Fitch Downgrades Seven Energy Int’l Ltd to ‘RD’
By Modupe Gbadeyanka
Fitch Ratings has downgraded Nigeria-based Seven Energy International Limited’s Issuer Default Rating to ‘RD’ from ‘C’ following the announcement of the results of the consent solicitation for the 10.25 percent $300m senior secured notes due 2021: 95.31 percent of the noteholders voted in favour of the proposal. Simultaneously, Fitch has affirmed the senior secured rating of wholly owned subsidiary Seven Energy Finance Limited’s $300m notes at ‘C’ with a ‘RR6’ Recovery Rating.
The accepted proposal qualifies as a distressed debt exchange under Fitch’s criteria as it imposes a material reduction in terms compared with the original ones and is conducted to avoid a payment default. Under the new terms, Seven Energy may choose to pay interest on the notes in kind, ie by increasing the principal amount of the outstanding notes or by issuing additional notes for up to four coupon payments between 11 October 2016 and 11 April 2018.
Seven Energy remains under severe liquidity pressure due to a combination of factors including: the fall in oil prices, a limited ability to convert naira into dollars, and the prolonged Forcados export pipeline closure, which has resulted in no oil lifting since February 2016. In addition to the notes consent solicitation, the company has recently agreed with the Accugas IV facility bank lenders to defer the amortisation schedule for debt payments into 2018. It is also working on a new facility with Nigerian and international banks and development finance institutions for longer-term credit facilities. Therefore the ‘RD’ rating is likely to remain until we have more clarity on Seven Energy’s post-deal liquidity and financial structure.
KEY RATING DRIVERS
Developing Natural Gas Business
Seven Energy’s management views the natural gas business in Nigeria’s southeast as an important growth driver for the company. In 9M16, Seven Energy’s average deliveries of natural gas reached 80 million cubic feet per day (MMcfpd), up from 64MMcfpd in 9M15. Its gas offtakers include three power stations (Alaoji, Calabar and Ibom), the Unicem cement plant and a fertiliser factory. In November 2016, Seven Energy completed the 69km Uquo-Creek Town pipeline to supply gas to Calabar and Unicem and signed a USD112m partial risk guarantee with Nigeria’s federal government for gas supply to Calabar and other customers.
The company is now on track to ramp up gas sales to 150MMcfpd and beyond. The installation of electricity distribution infrastructure to allow the power stations to run at full capacity has now been completed and Calabar is able to generate additional electricity.
The natural gas assets are fully ring-fenced and serve as security for the Accugas IV loan. There is a risk that the lenders may decide to enforce the security, stripping the company of its main cash generating asset and effectively forcing it into liquidation.
Strategic Alliance Agreement Halted
All Seven Energy’s oil liftings from OML 4, 38 and 41 under the strategic alliance agreement with the state-owned NPDC have been stopped since February 2016, as the Forcados oil terminal remains shut due to the rise in militant attacks. Management gives no estimate on when Forcados will be restarted and we understand is considering alternative means to export crude.
Naira Convertibility Issues
Seven Energy’s natural gas revenues are US dollar pegged but are received in naira. We understand from management that there are difficulties in Nigeria regarding exchanging naira into US dollars, which are needed to service the compay’s US dollar debt at the official exchange rate. This negatively affects the company’s liquidity as long as Forcados remains shut, meaning that the company receives no US dollar revenue under the strategic alliance agreement.
– Brent oil price deck of USD44/bbl in 2016, USD45/bbl in 2017, USD55/bbl 2018.
– SAA’s FCF negative in 2016; turning positive in 2017-2018.
– Natural gas sales volumes ramping up to 150MMcfpd a year in 2017 and 2018.
– Proposed restructuring implemented.
Future Developments That May, Individually or Collectively, Lead to Positive Rating Action
– The ‘RD’ rating will be reviewed following the financial restructuring once sufficient information is available to reflect the appropriate IDR for the issuer’s post-exchange capital structure, risk profile and prospects in accordance with relevant criteria.
Future Developments That May, Individually or Collectively, Lead to Negative Rating Action
– Bankruptcy filings, administration, receivership, liquidation or other formal winding-up procedure affecting Seven Energy would result in a downgrade to ‘D’.
At 30 September 2016, Seven Energy’s cash on hand was USD24m, well short of the USD396m in short-term debt at this date; this amount is prior to ongoing debt renegotiations. In 9M16, Seven Energy used up nearly USD92m in cash due to high capex and interest payments, before new equity raising and debt refinancing. We understand the company is negotiating to increase the limit of its existing working-capital facility.
BUA Cement, Nigerian Breweries, Others Drive Stock Market’s 0.06% Loss
By Dipo Olowookere
The Nigerian Exchange (NGX) Limited recorded a 0.06 per cent loss on Friday as a result of the selling pressure on some blue-chip stocks at the bourse.
It was observed that the decline was mainly driven by the poor performances of financial and industrial goods shares during the trading session.
Data obtained by Business Post showed that the insurance space lost 1.01 per cent, the industrial goods counter depreciated by 0.66 per cent, the banking sector declined by 0.25 per cent, and the consumer goods category shed 0.21 per cent, while the energy index remained flat.
Consequently, the All-Share Index (ASI) moderated by 31.55 points to 54,892.53 points from 54,924.08 points, and the market capitalisation went down by N18 billion to N29.903 trillion from N29.921 trillion.
