Egypt becomes first Arab, African country to issue panda bonds worth $500 million

Egypt sold a 3.5 billion yuan ($500 million) three-year panda bond in China’s onshore market on Monday, in the first sale of such bonds by a government in the Middle East and North Africa region.

The bond issue aims to support priority sectors in Egypt such as green transportation, renewable energy, energy efficiency, and sustainable water management.

Finance Minister Mohamed Maait said in a ministry statement that the government obtained a lower pricing for Samurai bonds, which carry an annual coupon of 3.5 percent for three years, which makes it more special compared to the coupon prices of international dollar bond issues.

The Ministry of Finance made the issue through a credit guarantee from the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) and the African Development Bank (AfDB).

AfDB said in a previous statement that its guarantee aims to facilitate Egypt’s access to the Chinese bond market to enable the North African country to finance environmental and social projects.

Since 2020, when Egypt issued the first green bond in the Middle East and North Africa region, the country has emphasised its commitment to sustainable and green bond markets. To further strengthen its commitment, the Egyptian Ministry of Finance launched the country’s Sustainable Finance Support System (SSFF) in 2022, just before COP27, which took place in Sharm El-Sheikh.b

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