Ecobank’s Ivory Coast Unit Is Said to Plan IPO to Fund Expansion

ABIDJAN (Capital Markets in Africa) – Ecobank Transnational Inc.’s Ivory Coast unit plans to raise 45 billion CFA francs ($79 million) in an initial public offering on West Africa’s regional stock exchange, according to two people familiar with the matter.

The share sale will begin by October, pending approval by the regulator, Regional Council for Public Savings and Financial Markets, the people said, asking not to be identified because the information hasn’t been made public. The listing on the Bourse Regionale des Valeurs Mobilieres will be completed before the end of the year, they said.

Ecobank Cote D’Ivoire plans to list 10 percent to 20 percent of its shares and will use the proceeds of the sale to expand its operations in Ivory Coast, one of the people said. A spokeswoman for Lome-based Ecobank Transnational in Togo wouldn’t immediately comment when contacted by phone.

The plan by Ecobank to sell shares in its Ivorian unit comes after the lender recorded a pre-tax loss of $131 million in 2016 when Africa’s most geographically diverse bank was hit by a recession, dollar shortages and a currency devaluation in Nigeria, its biggest market. The Ivory Coast, the world’s largest cocoa producer, has expanded at an average rate of 9 percent a year since 2012, boosted by public spending in infrastructure including roads, bridges and dams.


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