Linklaters and its post-Arab Spring foray into Tunisia

It has been four years since the Arab Spring shook up the political and economic map of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA).

But finally it looks as if investor confidence might be cranking up, at least in parts of the region, and Linklaters has positioned itself to ride the crest of that wave.

In recent weeks, the magic circle firm has advised the Tunisian government on issuing its first unassisted international bond since 2011. The move has gone down well, with international investors putting in an order of more than $4bn for the $1bn bond.

It’s not the first time that Linklaters’ finance team has ventured into Africa’s debt market. Last year, the firm advised on a double whammy – Ethiopia’s debut $1bn Eurobond and Kenya’s $2bn sovereign bond deal.

It’s understood that Tunisia has delayed its planned debut issue of $500m in Islamic bonds until the third quarter of 2015 to allow time to change the laws concerning the sale. But following the firm’s advice to the UK Government on the establishment of its first-ever sovereign sukuk in 2014, you’d expect Linklaters to be a shoo-in for the role.

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