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Ecobank secures $170m offshore loan facility


ECOBANKECOBANK Nigeria Plc has secured a term loan facility of $170 million (N33.3 billion) syndicated offshore loan facility, to raise its operational profile.

Under the deal, Commerzbank Aktiengesellschaft, Filiale Luxemburg, First Gulf Bank PJSC, Mashreqbank psc and Standard Chartered Bank acted as mandated lead arrangers and bookrunners, while African Export-Import Bank acted as mandated lead arranger.

Standard Chartered also acted as sole co-ordinator bank and documentation agent; and Mashreqbank psc acted as facility agent.

Specifically, the facility will be used for refinancing Ecobank Nigeria’s inaugural $150 million syndicated loan facility dated 23 October 2014, which was raised for general lending and trade purposes.

Despite adverse market conditions due to the macroeconomic headwinds affecting Nigeria, the facility has seen an excellent response from both existing and new lenders to Ecobank.

The transaction is only the second to have come to the market for a Nigerian financial institution this year, with analysts stressing that its success demonstrates the high regard in which the market holds the Ecobank Nigeria management and its ability to navigate the current domestic circumstances as one of Nigeria’s top-tier banks.
“The transaction’s support from a wide variety of lenders from Europe, Africa, Asia and the Middle East demonstrates a growing appetite for top-tier African issuers in the international syndicated loan market,” an analyst said in Lagos yesterday.

Ecobank Nigeria is among the eight financial institutions considered Systemically Important Banks (SIBs) by the Central Bank of Nigeria.

Ecobank Nigeria’s Managing Director, Jibril Aku said the bank was delighted with the deal, pointing out that “the transaction is driven by a need to have longer-term funding available for corporate clients.”

He added: “We appreciate the confidence that the international markets have in Ecobank Nigeria, backed by our strong reputation in the country and across the African continent. It proves that our strategy works.”

The bank’s Head of Corporate Bank, Foluke Aboderin, said: “We are delighted with the response and the number of correspondent banks that showed interest. This new loan demonstrates Ecobank’s continued commitment to supporting Nigeria’s economic growth, even during challenging economic times.”

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