IFC to launch USD1bn local currency bond programme to support Nigeria’s capital markets
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is working with the Securities and Exchange Commission in Nigeria to launch the first long-term, local-currency bond programme in the country. The programme will allow IFC to issue a series of local-currency bonds totalling up to USD1 billion, to deepen domestic capital markets and support private sector development in Nigeria.
Nigeria is a leader in the implementation of the IFC Pan African Domestic Medium Term Note Programme. The program enables IFC to raise long-term, local-currency funding for private sector development in the region.
“SEC has spearheaded a number of reforms to accelerate the development of Nigeria’s domestic capital markets, and the IFC program is an important contribution to these efforts,” said Arunma Oteh, Director General of the Securities and Exchange Commission. “It will enable regular domestic issuances by an international, triple-A rated issuer, expanding the opportunities for investors and increasing access to local-currency finance for Nigerian businesses.”
In February 2013, IFC issued the first local-currency bond by a non-resident issuer in Nigeria, raising 12 billion naira (USD76.3 million). IFC issues bonds as part of its regular program of raising funds for private sector development, and to support the development of domestic capital markets. In many cases IFC is the first, or among the first non-resident issuers.
IFC Vice President and Treasurer Jingdong Hua said: “A vibrant, local-currency capital market is essential for any country to achieve its full economic potential, and a cornerstone of our strategy to help countries achieve sustainable growth. Our desire to put in place a program for regular naira-denominated issuances reflects IFC’s commitment to the domestic capital markets in Nigeria, and our growing investment to support private sector development in the country.”
IFC’s strategy in Nigeria prioritizes infrastructure, especially power, which was identified as the key constraint to private sector development; agribusiness, the largest single contributor to GDP and the largest employer, especially within the rural poor; the development of small and medium enterprises, the country’s largest formal and informal employer, including for youth; and housing. These strategic areas are also in line with the Government of Nigeria’s key priorities.
IFC’s committed portfolio in Nigeria stands at USD1.5 billion, the largest country portfolio in Africa and the eighth-largest globally.