Ghana and Kenya, two of the sub-Saharan African sovereigns with the highest amount of outstanding Eurobonds, could see a widening of their risk premiums over 2021, according to a Senior Credit Analyst at Redd Intelligence, Mark Bohlund.
Faced with fiscal challenges, the two African nations are expected to return to the Eurobond market in the first quarter of 2021, but this time with bigger risk premiums as investors are expected to incorporate a higher likelihood of frontier-market issuers being pushed into debt restructuring.
Mark Bohlund said, “Ghana and Kenya are likely to return to the Eurobond market in 1Q21 but see a widening of their risk premiums over 2021 as investors incorporate a higher likelihood of frontier-market issuers being pushed into debt restructuring.”
With Ghana’s outstanding Eurobonds presently estimated at US$10.3 billion and Kenya’s outstanding Eurobonds put at US$6.1 billion, spreads on Ghana’s Eurobonds will increase over those of Kenya in 2021.
“It is likely that spreads on Ghana’s eurobonds over those of Kenya will increase over 2021 as concerns rise over its weak fiscal position and high reliance on commercial overseas financing,” Bohlund stated.
Commenting on the countries’ fiscal positions, Bohlund said both countries are likely to post double-digit fiscal deficits this year, as contracting economies add to already faltering government revenue.
“With interest costs absorbing close to 50% of government revenue, Ghana will struggle to find sufficient cost- savings in other areas to reduce the fiscal deficit substantially in 2021.”
“In contrast to Kenya, Ghana has already cut back its capital expenditure to a bare minimum. The Bank of Ghana stepped up its purchases of government bonds sharply in September and we expect this to continue during 2021.
“In Kenya, part of the solution should be to encourage county governments to raise more revenue, but this will be challenging to implement before the August 2022 elections.
“Having shied away from bi- and multilateral creditors in favor of commercial borrowing, Ghana is likely to struggle to secure sufficient external financing in 2021. This makes increased central bank financing likely and poses downside risks to the cedi.
“Neither Ghana nor Kenya is likely to seek DSSI participation in 1H21 even if they deem that international bond issuance will not be possible.
“We have changed our view and now expect both Ghana and Kenya to issue Eurobonds in 1H21.
“Kenya is likely to continue to draw on funding from the IMF, the World Bank and other multilateral creditors, as well as bilateral financial support from China as the Standard Gauge Railway, continues to bleed funds.”
Bohlund added that the spreads between Ghana and Kenya Eurobonds are likely to widen further as a higher risk of a debt restructuring is priced into Ghanaian assets.
Niger Insurance to Sell Property Worth N15bn in Recapitalisation Move
Niger Insurance Plc said it is working on a plan to sell off N15 billion worth of real estate and investment property to boost its cash flow and meet the liquidity requirements of the insurance industry.
Mr. Edwin Egbiti, the Managing Director of the company disclosed this during the company’s 2019 annual general meetings held virtually in Lagos recently.
He said, “Subsequent to the requisite approvals of the board on behalf of shareholders, a number of the company’s real estate and investment property valued at N15bn have been put on sale in order to improve liquidity/cash flows, ensure reserve adequacy and improve solvency margins.
“We are encouraged by the progress made so far, and confident that both capital restructuring and recapitalisation efforts will be successful in line with National Insurance Commission’s regulatory timelines.”
It added that Niger Insurance recognised that its people were the company’s most critical assets without whom its goals and plans would remain elusive.
AMCON Takes Over Inducon Nigeria’s Assets Over N1.3 Billion Debt
The Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria has taken over the assets of Dr. John Abebe, the Chief Promoter of Inducon Nigeria Limited over N1.3 billion debt.
According to a statement signed by the Head, Corporate Communications Department, AMCON, Jude Nwauzor, and titled ‘N1.3bn debt: AMCON takes over assets of Inducon Nigeria Limited’ the decision followed the order of Honourable Justice Aikawa of the Federal High Court, Lagos.
“In compliance with the enforcement order, AMCON at the weekend took effective possession of the property situate at Plot12, Block 108, Lekki Peninsula Residential Scheme, Lagos, through its debt recovery agent – Ogunsola Shonibare L.P.
“The court also ordered that the bank accounts of the company and its directors, Dr. John Abebe, Mr Olawole Fatimilehin and Ademola Buraimoh, be frozen pending the final determination of the suit.”
The asset management corporation said the case of Dr. John Abebe and Inducon Nigeria Limited started shortly after the loan was procured by AMCON in 2011 during the first phase of Eligible Bank Asset purchases from the defunct FinBank, Now FCMB.
CBN Pays N14.35 Billion for 263,860 Meters to End Estimated Billings
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) said it has disbursed a total sum of N14.35 billion to the Distribution Companies of Nigeria (DisCOs) for the payment of 263,860 meters under the National Mass Metering Programme (NMMP).
In November 2020, the Federal Government announced that it would make funds available for 1 million meters in the first phase of President Buhari Mass Metering Initiative at no cost to consumers.
Between November 2020 and January 2021, the Federal Government through the CBN has disbursed N14.35 billion.
However, according to the apex bank DisCOs must pay back the amount disbursed based on the previously agreed amortisation schedule.
“The facility disbursed is a loan that must be repaid by the DisCos on the basis of the previously agreed amortisation schedule. The repayment is to be deducted from payments made by consumers into the DisCos accounts with Deposit Money Banks (DMBs),” the CBN stated.
“The maximum tenor of the facility is 10 years but not exceeding 2030, while the moratorium on the principal amount is for a period not exceeding 24 months from the date of loan disbursement.”
A week ago, the Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company (IBEDC) announced it has commenced the distribution of 104,0000 free meters in Ibadan, Oyo State.
This, the IBEDC said was under the ongoing National Metering Scheme of president Muhammadu Buhari.
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