Citigroup Sees Best Year Yet for Investment Banking in Africa

LAGOS (Capital Markets in Africa) – Citigroup Inc. is gearing up for a record year of deals from Africa in 2018.

“We’re very excited about the prospects for this year across the Middle East and Africa and think this will be a very active year for us,” Miguel Azevedo, Citigroup’s head of investment banking for the region said in an interview in Abu Dhabi. “We have more deals in the pipeline than ever, mostly initial public offerings, but also bond sales and mergers and acquisitions.”

There could be at least five IPOs in Africa this year, he said. Economies across the continent have also stabilized and global growth is picking up. “There are several African companies that have grown to the size where they do global IPOs,” Azevedo said, declining to be specific about the transactions Citigroup is working on.

For the Middle East, Azevedo is also optimistic as the region moves to attract capital from global investors. “There could be five to 10 IPOs and equity offerings in the Middle East this year,” he said. “Investor interest in the Middle East is very strong. Economic growth in the region is still good, the foreign-exchange rates are stable and that will bring in investors.”
‎Here is a list of major sub-Saharan deals in the works:

  • MTN Group Ltd., the continent’s largest mobile-phone operator, is said to plan a $500 million share sale in its Nigerian business
  • Econet Wireless Global Ltd.’s Liquid Telecom said last year its wants to trade its stock as part of a plan to create Africa’s largest broadband network; Econet itself is said to seek a London IPO at a valuation of about $8 billion
  • Vivo Energy, which operates more than 1,800 gas stations in 15 African countries under the Royal Dutch Shell Plc brand, is seeking to list its shares on the London Stock Exchange
  • IHS Towers is said to plan a New York listing, while Helios Towers Africa LLP and Eaton Towers Ltd. are said to be aiming for IPOs in London, with Eaton also considering a secondary listing in Johannesburg
  • Kenya is said to have mandated Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase & Co., Standard Chartered Plc and Standard Bank Group Ltd.’s Stanbic to manage a sale of Eurobonds of as much $3 billion by the end of this quarter
  • Nigeria’s government also hired Citigroup, Standard Chartered and Stanbic for its $2.5b Eurobond, Punch newspaper reported
  • Ivory Coast is said to want to hold a roadshow for the sale of 850 million euros ($1 billion) to 1 billion euros of debt before the end of March
  • Ghana plans to issue $1 billion in Eurobonds by April, people familiar with the matter said last month
  • Angola plans to complete all necessary steps to sell Eurobonds before the end of June, according to its Macroeconomic Stabilization Plan


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