Bondmania

From Zambian Economist Wed Jan 23 2013, 01:02:00

By Chola Mukanga

Road Development Agency (RDA) becomes the latest public body to announce plans to sell bonds. It plans to sell $1.5 billion of bonds by the end of the year. RDA has presented a plan for the sale to the Ministry of Finance and expects positive feedback. According to RDA plans to securitise the bond with the revenue it generates from a fuel levy. Part of the proceeds of the planned bond sale will go toward funding a US$300m project to repair 2,000 urban roads across the 10 provinces. RDA also plans to start building a toll-gate system across national road network by the end of the year. The plan will be rolled in June. But it will be key to paying back the bond debt.

RDA joins others in a rapidly growing queue for international finance. ZESCO has been on the road looking to acquire $2 billion debt to fund new investments. The company sent managers to the U.K. and the U.S. in a bid to raise the money from investors. South Africa's Standard Bank Group Ltd is advising the company, which has meet investors in London, Boston and New York. According to Mr Chitundu (ZESCO CEO) the company may also sell a Eurobond similar to the $750 million raised by the government in September 2012, "We are probably talking $1 billion, probably even $2 billion".

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