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Nigeria wins big at EMEA awards

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Nigeria was celebrated recently as it won awards in three categories for its securities issuance activities in the domestic and international capital markets.

A statement issued on Friday in Abuja, by the Communications Department of the Debt Management Office (DMO), said the awards came from the EMEA Finance (Europe, the Middle East and Africa), a well-respected institution in the international financial markets.

The awards were for Best Sovereign Bond in Africa – three billion dollars Dual-Tranche (10 and 30 year) Eurobonds issued in Nov. 2017.

It also won awards for Most Innovative Bond – 300 million dollars Diaspora Bond issued in June 2017 and Best Naira Bond – ₦100 billion seven year Inaugural Sukuk issued in Sept. 2017.

According to the statement, the awards have properly positioned Nigeria to attract foreign capital flows and also confirm the robustness of Nigeria’s DMO in packaging and offering products that appeal strongly to local and international investors.

“Even more significant for Nigeria is that awards by EMEA Finance are made after evaluating several transactions, each of which is unique, using clearly defined criteria.

“That three transactions by Nigeria won awards from a competitive process, is a huge plus for Nigeria.”

Nigeria issued its first Diaspora Bond for 300 million dollars in June 2017, and was selected for the award for the uniqueness in the manner in which it was structured.

The Bond is also the first security issued by Nigeria that is registered with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

“With the three billion dollar dual-tranche (1.5 billion dollars for 10 years and 1.5 billion dollars for 30 years), Nigeria recorded several firsts, making it a landmark transaction.

“Firstly, it was the very first time that Nigeria raised an amount that large at once in the International Capital Market (ICM).

“Secondly, it was the first time a Sub-Saharan African country other than South Africa issued a 30-year Bond in the ICM.

“For Nigeria, the significance of the tenor lies in the fact that it could now access stable long term funds necessary to finance infrastructure.

“Indeed, Nigeria is proud to have opened the 30-year window as some other African countries such as Kenya subsequently issued 30-year Bonds”, it said.

The statement added that the N100 billion Sukuk which won the award of Best Naira Bond, is perhaps in a class of its own, given that it was issued in the domestic market.

It said that for the DMO, the use of the proceeds was the most significant aspect of the product as they have been deployed to the designated 25 Road Projects across Nigeria’s six geo-political zones.

It recalled that a recent inspection of the road projects, confirmed that a silent transformation in infrastructure had begun through Sukuk financing, adding that it was also significant that Sukuk had opened a window for financial inclusion.

According to the statement, the Director-General, Patience Oniha, says that the DMO’s primary responsibility is to manage public debt.

She also said that in executing this mandate, it would introduce initiatives and products to support the development of the domestic market.

This, she said was to position it as a veritable source of funds for the private sector to enable them contribute to Nigeria’s economic growth and development. (NAN)

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