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Fidelity Bank to deepen bond market with N30b fresh capital


Okonkwo has been the Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director Fidelity Bank

Okonkwo has been the Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director Fidelity Bank

Fidelity Bank Plc has completed arrangement to raise N30 billion unsecured bond at 16.48 per cent fixed rate from the nation’s capital market.

The bank had after the endorsement of the shareholders for the offer at the bank’s yearly general meeting this month, received the approval of the Nigerian Stock Exchange for the offer

The bond, which is due for 2022 with issuing price of N1,000 per unit, according to the bank, is payable in full on application.

The Chairman of the bank, Christopher Ezeh explained that the offer proceeds would be used to finance business growth in the areas of retail infrastructure and Small and Medium Enterprise (SMES) lending.

Ezeh who stated this during the bank’s completion board meeting in Lagos at the weekend, added that the offer serves as Tier 11 capital, which is in line with the Basel 11 requirements.

The Managing Director of the bank, Nnamdi Okonkwo, while fielding questions to journalists, explained that about 471,000 retail customers were added to the bank last year, adding that if the right retail infrastructure was provided, it would help the bank to ‘weather the storm’ associated with uncertainties.

He pointed out that with the capital adequacy ratio of 23.2 per cent, which is already above regulatory requirement, the bank is well positioned for the emerging opportunities in the global financial space

“The offer was fully subscribed, it is a measure of confidence that investors have for Fidelity Bank. We are in a journey to deliver better, improved and newer bank and this is one of the ways to travel there.

“That confidence which investors placed in us will not be misplaced. We will justify it. It is a tough year but we believe we will get there,” he assured.

The Managing Director of Planet Capital Limited, lead issuing house to the offer, Tony Anonyai, commended that bank for enhancing their capital and meeting regulatory requirement.

He explained that the step taken by the bank has enabled it become one of the banks to take initial steps ahead of other operators towards meeting regulatory requirements.

“We cannot down play the importance of SMEs to economic growth and entrepreneur would take advantage of this fund. The major problems of this sector are funding and this would go a long way to take acre of it.

“We are confident that they would deploy resources to those who need it and the risk management frame work in the bank would mitigate all the risks associated with lending to this sector.”

He pointed out that the transition would deepen the bond market, adding that the success recorded on the offer would encourage other institutions to access the market for fund raising.

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