The level of TB purchase subscriptions jumped almost 51 percent to LP355.78 billion ($236.01 million) on March 22nd as the amount of maturing TBs rose sharply by 57.4 percent to LP299.37 billion ($198.59 billion), thus resulting in an LP56.41 billion ($37.42 million) purchase surplus. Banks, which account for the majority of subscriptions, naturally maintained their interest in the shorter-term 6-M and 3-M TBs, which captured 44.02 percent of all purchases.
On the other hand, the weighting of the longer-term 24-M edged up 1.38 percentage points to 38.66 percent while that of the 12-M TB increased to 17.32 percent from 14.51 percent. The Central Bank showed no interest in LP certificates of deposit for the third consecutive week due to lack of demand.
Attention in the Eurobond market this week was more focused on the new sovereign issue of $600 million, of which $500 million would be used to replace the existing issue maturing April 23,2001. The bond would carry a yield of 9.75 percent with a 5-year maturity. Finance Minister Fouad Siniora declared that BNP-Paribas would lead the issue with Citigroup and ABN-AMRO acting as co-managers. The bond is expected to be mainly placed with local banks and some Arab Gulf investors.
Furthermore, the Finance ministry is said to be considering a separate eurobond issue in the vicinity of $300 million with a maturity of at least 10 years in the next two months, and considerable interest from the US and the Middle East. — ( Lebanon Invest )
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)