Economy: FG delegation to meet bond investors in London next week

By Abimbola Fashakin, Lagos with agency reports

Indications have emerged suggesting that a delegation of the Federal Government is set to meet with bond investors in London next week in what experts consider as a move to shore up the nation’s financial base needed for financing the series of infrastructure developments in the country.

An online news agency, Bloomberg stated that the delegation which is expected to be led by the Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun forms one of the measures being considered by government to tap into the international debt markets for the first time in three years to help finance its record budget deficit.

According to Bloomberg, Adeosun is expected to lead the delegation to the meetings scheduled to hold on June 7 and that the meeting comes under the auspices of the Standard Chartered Plc.

Bloomberg added that the Director-General of the Debt Management Office, Mr. Abraham Nwankwo, one Dami Adesanya, whom it stated is an adviser at the finance ministry, and a representative of the central bank will be part of the Nigerian delegation.

The agency stated that talks will probably focus on Nigeria’s currency controls and its policy of pegging the naira against the dollar, according to Standard Life Investments Ltd., which manages around $1.3 billion of fixed-income assets in emerging markets.

“A lot of Nigeria’s problems today can be traced back to the pegged exchange rate,” Mark Baker, a money manager at Standard Life, which has recently bought Nigerian Eurobonds in anticipation of a devaluation, said by phone from London. “The current policy mix is clearly unsustainable, given what’s happened with oil prices and the impact on the fiscal position. A weaker currency is obviously needed to help boost fiscal revenues.”


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