Global Investors Oversubscribe Nigeria’s $2.86bn Eurobond

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Ndubuisi Francis in Abuja

The federal government last night announced that it had priced its offering of $2.86 billion Eurobond aggregate principal amount of triple series notes under its Global Medium Term Note Programme, with the offering attracting significant interest from leading global institutional investors, with a peak combined order book of over $9.5 billion

This, it stated, reflects an over-subscription of over three times and demonstrates the ongoing confidence of international capital market investors in Nigeria’s investment story.

A statement released from the Ministry of Finance and signed by the Special Adviser (Media and Communications), to the Minister of Finance ,

Paul Ella Abechi, noted that despite significant oil and wider macro market volatility, Nigeria has successfully raised its external debt requirements for the 2018 budget at a cost considerably lower than many of its peers across Sub-Sahara Africa.

According to the statement, “the successful transaction follows closely behind Nigeria’s successful engagement with the Fitch rating agency, and their subsequent decision to change the outlook on Nigeria’s sovereign rating from B+ (negative) to B+ (stable), based on improving macro-economic fundamentals.

“The Notes comprise a $1.18 billion seven-year series, $1.00 billion 12-year series and a $750 million 30-year series. The 7-year series will bear interest at a rate of 7.625 per cent, while the 12-year series will bear interest at a rate of 8.75 per cent, and the 30-year series will bear interest at a rate of 9.25 per cent.

“ In each case, they will be repayable with a bullet repayment of the principal on maturity. The offering is expected to close on or about November 21, 2018, subject to the satisfaction of various customary closing conditions.

“The Republic intends to use the proceeds of the Notes towards funding of the fiscal deficit and other financing needs. The Notes represent the Republic’s sixth Eurobond issuance, following issuances in 2011, 2013, two in 2017 and one in early 2018 and its first triple-tranche offering,” it added.

When issued, the Notes, the statement stressed, will be admitted to the official list of the United Kingdom Listing Authority and available to trade on the London Stock Exchange’s regulated market.

“The Republic may apply for the Notes to be eligible for trading and listed on the Nigerian FMDQ OTC Securities Exchange and the Nigerian Stock Exchange.

“The pricing was determined following a series of meetings with investors in London and conference calls with investors globally attended by the Nigerian delegation, which comprised Minister of Finance, Zainab Shamsuna Ahmed; the Minister of Budget and National Planning, Senator Udoma Udo Udoma; Central Bank of Nigeria Governor, Godwin Emefiele; Director General of the Debt Management Office (DMO), Patience Oniha, and Director General of the Budget Office of the Federation, Ben Akabueze,” the statement further disclosed.

Joint Lead Managers for the issuance were Citibank Global Markets Limited and Standard Chartered Bank and the financial advisors were FSDH Merchant Bank Limited.

Commenting following the successful pricing, the Minister of Finance, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed said: “Nigeria is investing strategically in critical capital projects to bridge our infrastructure deficit, provide a better operating environment for the private sector, and improve the standard of living of our citizens.

“The proceeds of this issuance will provide critical financing for projects in transportation, power, agriculture, housing, healthcare and education as well as the capital elements of our social investment programmes. Nigeria’s Economic Recovery and Growth plan is delivering results.”

Also commenting on the Notes’ pricing, the DMO Director General, Patience Oniha said: “Nigeria’s continued ability to access the international markets to raise capital is a testament to investors’ confidence which has been supported by continuous engagement with them on various reform initiatives and outcomes.”

The issuance of the Eurobonds, which received the prior approval of the executive and legislative arms of government, will not only provide capital to finance various projects, but also contribute towards the achievement of the Debt Management Strategy, Oniha said.

According to her, “the ability to raise$2.86 billion, which is the exact amount government needed in volatile and challenging market conditions has been described as a stellar outcome ”