Stanley Opara with agency report
African Export-Import Bank has moved to sell shares in Nigeria and two other African countries to support lending and broaden its ownership base.
The Cairo-based lender is in talks with Nigerian regulators to issue depositary receipts and raise equity worth $200m by the third quarter, according to Afreximbank in an emailed response to questions. It is still considering the other markets and will release details once discussions have been finalised, the company told Bloomberg.
Afreximbank, which was started in Nigeria in 1993 to finance and promote trade across Africa, will list about 67 million existing depository receipts on the Nigerian Stock Exchange to improve liquidity. The lender approved $3.2bn of credit for Nigerian companies last year and received loan applications from more than 30 firms in the countryseeking “specialised credit” or loans for trade, projects and infrastructure finance, the lender said.
It is targeting trade, financial services, tourism, manufacturing, export infrastructure and agro-processing for loans.
As the Nigerian economy recovers, “funding is required to harness the opportunities,” Afreximbank said, adding that it was talking with the Nigerian Export-Import Bank about a joint programme that would grow the country’s non-oil exports. Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product expanded 0.8 per cent in 2017 compared with a contraction of 1.6 per cent in 2016.
The 162-member Nigerian Stock Exchange All-Share Index has gained 13 per cent this year after rallying by 42 per cent in 2017.