16 Mar

Ivory Coast Is Selling Africa’s Biggest Euro-Currency Bond

Ivory Coast sold 1.7 billion euros ($2.1 billion) of bonds Thursday in the biggest issuance in the common currency from an African government, according to a person familiar with the matter.

The West African nation’s amortizing deal was equally split between a tranche maturing in 2030 and paying 5.25 percent, and another due in 2048 with a yield of 6.625 percent, said the person, who asked not to be identified as they’re not authorized to speak about the matter.

Price guidance was around 5.375 percent for the shorter securities, which have an average life of 11 years, and 6.75 percent for the longer ones, which have a 29-year average maturity, said the person.

That’s the largest amount of euro debt issued by an African sovereign since at least the start of this century, when Bloomberg began compiling the data. It was also the second-biggest transaction in the currency from emerging markets this year, after Romania’s 2 billion euro-deal on Feb. 1. Investors placed 4.2 billion euros of orders, said the person.

Calls for comment to government spokesman Bruno Kone and Finance Minister Adama Kone went unanswered.

The world’s largest cocoa producer followed Egypt, Nigeria, Kenya and Senegal in tapping international markets before policy-tightening by the U.S. Federal Reserve lifts borrowing costs.

African sovereigns have now issued $12.8 billion of Eurobonds in 2018, already more than half the record $18 billion they managed last year and exceeding the total for the whole of 2016.

BNP Paribas SA, Citigroup Inc., Deutsche Bank AG and Societe Generale SA managed Ivory Coast’s sale.

Yields on the government’s 625 million euros of securities due in 2025, its only other bonds in the currency, fell four basis points to 4.26 percent by 8:52 a.m. in London.

Source: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-03-15/ivory-coast-is-said-to-sell-africa-s-biggest-euro-currency-bond

01 Feb

Nigeria’s Corn Output Expected to Fall 7% on Pests, Rising Imports

Nigeria’s corn output for the 2017-18 season will probably decline by as much as 750,000 metric tons due to the impact of pests and increased imports, the producers’ association said.

Africa’s most-populous country is estimated to produce 10 million tons of corn in the current season, 7 percent less than 10.75 million tons in the 2016-17 season, Tunji Adenola, president of the Maize Association of Nigeria, said in a Jan. 30 phone interview from the southwest city of Ibadan.

“Apart from imports, which is the major challenge to corn production in Nigeria, the two-year-old armyworm attacks ravaging farms has discouraged farmers from producing,” Adenola said. Those unable to compete with imported corn, which is cheaper, are being compelled to switch to other crops, he added.

Nigeria is Africa’s biggest corn producer after South Africa, whose 2017-18 output is estimated at 12 million tons, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service.

Most of Nigeria’s corn is consumed locally as a staple, in feed for livestock and raw material in the food industry. The West African nation saw corn imports jump 33 percent in the 2016-17 season to reach 400,000 tons, according to the USDA.

President Muhammadu Buhari’s government aims to boost farming output and reduce the economy’s dependence on oil, which contributes two-thirds of government revenue in the country of more than 180 million people.

Source: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-01-31/nigeria-s-corn-output-seen-falling-7-on-pests-rising-imports

22 Jan

George Weah to be sworn in with Liberian hopes sky-high

MONROVIA

Former international footballer George Weah will be sworn in as Liberia’s new president on Monday, a landmark moment that marks the troubled country’s first peaceful democratic transition since 1944.

Weah will become the 25th president of the West African nation, taking power from President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf after 12 years, with expectations running sky-high among Liberians that he will deliver on his promises of jobs and better schools.

NEW PRESIDENT

The inauguration is due to begin at 9.45am (12.45pm EAT) in Samuel Kanyon Doe Stadium near the capital, Monrovia, with heads of state from Ghana, Mali, Nigeria and Togo expected to attend along with friends and former colleagues from his football years.

Weah played for a string of top-flight European teams in the 1990s and was crowned the world’s best player by FIFA and won the coveted Ballon d’Or prize, the only African to have achieved this.

After losing his first run at the presidency to Sirleaf in 2005, he has spent the last 13 years attempting to gain the political credibility to match his wild popularity at home, becoming a senator in 2014.

Volunteers were putting the final touches to decorations and giving the streets a final lick of paint on Sunday, and many expressed hope the everyday difficulty of their lives would change.

“It’s my very first time to see Liberia transferring power peacefully. People expect real democracy,” said Samuel Harmon, 30, a street trader.

“The expectation of the people and the country is all up to him (Weah). Everybody believes that if he fails us, the majority will be disappointed with politics,” he added.

“The expectation of the people and the country is all up to him (Weah). Everybody believes that if he fails us, the majority will be disappointed with politics,” he added.

GOVERNMENT

Sirleaf will be remembered for maintaining peace after the harrowing 1989-2003 civil war left an estimated 250,000 dead. But extreme poverty remains pervasive and Liberia ranks near bottom in international rankings for health, education and development.

To read the full article, click here.