By Staff Reporter
Ethiopia could be the latest African country to tap international bond markets for the first time, after mandating Deutsche Bank and JPMorgan to take it on a roadshow to meet investors this week.
Ethiopia is one of the poorest countries in the world, with a gross domestic product per capita of just $1,240 (adjusting for PPP) according to the World Bank. A successful issue would make it the second-poorest country ever to tap the international bond market, after Congo in 2007.
However, the International Monetary Fund predicts that the country’s economy will be the eighth-fastest growing in the world this year, and appetite for previously esoteric African bonds has been ravenous in recent years – luring countries including Kenya, Senegal and Rwanda to make their debuts.
JPMorgan and Deutsche Bank will be ushering a delegation of Ethiopian officials around Europe and the US starting on Wednesday, and a US dollar-denominated bond is expected to follow – possibly as early as next week.
The country is rated B1 by Standard & Poor’s and B by Moody’s and Fitch Ratings, deep into the “junk” range of ratings.