November 14, 2012 / 2:15 PM / 5 years ago

Nigeria appoints Stanbic as government bond broker

* Stanbic will facilitate trading over the bourse

* Retail investors to participate in bond market

LAGOS, Nov 14 (Reuters) - Nigeria has appointed a local unit of South Africa’s Standard Bank as stockbroker for its debt, in a move aimed at expanding participation in government bond issues to retail investors on the bourse, the debt office said on Wednesday.

Africa’s second-biggest economy issues tens of billions of naira (hundreds of millions of dollars) in sovereign bonds each month to support the local bond market, create a benchmark for corporate issuance and fund its budget deficit.

“We are expanding into the retail market ... for the bonds and we need a reputable stock broking firm to assist in secondary marketing,” one official at the Debt Management Office (DMO) told Reuters.

Stanbic would help facilitate the listing of bonds as soon as they are issued, provide competitive pricing and make a market for retail clients to get involved, he said.

Although they are listed, Nigeria’s bonds are currently traded by local banks over the counter and mainly sold to pension funds and foreign portfolio investors. Adding retail clients would help boost liquidity, the DMO official said.

The inclusion of Nigeria’s local debt in the JP Morgan Bond Index-Emerging Markets (GBI-EM) and a proposal by Barclays last week to list them in its index have attracted a flurry of offshore and local interest in the local debt market.

The DMO said last month Nigeria plans to raise between 160 billion naira ($1 billion) and 240 billion naira via sovereign bonds ranging between 5 and 10 years in the fourth quarter of the year.

$1 = 157.8750 Nigerian nairas Reporting by Oludare Mayowa; Editing by Tim Cocks and Mark Potter

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