African Bank Bonds Crushed Signal Finance Options Fading

Bond investors in African Bank Investments Ltd., who sent prices down by more than 50 percent this week, are joining shareholders in signaling the South African provider of unsecured loans is running out of options, Bloomberg News reported today. The price on African Bank’s $350 million of bonds due February 2017 slumped to 45 percent of face value yesterday, from 99 on Aug. 1, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. That drove the yield to 47.49 percent, surging more than 29 percentage points the past two days. The extra yield investors demand to hold the bonds rather than equivalent U.S. Treasuries widened by 25 percentage points in the period. With the stock sinking 93 percent since Abil, as it’s known, said two days ago it needs to raise as much as 8.5 billion rand ($792 million) to survive, investors including Piet Viljoen at Regarding Capital Management said that the lender will struggle to raise the cash, more than eight times its market value. Abil’s second-biggest shareholder said yesterday that it won’t pour good money after bad unless there’s “a better plan.” Read more.