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A Challenging Bond Auction for the DMO – Coronation Merchant Bank

The DMO held its monthly auction of FGN bonds yesterday. It offered N225bn but raised N200.9bn (USD466.5m) through re-openings of the 2025, 2032 and 2042 FGN bonds.

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The DMO held its monthly auction of FGN bonds yesterday. It offered N225bn but raised N200.9bn (USD466.5m) through re-openings of the 2025, 2032 and 2042 FGN bonds.

The participation level was higher when compared to the auction held in July. However, total subscriptions remained lower when compared with the average of the first six months of 2022. The DMO secured a total bid of N247.1bn (USD574.6m) at the bond auction held yesterday.

The bids for the 3, 10 and 20-year benchmarks were allotted at the marginal rates of 12.5% (previously; 11.0%), 13.5% (previously; 13.0%) and 14.0% (previously; 13.7%) respectively.

The relatively low demand at the auction mirrors tight system liquidity. We note that market liquidity stood at a deficit of -N3.6bn on Friday (12 August ‘22). Overnight and repo rates closed within a range of 12 – 15%. The tightness in system liquidity can be partly attributed to CBN’s continuous use of the discretionary cash reserve ratio (CRR) debits.

We suspect that the negative real interest rates given the elevated inflation figure has contributed to investors’ apathy towards FGN bond yields. The latest inflation report released by the NBS shows July’s headline inflation increased by 104bps (when compared with the previous month) to 19.64% y/y. This is the highest reading since 2005.

Meanwhile, average yield in the secondary market for FGN bonds is 12.7% (as at 16 August ’22). The CBN’s in-house estimates suggest that inflation is likely to remain considerably high, partly due to the build-up of increased spending related to the 2023 general elections.

The monetary policy committee (MPC) believes that further tightening would help moderate worsening inflationary trend and narrow the real interest rate gap. The MPC/CBN raised the policy rate by 100bps from 13% to 14% in July ‘22. However, given the upward trend in inflation, expectations of another rate hike is not far-fetched.

The DMO had set out to raise a maximum of N1.9trn by end -Q3 ’22. However, year-todate, it has raised N2.1trn. exceeding its target by 12% or N220bn. Given that the debt management office is expected to offer instruments worth N221 – 240bn through reopenings of the 13.53% FGN MAR 2025, 12.50% FGN APR 2032 and 13.00% FGN JAN 2042 bonds in September, the DMO is likely to exceed its borrowing target for FGN bonds by end -Q3 ’22.

Allowing for the smaller amounts which the FGN raises from the sale of other debt instruments such as NTBs and savings bonds, DMO is on track pro rata to meet or exceed the domestic borrowing target for the year set at N3.53trn.

The FGN was unable to meet its revenue target for Jan – Apr 2022, it underperformed by 51%. FGN’s retained revenue stood at N1.63trn, compared to the prorate target of N3.32trn. Debt service (N1.94trn) accounted for 119% of the FGN’s revenue in April ‘22.

In the near term, we expect increased borrowing (via FGN bonds) to result in an uptick in yields across the curve. We see mid-curve FGN bond yields around 12.0 – 13.5% and yields at the longer-end of the curve between 13.25% – 14.25% over the next one month.

However, the level of system liquidity (impacted by items such as auctions, CRR debits/refunds, bond/NTB maturities, coupon payments and FAAC allocation) would also influence movement in yields.

Is the CEO/Founder of Investors King Limited. A proven foreign exchange research analyst and a published author on Yahoo Finance, Businessinsider, Nasdaq, Entrepreneur.com, Investorplace, and many more. He has over two decades of experience in global financial markets.

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Bonds

Investor Appetite Wanes as FG Bond Auction Sees Lowest Participation of the Year

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Subscription for the Federal Government bond auction on May 13, 2024 was the lowest so far in 2024.

Despite the subdued interest, the government successfully raised N380.76 billion, albeit experiencing a 39 per cent reduction compared to the proceeds from the previous month’s auction.

