AfDB to launch $50m Uganda bond programme

The African Development Bank (AfDB) plans to sell a 10-year, 12.5 billion Ugandan shilling bond this week, the first issue from its new 125 billion shilling issuance programme, a bank official said on Monday.

The African Development Bank (AfDB) plans to sell a 10-year, 12.5 billion Ugandan shilling bond this week, the first issue from its new 125 billion shilling issuance programme, a bank official said on Monday.

Regulators have given the go-ahead to the medium-term note programme, whose timeframe has not been decided, said Olivier Eweck, manager of African currencies' funding at the AfDB. It will allow the bank to issue bonds in multiple tranches to fund infrastructure and other projects in the east African nation.

The first tranche will be open for subscription from July 17 to July 20. The coupon will be 85 percent of the yield on Uganda's benchmark two-year government bond.

The Bank of Uganda is scheduled to auction 100 billion shillings of two-year bonds on Wednesday. The same issue yielded 15.16 percent when it was last sold in May.

African Alliance Uganda has been appointed sponsoring broker for the note programme but investors can place an order via any broker on Uganda's Securities Exchange, Eweck told Reuters.

A second tranche of the triple-A-rated AfDB's bond will be issued before the end of 2012, he added, and is likely to be the same size as the first.

Foreign interest in Ugandan debt grew late last year as soaring inflation pushed Treasury bill and bond yields to record highs, but interest has since waned as yields have declined. Year-on-year inflation slowed to 18 percent in June from 18.6 percent in May.

Proceeds of the bond sale will be used to provide local currency loans to AfDB clients who would previously have struggled to secure long-term shilling loans. 

The Uganda bond is the first of many planned issues from the AfDB, which has won approval to issue bonds denominated in the local currencies of more than 15 African countries, including Cameroon, Gabon and Senegal.

"This is part of a larger programme of helping capital markets develop on the continent," said AfDB vice president for finance Charles Boamah. "We believe that without deep, liquid capital markets the development on the continent will be stalled."

Since 2005, the AfDB has issued bonds denominated in or linked to seven African currencies, including the Ghanaian cedi and Zambian kwacha. It is also a regular issuer in South African rand, its third-largest lending currency.

 

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