Afreximbank plans $1 billion share sale over next five years

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    The African Export-Import Bank plans to sell shares worth as much as $1 billion over the next five years to diversify its shareholders and add more private investors to its ownership, the trade bank told Reuters on Thursday.

    The bank, rated “BBB-” by Fitch, plans to issue the shares via depository receipts to new and existing investors. An offering of $300 million was listed on the Mauritian Stock Exchange last year at $4.30 each.

    It now plans to list the shares on the Lagos exchange by the third quarter and then issue fresh receipts worth $200 million in Nigeria, providing investors exposure to rising intra-African trade deals.

    The bank is completing the filing process with the local bourse and depository.

    The note issue will support financing for Nigeria in areas such as trade, manufacturing, financial services, tourism, medical and agro-business, Cairo-based Afreximbank said.

    The lender has raised more than $3 billion as of 2016 to fund its activities, with about $1 billion coming from Eurobonds, far short of the continent’s soaring demand for financing for African economies hurt by lower commodities price.

    Demand for funding for trade and other facilities is worth around $40 billion in African states, meaning other global institutions need to step in to help.

    Afreximbank, which was founded by African governments and other investors in 1993 and has shareholder funds of $1.6 billion as at December, 2016 with total assets of $11.7 billion, approved $3.2 billion facilities for Nigeria last year.

    It expects its funding activities to rise and has seen an uptick in loan application as Nigerian economic recovery deepens in 2018 following a recession.

    -Reuters

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