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Banks

UPDATE 1-Citi sees significant demand for Nigeria eurobond

(Adds quote on pricing)

LAGOS, Dec 8 (Reuters) - Citigroup C.N expects to see strong demand for Nigeria's $500 million debut eurobond despite volatility in global capital markets, Chief Executive Vikram Pandit said on Wednesday.

“We believe that there will be significant demand for a bond offering from Nigeria and it is evidenced by demand from not only from investors ... in developed markets but also emerging markets,” Pandit said in a roundtable interview with reporters in Nigeria’s commercial capital.

Citi is the lead book-runner for the 10-year bond, which aims to establish a benchmark for Nigeria in the global market and allow local companies to follow suit, enabling them to raise long-term funding more cheaply than at home.

Pandit declined to comment on the timing of the issue.

Banking sources have said Nigeria plans a roadshow to the U.S. next week and may talk to some European investors directly in a bid to complete the deal before the end of the year, though the timing will depend on market conditions. [ID:nLDE6B61KF]

"It will be a question of how you price the bond so that it is not only priced to create the right benchmark at the tightest price but also trades well in the after-market," Pandit said. (For more Reuters Africa coverage and to have your say on the top issues, visit: af.reuters.com/ ) (Reporting by Nick Tattersall; Editing by Chijioke Ohuocha)

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