Macedonia issues seven-year eurobond worth 450 million euros

Macedonia issued a seven-year eurobond worth 450 million euros at a yield of 5.625 percent to finance budget needs this year and next, the finance ministry said late on Tuesday, shrugging off protests by the opposition.

The joint lead managers on the issue were Citigroup, Deutsche Bank, Erste Group and Societe Generale.

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In a statement, the ministry said that the eurobond represents “exceptional favorable conditions having in mind the complicated political situation in the country.”

“The assets … will be used for 2016 and 2017 budget needs, and for paying some due debts,” it said.

Macedonia has been in crisis since last February, when the opposition accused former Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski and his counter-intelligence chief of wiretapping more than 20,000 people.

The crisis was worsened by President Gjorge Ivanov’s decision this year to pardon 56 officials investigated over the scandal, which led to street protests and the cancellation of an election set for June 5.

The bond issue was postponed last Thursday after the opposition Social Democratic Party asserted the current government may not have the legal authority to issue the security .

“Without the malicious obstructions by the opposition and having in mind the big interest by the investors, the yield could have been more favourable, even under 5 percent,” the statement said.

Earlier in the day, the Social Democratic Party warned it will investigate the issue, including potential breaches of anti-corruption practices.

The ministry said that the eurobond was issued in line with the law and in coordination with the Justice Ministry, legal representatives of the government and the joint lead managers.

Reuters

19 July 2016