Diamond Bank to raise $550m to finance oil & gas, others

LAGOS – Diamond Bank says it plans to raise $550 million in debt or equity to expand its lending operations this year.

The bank’s chief financial officer, Abdulrahman Yinusa told Biztellers at  Africa Investment Summit held in Lagos, that the funds would be used to increase lending to the oil and gas, power and infrastructure sectors in Africa’s second-biggest economy.

Diamond BankHe said the bank expected a 20% increase in its loan book this year, from 500-billion naira ($3.17 billion), after last year’s 40% increase, largely reflecting a recovery from write-downs of bad loans.

The debt was part of $750 million needed for operations, of which $200 million had already been raised last year, he said.

“The balance of $550 million is what we will raise this year,” Mr Yinusa said. The bank would seek to close the gap while pricing was favourable. It had not yet decided whether to issue debt or equity, but Diamond Bank would seek a shareholder vote on the plans this month, he said.

“We need to be able to do either equity or debt,” he said, and part of it could be a Eurobond.

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