IFC Naija Bond Marks First International Issuance in Nigeria’s Domestic Capital Markets
WASHINGTON, February 6, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ — IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, has issued a Nigerian local currency bond totaling 12 billion nairas—equivalent to approximately $75 million—to support domestic capital markets and increase access to local-currency finance.
The issue, called the “Naija” bond, is IFC’s first naira-denominated bond.
It is also the first placement by a nonresident issuer in Nigeria’s domestic capital markets.
“Vibrant domestic capital markets create access to long-term, local-currency finance for the private sector—the key engine of job creation in emerging markets,” said Jingdong Hua, IFC Vice President and Treasurer. “The IFC Naija bond supports our efforts to deepen domestic capital markets in Africa, so they can sustain a thriving private sector in the region.”
The five-year bond was designed to appeal to a broad range of domestic investors looking to diversify their portfolios. Initially planned as a $50 million issue, the bond was increased due to strong investor demand. All investors in the bond are Nigerian pension funds, asset managers, and banks. The bond is priced at par with a yield of 10.2%.
Proceeds from the bond will be used to support IFC’s private sector development program.
Solomon Adegbie-Quaynor, IFC Country Manager for Nigeria, said: “The IFC Naija bond supports the efforts of the government and authorities to deepen domestic capital markets and grow the corporate bond market in Nigeria. A well-developed corporate bond market in turn can provide affordable, long-term naira funding to meet the financing needs for critical sectors such as power.”
IFC’s committed portfolio in Nigeria stands at $1.1 billion, the largest country portfolio in Africa and the eighth-largest globally.
In May 2012, IFC launched its Pan-African Domestic Medium-Term Note Programme, which focuses on Botswana, Ghana, Kenya, Namibia, Rwanda, South Africa, Uganda, and Zambia. IFC has also obtained approvals to issue local-currency bonds in Kenya. Previously, IFC worked with Ghana, Zambia, and eight members of the West African Monetary Union to establish local-currency bond programs. In 2006 and 2009, IFC issued bonds denominated in CFA francs.
IFC issues bonds as part of its regular program of raising funds for private sector development, and to support the development of domestic capital markets. In many cases IFC is the first, or among the first, nonresident issuers. As of June 30, 2012, IFC had outstanding bond issuances totaling $45 billion in 11 currencies.
The IFC Naija bond is the result of a collaborative process among IFC, the Nigerian government and regulatory authorities, and market participants.
IFC appointed Chapel Hill Advisory Partners Limited—a Nigerian arranger— and Standard Chartered Bank as lead managers of the transaction.
IFC bonds are rated triple-A by Moody’s Investors Service and Standard & Poor’s.