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.