Nigeria raises US$3bn in international bond sale to fund fiscal deficit

Nigeria has raised $3bn in a two-part international bond sale as it looks to fund a fiscal deficit and reduce its local-currency debt burden.

The West African nation split the offering equally between 10-and 30-year tranches. The yield was 6.5% for the shorter notes and 7.625% for the 30-year portion, down 25 basis points on each tranche from the initial guidance.

The offering, its biggest eurobond issuance ever, is the nation’s third sale this year. While Africa’s biggest oil producer is still reeling from its worst economic slump in about 25 years, Nigeria has benefited from strong demand for emerging-market assets and Brent crude’s 30% rise since the end of June to more than $62 a barrel.

Most of the new debt will fund Nigeria’s 2017 budget, with the rest used to refinance maturing local-currency bonds, according to the government.
The yield on the 30-year bond was 25 basis points lower than its 15-year deal sold in February. The rate on those — the nation’s longest bonds until now — fell four basis points to 6.73% by the close in London on Monday.

“Extending our debt profile in the international market to 30 years establishes a basis for the longer term financing required for transformational infrastructure investment,” finance minister Kemi Adeosun said in a statement on the debt management office’s website.

Egypt, Morocco and SA are the only other African nations to have sold 30-year dollar bonds. Before now, the most Nigeria had issued in one day was $1.5bn.

Citigroup and Standard Chartered managed the transaction. They arranged meetings in London and New York last week between investors and Nigerian officials, including Adeosun and central bank governor Godwin Emefiele.