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Tunisia’s Central Bank Sells Samurai Bonds Backed by Japan Bank

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Dec. 7 (Bloomberg) -- Banque Centrale de Tunisie SA, the central bank of Tunisia, sold 25 billion yen ($303 million) of Samurai bonds backed by the Japan Bank for International Cooperation.

The 10-year notes were priced to yield 1.19 percent, or 45 basis points more than the yen swap rate, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Mizuho Financial Group Inc. and Nomura Holdings Inc. helped the north African borrower sell the bonds.

Tunisia is grappling with deteriorating finances after tourist visits slumped 55 percent in the aftermath of a popular uprising last year that ousted President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, leaving an Islamist party leading the nation. The guarantee by Japan’s state-run lender is part of the Deauville Partnership with Arab Countries in Transition, a global effort to support nations undergoing political and social transition in the Middle East and North Africa, according to an Oct. 12 statement by the U.S. Treasury Department.

The central bank last sold yen-denominated notes in August 2007 when it issued 30 billion yen of 3.28 percent bonds, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The securities, due 2027, are quoted at 449 basis points more than the yen swap rate, JS Price data show.

Tunisia’s government sold $485 million of 1.686 percent seven-year bonds in July priced to yield 70 basis points more than the Treasuries, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The debt is backed by the U.S. Agency for International Development, the data show.

To contact the reporter on this story: Yusuke Miyazawa in Tokyo at ymiyazawa3@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Shelley Smith at ssmith118@bloomberg.net

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