By Modupe Gbadeyanka
In April 2019, Ecobank Transnational Incorporated (ETI), the Lomé-based parent company of the Ecobank Group, approached the international debt market to raise $50 million Eurobonds.
As a result of the confidence investors have in the African lender, the exercise received huge subscriptions as it was oversubscribed by over 4.6 times.
The Dollar denominated senior unsecured bond offering was with the issue price of 104.915 percent of the principal amount reflecting a yield of 8.25 percent, a solid improvement from the yield of 9.75 percent for the initial issue.
According to Ecobank, the bonds will be consolidated and form a single series with the $450 million 9.5 percent issued in April 2019.
Proceeds from the exercise will be used for the bank’s general corporate purposes and will further strengthen the liquidity of Ecobank.
A statement from the lender said the transaction is in line with its strategic objectives and forms part of the proactive management of its balance sheet to diversify funding sources and extend the average debt maturity profile.
The bonds have been placed with a broad range of institutional debt investors across Europe and Africa.
Both Standard and Poor’s and Fitch have confirmed credit ratings of B and B-Stable respectively to this tap issue, in line with Ecobank’s corporate rating.
Commenting, Mr Ade Ayeyemi, Group Chief Executive Officer of Ecobank, stated that, “As investor appetite deepens for emerging market offerings, we are positioned to offer the value that global investors seek.
“Our ability to open Africa to the world makes us a compelling choice. We appreciate the trust vested in us in continuing to build a strong independent African institution; a force for economic development in all of our operating markets.”
On his part, acting Group Chief Financial Officer, Mr Ayo Adepoju, also commented on the issuance saying, “The success of this tap which was more than four times oversubscribed, confirms Ecobank as an attractive investment for fixed income investors.
“We are pleased with the performance of the initial issue on the secondary markets and the increasingly competitive terms we have been able to achieve with this tap, as evidenced by a 150-basispoint reduction in yield.”
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