Benin Republic's first-ever Eurobond oversubscribed by over six times
- Benin's inaugural dollar bond offering exceeded expectations with $5 billion in demand, oversubscribing the offering by more than six times.
- The 14-year bonds were issued at a rate of 8.375% and the proceeds will be used to finance Benin's 2024 budget.
- The strong demand for these junk-rated bonds highlights the enduring appeal of riskier emerging-market assets.
Benin's inaugural dollar bond offering witnessed overwhelming demand, exceeding expectations as investors sought riskier emerging-market assets amidst anticipation of US interest-rate cuts. Minister of Economy and Finance, Romuald Wadagni, disclosed in an interview that the West African nation received $5 billion in demand, oversubscribing the offering by more than six times, and issued $750 million.
This bond issuance closely follows Ivory Coast's recent achievement, wherein it raised $2.6 billion in an oversubscribed Eurobond auction, fetching rates between 8.5 and 8.75 percent. The proceeds from Benin's 14-year bonds, issued at a rate of 8.375%, will be allocated to finance the country's 2024 budget.
The robust demand for the 14-year instrument, trading close to the rates of Ivory Coast's 2037 notes, underscores the enduring appeal of junk-rated issuers. Simon Quijano-Evans, chief economist at Gemcorp Capital in London, highlighted this observation in a note to clients, affirming the strong investor interest in these assets.
Benin Republic, heralded as one of Sub-Saharan Africa's fastest-growing economies, is poised for a robust expansion, with projections indicating a growth rate of 6.4 percent during the 2024-25 period. The nation's remarkable macroeconomic stability is evidenced by its inflation figures, which stood at 0.40% in December 2023, marking a notable uptick from the -0.20% recorded in November 2023. Amidst hopes for interest-rate cuts in the United States, there is a burgeoning appetite for emerging-market debt, a trend that has been particularly pronounced in the case of Benin. Investors are increasingly drawn to the country's economic resilience and growth potential, further fueling the demand for its debt instruments.