By Bukola Idowu, Lagos
United Bank for Africa Plc (UBA) debut Eurobond has attracted immense participation from global investors as it was over subscribed by 240 per cent with the pan African bank successfully raising $500 million.
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 per cent, priced at an effective yield of 7.875 per cent. 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 $1 billion in March 2017. Investor interest was global, including the United Kingdom, Europe, Asia, the Middle East and the US.
Speaking on the offering, the Group Managing Director and Chief Executive of the bank, Kennedy Uzoka said the “successful dollar-denominated offering further illustrates global investor confidence in the strong fundamentals of our Group. The $500 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, UBA’s Group Chief Financial Officer, 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.”