Thousands of emails and documents are being produced in an important conspiracy case going on in Brooklyn federal court, U.S. v Boustani. But one report released to the public the other day must have come as a shock to prosecutors.
Jean Boustani, a ship salesman, is accused of a variety of conspiracy counts related to a large purchase of boats and systems by the Government of Mozambique several years ago. He denies the charges and the government is going full steam ahead.
In the meantime, an internal report by Credit Suisse, an international investment bank and a provider of a large part of the loans for the Mozambique projects, gives a clean bill of health to the transaction that prosecutors believe is, essentially, crooked.
In 2016, after the Mozambique projects were well underway, Credit Suisse did additional due diligence to make sure everything was on the up and up. The report gave the green light for a Eurobond exchange involving the debt. Prosecutors will have to explain that.
The report listed several benefits for the Eurobond exchange including:
- Improves transparency to investors.
- Simplifies Mozambique’s debt structures.
- Establishes a transparent pricing benchmark for Mozambique sovereign risk and helps raise its profile further among the international investor community at a time when the sovereign is working to attract foreign investment.
The report also praised Mozambique for a variety of strengths including:
- An established track record of decades-long strong growth, favorable near term expectations and robust long-term outlook.
- Vast mineral, energy, and agricultural wealth including some of the largest deposits of natural gas and coal in the world.
- A good track record of prudence in macroeconomic management as reflected through continued growth, well managed inflation, ongoing fiscal consolidation and growing revenues on the back of a reform agenda.
- It was supported in various forms by multilaterals/international bodies, donors and trading partners.
The deal that prosecutors have labeled a “sham” won praise from the well-regarded Credit Suisse, and that was a surprise.