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Afreximbank to raise at least $250M in London listing

African Export-Import Bank confirmed plans to list its shares on the London Stock Exchange, aiming to raise at least $250 million by offering shares in the form of global depositary receipts, or GDRs.

The Egypt-based supranational lender said Oct. 16 that the offering would also include a brownshoe option of up to 15% of the base deal size. The to-be-issued GDRs would represent Class D ordinary shares of the bank, the final price for which will be determined following a book-build process. The admission of the shares to the LSE's standard listing segment is expected in November.

Afreximbank added that it would allow exchangeability between the GDRs traded in London, following admission, and the depositary receipts currently listed in Mauritius, effectively increasing its free float. It will also agree to a 180-day lockup, during which it will not sell any shares or GDRs, without consent from the global coordinators on the offering.

J.P. Morgan Securities PLC and HSBC Bank PLC serve as joint global coordinators and joint book runners on the offering, with Exotix Partners LLP acting as co-lead manager and Afreximbank Advisory & Capital Market Department as financial adviser.

The bank noted that the proceeds from the IPO would be used to ramp up trade finance growth in the continent and improve its capital to allow further expansion of its lending activities, among other things. Some 15% of the proceeds would be used for price stabilization activities, if needed.

"Afreximbank is well placed to [capitalize] on the opening up of trade across the continent," Benedict Oramah, the bank's president, said.