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Tunisia gains US$485 million from United States-backed bond offering

WASHINGTON--Tunisia on Monday raised US$485 million from a bond offering — backed by the United States — as the North African nation sought to overhaul the economy in the wake of a popular revolution.

The United States agreed to guarantee the repayment of principal and interest on the seven-year bond.

“This issuance represents the beginning of Tunisia's re-integration into global capital markets,” the U.S. Treasury Department said in a statement.

The interest rate, at 1.686 percent, is well below the amount Tunisia would expect to pay without U.S. backing.

“With greater access to international capital the Government of Tunisia will be able to provide its citizens with critical services,” the Treasury said.

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