First City Monument Bank (FCMB) Limited has secured over $300 million medium and long term funding from Development Finance Institutions (DFIs) and international commercial Banks in four different transactions.
This follows an upgrade in the rating of the Bank by Global Credit Rating (GCR) to A- (that is, stable outlook).
The bank said in a statement that the $300 million secured by FCMB from the DFIs demonstrates the confidence the lenders and the international financial market have in the management capabilities of the Bank.
The statement indicates that the proceeds of the facility will be used for general lending purpose to key sectors of the Nigerian economy, branch development as well as channel enhancement.
The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group and the largest global development institution; Citibank and Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), a multilateral finance institution owned by the U.S government, provided the loan.
Other Development Finance Institutions (DFIs) include Nederlandse Financierings-Maatschappij voor Ontwikkelingslanden N.V. (FMO) – the Dutch Development Bank; Société De Promotion Et De Participation Pour La Coopération Economique S.A (PROPARCO), a subsidiary of the Agence Française de Développement (AFD), and the European Investment Bank (EIB), a multilateral finance institution owned by the European Union.
Going by the details of the loans, FCMB secured $100 million senior debt financing from the IFC for a tenor of five years, another $100 million from OPIC and Citibank for between two to five years tenor; $60 million from FMO and PROPARCO for tenor between three to five years and $32.7 million from the EIB for tenor of eight years.
Information from the Bank indicates the facility from Citibank/OPIC, IFC, FMO/PROPARCO will provide lending to telecommunications, power and infrastructure projects.
In addition, FCMB will utilize a portion of the loan from Citibank/OPIC to finance Small and Medium Scale enterprises (SMEs) and other activities that will enhance financial inclusion in Nigeria. The $32.7 million provided by EIB will be dedicated to channel expansion purposes.
FCMB had earlier this year, considered raising $300 million from the Eurobond markets, but the plan was suspended due to unfavourable market terms. It is pertinent to note that the average interest rate on the DFI facilities is about 4% below the Eurobond’s rate
According to the Group Managing Director/Chief Executive of FCMB, Mr. Ladi Balogun, “the successful fund raising exercise and the number of international institutions that participated in the provision of the facilities is a demonstration of the level of confidence which investors and the international financial market have in FCMB and the Nigerian financial market as a whole”.
He added that, “we are excited about this development as it shows that the financial institutions truly believe in the growth potential of FCMB, the excellent corporate governance structures and culture we have put in place.”
Balogun added that a large part of the facility will be used to support critical areas of the Nigerian economy, ‘’in line with our commitment to always provide veritable source of funding for the businesses of our customers, while also adding value to our shareholders.”
The FCMB GMD/CEO enthused that the future of the Bank remains bright going by its performance. “We have continued to witness improved earnings growth, a strong balance sheet and credit standing. As we look into the future, we remain committed to delivering improved financial performance and enhance shareholder value sustainably,” Balogun said.
The Bank’s rating was recently upgraded to A- by Global Credit Ratings (GCR), a reputable rating agency. According to the agency, the upgrade is as a result of, “improvement in profitability and reduction in loan and deposit concentrations of FCMB, while maintaining adequate capitalization.”
GCR added that the Bank also witnessed, “improved liquidity and asset quality, with strong liquidity indicators.” This validates the opinion of analysts that FCMB is a highly competitive and profitable organisation.