Islamic Finance

Nigeria wealth fund to sell sukuk for roads in 2021

Published 11 May,2021 via Bloomberg Markets - The Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority plans to raise equity capital and sell sukuk bonds this year to fund technology and roads infrastructure in Africa’s biggest economy.

The NSIA, one of Africa’s biggest sovereign wealth funds plans to inject $50 million equity into an innovation fund that develops technology infrastructure as well as sell sukuk to fund road projects, Uche Orji, chief executive officer, said in an online conference on Tuesday. It will seek co-investors to complement its planned equity injection in the innovation fund while the size of offering of Islamic finance assets “won’t be small,” Orji said, without mentioning the amount.

The wealth fund’s assets under management Jumped 51% in 2020 to 981.9 billion naira ($2.4 billion) following a surge in earnings and additional capital contribution of $250 million from the government, last year. Its profit increased more than five folds to 160 billion naira from 36 billion naira owing to “strong performance” from investments in international capital markets, improved contribution from subsidiaries and foreign exchange gains, according to the fund head.

The Abuja-based money manager plans to allocate more of its Future Generations Fund to venture capital, global equity markets and stocks in Europe where its exposure has been relatively low, the CEO said. “We believe the general opening of the market will be positive for Europe.”

There are also opportunities in data centers, data networking, software, pharmaceutical and manufacturing industries in Nigeria, the chief executive said.The capital market is unlikely to repeat its performance in 2020 though it is still going to be a “strong year,” the chief executive said.

(Updates throughout with chief executive’s comments)

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Emele Onu