Paraguay sold 1bn (one billion) dollars in 30-year bonds on Monday in New York, its second international debt issue in less than two years. President Horacio Cartes said in a statement that the issue's 6.1% yield is unprecedented for the country, and that the proceeds will be used for highway, building and energy infrastructure, as well as agricultural production.
Demand was three times the issue offered revealed President Cartes during a press conference, who also called on public opinion and Congress to help make sure the funds are effectively used for what they are meant, which is infrastructure and combating poverty.
Paraguay has a low rating in the annual Transparency International corruption list, and president Cartes, even when his personal record is questioned in some circles, is a successful self-made businessman with interests in several fields.
The president has made a transparency campaign demanding that government salaries, expenditure, privileges be made public, which is strongly resisted in Congress by elected members and staff, as well as in government corporations and in the two huge shared hydroelectric dams bureaucracies.
Paraguay shares with Brazil Itaipú, the world's largest operational dam in the world and with Argentina, Yaciretá, another hydroelectric complex. Despite being a net exporter of energy to its neighbors Paraguay still has many regions of the country short of electricity, and has significant poverty pockets.
The international community is acknowledging the seriousness and soundness of this government, let's make sure we don't let them down, said President Cartes.
The announcement from landlocked Paraguay comes when neighboring Argentina is fighting with holdouts and a federal court in New York that has declared the country in 'selective default' over sovereign bonds issued in 2001/2002 and restructured in 2005 and 2010.