(Adds details, quotes)
ABIDJAN, April 14 Senegal will issue a Eurobond
this month in order to finance a series of infrastructure and
power production projects that it hopes will push economic
growth above 7 percent from next year, Finance Minister Amadou
Ba said on Friday.
Ba declined to give the amount of the issuance or its
maturity. The West African nation is rated B1 by Moody's and B+
by Standard & Poor's.
"I think that the moment has arrived to return to the
market," he told reporters on the sidelines of a meeting of
regional finance ministers in Ivory Coast. "We'll do it in the
coming weeks. It will be a Eurobond."
Senegal, a member of the eight-nation CFA currency bloc
which maintains a fixed rate against the euro, issued its first
$200 million 5-year Eurobond in December 2009 at a yield of 9.25
percent. It followed that with a $500 million 10-year issue in
2011 bearing a coupon of 8.75 percent.
More recently it returned to the market in 2014 with a $500
million, 10-year Eurobond with a coupon of 6.25 percent, which
was several times oversubscribed.
"Senegal has launched big projects, whether it's the
regional train, motorways but also electricity projects,
construction of a university, health and agriculture," Ba said.
"We want to be self-sufficient in rice in 2017 and that
requires a lot of investment in agricultural irrigation," he
French industrial firm Alstom announced in
December plans to sell 15 new regional trains to Senegal for use
between the capital Dakar and a new international airport under
construction around 50 km (30 miles) outside the city.
Construction of the trains is due to begin this year.
Ba said that Senegal is revising the basis upon which it
calculates its gross domestic product, which he said is
outdated, and expects the changes to show the economy is at
least 30 percent larger than currently believed.
(Reporting by Ange Aboa; Writing by Joe Bavier; Editing by Mark