Hogan Lovells strengthens bonds in Zimbabwe

Hogan Lovells has won a new client, advising the co-arrangers of Zimbabwe’s first bond issue since the suspension of the ­Zimbabwe dollar in 2009.

The firm acted for the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) and Dinosaur Securities (UK) on the $50m (£31.17m) issuance on the Cayman Islands Stock Exchange by Zimbabwe’s largest bank, CBZ Bank. As well as ­acting as arranger, Afreximbank also guaranteed the bonds.

The Zimbabwe dollar was suspended from use in 2009 by the coalition Government of National Unity following a prolonged period of hyperinflation. It was replaced by a multicurrency system.

Hogan Lovells partner Andrew Carey said the ­government, which is the largest shareholder in CBZ’s parent company, hoped the bonds would generate money for infrastructure investment.

Carey added that the issuance was a sign that Zimbabwe’s capital markets could begin to open up. “It’s a step in the right direction in terms of opening up international investment,” he said.

Hogan Lovells has previously acted for Afreximbank on a range of issues, ­primarily trade finance. Dinosaur, which is part of a New York investment bank focusing on emerging ­markets, is a new client.

Zimbabwe law advice for Afreximbank and Dinosaur was provided by local firm Dube Manikai & Hwacha, with Edwin Manikai as lead partner. Appleby partner Julian Black provided ­Cayman law advice.

Mawere & Sibanda ­partner Tatenda Mawere provided Zimbabwe advice to CBZ.