It is not unexpected for the European Investment Bank to issue a large dollar benchmark in the first week of January, but the $4.5 billion three-year sold by the EIB on January 6 and underwritten by Citi, HSBC and JPMorgan was special for a number of reasons.

It was the largest ever dollar-denominated deal issued by the supranational, but, more pertinently, it reopened the dollar market for the SSA sector after a period of astonishing turbulence and uncertainty.

In the autumn of 2008 what had been

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