Pan-African growth strategy gets boost
By Ada Anioji
The Lagos, Nigeria-originating, United Bank for Africa Plc (UBA) has successfully raised USD500 million, though a debut Eurobond offer, which was 240% over-subscribed, The Difference has learnt.
Analysts say the significant investor demand reflects the strong global investor appetite for UBA’s credit and support for the Group’s pan-African financial services strategy.
The Global Offering is a five-year senior unsecured benchmark bond (144A/Reg S) listed on the Irish Stock Exchange and will further support the Group’s strategic vision, as it continues to grow its franchise across the continent and client segments.
The bond, which is rated by both Fitch (B, stable outlook) and S&P (B, stable outlook), matures in June 2022 and was issued with a coupon rate of 7.75%, priced at an effective yield of 7.875%. This pricing is seen by the global investor community as the best possible pricing for a debut issue from a financial institution of Nigerian origin in current markets. The pricing was at par to the recent bond issue by the Federal Republic of Nigeria, which issued USD1 billion in February 2017.
Details of the subscription reveals that investor interest was clearly global, including from within the United Kingdom, Europe, Asia, the Middle East and the US.
Speaking on the offering, the Group Managing Director/CEO of UBA Plc, Mr. Kennedy Uzoka stated: “This successful dollar-denominated offering further illustrates global investor confidence in the strong fundamentals of our Group. The USD500 million bond will complement our stable funding base and support the growth of our balance sheet and the overall business. More importantly, this medium-term funding will further enhance our strength in financing profitable, impactful projects on the African continent.”
Also commenting on the Eurobond, the Group CFO, Mr. Ugo Nwaghodoh said: “UBA’s debut global offering is another milestone for us. It is timely in the Group’s growth phase and aligns with our strategic plan to profitably grow the balance sheet, as we maintain our prudent risk management and benchmark asset quality ratios.”
United Bank for Africa Plc is a leading pan-African financial institution, offering banking services to more than 14 million customers, across over 1,000 business offices and customer touch points in 19 African countries. With presence in New York, London and Paris,
It is is connecting people and businesses across Africa through retail, commercial and corporate banking, innovative cross border payments and remittances, trade finance and ancillary banking services.
Mr. Kennedy Uzoka, GMD, UBA Plc