The aggregate subscription across all tenors amounted to N551.316 billion, representing a decrease from the N920.08 billion recorded in the preceding month.

The Debt Management Office (DMO) reported a non-competitive allotment of N301.30 billion.

The auction featured various bond tenors with the new 9-year bond taking center stage. This bond attracted substantial interest, garnering N373.875 billion in subscriptions.

Of this amount, N285.124 billion was allotted, inclusive of N179.00 billion under non-competitive bids.

The bids ranged from 16.95 per cent to 22.00 per cent, eventually settling at a marginal rate of 19.89 per cent.

Meanwhile, the 7-year bond received bids totaling N76.875 billion, with N62.975 billion allotted. Non-competitive allotments accounted for N85.80 billion.

The bids ranged from 17.20 per cent to 20.80 per cent, resulting in a final marginal rate of 19.74 per cent.

In addition, the 5-year bond attracted bids amounting to N100.56 billion, with an allotment of N32.67 billion.

An additional N36.500 billion was allocated through non-competitive bids. Bids spanned from 17.50 per cent to 21.00 per cent, and the marginal rate was set at 19.29 per cent.

The subdued subscription level in May 2024 indicates a lack of robust investor participation in government bonds compared to previous auctions.

This decline in investor interest could be attributed to various factors, including prevailing market conditions, economic uncertainties, and evolving investment preferences.

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African ESG Bond Issuance Surges to $4.4bn in 2024

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The landscape of sustainable investment in Africa is experiencing a significant upswing as the issuance of Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) bonds by African entities hit $4.4 billion in 2024.

This substantial increase highlights a growing commitment among African institutions to raise funds for investments aligned with ESG principles.

The surge in ESG bond issuance underscores a broader trend towards responsible and sustainable investing on the continent.

The African Development Bank (AfDB) emerges as a key player in this segment, having successfully issued social bonds worth $2 billion in January 2024, in addition to hybrid sustainable bonds amounting to $750 million.

Joining the AfDB in this endeavor is the Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa (BADEA), which, with the support of the African Export-Import Bank, has issued bonds totaling €500 million.

This momentum in the ESG bond market has propelled financial institutions like BNP Paribas, JPMorgan, and Bank of America Securities into leading positions as arrangers for such bonds on the continent.

The surge in ESG bond issuance reflects a broader global trend towards sustainable finance, with the total value of emissions of this kind expected to reach $950 billion in 2024, according to Moody’s.

It is evident that ESG bonds are gaining traction in Africa, supported by development finance institutions and initiatives aimed at fostering sustainable economic growth and development across the continent.

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Coinbase Unveils $1 Billion Convertible Bond Plan to Fuel Growth

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Coinbase Global, Inc., the renowned cryptocurrency exchange platform, has announced its strategic move to bolster its financial position by initiating a private sale of $1 billion in convertible senior notes.

The bonds, set to mature in 2030, come with an additional provision allowing initial buyers to acquire an extra $150 million to address potential over-allotments.

This ambitious plan, aimed at fortifying Coinbase’s financial foundation, underscores the company’s commitment to fostering growth and expansion in the ever-evolving cryptocurrency landscape.

The proceeds from the convertible bond issuance are earmarked for “working capital and capital expenditures,” reflecting Coinbase’s strategic vision to drive innovation and enhance its market presence.

Convertible bonds offer a unique avenue for Coinbase to raise capital, providing investors with the flexibility to convert their holdings into company stock.

This approach not only diversifies Coinbase’s funding sources but also potentially reduces interest costs compared to traditional debt financing methods.

The decision to opt for convertible bonds aligns with Coinbase’s strategy to navigate market dynamics effectively while maximizing shareholder value.

Amidst recent operational challenges, including glitches during bitcoin’s price surges, Coinbase remains steadfast in its pursuit of growth opportunities.

Coinbase’s move to secure $1 billion through convertible bonds underscores its confidence in the long-term prospects of the cryptocurrency industry.

As the company continues to innovate and adapt to market trends, investors are poised to witness Coinbase’s strategic vision translate into sustained growth and value creation in the dynamic world of digital assets.

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