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MTN rakes in $1Bn in Bonds

MTN has raised $1 billion (R13.9 billion) in two dollar bonds. The group said the first such issue by Africa’s biggest wireless carrier by sales since 2014.

The news comes after ratings agency Standard & Poor’s lowered the MTN group’s credit ratings, following the downgrade of Nigeria’s sovereign rating last month.

Besides, MTN reported its first ever half-year loss last month, dragged into the red by an agreement to pay a $1 billion fine in its biggest market Nigeria for missing a deadline to cut off unregistered SIM cards.

MTN said in a statement that “Proceeds of the issue, which is due to settle Thursday next week, will be used for purposes of capital expenditure; to pay down working capital facilities; and for general corporate purposes”.

The firm, which does the bulk of its business in emerging markets, said it had successfully priced notes of $500 million maturing in February 2022 and another $500 million maturing in October 2026.

The five-year note has a coupon of 5.373% and the 10-year note 6.5%, compared to a coupon of 4.755 percent for its last 10 year issue in 2014.

The notes will be listed on the Irish Stock Exchange. The joint book-runners for the issue are Barclays, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Citi Bank and The Standard Bank of SA, the telecoms giant added.