Tunisia to go to international market

Official says Tunisia will issue euro-denominated bonds and strengthen its economy

Photo by: AA (Archive)
Photo by: AA (Archive)

Tunisia is preparing to issue euro-denominated bonds worth between 750 million and 1 billion euros ($833.48 million to $1.12 billion) within a few weeks, a government official told Reuters on Friday.

The North African state is struggling with dwindling tourism revenues after three militant attacks last year, social unrest over jobs and slow progress on economic reforms demanded by international lenders.

"We will go to the international market in few weeks ... it should be between mid-March and May 2016, for between 750 million euros and 1 billion euros," the official said.

He said the financing would help cover part of the budget deficit and the Finance Ministry had asked the central bank to start with the technical procedures for the bond operation.

Tunisia last went to the international market a year ago, with a $1 billion bond.

An International Monetary Fund team began talks with Tunisia on Thursday over a new credit programme, tied to measures to strengthen its economy and finances and likely to be worth at least $1.7 billion over four years.

Tunisia's economy has lagged since the 2011 uprising against autocrat Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali that sparked the Arab Spring revolutions across North Africa and the Middle East. Two attacks last year by militants targeted its tourism industry.


TRTWorld, Reuters