Ecobank to raise $300 million debt to fund trade deals

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Ecobank Nigeria Limited, the Nigerian unit of Lome-based Ecobank Transnational Incorporated, will raise $300 million Eurobond from the international debt market by means of the issuance of senior notes, “pursuant to the United States Securities and Exchange Commission Rule 144A and Regulation S,” the lender said in a news statement sent to Naija247news

The capital raised from the transaction will offer medium-term funding and aid Ecobank’s capacity to back foreign trade and service in Africa at a time when an intra-continental free trade pact is gaining traction.

The notes will be quoted on the London Stock Exchange in expectation that they will be traded on its regulated market, and are to be issued via a Dutch special purposes funding vehicle.

Mashreqbank PSC based in Dubai and Renaissance Capital are the joint bookrunners to the deal, Bloomberg said, citing persons close to the subject who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Ecobank said the Central Bank of Nigeria had expressed its no objection to the plan.

“It should be noted that the Transaction is subject to prevailing market conditions and the conclusion of the necessary Transaction documentation,” the lender said.

The debt-raising proposal is emerging after yields on Ecobank’s $500 million of bonds set to mature in April 2024 toppled from historic peaks attained when the coronavirus broke out, to trade close to their best levels since early in March.

Ecobank announced plans in January to support micro, small and medium scale enterprises in Africa’s biggest economy with N50 billion, being the proceeds of a newly raised subordinated debt.

That will enable it to exploit more a sector that contributes half of Nigeria’s gross domestic product and 96 per cent of total number of businesses.

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