Standard facilitates landmark $500m Eurobond
Standard Bank said it is happy to partner government in the issue of its debut US$500million, 10-year Eurobond, as sub-Saharan sovereigns increasingly tap into international capital markets.
Namibia’s 144A/RegS benchmark sovereign bond issued on 27 October 2011 carries a coupon of 5.5% and is rated Baa3 by Moody’s and BBB- by Fitch. This new issue is only the sixth benchmark sovereign bond to come to market from sub-Saharan Africa (excluding South Africa) in the past few years.
Standard Bank and Barclays Capital served as joint book-runners on this landmark transaction.
Standard Bank is a leading advisor to African governments and corporates seeking to access the international debt markets and a leading market maker of African Eurobonds in the secondary market. In the year to date, Standard Bank has served as a joint book-runner on two of the six Eurobond transactions which have come to market from sub-Saharan Africa, more than any other international bank.
Gabon and Ghana were first to follow South Africa’s lead into the sub-Saharan Africa Eurobond space with issues in late 2007. Senegal then followed suit in 2009 and Nigeria in early 2011. In May this year, Senegal issued its second sovereign bond, breaking new ground by successfully concluding a joint bond issue and exchange.
Standard Bank said while sovereign bond issues have historically been limited to the more developed economies in Northern Africa and South Africa, more sub-Saharan economies are tapping into international capital markets as they develop more robust fiscal, institutional and regulatory environments.
In June, Standard Bank also facilitated a US$250-million seven-year loan to the Tanzanian government, which was raised through various regional and international financiers.
Says Peter Baillargeon, of Standard Bank’s debt capital Markets Africa desk in London: “African economies urgently need to address the gaps in their infrastructure, especially in the areas such as energy and transport. This is where long-term sovereign bonds can play an integral role. Our involvement with a number of sovereign transactions demonstrates Standard Bank’s capabilities to successfully facilitate complicated transactions of this nature.
“We are proving that we have the required expertise and capacity to help African sovereigns as well as corporate entities to raise debt in international capital markets.”