Leading global law firm Baker McKenzie has acted as legal counsel to the Egyptian Government, acting through the Ministry of Finance, on the signing of a USD 2 billion syndicated financing transaction that has been approved by the House of Representatives. The financing, with a tenor of 12 months, was multi-sourced and provided in the form of a conventional commercial facility (USD 1.490 billion) and an Islamic facility (USD 510 million). It represents the first sovereign debt that Egypt has raised from commercial lenders.

The facilities are intended to serve the government’s general budgetary requirements and to bridge the financing deficit for the current fiscal year 2020/2021 resulting from the COVID-19 outbreak.

The transaction involved a consortium of 18 international and regional banks and was led by teams in Cairo and Dubai. Mohamed Ghannam, Managing Partner and Head of Banking & Finance at Helmy, Hamza and Partners, Baker McKenzie Cairo office said, “We are pleased to have had the opportunity to provide our expertise and counsel on this high-profile transaction. This deal is of great significance to the Arab Republic of Egypt as it will aid the Egyptian Economy during this unprecedented time and contribute to the government’s efforts of setting the country on a path to both recover and thrive as we emerge from the global pandemic.”

Sandeep Puri, Head of Banking and Finance at Baker McKenzie in Dubai, added, “This transaction is a great example of our cross-border teams working together to support our key clients across the wider region. This financing is a landmark for the Arab Republic of Egypt and demonstrates the ongoing confidence local, regional and international banks have in the Egyptian economy - we have been proud to support.”

Emirates NBD and First Abu Dhabi Bank led the financing, which was signed on 20 July 2020 and closed on 27 August 2020 and the first drawdown will take place this week.

The Baker McKenzie team was led by Managing Partner Mohamed Ghannam and Partner Lamyaa Gadelhak from Cairo and Partner Sandeep Puri in Dubai, supported by Counsel Victoria Long (Cairo), banking and finance Senior Associate Mohamed ElHarmy (Cairo) and Associate Farah Abed (Dubai).

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