Nigeria’s government bonds fell sharply on Monday after ratings agency Moody’s slashed the country’s credit rating deeper into junk and to the lowest level on record.
Longer-dated maturities were down the most, with the dollar-denominated 2051 Eurobond sliding more than 2.6 cents to 68.892 cents on the dollar. The Eurobond bond was issued at 100 cents on the dollar in September 2021. The bonds have struggled since last year despite rising oil prices due to the oil producer’s biting fiscal challenges.
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The renewed sell-off in the Eurobonds is on the back of a scathing credit downgrade by Moody’s to Caa1 from B3, which is on par with Pakistan and only a notch higher than ratings of Ghana and Mozambique, considered to be in debt distress.
The downgrade, which investors are now reacting to by dumping the Eurobonds, was driven by Moody’s expectations that
the government’s fiscal and debt position will keep deteriorating.
“Immediate default risk is low, assuming no sudden, unexpected events such as another shock or shift in policy direction,” Moody’s said.