Egypt Seeks $1.5 Billion in Islamic Debt Sale as Payment Looms

Egypt looked to raise $1.5 billion through the sale of its first Islamic debt, as the North African nation wrestles with a foreign-currency crunch, Bloomberg News reported. The wheat importer’s $400 billion economy is exposed to the shockwaves of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. It has devalued its currency three times since March and sought aid from the International Monetary Fund. The final guidance price for the three-year dollar sukuk was at 11.125% area (+/- 1/8th) on Tuesday, according to a term sheet seen by Bloomberg. It had been offered at an initial yield of about 11.625%, with the lower pricing coming after it attracted an order book of over $5.8 billion, excluding joint lead manager interest, as per the term sheet. It comes ahead of a $1.25 billion Eurobond repayment due Tuesday. The sukuk offering is the first time Egypt has turned to the international debt market since a $500 million private placement of its debut yen-denominated, or samurai, bonds in March 2022. Egypt needs to offer a minimum spread of 725 basis points over three-year Treasuries to attract strong demand for its sukuk offering, Mashreq Bank’s rates and fixed income team in Dubai wrote in a note. That’s in line with the initial yield for the Islamic security being offered by the country. Read more.