Ivory Coast is said to sell Africa’s biggest Euro-currency bond

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Ivory Coast sold 1.7 billion euros ($2.1 billion) of bonds Thursday in the biggest issuance in the common currency from an African government, according to a person familiar with the matter.

The West African nation’s amortizing deal was equally split between a tranche maturing in 2030 and paying 5.25 percent, and another due in 2048 with a yield of 6.625 percent, said the person, who asked not to be identified as they’re not authorized to speak about the matter. Price guidance was around 5.375 percent for the shorter securities, which have an average life of 11 years, and 6.75 percent for the longer ones, which have a 29-year average maturity, said the person.

That’s the largest amount of euro debt issued by an African sovereign since at least the start of this century, when Bloomberg began compiling the data. It was also the second-biggest transaction in the currency from emerging markets this year, after Romania’s 2 billion euro-deal on Feb. 1. Investors placed 4.2 billion euros of orders, said the person.

Calls for comment to government spokesman Bruno Kone and Finance Minister Adama Kone went unanswered.

The world’s largest cocoa producer followed Egypt, Nigeria, Kenya and Senegal in tapping international markets before policy-tightening by the U.S. Federal Reserve lifts borrowing costs. African sovereigns have now issued $12.8 billion of Eurobonds in 2018, already more than half the record $18 billion they managed last year and exceeding the total for the whole of 2016.

BNP Paribas SA, Citigroup Inc., Deutsche Bank AG and Societe Generale SA managed Ivory Coast’s sale.

Yields on the government’s 625 million euros of securities due in 2025, its only other bonds in the currency, fell four basis points to 4.26 percent by 8:52 a.m. in London.