The Federal Republic of Nigeria (FRN), through the Debt Management Office (DMO), pioneered another first in the Nigerian debt capital markets (DCM), as it marked the official listing of the inaugural Diaspora Bond on FMDQ OTC Securities Exchange (FMDQ or the OTC Exchange) yesterday, Thursday, December 21, 2017. The day also celebrated the official listing of the latest Eurobond issues by the FRN – US$1,500,000,000.00 6.500% Notes due 2027 and US$1,500,000,000.00 7.625% Notes due 2047 under its US$4,500,000,000.00 Global Medium-Term Note Programme Eurobonds – on the OTC Exchange. The FRN Diaspora Bond – US$300,000,000.00 5.625% Diaspora Bond due 2022 – issued in June 2017, along with the two (2) tranches of the FRN Eurobonds, were listed on FMDQ to promote, among others, visibility for the issues and financial inclusion. These listings of foreign currency-denominated debt securities by the FRN, show the government’s unrelenting commitment to supporting the growth and development of the nation’s DCM towards economic development sustainability. In the first quarter of 2017, the FRN made history in the nation, when the FRN Eurobond was listed for the first time ever domestically. Following a series of strategic engagements between the DMO and FMDQ, and other stakeholders on the importance of listing the sovereign’s Eurobonds domestically, the DMO achieved this most significant accomplishment when it listed the $1.00bn Eurobond on FMDQ in March 2017. Less than a year later, the DMO, on behalf of the FRN, is again making history through the issuance and subsequent listing of the FRN Diaspora Bond. To commemorate these remarkable achievements, the OTC Exchange hosted the Federal Government of Nigeria, represented by the Director-General of the DMO, Ms. Patience Oniha, along with key representatives from the DMO to a most impressive and memorable Ceremony. Also present at the Ceremony were key representatives from Stanbic IBTC Capital Limited, the sponsor of the issue and Registration Member (Listings) of FMDQ and representatives from Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Standard Bank of South Africa PLC, FBN Merchant Bank Limited, United Capital PLC, Udo Udoma & Belo-Osagie, Banwo & Ighodalo, amongst others. Welcoming the guests to the Ceremony, Ms. Tumi Sekoni, Vice President, Business Development of FMDQ, congratulated the issuer and sponsor of the issue on this critical milestone, commending the DMO for another successful outing by the FRN in the international markets. She highlighted that the FRN, via its Diaspora Bond, provided the opportunity for Nigerians in the international markets (and those in the domestic market with foreign capital) to contribute to the development of the Nigerian DCM and by extension, the economy. She commented that listing the bonds on FMDQ would rightly position the nation to continue to maximise its potential via the Nigerian DCM. She reiterated FMDQ’s commitment to remain unyielding in its support for the development of the Nigerian DCM through its highly efficient Listings/Quotations service.
Ms. Patience Oniha, Director-General of the DMO, during the issuer’s special address, stated that, “the listings will increase number and range of securities available in the domestic capital markets, thereby deepening the market and promoting financial inclusion. She also stated that, “this history will give more visibility to the domestic debt capital markets, which will be beneficial for attracting capital from local and foreign investors. Furthermore, in the specific case of the Eurobond, because it is a sovereign security, the information it will provide such as coupon, yield and tenor will serve as benchmarks for corporates who intend to issue Eurobonds in the international capital markets.” Mr. Yinka Sanni, Chief Executive Officer, Stanbic IBTC Holdings PLC, during his address, said that “by proceeding to list these instruments on the domestic exchanges, the DMO once again has paved the way for corporate and bank issuers to follow suit, thereby adding to the depth and breadth of the domestic capital markets. We thereby applaud the DMO for this initiative.” The Listing Ceremony, in line with FMDQ’s tradition, was marked with memorable highlights which included, amongst other activities, the unveiling of the special symbol and scroll; the signing of the FMDQ Bond Listing Register and presentation of the FMDQ Bond Listing Certificate; and the special autograph impressions by the issuer.
Mr. Bola Onadele. Koko, Managing Director/CEO of FMDQ, whilst giving the closing remarks, applauded the issuer for another remarkable job well done. He commented, “this is another highly commendable step by the DMO towards deepening the domestic debt capital markets. The DMO continues to set the pace for key development in the Nigerian DCM. The listing of foreign currency-denominated debt securities by the FRN paves the way for the issuance and domestic listing of Nigerian corporate Eurobonds. It also lights up the vision for the issuance of foreign currency-denominated debt locally”.