July 15, 2024
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UBA partners Afreximbank, confirms NNPC received $2.25b

By Emmanuel Kwada

Afreximbank has announced an initial disbursement of US$2.25 billion under a syndicated US$3.3 billion Crude Oil Prepayment Facility sponsored by the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited.

The announcement was published on its website on Saturday.

The Cairo-based bank stated that the landmark financing is the  largest syndicated loan ever raised by Nigeria in the international market and one of the largest of such transactions in Africa in recent years.

According to the bank,the  loan will support Nigeria’s macroeconomic stability and long-term economic growth, facilitating access to raw materials and trade development.

Afreximbank bank added that this groundbreaking transaction represents a significant vote of confidence it has in Nigeria and Africa.

United Bank for Africa Plc (UBA) is the Local Arranger and Onshore Account Bank for the transaction.

The statement reads: “African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) has successfully arranged a syndicated US$3.3 billion crude oil prepayment facility sponsored by the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL). An initial disbursement of US$2.25 million has been made. A second tranche of US$1.05 million is expected to be disbursed subsequently.

“United Bank for Africa Plc (UBA) acted as the Local Arranger and Onshore Account Bank for the transaction, which is expected to ease the foreign exchange illiquidity and stabilise the Nigerian currency market. The transaction is seen as a significant further step in unleashing Nigeria’s economic potential.

UBA

“This landmark financing is Nigeria’s largest crude oil prepayment facility and one of the largest syndicated loans raised in Africa in 2023. The 5-year facility carries a margin of 6.0% per annum above the 3-month secured overnight financing rate (SOFR).

“The transaction structure has an embedded price balance mechanism where 90% of all excess cash from the sale of the committed barrels (after debt service) will be released to the borrower, while the balance of 10% will be used to prepay the facility, effectively shortening the final maturity of the facility and freeing cashflow from future pledged cargoes for use by Nigeria.

“The initial participating lenders are Afreximbank, Africa’s multilateral trade finance institution, Gunvor International BV, a Geneva-based multinational energy and commodities trading company and Sahara Energy Resources Limited, an African-owned, leading international energy and infrastructure conglomerate.

“Afreximbank’s extensive structuring and technical experience in arranging similar complex oil & gas financing facilities in Angola, Republic of Congo, South Sudan, Chad Egypt, Cote d’Ivoire. Ghana, etc. was brought to bear in the successful closure of the facility, notwithstanding a very challenging market environment. The Bank acted as Sole Mandated Lead Arranger, Technical and Modelling Bank, Bookrunner, Facility Agent, Offshore Account Bank, Intercreditor Agent and Collateral Agent.

Lauding the successful financial close, Afreximbank President and Chairman of the Board of Directors, Prof. Benedict Oramah, explained that “this facility further demonstrates the Bank’s commitment to supporting African economies, when such assistance is most needed. Afreximbank stands by its member countries in good and in difficult times.

“The disbursement of the initial US$ 2.25 billion under the facility will support Nigeria’s long-term economic stability, ease access to import financing for raw materials and essential goods, support industrialization and trade development efforts. We are pleased that despite the typical year-end pressures, our partners and investors committed the funds required in record time. We thank them for their support,” the report stated.

The NNPCL Group Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Mele Kolo Kyari, commented on this landmark transaction, noting that “the proceeds of the facility have been made available to the Federal Republic of Nigeria as one of the strategies to improving macro-economic stability. The participation of global, international and regional syndication firms is a further testament to the lending market’s appetite for financing sponsored by NNPCL and signifies solid market confidence in Nigeria,” Kyari said.

The Group Managing Director/CEO, United Bank for Africa (UBA), Oliver Alawuba said that “UBA is delighted to participate in this transaction, which demonstrates once again UBA’s commitment to providing necessary interventions and solutions towards addressing economic issues in Nigeria and across Africa. UBA has a track record of structuring and participating in significant resource-based transactions, leveraging its global network and dollar balance sheet. Similar transactions include DRC deal, Kenyan deal, Senegal SAR Orion deal with Afreximbank.”

Group Managing Director/CEO, United Bank for Africa (UBA), Oliver Alawuba

United Bank for Africa Plc is a leading Pan-African financial institution, offering banking services to more than twenty-seven (27) million customers, across 1,000 business offices and customer touch points in 20 African countries. With presence in New York, London, Paris, and Dubai, UBA is connecting people and businesses across Africa through retail, commercial and corporate banking, innovative cross-border payments and remittances, trade finance and ancillary banking services.

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