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Sovereign Debt Offerings from Africa

Benin is meeting investors in New York on Monday to drum up demand for its first-ever dollar bonds, marking a pickup in sovereign debt offerings from Africa this year. The west African nation plans a minimum $500 million bond with a 14-year final maturity to fund its budget, according to a person with knowledge of the matter. Citigroup Inc., JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Société Générale SA have arranged a global investor call and meetings in London and New York, the person said, asking not to be identified as they’re not authorized to speak about the plans. The offering comes just after Ivory Coast resumed sub-Saharan debt sales in January after a two-year hiatus, during which most African governments were locked out of markets by debt distress and the punitive cost of borrowing. A rally in emerging-market bonds since October on expectations for US interest-rate cuts and a renewed appetite for riskier assets is now helping issuers.