(Bloomberg) -- Panama held a record bond offering on Thursday, tapping global debt markets for the first time this year to raise capital ahead of presidential election in May. 

The Central American country sold $1.1 billion of notes due in 2031, $1.25 billion bonds maturing in 2038 and $750 million notes due in 2057, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. At $3.1 billion combined, it was the biggest issuance by Panama, surpassing a $2.5 billion transaction about two years ago. 

The bond deal priced with the notes due in 7 years yielding 7.5% and the bonds maturing in 2038 and 2057 yielding 8% and 8.25%, respectively. 

Panama’s sovereign credit score has been hit by concern over how the closure of a key copper mine might hurt the local economy, while Fitch Ratings also flagged to the nation’s fiscal challenges amid spending pressures. In a coincidence, the owner of that mine, First Quantum Minerals Ltd, also came to the market Thursday with a $1.6 billion offering. 

Panama’s sale comes just a few months before a pivotal vote, with lingering uncertainty over whether frontrunner Ricardo Martinelli will be allowed to run amid a money-laundering charge. 

Morgan Stanley strategist Emma Cerda said in a note to clients she remains cautious on the nation’s bonds ahead of the election, though she doesn’t expect Panama to lose its investment-grade status in the coming weeks. 

Proceeds of the debt sale will be used for general budgetary purposes, and Citigroup Inc. and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. handled the offering, according to a prospectus. 

(Adds pricing details in second and third paragraph)

©2024 Bloomberg L.P.