West Africa’s Bourse Regionale des Valeurs Mobilieres BRVM regional stock exchange is to move trading operations back to Cote d’Ivoire next Monday (16 May), after moving to Mali to avoid a violent political crisis.
Rebels in Cote d’Ivoire made rapid advances towards Abidjan yesterday (30 March), where fighting could be fierce. Prices rallied yesterday on the €2.3 Eurobond and Bloomberg reported a 7% climb to 42.688 cents in the dollar nominal value, while cocoa prices fell $70.
Rebel advances in Cote d’Ivoire are boosting the price of the country’s €2.3 bn Eurobond, which are in default since 1 Feb, in London trading. According to Bloomberg today (30 Mar), the advance boosted the dollar-denominated bonds to their highest in at least 2 months as they climbed 4.2% to 39.875 % of face value last night.
West Africa’s regional stock market the Bourse Regionale des Valeurs Mobilieres (BRVM) has started trading from a new base in Bamako, Mali, after leaving Cote d’Ivoire because of the political crisis. Trading restarted in the new office on 1 March, but volumes are much lower.
Cote d’Ivoire has formally reneged on $2.3 billion of Eurobonds, becoming the first nation to default since Jamaica in January 2010. The default comes after it was unable to pay $29 million of interest which had become due and after a 30-day grace period had expired. However, the market appears to have faith the crisis will eventually end.
This afternoon (5 Jan) the yield on the Cote d’Ivoire US dollar-denominated sovereign bonds climbed back up 60 basis points to 15.68%, according to Bloomberg, after reaching 16.19% on 4 January, as news came that there is no let-up in the political crisis.
Markets are nervous about the Cote d’Ivoire bond, worried that the country may not meet a payment deadline. Reuters reports today (27 December): “Ivory Coast’s $2.3 billion bond due in 2032 fell to a record low last week as investors worried the country would not meet a $30 million bond payment.”
Interest in African sovereign debt has been climbing again in recent months. Angola plans to issue a $1 billion – $2 billion benchmark bond., Kenya, Nigeria and Mauritius and many other countries have flourishing debt markets and international interest is good in high-yielding hard-currency bonds such as those issued by the Republic of Congo and Cote d’Ivoire.