Huge Demand for Iraqi Govt Bonds

By John Lee.

Iraq opened the books yesterday on its first independent bond sale in a decade.

Investor demand was huge,” writese Marcus Ashworth at Bloomberg. “The deal was seven times oversubscribed.

The $1-billion, dollar-denominated bond, maturing in March 2023, was expected yield 7 percent, but demand enabled that to be cut to 6.75 percent.

In January, Iraq raised $1 billion of five-year bonds, guaranteed by the United States, at a coupon of 2.149 percent, but this latest bond is not guaranteed and depends on Iraq’s own creditworthiness. It is rated B- by both S&P and Fitch.

Iraq appointed Citi, Deutsche Bank and JP Morgan as joint bookrunners for the issue.

Meanwhile, the yield on the Iraqi 10-year bond (2028) has fallen from 9.3 percent in November to 6.7 percent.

(Sources: Bloomberg, Financial Times)

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