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Lagos Free Zone Company Issues N10.5B Series 1, 20-year Corporate Infrastructure Fixed Rate Bond in Nigerian Capital Market

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Lagos Free Zone-Investors King

Lagos Free Zone Company (LFZC), the first free zone in Nigeria with a fully integrated deep seaport, is pleased to announce the successful issuance of  NGN10.5 billion 20-Year Series 1 Senior Guaranteed Fixed Rate Corporate Infrastructure Bonds Due 2041 LFZ Bonds) under  NGN50 billion Debt Issuance Programme.

LFZC is the infrastructure development subsidiary of Tolaram, the Singaporean conglomerate with more than 45 years of presence in Nigeria and business interests in consumer goods, infrastructure and fintech space. Lagos Free Zone is being developed as the largest integrated port-based economic zone in Nigeria and shall serve as the beacon of industrial development across Nigeria and West Africa.

Enterprises operating in the Lagos Free Zone will benefit from various policy incentives underpinned by the legislative framework applicable for free zones in Nigeria. In line with its vision statement – “to be the preferred industrial hub in West Africa with world-class infrastructure”, the zone is equipped with a host of shared industrial infrastructure necessary for attracting investments from the leading trade partners of Nigeria.

Backed by an irrevocable and unconditional guarantee from InfraCredit, LFZC Series 1 Bond is accorded a ‘AAA’ long term credit rating by Agusto and Co. and GCR, reflecting the highest degree of creditworthiness for these bonds. The Series 1 Bond, a 20-Year Guaranteed Fixed Bond, was oversubscribed by institutional investors including eleven domestic pension funds, two insurance firms, banks and HNIs.

The transaction is the first 20-year non-FGN Bond issue in the Nigerian debt capital market and the first Securities and Exchange Commission-approved Infrastructure Bond for the development of an industrial hub. The Series 1 Bond priced at a modest premium to the comparable FGN Sovereign Bond, provides a unique opportunity for pension fund managers, life insurance firms and other institutional investors to match their long-term liabilities with low-risk, high yield assets.

Speaking on the transaction, the Chief Finance Officer (‘CFO’) of LFZC, Mr. Ashish Khemka stated: “This is a milestone transaction for us at Lagos Free Zone Company and it is a testament to the capacity of the Nigerian debt market as a veritable source of domestic capital for infrastructural development in Nigeria. The response to this bond program further strengthens our commitment to realize our vision and thereby enhance Nigeria’s competitive positioning with our continuous focus on Ease of Doing Business parameters.

LFZ further underscores Nigeria as a compelling industrial hub within the West African coast and ideally orients itself in anticipation of the imminent single market regime under AfCFTA. We are particularly excited by the confidence demonstrated by pension fund managers and other institutional investors at this debut issue and we appreciate the team at InfraCredit, StanbicIBTC Capital and other parties to the transaction for this novel structure, which helps to de-risk the transaction and aligns the interest of different stakeholders”.

According to the CEO of InfraCredit, Chinua Azubike, “It has been exciting working with Lagos Free Zone Company on this landmark transaction. It further demonstrates our commitment towards inclusive access to long term local currency finance for infrastructure development. Interestingly, LFZC has set a new benchmark in the Nigerian domestic debt capital market, as the first 20-Year Corporate Infrastructure Bond in Nigeria, elongating the corporate bond yield curve and reinforcing the prospect for Nigerian Corporates to raise long term finance within the local market.

The LFZC Bonds validates the appetite of domestic pension funds and other institutional investors in financing viable long term infrastructure assets. We would continue to partner with all relevant stakeholders in executing novel strategies towards unlocking domestic capital for infrastructure finance, in addition to creating quality asset classes for diversifying investment portfolios of local institutional investors”.

Also commenting on the transaction, Funso Akere, Chief Executive of Stanbic IBTC Capital Limited, said: “Stanbic IBTC Capital, FBNQuest Merchant Bank and Radix Capital Partners are delighted to have advised LFZC on this landmark 20-year Infrastructure Bond issuance, which evidences the depth and liquidity of the Nigerian debt capital markets and aligns with the pension fund industry’s growing demand for quality long-dated assets. The success of the transaction demonstrates investors’ confidence in the vision and purpose of the Lagos Free Zone and we thank the Board and Management of LFZC for giving the Issuing Houses a free hand to guide the process to successful completion.

