FCMB secures $20m loan from Citibank
First City Monument Bank Plc, FCMB has signed a N3.16 billion (USD$ 20 million) three-year term loan from Citigroup Global Markets Limited, aimed at helping the bank boost its lending to Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in the country.
The loan, according to a statement by Ogochukwu Sylvia Ekezie Vice President, Public Affairs Officer, Nigeria & Ghana, is supported through a partial guarantee from the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) and will be channeled towards lending to already identified Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) customers of the bank.
She explained that this is a pioneering OPIC SME Loan Guaranty Facility in Nigeria and will provide significant employment opportunities within the SME sector of the economy,
She said, “Overseas Private Investments Corporation (OPIC) is an agency of the United States Government that mobilizes private capital to help solve critical developmental challenges and catalyze revenues, jobs and growth opportunities in emerging markets. OPIC achieves its mission by providing financing and political risk insurance.
“Citibank acted as the Sole Arranger and Facility Agent on the deal.” Speaking at the signing ceremony, Mr. Ladi Balogun, Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, FCMB said, “This transaction is an innovative collaboration between Citi and FCMB. By implication of the size of the loan, we will be deploying it towards the SME segment of our customer base.
“Most importantly, this is an indication of the growing confidence the international community has in the Nigerian financial sector following the reforms initiated by the Central Bank of Nigeria. No doubt the sector’s risk rating and the country’s sovereign rating will continue to improve to the benefit of the financial sector and the economy at large.”
Also present at the signing ceremony, Mr. Emeka Emuwa, Citibank’s outgoing Managing Director, reflected on Citi’s long standing relationship with FCMB and commended the entire team on a successful outcome.