ye Kebele chairman
Ethiopia to get debut sovereign rating within 2 weeks: finance minister
I wonder how we will do in the ratings. :cheers:By Aaron Maasho
ADDIS ABABA Mon May 5, 2014 4:45am EDT
(Reuters) - Ethiopia expects to get its first sovereign credit ratings within two weeks, Finance and Economic Development Minister Sufian Ahmed said, paving the way for the country's first foray on to international bond markets.
The three main rating agencies - Moody's, Standard & Poor's and Fitch - visited the Horn of Africa nation in February and March to assess its economy.
"I think next week, or probably the (week after)..., the three ...agencies will announce the rating," Sufian told Reuters. Ethiopia, whose economy and population are among the fastest growing in Africa, is keen to attract international investors to help shift its largely agrarian economy towards textiles and other manufacturing.
It has ruled out privatising its banks and telecoms sector. But it does plan "not only a Eurobond but other bonds as well" once it secures a rating, Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn told Reuters in an interview in October. [ID:nL6N0I033U]
Sufian spoke late on Sunday on the sidelines of a meeting with a Chinese delegation led by Premier Li Keqiang. "Everybody will see where (Ethiopia)... is now, and why a number of investors from China, India and Europe are coming here," the minister added.
Beijing is a major partner in Ethiopia's bid to expand its infrastructure, with cumulative investments by Chinese firms to date reaching well over $1 billion, according to official figures.
The International Monetary Fund expects Ethiopia's economy to grow 7.5 percent in each of the next two fiscal years but says the government needs to encourage more private sector investment to prevent growth rates from falling thereafter.