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Trinidad & Tobago looks local for funding

Jun 25, 2014

Caribbean sovereign says liquid local markets will offer bond sale opportunities over year ahead

 
 
 
Larry Howai, finance minister of 
Trinidad & Tobago
 
Trinidad & Tobago expects to stay out of cross-border bond markets over the next year, although some of the country's corporates may stage a return, the country's finance minister has said.

"At this stage, we have no immediate intention ourselves to go out into the capital markets," Larry Howai told participants at a LatinFinance event last week. "The only thing would be where our state enterprises themselves may need to go."

Howai cited PetroTrin (Baa2/BBB) and NGC (Baa1) as local companies that may tap bond markets: "We expect that perhaps they may need to come back into the market, in respect of specific transactions they are doing at the moment."

PetroTrin has a 9.75% $850m August 2019 bond and a 6% $750m May 2022 bond outstanding.

Trinidad & Tobago will turn to the local market, where liquidity has been building, for funding over the next 12 months, Howai said.

The sovereign ended a six-year bond market hiatus in December, when it sold a $500m 10-year bond. The republic could have financed more cheaply through sovereign bilateral loans, but preferred to sell a bond to raise its profile, he said.

"Funding was available from China, at probably a lower rate … as well as other governments," said Howai.

"While we could have raised the funding that we needed, on a government-to-government arrangement, we thought it was important for us to have a presence in the capital market. And we have kind of been under the radar for a long time." LF

See also

Trinidad Cement said to be waiting for better conditions

Trinidad returns to bond market

Republic Bank to grow LatAm lending



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