Supporting infrastructure development is a key pillar for Stanbic IBTC and we are very pleased to have acted as Lead Issuing House to this landmark infrastructure bond issuance, which is the longest tenor corporate bond issuance in the history of the Nigerian debt capital markets.”

Funso noted that LFZC is focused on delivering essential infrastructure to ease the cost of doing business and facilitate the entry of global industrial brands into Nigeria, which is expected to boost sustainable development, galvanize economic growth and improve the livelihoods of Nigerians, while also deepening the Nigerian debt capital markets through the issuance of innovative debt instruments.

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Fidelity Bank to Raise U.S$500 Million for General Corporate Purposes

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fidelity bank - Investors King

Fidelity Bank, Nigeria’s leading tier-II bank, is planning to raise US$500,000,000 from the international debt capital market through an unsecured note issuance, the bank disclosed in a statement filed with the Nigerian Exchange Limited on Monday.

According to the bank, the proceeds will be used for general corporate purposes and to support its trade finance business.

The proposed aggregate offer size is US$500 million, due 2026, which will when issued ranked parri passu, without preference among themselves, with all other unsecured and unsubordinated obligations of the Bank. The lender intends to list the Notes on the Irish Stock Exchange, with the expectation that the notes will be traded on its regulated market. The Securities and Exchange Commission has confirmed that it has no objection to the transaction.

“In view of the foregoing, the Bank is pleased to notify the Nigerian Exchange Limited of planned investors meetings with respect to the Transaction scheduled to commence today October 18, 2021.

“The final decision to issue the Notes will however be subject to finalising the necessary transaction documentation and prevailing market conditions,” the bank stated.

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$4 Billion Eurobond to Deepen External Reserves, Build Confidence in Medium-term – Ecobank CEO

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Eurobonds - Investorsking

The Cheif Executive Officer and Managing Director of Ecobnak Nigeria, Patrick Akinwuntan, has said the recent $4 billion Eurobond issued by the Federal Government of Nigeria will deepen external reserves and allows more confidence in the medium-term planning in the private sector.

Akinwuntan, who was assessing the global market as Nigeria announced its multibillion dollar Eurobond offering, during an interview on Arise TV in Lagos, said such loans would give a fresh breath to the economy because when the country takes on Euro bond that portion is reduced from its financing or public sector debt.

He advised those approaching the international debt market to have clarity of purpose and state their strengths and weaknesses.

Akinwuntan said the economy is showing strong trends owing to investments in infrastructure such as road and rail transportation, which is giving a lot of positive impact to the economy, adding that the private sector is also making improvements in power sector, telecoms, and information technology.

He said: “In the last two quarters, we have seen the global market rebounding from the very deep end of the COVID-19 that plagued 2020. We have seen, since the arrival of vaccines, the gradual opening of the global economy such that there is much more optimism in the market because we have learnt that shutting down the economy is not the best way to handle an epidemic and we have seen support from sovereigns, ensuring that there is steady growth within the various economies; supply chain has opened and we have seen in sub-Sahara Africa renewed interest in the Eurobond market in the international debt market. We have seen Benin republic, Ghana, Cote d’ivoire and Kenya all are approaching the market with significant success.

“Over subscription in each of them ranges from 200 per cent to 300 per cent and an all-high in Kenya close to 600 per cent or six times over subscription. This is a positive period for major economies like Nigeria, which is the lead economy in Africa, to take advantage and invite the global community to hear our story, invest in us and get good returns.”

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MTN Nigeria to Raise N89.9 Billion Via Bond Issuance

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MTN Nigeria - Investors King

MTN Nigeria Communications Plc (MTN Nigeria) has announced plancs to raise another N89.999 billion through bond issuance under its N200 billion registered shelf programme.

The telecommunications giant stated in a note to the Nigerian Exchange Limited and investing public.

MTN Nigeria said “an application has been submitted to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for the clearance of transaction documents for MTN Nigeria’s proposed bond issuance valued at N89,999,000,000; Series 2 of the N200,000,000,000 registered shelf programme.”

The telecom company had successfully raised N110,001,000,000 through Series 1 bond in the month of May 2021.

However, it said the final decision on the launch of the Series 2 bond will be taken once all regulatory approvals are obtained, and the investing public will be duly notified.

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