Egypt Sells Debt Target as Yields Climb; Dollar Bonds Gain

Egypt sold its target 4.5 billion Egyptian pounds ($745 million) of treasury bills today as yields rose on the second day of voting in the country’s presidential election. The dollar bonds advanced.

The North African country sold six- and 12-month notes valued at 2 billion pounds and 2.5 billion pounds, respectively, according to central bank data on Bloomberg. The yield on the 5.75 percent dollar bonds due in 2020 fell nine basis points to 6.79 percent at 3:12 p.m. in Cairo. That’s the lowest level on a closing basis since April 9 and brings the yield’s drop this week to 35 basis points.

Egyptians are voting in the final day of the country’s first presidential election following the ouster of Hosni Mubarak last year. More than 50 million eligible voters will choose one of 13 candidates, with a possible run-off round scheduled for mid-June.

“The election is ending a period of uncertainty,” Mohamed Kotb, Cairo-based asset management director at Naeem Financial Investments, said by phone. “If we get a president with clear economic policies to spur growth we could see yields come down significantly. The reserve-ratio cut provided temporary relief for banks but the market needs longer-term policies to demand lower returns.”

The central bank in March cut the local-currency reserve requirement for banks for the first time in 13 years to 12 percent to help “ease credit conditions in the market.” Today’s debt sale was part of a Finance Ministry plan to raise 150 billion pounds this quarter, the last of the country’s fiscal year.

The average six-month yield accepted climbed 10 basis points, or 0.1 of a percentage point, from a sale last week to 15.296 percent. That’s the highest level since Bloomberg started tracking the data in 2006. The one-year yield advanced two basis points to 15.899 percent.

The Egyptian pound was little changed at 6.0395 a dollar.

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