UPDATE 1-Morocco's OCP prices maiden bond issue

miércoles 21 de septiembre de 2011 15:38 CEST
 

* Seeking to raise 2 bln dirhams

* Issue priced 30-50 bps above govt 7-year T-bill (Adds details, background)

RABAT, Sept 21 (Reuters) - Moroccan phosphate producer Office Cherifien des Phosphates (OCP) is seeking to raise 2 billion moroccan dirhams ($244 million) this month from its maiden bond issue as the state-owned monopoly seeks to diversify sources of financing amid tight liquidity in the domestic market.

OCP has priced the seven-year domestic bond at between 30 and 50 BPS above the 3.96 percent yield offered on the government's treasury bills of the same maturity, the issue's prospectus showed. Subscription starts on Thursday and closes on Sept. 26.

The bond issue should help OCP, the country's top export earner, to diversify sources of financing as it plans to spend close to 98 billion dirhams by 2020 to boost its global leadership in phosphate and fertiliser markets.

The government holds a 94 percent stake in OCP's capital of 8.3 billion dirhams and the remainder is owned by Morocco's Banque Centrale Populaire .

According to the prospectus, the bond issue "is not subject to any guarantee" and the issuer has not sought a rating for it.

The bond issue has prompted the 90-year old firm to offer a rare glimpse into its accounts. According to the prospectus, the monopoly made a net profit of 8.3 billion dirhams in 2010 on turnover close to 20 billion dirhams.

The 2010 net profit figure was more than twice its level in 2009 when turnover stood at 12 billion dirhams, and about a third of its net profit in 2008 when turnover peaked at 33 billion dirhams after phosphate and fertiliser prices hit historic highs.

Its debts rose to 15.1 billion dirhams by the end of 2010 versus 9.2 billion dirhams in 2009, the prospectus showed. ($1 = 8.201 Moroccan Dirhams) (Reporting by Souhail Karam; Editing by Christian Lowe and Hans-Juergen Peters)