Eyeing Eurobonds, Burkina Faso Is Said to Seek Credit Ratings

(Bloomberg) -- Burkina Faso is planning to ask ratings companies to assess its creditworthiness as the West African nation prepares for a possible sale of its first-ever Eurobonds, according to two people familiar with the matter.

Burkina Faso, a $13 billion economy whose main exports are gold and cotton, will approach companies such as Moody’s Investors Service and Fitch Ratings early next year for an evaluation, said the people, who asked not to be identified because they’re not authorized to speak publicly about the matter. The country already has a long-term rating from S&P Global Ratings of B, or five levels below investment grade, with a stable outlook.

While the finance ministry is keen to sell Eurobonds as early as next year, it hasn’t yet made a firm decision on whether to proceed or what the size of an issuance would be, said the people. The country will use the proceeds of a debt sale to finance its economic stimulus program, they said.

Remis Fulgance Dandjinou, a government spokesman, said he was unaware of the plan when contacted for comment by phone.

Read more: Record year for African Eurobond sales comes at a price

African Eurobond issuance is heading for a record year even as an emerging-market rout has taken an especially heavy toll on the continent’s government debt. Burkina Faso, which is part of the West African Economic and Monetary Union, will follow fellow members such as Senegal and Ivory Coast if it is to go ahead with a sale.

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