Iraq poised to meet investors ahead of crucial bond sale – IFR

Bonds | Wed Sep 2, 2015 7:01am EDT

LONDON, Sept 2 (IFR) – Iraq plans to begin marketing a new Eurobond following the Labor Day holiday in the U.S., according to several sources, as the sovereign hopes to issue in the capital markets for the first time in nearly a decade.

Representatives from the country are expected to meet investors across the U.S. and Europe ahead of the deal, which is likely to be unsecured.

Citigroup, Deutsche Bank and JP Morgan will be the lead managers, the sources said.

The U.S. Labour Day holiday is on Sept. 7.

The sovereign is seeking to raise up to US$6 billion through bond sales to relieve the pressure of low oil prices on state finances, though sources indicate this first deal will be much smaller.

Last month Iraq received its first international credit rating after Fitch assigned a B- rating with a stable outlook, six notches below investment-grade.

In its assessment Fitch cited political risks and insecurity that are among the highest faced by any sovereign rated by the agency.

Iraq last issued an international bond in January 2006. That US$2.66 billion 5.80 percent deal matures in January 2028. The note is trading at a cash price of 75.50, according to Thomson Reuters, to yield 10.23 percent.

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