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Nigeria bonds fall ahead of S&P credit rating review

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Nigeria’s dollar-denominated government bonds fell on Friday ahead of a review of its credit rating by S&P Global, after the West African oil producer was downgraded by another ratings agency, Moody’s, a week earlier.

Nigeria’s bonds dropped as much as 2.659 cents in the dollar, with the 2038 maturity falling the most, down to 69.189 cents, according to Tradeweb data.

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The bonds had fallen for two days in a row thanks to a combination of global risk-off sentiment and Moody’s downgrade, with the 2038 maturity’s price falling as low as 68.528 cents. It then recovered to as high as 73.375 cents before Friday’s drop.

Nigeria’s finance minister Zainab Ahmed said on Thursday she disagreed with what she said was a “surprise” downgrade by Moody’s, saying that the government was addressing the agency’s concerns, which included a deteriorating fiscal and debt position.

She said she expected S&P’s rating review would be more positive, adding, “S&P’s assessment is not the same as Moody’s. They have come out with a much better assessment.”

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