PNG’s Deputy PM and Treasurer, Charles Abel, says the countries international roadshow to market its inaugural sovereign bond was a success.
The DPM and delegation covered Singapore, Hong Kong, London, New York, Boston and Los Angeles in 10 days. In a packed schedule arranged by global lead coordinator Credit Suisse and joint bookrunners Citibank the delegation presented to around 100 global banks and fund managers at 7 meetings per city.
“Our international partners have done a fantastic job in arranging meeting and providing advice. The interest has been really good with full meetings including all the major players. Everyone is interested in the PNG story. The market for emerging market or frontier market bonds has been rattled recently by the Turkey and Argentina economic problems but we believe PNG has a strong case regardless,” Mr Abel said.
“We are looking at a 5 year or 10 year benchmark minimum issue of US500 milion. This is the minimum amount to qualify for the Emerging Market Bond Index and facilitate participation in the secondary market after issuance. Now that the roadshow is concluded we will field offers for amounts and pricing (interest rates) before making a final decision to sell the bonds. Of the potential proceeds, US$200 million will go into operation and capital costs and $300m will convert short term (less than 12 months) domestic debt into long term debt. This will better balance our loan book and bring in foreign exchange. PNG will be looking to establish its brand and yield curve in the international market for the future,” he said.
“Since the 2017 Supplementary Budget our Government through the 25 Point Plan has put revenue to GDP on an upward path from 12% of GDP to 16%. Fiscal deficits are in a downward trajectory from 6% to 2.4%. Debt to GDP is a prudent level of 32%. International reserves are stabilised at USD1.7 billion, being 10 months of non mining import cover, and the forex market is coming back to balance. We are working on constraining our wage bill and interest costs. Oil prices are recovering well and we are negotiating the Papua LNG, Pynyang LNG and Wafi Golpu Projects. There are good times ahead for PNG if we remained focused and work hard,” said the DPM.
DPM Abel was accompanied by the Governor of the Central Bank, Loi Bakani, Secretary for Treasury, Dairi Vele, Vice Minister and Member for Tambul Nebilyer, Win Daki and Member for Finschhafen, Rainbo Paita.