Dechert’s International Capital Markets Team Advises on Several Major and Innovative Sovereign Bond Issuances Throughout the MENA Region

February 18, 2021

Dechert LLP’s market-leading Middle East and North Africa region (MENA) capital markets practice has recently advised on three significant issuances for Bahrain, Egypt and Oman. All three countries took advantage of new UK prospectus rules introduced post-Brexit, which extend prospectus-exempt status to all sovereigns, permitting an accelerated timetable to market. Dechert’s capital markets team was the first to advise sovereign issuers on the application of, and to arrange listings under, these new rules. An OnPoint detailing the impact of the new rules on sovereign and central bank transactions can be found here.

In February 2021, Dechert most recently advised the Arab Republic of Egypt on its U.S.$3.75 billion triple tranche Eurobond issuance comprising its U.S.$750 million 3.875% Notes due 2026, U.S.$1.5 billion 5.875% Notes due 2031 and U.S.$1.5 billion 7.500% Notes due 2061 issued under its GMTN Program. Proceeds from the bonds, which are listed on the Main Market of the London Stock Exchange, are expected to play a major role in covering Egypt’s financial requirements for the fiscal year concluding in June 2021.

In January 2021, Dechert also advised the Kingdom of Bahrain (acting through its Ministry of Finance and National Economy) in updating its Global Medium-Term Note Programme and issuance of its: (i) U.S.$500 million 4.250% Notes due 2028; (ii) U.S.$1 billion 5.250% Notes due 2033; and (iii) U.S.$500 million 6.250% Notes due 2051.

In addition, also in January 2021, Dechert represented the Sultanate of Oman (acting through its Ministry of Finance) in its issuance of: (i) U.S.$500 million 4.875% Notes due 2025 (to be consolidated and form a single series with the existing U.S.$750 million 4.875% Notes due 2025 issued on 1 August 2019); (ii) U.S.$1.75 billion 6.250% Notes due 2031; and (iii) U.S.$1 billion 7.000% Notes due 2051.

The Dechert team on all three transactions was comprised of partners Patrick Lyons and Jennifer Rees and associates Nick Quarrie and Kerenza Kerslake. “The new UK prospectus rules introduced in January 2021 for sovereign issuers has greatly reduced the time required for sovereigns to get to market. We are proud to have been at the forefront of this new regime, having advised on the first sovereign offerings to take advantage of this new regulatory climate,” said Patrick Lyons.

These mandates follow several billion-dollar transactions in 2020, demonstrating Dechert’s leadership in complex and innovative debt issuances for MENA sovereigns, including:

  • In October 2020, advising the Arab Republic of Egypt on its first green bond (its U.S.$750 million 5.25% Notes due 2025), which is the first-ever green bond for a MENA sovereign, as well as the first U.S. Dollar-denominated Green Bond in Africa. The proceeds of the bond will be used to finance environmental projects in various sectors.
  • In December 2020, advising the joint lead managers on the Kingdom of Morocco’s U.S.$3 billion triple tranche issuance of: (i) U.S.$750 million 2.375% Notes due 2027; (ii) U.S.$1 billion 3.000% Notes due 2032; and (iii) U.S.$1.25 billion 4.000% Notes due 2050. This represented one of the largest issuances from the Kingdom, with the bond proceeds expected to be used to partially finance the 2020 budget deficit, pre-finance the 2021 budget deficit and increase its foreign reserves in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. Dechert also advised the joint lead managers on the Kingdom of Morocco’s issuance of its €500 million 1.375% Notes due 2026 and €500 million 2.000% Notes due 2030 in September 2020.
  • In October 2020, advising the Sultanate of Oman on the update of its Global Medium-Term Note Programme and subsequent issuance of its: (i) U.S.$1,250 million 6.750% Notes due 2027; and (ii) U.S.$750 million 7.375% Notes due 2032. Dechert also advised on the tap offering of its: (i) U.S.$200 million 6.750% Notes due 2027; and (ii) U.S.$300 million 7.375% Notes due 2032 in December 2020.

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Dechert is a leading global law firm with 26 offices around the world. We advise on matters and transactions of the greatest complexity, bringing energy, creativity and efficient management of legal issues to deliver commercial and practical advice for all clients.