Ecobank Nigeria to list $300m bond on London bourse.

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Ecobank Nigeria, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Ecobank Transnational Incorporated, has said its $300m bond will be listed on the London Stock Exchange.

The lender disclosed this in a statement announcing that it had successfully priced the bond issuance maturing in February 2026, with settlement of the bond to take place on February 16, 2021.

According to the statement, the fixed-rate, US dollar-denominated bond, with a tenor of five years, carries a coupon rate of 7.125 per cent.

Ecobank said, “It is accompanied by an Issuer Rating of B- from Fitch Rating Agency and S & P. The coupon/yield represents the lowest ever coupon/yield achieved by a Nigerian financial institution for a benchmark bond transaction.

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“At the peak of marketing the transaction, the issue was over three times oversubscribed, with significant interest from international investors. The transaction opened with Initial Price Thoughts of 7.75 per cent and finally tightened to close at 7.125 per cent on the back of robust demand.”

The statement said the strength and depth of the book demonstrated global investors’ strong appetite for the Ecobank franchise in Nigeria, describing it as a testament to the strength of the Ecobank Group.

“This transaction is the first non-sovereign bond from Africa in 2021 and is a milestone capital raise for the banking sector in Nigeria, giving Ecobank access to global debt capital markets, and more favourable credit terms, commensurate with its strong financial position and robust capital structure,” it said.

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The bank said for international investors, the transaction represented an attractive option to gain exposure to Nigeria.

It added that the transaction followed a series of virtual global investor calls, with a number of blue-chip local, regional and international financial institutions, led by Citi, Mashreq, Renaissance Capital and Standard Chartered Bank as joint lead managers and bookrunners.

The 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 N50bn Tier 2 issuance in December 2020, ENG was able to successfully issue and price Nigeria’s first 2021 senior unsecured five-year bond transaction.

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“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.”

He appreciated the regulators for their timely support and continuous guidance in granting necessary regulatory approvals.

“We believe that our capital raising activities are key steps forward towards strengthening ENG beyond the regulatory ratios in addition to diversifying ENG’s medium-term financing sources. ENG is poised for continued growth in the Nigerian financial services industry,” he added.

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