Fitch Rates Nigeria's $1bn Eurobond 'B+(EXP)'

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Fitch ratings has assigned Nigeria’s upcoming dollar denominated senior unsecured notes a rating of ‘B+(EXP)’.

The agency explained in a note that the assignment of the final rating was contingent on the receipt of final documents materially conforming to information already reviewed.

It stated that the expected rating was in line with the country’s long-term foreign-currency Issuer Default Rating (IDR) of ‘B+’, which has a negative outlook.

“The rating is sensitive to changes in Nigeria’s Long-Term Foreign-Currency IDR,” it added.
On 24 January 2017, Fitch affirmed Nigeria’s Long-Term Foreign-Currency IDR at ‘B+’ and revised the outlook to negative from stable. The long-term local-currency IDR is also ‘B+’ with a negative outlook.

Nigeria last week met investors for its first Eurobond sale in more than three years as Africa’s most populous nation battles an economic contraction and the worst dollar squeeze in almost a decade. From last Friday, officials held roadshows in London and the U.S. before the proposed issue of 15-year bonds, the country’s longest-maturity dollar notes yet.

Finance Minister Kemi Adeosun and the central bank’s Deputy Governor Sarah Alade led the meetings organised by Citigroup Inc. and Standard Chartered Plc. The delegation also included the budget minister, Udo Udoma; and Director General, Debt Management Office, Abraham Nwankwo.

The proceeds, along with those from a $1 billion loan Nigeria will seek from the World Bank, will be used to fill the government’s funding gap as it battles plummeting revenue from oil exports and shortages of fuel and foreign-currency.