FG Shortlists Banks for $1bn Eurobond Sale


Obinna Chima with agency report

The Debt Management Office (DMO) has a short list of banks to manage its planned $1 billion Eurobond sale, Reuters quoted an official of the debt office to have said.

However, the source pointed out that the federal government was yet to make a final decision on the matter.

Nigeria, Africa’s largest economy, wants to sell $1 billion in Eurobonds by the end of the year, although no bank has been appointed yet to arrange the issue.

The official, who did not wish to be identified, said the list had been sent to the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP), after which the finance minister will offer the names to the cabinet for approval. He did not disclose how long the process might take.

“The names have been picked but it has to go through government process,” he told Reuters. The issue will happen this year.

Nigeria has $500 million of commitments for the planned Eurobond and any decision to increase the size of the offer will depend on pricing, Finance Minister Kemi Adeosun has said.

The official said Adeosun met with Moody’s Investors Service yesterday to discuss Nigeria’s ratings before the bond sale.

Moody’s downgraded Nigeria’s sovereign rating to B1 from Ba3 in April, citing risks to government efforts to diversify revenues away from oil, its mainstay. Citibank and Deutsche Bank managed previous issues by Nigeria in 2010 and 2013.

Adeosun recently expressed optimism that the federal government would issue the Eurobond before the end of the year.

The Eurobond is part of Nigeria’s plans to borrow a total of N1.8 trillion ($5.8 billion) from abroad and at home to fund an expected budget deficit of N2.2 trillion this year.

“We are hoping to come before the end of the year,” Adeosun had said on the sidelines of an investment conference at the London Stock Exchange recently.

“We have headroom and we are very fortunate in that regard, we have very low debt to GDP ratio,” she told the conference.

Adeosun had also said Nigeria had started a journey, which would take its economy from being dependent on oil as a primary commodity, to a more productive economy. According to her, the Nigerian economy had moved from spending 90 per cent of its budget on recurrent items and only 10 per cent on capital expenditure, to 70 per cent on recurrent expenditure and 30 per cent on capital expenditure.

“From the numbers that we have done, the infrastructure gap that we face, even if we devote our budget for the next three years, it is not enough, so we’ve got to look for creative ways to mobilise additional capital,” Adeosun said.