Ivory Coast Says Bond Holders Agree to Revised Payment Schedule

Ivory Coast, which failed to pay its dollar debt during a political crisis last year, said bond holders agreed to amended terms, including a revised interest payment schedule and a waiver on defaults incurred.

The world’s biggest cocoa producer said 85.5 percent of outstanding bond holders had consented to proposals by yesterday, according to an e-mailed statement sent by Richard Creswell, a London-based spokesman for Lazard & Co., which is advising the West African nation. Ivory Coast needed at least 75 percent to approve a revised payment schedule for three coupon payments and the issuance of additional bonds, it said in the statement.

Ivory Coast proposed last month it would repay 40 percent of its coupon arrears in 2013 and 60 percent the year after as debt servicing remains “significant” and as the government pushes economic growth through investment. The government wants to issue $186.7 million of additional bonds.

The previous government of President Laurent Gbagbo defaulted on $2.3 billion of Eurobonds due 2032 in January 2011 during a post-election crisis when he refused to hand over power to Alassane Ouattara, who won a November 2010 vote. Ouattara’s government started interest payments again in June.

The Eurobonds of the West African nation, which have jumped 78 percent this year, were little changed at 89.98 cents on the dollar, yielding 7.1 percent, at 10:03 a.m. in London, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

To contact the reporter on this story: Chris Kay in Abuja at ckay5@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Vernon Wessels at vwessels@bloomberg.net

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