Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Eurobond award shows confidence in Zambia's economy - Barclays
By Joan Chirwa-Ngoma
Sat 22 June 2013, 14:00 CAT

BARCLAYS Bank Zambia Plc managing director Saviour Chibiya says the Eurobond award bestowed on Zambia is a strong testament of the international investment community's confidence in Zambia and its growth prospects.

Barclays Bank Plc in partnership with Deutsche Bank were appointed as Zambia's Joint Lead Managers and Book Runners for the debut bond issue.

Congratulating Zambia for being awarded the first prize for the best sovereign bond in Europe, Middle East and Africa region by the Global Trade Review Finance Magazine, Chibiya stated that since its successful issuance, the Eurobond had highlighted positive aspects of the country such as natural resource wealth, economic growth, low debt-to-GDP ratio, and "a young and growing population that aptly positions Zambia for future investments which will help to improve the livelihood of the Zambian people".

The successful US$750 Eurobond issue which attracted the largest order book for an inaugural sub-Saharan sovereign bond made Zambia join other African countries such as South Africa, Nigeria, Ghana, Gabon, Senegal and Namibia which have issued similar bonds on the international market.

"The success we celebrate today of being recognised internationally is a reflection of the hard work that was done by the joint stakeholders through the support of the government. As a member and active participant of the team that brought the initiative of the sovereign bond into reality, Barclays Bank Zambia Plc is proud of the role we played in driving the country's economy to new frontiers which will help to boost the growth of our economy," stated Chibiya in a press release issued by Barclays Bank communications manager Banji Lufungulo.

"Barclays Bank Zambia Plc will continue to pledge support towards the development of our country, in an effort to help improve the country's economic performance and also build Zambia's investment portfolio in the international market. Barclays has deep rooted local expertise and coverage with unmatched global muscle positioning it well as a partner for development."

Zambia last September successfully arranged a US $750 million Eurobond for its infrastructure requirements as the government further pushes its infrastructure development agenda for the country, a basis upon which the country has been awarded.

The award organised by the Global Trade Review Magazine does not only recognise winners of the achievement and project awards but also provides investor networking opportunities.

Accepting the award at a dinner held in London last night, Chikwanda said the fundamentals behind Zambia's successful first sovereign bond issuance included the country's unparalleled political and social stability since independence in 1964.

"This includes the period up to the 1980s when Zambia was home to many liberation movements from our neighbouring countries and was, therefore, in the forefront of their independence struggles," said Chikwanda in his acceptance speech.

"From 1991, Zambia has been a vibrant multi-party democracy having discarded the one party system with a very unsalutary governance track record. Indeed my party, the Patriotic Front, came into power two years ago through a peaceful transition which inspite of the aberration of the one party system has been the hallmark of Zambia."

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