West African central bank cancels Niger $51m bond issuance

A planned 30 billion CFA franc ($51m) bond issuance by Niger scheduled for Monday in the West African regional debt market has been cancelled by the Central Bank of West African States (BCEAO) following a coup, market sources said.

At an emergency summit in Nigeria, the 15-nation Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) regional bloc demanded on Sunday that Niger’s President Mohamed Bazoum, who was ousted from power last week, be reinstated within a week.

The bloc imposed sanctions on Niger including the halt of all financial transactions and a national assets freeze to try to force the coup plotters to restore constitutional order.

Niger, which is one of the world’s poorest countries and largely depends on external aid and financing, was expected to issue two other bonds in the regional market on August 7 and August 17, according to an issuance calendar of the regional debt management agency.

France, Niger’s former colonial ruler, has condemned the coup. The European Union has suspended security cooperation and financial aid to Niger following Bazoum’s removal, while the United States has warned that its aid could also be at stake.

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