|08ABUJA359||2008-02-26 14:51:00||UNCLASSIFIED||Embassy Abuja|
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UNCLAS ABUJA 000359
1. The required capital to operate businesses and implement
development programs that will create jobs and improve the
livelihoods of the citizens is in short supply in Africa. Some
African countries, Nigeria inclusive, are implementing economic
reforms in order to achieve higher growth rates and attract much
needed foreign capital. While Nigerian banks are flush due to
recent over-subscribed capitalizations, the cost of capital is
disproportionately high. If this OPIC fund could come in and
provide a vehicle to absorb some low risk corporate paper, that
could perhaps strengthen Nigeria's desire to develop capital markets
and put some downward pressure on interest rates. Also, public
financing at the sub-national level (states and municipalities)
could benefit if the fund would get into those areas.
2. The Standard Bank Group has worldwide financial services
experience, and in the Nigeria context provides cutting edge
financial products to its customers. The Standard Bank Group
recently acquired IBTC-Chartered Bank of Nigeria, the foremost
investment bank in Nigeria.
3. Embassy Abuja encourages OPIC's support of the USD 300 million
Africa Debt Fund, providing all the right groundwork is done.