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Egypt Misses Debt Target as Mubarak Verdict Sparks Protests

Egypt sold 2.5 billion Egyptian pounds ($414 million) of treasury bills today, missing its fundraising target after a verdict in former President Hosni Mubarak’s trial sparked demonstrations in several cities.

The North African country accepted bids for three- and nine-month notes valued at 1 billion pounds and 1.5 billion pounds, respectively, central bank data on Bloomberg show. It had sought to raise 2 billion pounds of nine-month notes. The average yield on the three-month bills rose six basis points, or 0.06 of a percentage point, from last week’s sale to 14.45 percent, the highest since Bloomberg started tracking the data in 2006. The nine-month rate was unchanged at 15.825 percent.

A Cairo court handed life sentences to the former leader and his interior minister Habib El-Adli yesterday for complicity in the deaths of demonstrators during last year’s uprising. It also acquitted six senior police officials of charges related to the killings and Mubarak’s two sons, Alaa and Gamal, of corruption charges. All decisions are subject to appeal. Thousands of demonstrators filled Cairo’s Tahrir Square within hours of the verdict to voice their discontent.

Egypt is less than two weeks away from the second round of the first post-Mubarak presidential election, which pits the Muslim Brotherhood’s Mohamed Mursi against Mubarak’s last prime minister Ahmed Shafik.

The yield on Egypt’s 5.75 percent dollar bonds due in April 2020 fell three basis points to 6.79 percent on June 1, according to prices compiled by Bloomberg. The Egyptian pound was little changed at 6.0393 a dollar.

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