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Senegal to tap international bond market for $500 million in 2015

Staff writer |
President Macky Sall said Senegal will sell at least $500 million of debt in international markets this year and may issue more Islamic bonds to finance the budget.

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The government will offer the debt before the end of July, and the securities may be Eurobonds or sukuk, Sall said on Tuesday in an interview in the capital, Dakar. The economy will expand 5.4 percent this year from 4.5 percent in 2014, he said.

"We're not in a hurry and we'll try to get the best rate" Sall, 53, said. "We have the capacity to raise this debt now. We are very much back on to the path of growth."

Sall has pledged to double the economic growth rate by 2020 and make Senegal an alternative for foreign investors burned by plunging oil prices and by declining currencies in countries like Ghana and Nigeria. Senegal is part on an eight-member monetary union that uses a regional currency pegged to the euro.

While gross domestic product has risen to about $15 billion, one in three Senegalese live on less than $1.25 per day, according to the World Bank. Senegal ranked 163rd out of 187 nations in 2014 on the United Nations Development Program's human development index.

That's five spots higher than Haiti and five lower than the Solomon Islands.


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