Lebanon to swap $1.6B of Eurobonds

The Finance Ministry building is seen in Beirut. (The Daily Star/Mahmoud Kheir)

BEIRUT: Lebanon intends to tap the local market this week to swap close to $1.6 billion of maturing Eurobonds, bankers said Tuesday.

According to the bankers, $677 million of Eurobonds will mature in April and another $882 million will mature in May.

The co-managers for the new issue have not been named.

“The Central Bank usually engineers the entire swapping operations in coordination with the Finance Ministry,” one banker told The Daily Star.

Lebanese banks usually snap up most of the Eurobonds issues.

The rates and the yields are normally determined by the Central Bank while the co-managers seek to market the issue.

Bankers said that the swapping of the Eurobonds usually take place one month at least before the maturity of the bonds.

“I don’t think the Finance Ministry has any intention to delay the swapping operation. This policy of swapping the bonds has been applied by all the successive finance ministers,” one banker said.

He expected a decision to swap the Eurobonds in one week.

In February 2013, the Central Bank sold $2.2 billion of sovereign Eurobonds and swapped LL6 trillion of 2013 and 2014 certificates of deposit with longer maturity ones.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on February 19, 2014, on page 5.




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