Egypt plans to sell three-year bonds today ahead of the trial of former President Hosni Mubarak and as the North African nation's 10-year dollar notes trade near a six-month high.The Ministry of Finance aims to raise 3 billion Egyptian pounds ($504 million) from the sale, according to Central Bank of Egypt data on Bloomberg. It raised a similar amount from the auction of two-year notes last week, the first such sale since a popular revolted ousted Mubarak in February, paying a coupon of 13.1 per cent. The yield on one-year treasury bills has retreated from a 31-month high in June to 12.847 at an auction on July 28."The three-year issuance should be well covered because we're still talking about a medium-term investment in the absence of better opportunities for banks," said Mohammad Kotb, Cairo-based asset management director at Naeem Financial Investments. "We expect most buyers to be local banks."Egypt increased its reliance on short-term debt since the start of the popular uprising against Mubarak in January, having canceled 19.5 billion pounds in bond sales until last week's issuance. The trial of Mubarak, his sons Ala'a and Gamal, former Interior Minister Habibi Al Adly and others will begin in Cairo tomorrow, the Middle East News Agency reported on Thursday, citing Mohammad Manie, assistant to the justice minister. The country repaid the principal $1 billion (Dh3.6 billion) and interest on its 8.75 per cent 10-year bond that matured on July 11. It's 5.75 per cent 10-year dollar bond due April 2020 has since advanced, pushing the yield down to 5.55 per cent on Friday, the lowest level since January 14. The pound closed unchanged at 5.9568 per dollar on Friday.Tens of thousands of protesters gathered in Cairo and Alexandria on Friday to demand the government speed up political and economic reforms. Islamists demanded the preservation of Egypt's "Arab and Islamic identity" and implementation of Islamic laws as debate on the role of religion intensifies ahead of elections due in November."We've had six months of heightened political tensions, so it's safe to say the risk premium has already been priced in," Kotb said.
From / Gulf News