Eurobond mandate nears following Fitch rating

24 May 2002

The award of the lead mandate to arrange the country's debut foreign-currency-denominated sovereign bond is imminent following the assignment of a sovereign rating by London-based rating agency Fitchon 10 May (see Economy). International bankers say the bond is expected to be issued in early June (MEED 26:4:02).

'The Fitch rating assignment was an important step. Now a decision on the bond should be made rather quickly,' says a European banker. 'We expect that the central bank [Bank Markazi] will now talk again to all the shortlisted banks and hopefully the bond can be issued in early June.'

Five European banks were shortlisted by the central bank for the mandate to lead the issue earlier this year. BNP Paribasand Commerzbankare understood to be well placed to win the deal. However, international bankers say a final decision as to how many banks will lead the mandate has yet to be made. The other shortlisted banks are Credit Agricole Indosuez, Deutsche Bankand HSBC Investment Bank(MEED 25:1:02).

The size of the issue will be in the range of Eur 300 million-500 million ($274 million-456 million) with maturity of five-seven years. The bond will be open to international subscribers outside the US.

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