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UPDATE 1-Ivory Coast launches 60 bln CFA franc bond

ABIDJAN, May 10 (Reuters) - Ivory Coast has launched a three and half-year bond bearing 6.25 percent interest, hoping to raise 60 billion CFA ($122.8 million) to boost its economy, Sogebourse, one of the lead managers, said on Monday. The bonds are in units of 10,000 CFA francs but will be sold for 9,800 CFA from April 30 to May 14 to encourage investors across West Africa's eight-nation CFA zone, according to the official at Sogebourse. "The treasury has gone to the financial market to raise funds to support the economy," the official said. The bond will be listed on West Africa's franc-zone BRVM regional bourse. Ivory Coast is in the process of restructuring 2.2 billion euros of defaulted Brady bonds, which it hopes to reissue in dollars. Ivory Coast's debt exchange is part of the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries initiative, managed by the IMF and World Bank, which aims to write off the debts of some of the world's poorest countries. Ivory Coast is the world's top cocoa grower and used to be one of the most stable and economically successful countries in West Africa. But it is still struggling to organise elections meant to complete reunification after a 2002-2003 war left it divided. (Reporting by Loucoumane Coulibaly; Editing by David Lewis and Jason Webb) ($1=488.5 Cfa Franc) Keywords: IVORYCOAST BOND/ COPYRIGHT Copyright Thomson Reuters 2010. All rights reserved.

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