Fitch Rates Nigeria's $3bn Eurobond 'B+'

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Obinna Chima

One of the leading rating agencies, Fitch Ratings has assigned Nigeria’s $1.5 billion 6.500% senior unsecured notes due 28 November 2027 and the $1.5 billion 7.625% senior unsecured notes due 28 November 2047 a final rating of ‘B+’.

According to a statement yesterday, the final rating replaced the expected rating of ‘B+ (EXP)’ that Fitch had assigned to the issue on November 15, 2017.

It explained that the expected rating was in line with Nigeria’s long-term foreign-currency issuer Default Rating (IDR) of ‘B+’ with a negative Outlook.

“The rating is sensitive to any changes in Nigeria’s long-term foreign-currency IDR,” it added.

On 31 August 2017, Fitch affirmed Nigeria’s long-term foreign-currency IDR ‘B+’ with a negative outlook. The country’s long-term local-currency IDR is also ‘B+’ with a negative outlook.

The federal government recently announced the floating of a $3 billion Eurobond, offering an aggregate principal amount of dual series notes under its US$4.5 billion Global Medium Term Note programme.

A statement issued by Mr. Oluyinka Akintunde, media aide to the Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun had revealed that the 10-year series would bear interest at a rate of 6.5 per cent, while the 30-year series will bear interest at a rate of 7.625 per cent, which will be repayable with a bullet repayment of the principal on maturity. The offering attracted significant interests from leading global institutional investors.

The pricing was determined following a roadshow led by Adeosun and some other senior government officials.