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Rwanda, Ivory Coast to Sell International Debt, Moody’s Says

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May 16 (Bloomberg) -- Rwanda and Ivory Coast, two of the fastest growing economies in Africa, may sell debt abroad within the next two years to help fund investment in the continent’s development, according to Moody’s Investors Service.

“International issuance will be a part of the solutions to access the resources needed for development of sub-Saharan Africa,” Aurelien Mali, a sovereign credit analyst at Moody’s, said in an interview in Johannesburg today.

Economic growth will reach 7.6 percent this year in Rwanda, and 8.1 percent in Ivory Coast, surpassing the sub-Saharan African average of 5.4 percent, the International Monetary Fund said last month.

The economy of Rwanda, which is recovering from a 1994 genocide that left 800,000 people dead, has expanded an average of 4.5 percent annually since 2005, according to the IMF. That’s the fourth fastest in sub-Saharan Africa after Angola, Ethiopia and Equatorial Guinea.

A Eurobond would be the first such issue for Rwanda, which has a sovereign credit rating of B by Fitch Ratings and Standard & Poor’s, five steps below investment grade and on a par with Cameroon and Lebanon. The nation is the highest-ranked country in East Africa for business-friendly policies, according to the World Bank’s 2012 Doing Business Report, which considered factors including paying taxes and registering a business.

Ivory Coast, the world’s largest cocoa producer, stopped paying interest on its international debt in January last year during a five-month election stand-off and violent conflict. The government said in a Jan. 23 statement it plans to restart payments.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Andres R. Martinez at amartinez28@bloomberg.net; Sarah McGregor in Nairobi at smcgregor5@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Andrew J. Barden at barden@bloomberg.net.

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