First Bank of Nigeria to Offer $500 Million Eurobond This Year
LAGOS: FBN Holdings Plc (FBNH), owner of First Bank Nigeria, plans to raise $500 million by selling a Eurobond this year after abandoning a similar offering last year.
The money “is needed to finance investments in loans and infrastructure,” Chief Executive Officer Bello Maccido said today by telephone from Lagos, the country’s commercial capital. “The bank intends to expand its investment banking and commercial business as well as insurance.”
First Bank, the West African nation’s third-largest lender by market value, suspended plans to issue the bond last year because of market conditions, Maccido said. “We believe conditions will be favorable this year,” he said today.
The lender is joining other Nigerian banks in raising funding in dollars to help finance infrastructure projects in Africa’s top oil producer. Fidelity Bank Plc (FIDELITY) sold a $300 million five-year bond on May 2. Diamond Bank Plc (DIAMONDB) is planning to raise as much as $750 million this year, it said in April, while Skye Bank Plc plans to raise $150 million next quarter.
The stock rose 0.5 percent to 19.71 naira at the close of Lagos trading. The stock has gained 25 percent this year, beating the 18 percent rise in the Nigerian SE Banking Index, which tracks the performance of Nigeria’s 10 biggest banks.