Ecobank Nigeria Announces $300m Bond Pricing

Obinna Chima

Ecobank Nigeria announced that it has successfully priced its $300 million bond issuance maturing in February 2026, with settlement of the debt instrument to take place on February 16, 2021.

According to a statement from the bank, the fixed-rate, US dollar-denominated bond, with a tenor of 5 years, carries a coupon rate of 7.125% and will be listed on the London Stock Exchange.

It is accompanied by an Issuer Rating of B- from Fitch Rating Agency and S & P.

It explained that the coupon/yield represents the lowest ever coupon/yield achieved by a Nigerian financial institution for a benchmark bond transaction.

“At the peak of marketing the transaction, the issue was over three times over-subscribed, with significant interest from international investors.

“The transaction opened with Initial Price Thoughts of 7.75% and finally tightened to close at 7.125% on the back of robust demand. The strength and depth of the book demonstrated global investors’ strong appetite for the Ecobank franchise in Nigeria, a testament to the strength of the Ecobank Group,” it stated.

It stated that the transaction was the first non-sovereign bond from Africa in 2021, describing it as a milestone capital raise for the banking sector in Nigeria, “giving Ecobank access to global debt capital markets, and more favorable credit terms, commensurate with its strong financial position and robust capital structure.”

“For international investors, it represented an attractive option to gain exposure to Nigeria,” it added.

Commenting on the issuance, Managing Director of Ecobank Nigeria, Mr. Patrick Akinwuntan, said: “Despite the challenging global environment owing to the COVID-19 pandemic, and on the back of a successful N50 billion tier-2 issuance in December 2020, Ecobank Nigeria was able to successfully issue and price Nigeria’s first 2021 senior unsecured 5-year bond transaction. “Ecobank Nigeria, through this issuance, is being proactive in optimising its capital structure as it continues to drive its medium term growth strategy of establishing itself as a leading facilitator of pan-Africa and international trade and payments.”

Akinwuntan added: “I would like to extend my appreciation to our regulators, the Central Bank of Nigeria, for their timely support and continuous guidance, in granting necessary regulatory approvals.”

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