Jordan issues double tranche $1.75 bln Eurobond, pushes public debt

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AMMAN, June 30 (Reuters) - Jordan said on Tuesday it issued a double tranche of $1.75 billion of Eurobonds that will help it cope with the economic impact of COVID-19, which economists and critics say will push public debt to a record 100% of gross domestic product.

The Finance Ministry said the issue of $500 million at 4.95% over a five-year maturity and $1.25 billion at 5.85% over a 10-year maturity was oversubscribed by more than 6.25 times after attracting bids worth over $6.25 billion.

Finance Minister Mohammad Al Ississ said the oversubscription and "relatively low interest rate" of Jordan's Eurobonds was a "testament to its fiscal stability."

The high demand led to lowering the yield on the recently offered Eurobonds, lessening the interest burden, the Finance Ministry said. The rates were significantly lower than Jordan’s last Eurobond issuance of 2017 and recent issues by peer countries of similar ratings, it said.

Al Ississ said the funds would go towards covering a Eurobond maturing in October, worth $1.25 billion, in addition to injecting liquidity for the private sector by paying arrears accumulated by both present and previous governments. The arrears include those owed to hospitals, pharmaceuticals, energy and contractors, he said.

(Reporting by Suleiman Al-Khalidi Editing by Chris Reese and Leslie Adler)

((suleiman.al-khalidi@thomsonreuters.com; +96279-5521407;))

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