markets again this year."

Since its 2011 uprising that led to a transition to democracy, Tunisia has struggled to enact economic reforms meant to curb public spending and help create jobs, while two major militant attacks in 2015 hit its tourism industry, a major source of income.

A government source said last Thursday that the North African state would start a roadshow on 5 February for a 1 billion Eurobond.

He said the government could then go to capital markets twice more for a further 2 billion euros in total, although it was still undecided whether that would be in dollars or euros.


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