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Africa: Nigerian banks enter international bond markets

Guaranty Trust Bank (GTB) came to the market in January with a $350 million Eurobond and became the first domestic borrower from Nigeria to access the international markets. Since then, two other banks, First Bank of Nigeria (FBN) and First City Monument Bank (FCMB), have also completed international deals.

In the first week of March, First City Monument Bank priced $100 million of credit-linked notes through HSBC. The privately placed, non-secured structured debt was deemed a landmark deal for FCMB, as it entered the international markets for the first time, and for Nigeria, as it was the first deal of this kind to come out of the country.

FCMB plans to use the funds to finance expansion of its consumer lending business. The bank is likely to return to the markets again within 18 months as part of its funding plan to raise more than $1 billion through international debt and equity offerings.

Days before FCMB completed its deal, First Bank of Nigeria launched a 10-year non-call five lower tier 2 Reg S Eurobond for $175 million to boost its capital adequacy ratio. This made FBN the second Nigerian bank to tap the international markets and marked the first time an African country had done a hybrid capital deal.

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