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BANKING AND FINANCE

First Bank To Redeem $300m International Capital Debt Notes

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The board of FBN Holdings Plc said First Bank of Nigeria Limited, its largest subsidiary, plans to exercise its option to call the $300 million 8.25 per cent subordinated notes raised from the international debt markets before the due date of August 2020.

A notice signed by its company secretary, Seye Kosoko, said, First Bank seeks to call and pre-pay holders of the note at the next callable date of August 7, 2018.

The statement stated that the bank took the decision as a liquidity management exercise, just as it demonstrates the strength of First Bank’s foreign currency liquidity and robust capital base, while further enhancing the efficiency of the balance sheet.

The notes are held by FBN Finance Company B.V and would exercise its option to call the $300 million notes. The bank had in August 2003, issued a $300 million Eurobond following an investor roadshow in the United Kingdom (UK) and United States (US) as it sought to tap the global capital markets for a seven-year callable subordinated instrument with a yield guidance of 8.5 per cent.

The note, which is callable after five years and is expected to be rated B by rating firm Standard and Poor’s S&P and B- by Fitch, while First Bank was currently rated at BB- by S&P; and B+ by Fitch. First Bank established a track record in the market by issuing a $175 million Tier-II Eurobond in 2007, which was recalled in 2012.

FBN Holdings financial results for first quarter, March 31, 2018 showed that gross earnings declined by 1.5 per cent to N138.9 billion. After tax profit also moderated by 8.6 per cent year-on-year to N14.8 billion. On a quarterly basis profit- after- tax surged by 658.8 per cent.




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