First Bank of Nigeria Limited has issued a $450 million tier-2 Eurobond increasing the amount of funds raised by Nigerian banks from the Eurobond market this year to $1.55 billion.
Nigerian banks; Zenith ($500 million), Diamond ($200 million) and Access ($400 million), had raised a total of $1.1 billion from the dollar-denominated debt market in the first half of the year.
The debt instrument, which has a seven-year tenure and call option after five years, is expected to continue to extend the tenure of First Bank’s dollar funding profile and support the bank’s continued lending to the corporate sector. It will also raise the bank’s capital base.
First Bank issued a similar $300 million Eurobond in 2013.
Analysts say that with the increase in both foreign direct investments and portfolio flows, banks are tapping Eurobonds to bolster their capital bases and also to finance big-ticket deals in the oil and gas and the newly privatised power sector.
The MD/CEO of Citibank Nigeria, Mr Omar Hafeez told Thisday Newspaper that the security challenge in the north-eastern part of Nigeria has not deterred foreign investors from buying debt instruments issued by Nigerian banks.
“The investment community is very well informed. Nigeria is a loan market and financial investors have been tapping into treasury bills and bonds for a very long time,” the paper quotes Hafeez is quoted as saying. (VENTURES AFRICA)