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Nigeria heralds African sovereign bond spurt

Presidential elections scheduled for April; $500 million issuance oversubscribed

Nigeria successfully pulled off its debut international bond last month with a $500 million, 10-year deal that was more than two-and-half times oversubscribed. This was in spite of concerns that the government would use the proceeds to increase spending in the run-up to April’s presidential election.

Citi and Deutsche Bank arranged the deal. Although pricing tightened in the secondary market, the bond was issued at a yield of 7% on January 21, compared with yields on the same day for the 10-year 2017 bonds of Ghana and Gabon of 5.8% and 6.2% respectively.

"The Nigeria bond pricing at 7% was extremely competitive when compared with its peer group"

Maryam Khosrowshahi, Deutsche Bank

"On the back of very strong demand from a high-quality order book, the Nigeria bond pricing at 7% was extremely competitive when compared with where its peer group would have priced a new 10-year bond," says Maryam Khosrowshahi, head of CEEMEA sovereign origination at Deutsche Bank.

US investors took 38% of the 144A/RegS Nigeria notes, with 42% going to the UK, 15% to Europe and 5% elsewhere. Fund managers accounted for 70% of investors, with banks 12%, hedge funds 10% and insurance firms 5%.

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