Lebanon to begin marketing new billion US dollar bond on Tuesday

Riad Salameh, central bank governer
Riad Salameh, central bank governer

Lebanon will begin marketing a new US dollar-denominated bond on Tuesday, a ministry official told IFR.

Lebanon might try to raise more than US$1bn from the deal, Talal Salman, advisor to the minister of finance, said.

“The RFP [request for proposals] was for a minimum of US$1bn, depending on appetite, we will most probably take more than that,” Salman said.

Lebanon has set the bond’s maturity date and has an idea of how much yield the sovereign is willing to offer, Salman added, without disclosing the details.

There is expected to be a strong local bid for the new deal, Salman said.

Lebanon’s longest-dated dollar debt sold off in the secondary market in the minutes immediately after news of this week’s bond hit screens.

The yield on the sovereign’s US$1.6bn 2026 bonds rose to 6.314% between 1400 and 1410 GMT, according to Tradeweb.

The bonds have since recovered to their pre-news yield of 6.292%.

A similar move was seen in Lebanon’s 2027 notes.

Blom Bank, Citigroup and Societe Generale de Banque au Liban have been hired to arrange the process, according to sources.

Lebanon was last in the international bond market in April 2014, when the sovereign raised new cash through two bonds and undertook a voluntary debt exchange.

Lebanon is rated B2 by Moody’s, B- by Standard & Poor’s and B by Fitch.