Rating agency, FITCH, has assigned the final rating of ‘B+’ to Nigeria’s debt notes, consisting of N1.5 billion 6.5 percent senior unsecured notes due November 28, 2027 and N1.5 billion 7.625 percent senior unsecured notes due November 28, 2047.
According to the agency, the final rating replaces the expected rating of ‘B+(EXP)’ that it assigned on the November 15, 2017. On August 31, 2017, the agency affirmed the country’s Long-Term Foreign-Currency Issuer Default Rating (IDR) at ‘B+’ with a Negative Outlook. The Long-Term Local-Currency IDR was ‘B+’, also with a Negative Outlook. The agency said the rating is sensitive to any changes in Nigeria’s Long-Term Foreign-Currency IDR. Explaining the bases for its rating, the agency stated: “Fitch relies on factual information it receives from issuers and underwriters and from other sources Fitch believes to be credible. Fitch conducts a reasonable investigation of the factual information relied upon by it in accordance with its ratings methodology, and obtains reasonable verification of that information from independent sources, to the extent such sources are available for a given security or in a given jurisdiction.
“The manner of Fitch’s factual investigation and the scope of the third-party verification it obtains will vary depending on the nature of the rated security and its issuer, the requirements and practices in the jurisdiction in which the rated security is offered and sold and/or the issuer is located, the availability and nature of relevant public information, access to the management of the issuer and its advisers, the availability of pre-existing third-party verifications such as audit reports, agreed-upon procedures letters, appraisals, actuarial reports, engineering reports, legal opinions and other reports provided by third parties, the availability of independent and competent third- party verification sources with respect to the particular security or in the particular jurisdiction of the issuer, and a variety of other factors.”