The African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) said it’s considering an initial public offering to help finance rapidly increasing trade flows on the continent.
The Cairo-based lender hired JPMorgan Securities Plc and HSBC Bank Plc as joint global coordinators and bookrunners, and Exotix Partners LLP as co-lead manager, according to a statement. The bank said the offering of global depositary receipts would trade on the main market of the London Stock Exchange.
While Afreximbank didn’t indicate a post-IPO valuation, the bank reported total equity of $2.7 billion in an investor update last month. It posted net income of $137.6 million in the first half of 2019, compared with $76 million a year earlier.
Afreximbank currently operates in 51 of Africa’s 55 countries. Since being established in 1993, it’s provided about $69 billion of trade-financing support, according to the statement. Its services include financing, underwriting and share placements aimed at supporting intra- and extra-African trade and trade development projects.
African nations signed a free-trade agreement earlier this year to create a market of 1.2 billion people with a combined gross domestic product of $2.5 trillion.
Twenty-seven countries, including South Africa, have ratified the agreement, which should be fully implemented by 2030.
Trade between African countries accounts for about 15% of the global total, compared with 20% in Latin America and 58% in Asia, according to the bank.