Egypt seeks to issue sustainability bonds of $500 million for the first time in its history during the first half (H1) of 2023, Egypt’s Finance Minister, Mohamed Maait, told Asharq Business.

The North African state is currently in talks with banks that will help promote the offering, Maait added.

Sustainability bonds are issues where proceeds are used to finance or re-finance a combination of green and social projects.

Last March, Egypt raised $500 million with its first yen bonds, also known as Samurai bonds, and in September 2022, it offered $3 billion worth of bonds, taking advantage of low borrowing costs before the US Federal Reserve starts hiking interest rates gradually this year.

During this fiscal year (FY), Egypt plans to issue sovereign Sukuk worth $1.50-2.50 billion, alongside green bonds and yuan-denominated green bonds, among others. This would bring the total value of the country's international bonds to $5-6 billion.

On the sidelines of the 2022 Euromoney conference, taking place in Cairo, the finance minister revealed his country will invest about 5% of the Health Insurance Authority’s reserves in financial portfolios during 2023.

During FY21/22, revenues of Egypt’s Universal Health Insurance Authority (UHIA) jumped by 43% to EGP 58.50 billion.

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