UPDATE 1-Foreign investors bought less Nigeria bonds last year -debt office

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By Chijioke Ohuocha

LAGOS, Jan 16 (Reuters) – Foreign investors cut their participation in Nigerian government bond auctions last year, buying just 4.39% of all bonds issued compared with the previous year when they bought 10.99%, a debt office presentation showed.

The debt office said local fund managers bought most of the bonds in 2019, accounting for more than a third of total demand.

In 2017, foreigners bought 11.7% of Nigerian government bonds, the debt office said in a presentation to traders.

Foreign investors reduced their participation in Nigerian government bond auctions last year after yields fell and an oil prices drop reignited fears that the currency could come under pressure.

Yields have fallen from as high as 15% to around 11% for the benchmark 10-year bond.

The debt office said a total of 3.26 trillion naira worth of local debt would mature this year while it planned to issue a total of 3.58 trillion naira in debt.

It will introduce a 15-year maturity for the first time and sell a new 30-year bond, after it introduced the tenor last year, to attract long-term investors and extend the maturity profile of its debt.

Nigeria would tap external borrowing of 850 billion naira as part of plans to fund its 2020 budget, but the debt office did not mention whether it would return to the Eurobond market this year. (Reporting by Chijioke Ohuocha; editing by Jonathan Oatis)

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