A total of 137.6 million shares valued at N3.9 billion exchanged hands in 2,912 deals on the last trading session of the week compared with the 117.9 million shares worth N1.4 billion traded in the preceding session in 2,575 deals, representing an improvement in the trading volume, value and the number of deals by 16.71 per cent, 178.57 per cent, and 13.09 per cent, respectively.
Fidelity Bank closed the session as the most traded equity after it sold 21.5 million units and was trailed by GTCO, which sold 14.9 million units. Neimeth traded 14.0 million shares, UBA exchanged 12.8 million equities, and Transcorp traded 8.9 million stocks.
Investor sentiment was slightly strong yesterday as the market breadth was positive with 13 price gainers and 11 price losers led by AIICO Insurance, which fell by 5.00 per cent to 57 Kobo.
Linkage Assurance depleted by 4.76 per cent to 40 Kobo, Coronation Insurance went down by 4.76 per cent to 40 Kobo, International Breweries depreciated by 2.25 per cent to N4.35, and Transcorp lost 2.19 per cent to trade at N1.34.
On the flip side, NPF Microfinance gained 6.94 per cent to finish at N1.85, Geregu Power appreciated by 6.25 per cent to N323.00, Lasaco Assurance rose by 5.00 per cent to N1.05, Chams grew by 4.17 per cent to 25 Kobo, and Japaul improved by 3.57 per cent to 29 Kobo.
Analysis of the market data indicated losses reported by BUA Cement (1.60 per cent), Nigerian Breweries (0.55 per cent), GTCO (0.25 per cent), and Zenith Bank (0.15 per cent) caused the downfall of the exchange on Friday.
Again, NASD OTC Exchange Valuation Crosses N1 trillion
By Adedapo Adesanya
The market capitalisation of the NASD Over-the-Counter (OTC) Securities Exchange recorded a 5.3 per cent appreciation at the final session for the week, Friday, March 24, to close at N1.01 trillion from N959.06 billion on Thursday.
Business Post reports that this is the second time the value of the NASD OTC exchange would cross the N1 trillion mark.
The first was when Access Bank Plc was admitted to the alternative stock exchange in March 2022 and about a year later, it again crossed the same mark after Purple Real Estate Income Plc joined the platform on Thursday and began trading the next day.
Meanwhile, the NASD Unlisted Securities Index (NSI) grew by 0.5 points or 0.07 per cent yesterday to wrap the session at 730.37 points compared with 729.87 points recorded in the previous session.
The day’s single price gainer was Geo-Fluids Plc, which improved its value by 16 Kobo to close at N1.80 per share versus Thursday’s closing price of N1.64 per share.
The volume of securities traded by investors depreciated on Friday by 67.3 per cent to 1.7 million units from 5.2 million units, the value of transactions slumped by 87.2 per cent to N3.1 million from N24.3 million, while the number of deals decreased by 78.6 per cent to three deals from the 14 deals carried out in the previous trading day.
Geo-Fluids Plc remained the most traded stock by volume on a year-to-date basis with 462.1 million units valued at N505.0 million, UBN Property Plc stood in second place with 365.8 units valued at N309.5 million, while IGI Plc was in third place with 71.1 million units valued at N5.1 million.
In terms of the most traded stock by value on a year-to-date basis, VFD Group Plc was on top of the chart for exchanging 7.3 million units worth N1.7 billion, followed by Geo-Fluids Plc with 462.1 million units valued at N505.0 million, and UBN Property Plc with 365.8 million units valued at N309.5 million.
Naira Appreciates at Official Market, Loses at Peer-to-Peer, Black Market
By Adedapo Adesanya
It was a mixed bag for the Naira at the foreign exchange (forex) market on Friday as its value closed stronger against the United States Dollar in the Investors and Exporters (I&E) side of the market but was weaker in the Peer-to-Peer (P2P) and the parallel market.
Data showed that the local currency gained 34 Kobo or 0.07 per cent against its American counterpart to trade at N461.33/$1 compared with the previous day’s value of N461.67/$1.
It was observed that the Nigerian currency gained weight during the session despite being pressed by FX demand pressure, resulting in the sale of $241.38 million worth of forex at the close of transactions, $161.35 million or 66.8 per cent higher than the $80.03 million recorded in the preceding session.
In the P2P window, the domestic currency lost N1 against the US Dollar to settle at N756/$1, in contrast to the N755/$1 it was sold a day earlier.
In the same vein, the Naira depreciated against the greenback in the black market yesterday by N1 to close at N743/$1 compared with Thursday’s closing rate of N742/$1.
However, in the interbank segment, the Nigerian Naira closed flat against the Pound Sterling and the Euro on Friday at N566.08/£1 and N497.72/€1, respectively.
In a related development, the digital currency market was in the red as most of the tokens tracked by Business Post depreciated in price, as the markets reacted to the latest Federal Reserve interest rate hike. The Fed opted to increase rates by 25 basis points (bps) as many had anticipated and signalled one more hike this year.
Bitcoin (BTC) slid by 3.0 per cent to $27,458.80, Ethereum (ETH) dropped 3.8 per cent to $1,745.28, Solana (SOL) lost 6.3 per cent to trade at $20.61, Litecoin (LTC) went down by 2.9 per cent to $92.64, Dogecoin (DOGE) shrank by 2.3 per cent to $0.0748, Cardano (ADA) declined by 2.2 per cent to $0.3586, and Binance Coin (BNB) went down by 1.1 per cent to trade at $323.15, while Ripple (XRP) appreciated by 2.2 per cent to $0.4465, with Binance USD (BUSD) and the US Dollar Tether (USDT) flat at $1.00 apiece.
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