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Africa’s best bank for financing 2021: Absa

Absa’s greater determination to put its money where its mouth is in Africa, after its separation from Barclays, is well known. Even in South Africa, where many of its peers have struggled during the Covid crisis, it continued to grow its corporate loan book under corporate and investment banking chief executive Charles Russon in 2020. But Absa’s preeminence as an African financing house goes well beyond its ability to deploy its balance sheet – and way beyond South Africa.

Its work in the telecoms sector is a good illustration of this. For example, Absa was bookrunner on a $750 million bond for Helios Towers in June 2020. That came after it acted as bookrunner on a $1.3 billion multi-tenor bond issue in September 2019 for IHS Towers, a firm for which it also arranged a $225 million revolving credit facility in the awards period. The bank also helped arrange a $247 million-equivalent term loan for Vodafone’s Ghanaian business and a $100 million multicurrency syndicated term loan for MTN Uganda.