Morocco to Tap International Bond Market in 2019

Morocco will issue an international bond in 2019 said governor of the Central bank Abdellatif Jouahri, adding that the country may consider the renewal of the IMF precautionary liquidity line which expires this year.

Jouahri was speaking to the press at a regular press conference in which he announced that the Central bank maintains its benchmark interest rate stable at 2.25.

“The International bond will be determined by the finance ministry,” which will also decide the timing, he said.

Bloomberg said the issuance may amount at least to $1 billion and may take place in the first half of the year.

Jouahri said external public debt was expected to rise to 14.6 percent of gross domestic product in 2019 compared to 13.8 percent of GDP this year.

With questions over the willingness of the kingdom’s Gulf Arab backers to renew a multi-billion dollar aid package that expires this year, Jouahri said Morocco could seek to revive a liquidity line with the International Monetary Fund should oil prices threaten the economy.

The government in January decided against renewing a $3.47 billion liquidity line it had secured in 2016, saying it may seek alternative arrangements with the fund.

The Central bank governor also announced that Morocco will issue 1 billion dirhams in Sukuk to boost liquidity of Islamic banks.

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