Dentons advises on PNG’s debut sovereign bond issue

By Jerome Doraisamy|09 October 2018

Global firm Dentons has advised parties on Papua New Guinea’s “successful” inaugural sovereign bond issue which closed on 4 October 2018.

Firm: Dentons (Credit Suisse (Singapore) – global coordinator; Citigroup Global Markets Inc – joint lead managers; Bookrunners).

Deal: Papua New Guinea has had its first sovereign bond issue, in which US$500 million 8.375 per cent Notes due 2028 were issued and will be used to refinance short-term domestic debt and help fund essential works and services of the PNG government as well as increase foreign exchange reserves, Dentons said in a statement.

Area: Finance

Value: US$500 million

Key players: The Dentons team was led by partner and head of the PNG office Stephen Massa, who was assisted by senior associate Wavie Kendino and associate Theresa Kawi.

Deal significance: Investor appetite for the bond was “beyond expectations”, the firm said, following investor presentations in Singapore, Hong Kong, London, New York, Boston and Los Angeles.

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Speaking about the deal, Mr Massa said he was “incredibly proud” to have led the firm’s team on this “landmark transaction for PNG”.

“PNG has a great story to tell and it is very pleasing that the international financial markets have seen this. It is a milestone for PNG and a good news story for the host country of this year’s APEC Leaders’ Summit,” he said.

“A debt sovereign bond by a frontier market is no easy task. Not only does the investment offering need to meet strict credit and risk criteria, the government team appropriately resourced and [was] available to undergo the demanding due diligence and roadshow exercise, but financial markets have to be just right.”

“All this makes for a limited window of opportunity and explains why this transaction has been years in the making.”

Ms Wavie added that it was a “once in a lifetime experience for a young Papua New Guinean excited about her country’s future”.

Dentons advises on PNG’s debut sovereign bond issue
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