In a testament to the resilience and vibrancy of Nigeria’s financial markets, private companies and the government successfully raised a staggering N3.44 trillion through Corporate Bonds and Commercial Paper issuance over the past two years. The disclosure was made by the Association of Issuing Houses of Nigeria (AIHN) during its Annual General Meeting (AGM) and the presentation of the 2022 annual report in Lagos.
AIHN President, Ike Chioke, revealed that the capital-raising activities in the local environment have witnessed substantial growth, with 333 deals valued at approximately N3.44 trillion recorded in the local debt market over the last two years. This surge primarily reflects the active participation of corporates in the bonds and commercial paper issuance space, as well as the issuance of state-sponsored instruments.
Chioke highlighted significant milestones in the investment banking segment, emphasizing the sector’s resilience amidst global and domestic macroeconomic challenges. Despite the lingering impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic, Nigeria’s local debt market showcased robust performance, with numerous successful deals contributing to the impressive N3.44 trillion figure.
He specifically noted landmark transactions, including Dangote Industries Limited’s Series 1 and Series 2 bond issues under its N300 billion bond issuance program, making it the largest corporate bond ever seen in the Nigerian capital market. Additionally, MTN Nigeria Communications Plc and the Lagos State Government also conducted noteworthy bond issuances, reflecting the increased confidence of companies and investors in the local capital market.
Chioke acknowledged the challenges posed by the weak growth outlook and tighter monetary policies globally in 2022. Despite a 2.2% year-on-year fall in global debt levels to $296.6 trillion in the fourth quarter of 2022, public and private debt-to-Gross Domestic Product ratios remained elevated. The bonds space witnessed unique challenges, with poor returns attributed to policy rate normalization, recession fears, and liquidity shocks.
In the wake of the evolving financial landscape, Chioke urged traditional investment banks to innovate and adapt to changing market dynamics. He highlighted the growing competition from financial technology companies and the increased emigration wave as factors influencing talent acquisition in the investment banking sector.
To support future growth, Chioke advised investment banks to embrace innovation, particularly in the technology revolution reshaping global sectors. He emphasized the potential role of artificial intelligence in assessing market opportunities and data, bringing about significant cost savings and innovative solutions for investment banks.
During the AGM, Kemi Awodein was appointed as the new president of AIHN, succeeding Ike Chioke. Awodein expressed her commitment to building on Chioke’s legacy and steering the group toward further advancements in the development of the market. The newly appointed Executive Council Members, including Dr. Gabdebo Adenrele, Alhassan Gwarzo, and Onyebuchim Obiyemi, are poised to contribute to the continued growth and success of AIHN.