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Nigeria considers selling additional Eurobonds after successful outing

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By Chijioke Ohuocha

ABUJA, Sept 27 (Reuters) – Nigeria is considering issuing additional Eurobonds, subject to its budget limits, after a successful debt sale last week that attracted more than four times the amount on offer, the head of the Debt Management Office (DMO) said on Monday.

Patience Oniha, director general of the DMO, said investors were attracted by Nigeria’s credit story coupled with strong engagement. She said Nigeria’s GDP Growth and declining inflation were positive for investors.

Nigeria issued $4 billion via Eurobonds last week after investors submitted bids of $12.2 billion following an initial offering of $3 billion.

The DMO had said the country could raise up to $6.2 billion.

Bids were received from Europe, the United States and Asia with participation from local investors. Nigeria issued the debt in tranches of three tenors after investor calls last week.

Oniha said the West African country would also consider multilateral and bilateral loans.

“We are flexible, … and maybe Eurobonds,” she told Reuters.

Nigeria had planned a Eurobond issue early last year, but it decided to defer the 2020 sale because of COVID-19 disruptions.

Africa’s largest economy contracted in 2020 because of the pandemic, though in the fourth quarter it managed to exit its recession, the second since 2016, and growth has now increased for three consecutive quarters to June 30.

The economy expanded by 5% in the second quarter and is projected to grow by up to 3% this year.

JPMorgan, Citigroup, Standard Chartered and Goldman Sachs acted as international bookrunners on the latest sale with local firm Chapel Hill Denham. (Reporting by Chijioke Ohuocha; Editing by Hugh Lawson and Timothy Heritage)

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