Tajikistan Plans Bond Market Debut

Tajikistan is seeking to tap the international bond market for the first time, kicking off what bankers anticipate will be a blitz of emerging market bond issuance. The central Asian nation is looking to issue 10-year, dollar-denominated debt, the Financial Times reported. It could come to the market as early as next week, according to a person familiar with the finance ministry’s thinking, in what could be the first emerging market sovereign debt deal since the summer break. Tajikistan’s bid to tap the market will test investors’ risk appetite, which has been whetted by the standout performance of emerging market government debt so far this year. Emerging markets’ local-currency sovereign bonds have generated a total return of 12.8 per cent in the year to date, compared with 3 per cent for US Treasuries and 0.9 per cent for eurozone governments’ debt, according to Bloomberg Barclays indices. Several new and infrequent issuers have sought to take advantage of the favourable debt-raising conditions in recent weeks, in a flurry of dealmaking by emerging and frontier economies. Iraq raised $1bn with a five-year, 6.75 per cent bond earlier this month, which was six times oversubscribed despite being its first bond without a US guarantee for more than a decade. Read more. (Subscription required.)