The National Treasury is pleased as punch with its $5bn dollar-denominated bond issue, which was almost three times oversubscribed and is thought to be the largest yet out of Sub-Saharan Africa. But some local economists say SA opting for offshore funding is a relatively expensive option that comes with additional risk.

The Treasury regards the coupons of 4.85% for the 10-year bond (which is 313 basis points [BPS] above the 10-year US benchmark bond) and 5.75% for the 30-year bond (a spread of 358.6BPS), achieved on September 23, as "favourable" even though this is a little higher than at some times in the past. In 2016, SA issued a 12-year dollar bond at 4.3% and a 30-year one at 5%.

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