Nigeria’s Ecobank to raise $300m in Eurobond

Ecobank Transnational Inc.’s Nigerian unit plans to sell a $300 million Eurobond to fund trade deals as the lender seeks to use its African reach to benefit from a continent-wide free-trade pact.

The Lagos-based company hired Citigroup Inc., Dubai-based Mashreqbank PSC, Standard Chartered Plc and Renaissance Capital as joint bookrunners, according to a person familiar with the matter, who is not authorized to speak publicly and asked not to be identified, Bloomberg reports.

The sale comes after yields on Ecobank’s existing $500 million of bonds due April 2024 plunged from record highs reached during the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, to trade near their best levels since early March.

Proceeds of the sale will help provide medium-term funding and enhance the capacity of the bank to support international trade and services in Africa, Ecobank said in a statement Friday.

Ecobank Transnational operates across 34 African countries with Nigeria as its biggest market. It has previously announced plans to prioritize it operations in the continent’s largest economy as it seeks to cushion the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on its operations.

The African Continental Free Trade Area aims to bolster intra-regional commerce by lowering or eliminating cross-border tariffs, facilitating the movement of capital and people, promoting investment and paving the way for the establishment of a continental-wide customs union.

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