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Business News

Ecobank raises $450 million through bond offering

Having sold a $450 million eurobonds, Ecobank has become the only Nigerian-listed lender that had sold Eurobonds since October 2017.

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Bonds

Ecobank Transnational Incorporated has, on Thursday April 11th, 2019, sold $450 million worth of Eurobonds at yields that rank among the highest from emerging markets this year.

The bank issued five-year senior unsecured notes priced at 9.75 percent, according to Renaissance Capital, which is one of the arrangers.

Nairametrics understands that the funding will help the lender to meet its general corporate obligations, including the refinancing of a portion of debt it owes to other banks.

According to Bloomberg, the yields are about the juiciest since Ecuador sold $1 billion of 10-year sovereign debt at 10.75 percent in January.

Yields on the securities have dropped to 9 percent as sentiment toward emerging markets improved and the Government secured a $4.2 billion loan package from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Recall that Ecobank had,  in 2018, raised $200 million in loans. The credit facilities are due for repayment in November this year.

Breaking the hiatus

Nairametrics learnt that the Eurobonds’ sale is the first debt sale from a lender with shares listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) in 18 months. As a result of this, Ecobank is the only Nigerian-listed lender that has sold Eurobonds since October 2017, when Fidelity Bank Plc issued $400 million of five-year securities.

Understanding Eurobonds

Eurobond is denominated in a currency other than the home currency of the country or market in which it is issued. These bonds are frequently grouped together by the currency in which they are denominated, such as eurodollar or euroyen bonds.

Issuance is usually handled by an international syndicate of financial institutions on behalf of the borrower, one of which may underwrite the bond, thus guaranteeing purchase of the entire issue.

The popularity of eurobonds as a financing tool reflects their high degree of flexibility, even as they offer issuers the ability to choose the country of issuance based on the regulatory market, interest rates and depth of the market.

Eurobonds are also attractive to investors because they usually have small par values and high liquidity.

Famuyiwa Damilare is a trained journalist. He holds a Higher National Diploma (HND) in Mass Communication at the prestigious Nigerian Institute of Journalism (NIJ).Damilare is an innovative and transformational leader with broad-based expertise in journalism and media practice at large. He has explored his proven ability in the areas of reporting, curating and generating contents, creatively establishing social media engagements, and mobile editing of videos. It is safe to say he’s a multimedia journalist.

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Coronavirus

Covid-19: WHO approves China’s Sinopharm vaccine

WHO has announced the approval of China’s Sinopharm vaccine for Covid-19 vaccination.

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Covid-19: First world nations oppose waiving intellectual rights for vaccine development

The World Health Organization (WHO) has announced the approval of China’s Sinopharm vaccine for Covid-19 vaccination.  The vaccine is reported to have 79% efficacy against covid.

This was disclosed today in a report by Reuters. The vaccine would also be the second Chinese-made vaccine after Sinovac vaccine and would be the first developed outside Europe and North America to receive WHO accreditation.

“This expands the list of COVID-19 vaccines that COVAX can buy, and gives countries confidence to expedite their own regulatory approval, and to import and administer a vaccine,” WHO Director-General, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said.

The WHO added that the easy storage requirements make it highly suitable for low-resource settings.

“Its easy storage requirements make it highly suitable for low-resource settings,” a WHO statement said while also disclosing that the vaccine has been approved for people above the age of 18 to receive two shots.

“On the basis of all available evidence, WHO recommends the vaccine for adults 18 years and older, in a two-dose schedule with a spacing of three to four weeks,” the statement added.

The vaccine was created by Beijing Biological Products Institute, a subsidiary of Sinopharm subsidiary China National Biotec Group, with an efficacy of 79% for all age groups.

The WHO however, admitted that few older adults (over 60 years) were enrolled in clinical trials, so efficacy could not be estimated in this age group.

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The quest for vaccine efficiency got a major boost earlier this week as Nairametrics reported that the United States government announced that it supports the waiver of Intellectual Property Protections on Covid-19 vaccine development, in a bid to boost the fight against the pandemic, and says it will participate in the Okonjo-Iweala-led WTO negotiation to make it happen.

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Obituaries

“Mama Taraba”, Former minister and senator, Aisha Al-Hassan is dead

Ex-Women Affairs minister, Aisha Jummai Al-Hassan, popularly known as Mama Taraba is dead

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A former Minister for Women Affairs and ex-Governorship Candidate in Taraba State, Aisha Jummai Al-Hassan, popularly known as Mama Taraba is dead.

According to media reports she died in a hospital on Friday in Cairo, Egypt at the age of 61.

Al-Hassan, who was a former senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria from Taraba North Senatorial District, was the All Progressive Congress (APC) Governorship Candidate for Taraba in the 2015 general elections.

READ: Abba Kyari’s last letter to President Buhari

She later contested for the same seat on the platform of the United Democratic Party in the 2019 general elections after resigning from APC and as a minister in the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari on July 27, 2018.

The former senator was born on the 16th of September, 1959 in Jalingo, Taraba State, to Alhaji Abubakar Ibrahim, Sarkin Ayukan Muri.

READ: Chad’s President Deby dies of injuries suffered on the frontlines, as son takes over

Aisha Jummai Al-Hassan attended Muhammed Nya Primary School, Jalingo and LEA Primary School, Tudun Wada, Kaduna before proceeding to Saint Faith College (now GGSS) Kawo Kaduna where she studied between January 1973 and June 1977.

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Details later…

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