US on the line for $485 million loan guarantee to Tunisia

Tunisia's central bank on Monday closed on a $485 million bond offering, leaving the United States on the line for the principal and interest under a deal approved in April.

The Treasury Department touted the accelerated loan guarantee process as the best way to reintegrate Tunisia into the world financial system. The seven-year sovereign bond marks the first time the country has tapped international bond markets since 2007.

“We welcome today’s $485 million bond issuance by Tunisia, an important milestone in its efforts to re-enter the international capital markets and advance its democratic transition,” said Lael Brainard, Under Secretary for International Affairs at the U.S. Department of the Treasury. “This U.S.-backed issuance demonstrates the U.S. government’s commitment to help restore Tunisia’s economy and supports the Tunisian government’s effort to finance key development goals at affordable rates, which is vital to its economic and political transition.”

Tunisia's revolt against then-President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali in December 2010 ignited a wave of protests across the Arab world that came to be known as the Arab Spring. Islamists won the legislative elections in October 2011.