Wednesday 9 October 2019 11:39 am

African trade finance group Afreximbank eyes London listing

The African Export-Import Bank, is considering an initial public offering (IPO) of global depositary receipts on the London Stock Exchange (LSE), in what could be a rare boost for the UK’s stock market.

The bank, which is also known as Afreximbank, said it was weighing a listing on London’s main exchange. It is already listed on the Stock Exchange of Mauritius.

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Founded in 1993 by a group of African governments and investors, Afreximbank was created to “to facilitate, promote and expand intra- and extra- African trade”. It says it has provided over $69bn of trade financing across 51 countries since its creation.

“Afreximbank is very much at the epicentre of Africa’s trade, which is expected to grow rapidly,” said president Benedict Oramah said.

“We are in a key position to leverage our existing relationships with the African Union and its 55 member countries to provide a platform for trade and investment flows across the continent,” he added.

The bank has engaged JP Morgan and HSBC to act as joint global coordinators and bookrunners for the potential listing.

The possible floatation is a rare bit of good news for London’s IPO market, which has struggled with a sharp drop in new listings amid ongoing political uncertainty in the UK.

There were just 24 IPOs on the LSE by the end of September this year, a 55 per cent drop compared to the same period in 2018, according to research by EY.

The third quarter of 2019 was the quietest quarter in a decade for UK IPOs, with just four listings taking place between July and September.

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Kazakh fintech group postponed its planned London IPO earlier this week, ciring “unfavourable market conditions”.

The float, which had been valued at $5bn (£4bn) was set to be the largest by a Central Asian company on the LSE since the 2008 financial crash.