London, 20 May 2015 — Moody’s Investors Service has expanded its coverage of Africa’s multilateral development banks (MDB) and plans to build on its market-leading position in the sector as part of its wider African strategy.
Michael Korwin, Moody’s Senior Vice President — Business Development, said recent rating actions involving two African MDBs demonstrated Moody’s commitment to the expanding African market.
On May 15, Moody’s Investors Service assigned a first-time foreign and local currency issuer foreign and local currency issuer rating to the West African Development Bank (BOAD) (Baa1 Stable). This followed Moody’s announcement in April that it had completed its rating on the first international bond issued by the Africa Finance Corporation (AFC) (A3 Stable).
“These two high-profile ratings underscore Moody’s commitment to the African market,” said Mr Korwin. “With sustained investor interest in Africa, Moody’s is strengthening its presence throughout the region. There is significant demand for our ratings and views in Africa and we are committed to the continuing development of its capital markets.”
Moody’s has a dominant presence across Africa, rating 20 sovereigns, eight multilateral development banks, more than 30 financial institutions and 30 corporates. The rating agency has recently expanded its team focused on Africa’s government, banking and corporate debt issuers.
The recent and prospective entry of several African sovereigns, financial institutions and large corporations into international debt capital markets has led to increased demand from investors for timely information regarding sovereign creditworthiness, banking system strength and the corporate operating environment.
International investor appetite for Africa-focused investments was apparent in the strong demand for the AFC bond. The development bank said the final order book was more than six times oversubscribed and attracted institutional investors from Asia, Europe and the United States.
Established in 2007, the AFC has a mandate to foster African countries’ economic growth and development while delivering a competitive return to investors. It participates in financing critical infrastructure needs in Africa, an area of substantial demand.
The West African Development Bank was created in 1973 as a development finance institution that operates in conjunction with the Central Bank of the West African States. Its goals include the promotion of balanced development and economic integration of the members of the West Africa Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU).
“Multilateral development banks play an important role in providing funding for projects across Africa and we hope our latest ratings continue to pave the way for further issuance in this sector,” Mr Korwin added.
With a crucial role at the heart of global capital markets, Moody’s credit ratings and research help investors in Africa and around the world to analyse the credit risks associated with fixed-income securities. Moody’s independent, impartial and forward-looking expertise is particularly relevant in parts of Africa where opportunities and risks can be finely balanced. For example, Moody’s recently published research comparing the capital adequacy, liquidity and member support of four African multilateral development banks (see the link at the end of this press release).
“Africa is at a key stage of development and there is strong demand for funding from both the domestic debt markets and the international capital markets,” said David Aldrich, Associate Managing Director, MIS Commercial Group. “Africa needs robust infrastructure investment to help it to achieve its long-term growth potential.”
• Moody’s: Four African Multilateral Development Banks: A Peer Comparison Focused on Capital Adequacy, Liquidity and Member Support. Moody’s subscribers can access this report at http://www.moodys.com/viewresearchdoc.aspx?docid=PBC_179324
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