Ivory Coast has been ranked by the Standards and Poor (S&P) global ratings as the highest-rated sovereign in Sub-Saharan Africa with Foreign debt outstanding. Ivory Coast is the world’s largest producer of Cocoa and just managed to edge South Africa off the first position due to an improving debt profile.

    The latest S&P Global Ratings affirmed both countries at BB-

    According to Business Insider Africa, the yield on Ivory Coast’s debt maturing in 2028 fell 13 basis points to 7.09% on Monday, the lowest since April 15. South Africa’s dollar debt due in 2030 traded at a yield of 6.9%, down from over 8.5% in October.

    Samir Gadio, head of Africa strategy at Standard Chartered explained the positive numbers coming from Ivory Coast and how it has been consistent for over a decade.

     

     

    The rating trajectory of Côte d’Ivoire over the past ten years has been impressive. Many other African sovereigns have been downgraded over that period.” Samir Gadio explained.

    Sub-Saharan Africa witnessed a nearly two-year lock out from the international markets before the Ivory Coast broke the jinx.

    In January, Ivory Coast sold $2.6 billion in Eurobonds, breaking Sub-Saharan Africa’s nearly two-year lockout from international capital markets.

    This follows many positive numbers projected about the country’s economy in the coming years. The Ivorian economy is one of the region’s fastest-growing and is projected to expand by 6.5% in 2024, up from 6.2% last year.

    Despite a significant decline in cocoa production in the country, the Ivory Coast government were still able to secure a $4.8 billion funding agreement with the IMF. S&P expects commodity exports to rise over the next two years.

    Sebastien Boreux, primary credit analyst at S&P explained how increased commodity exports could increasingly contribute to more positive numbers for Ivory Coast’s economy.

    The positive outlook reflects our view that rising commodity exports could significantly reduce external and fiscal imbalances,” said Sebastien Boreux, This, along with high economic growth, benefits from reforms, donor support, and stability. He added

    Moody, an investor service firm in March raised Ivory Coast’s ratings to Ba2, two levels below investment grade, putting it on par with South Africa.

    Samir Gadio noted that although Ivory Coast and South Africa have similar ratings Ivory Coast slightly edges the latter with its bonds likely to continue trading at a premium.

    Sadio further hailed Ivory Coast’s track record in the global financial markets calling it strong but still prescribed that further fiscal consolidation is needed to stabilize debt levels.

     

    What To Know

    • S&P Global Ratings is a financial services company that provides independent credit ratings, research, and analysis on stocks, bonds, and commodities. It’s a division of S&P Global and is considered the largest of the Big Three credit-rating agencies, along with Fitch Ratings and Moody’s Investors Service.
    • According to S&P Global Cote d’Ivoire’s real GDP growth should remain robust at an average of 6.5% over 2023–2026, on the back of infrastructure investments and an increasing oil and gas sector.

     

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