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Fidelity Bank raises N30bn to boost lending to SME

By Babajide Komolafe

Fidelity Bank Plc has commenced measures to raise N30 billion for the purpose of increasing lending to small and medium enterprises (SMEs). This week the bank will offer to the investing public a N30 billion, seven years bond at interest rate of 16.48 percent. The application for the bond,    which would mature in 2022, will open and close on Thursday May 13th 2015.

Fidelity-shotSpeaking at the completion board meeting for the bond offer, Chairman of Fidelity Bank, Chief Christopher Ezeh said that the purpose of the bond is to fund the long term and financial activities of the bank, especially in the Small and Medium  (SME) sector of the economy.  He added that the bond is fully and firmly underwritten, and it qualifies for investment by pension assets.

The prospectus for the bond  show that 80 percent of the net proceeds of the offer, which amounts to N23 billion would devoted to SME lending, while 15 percent or N4.3 billion would be devoted to retail lending. The balance of five (5) percent which amounts to N1.43 billion would be devoted to enhancing the retail infrastructure.

Eze said that in terms of SME lending, the bank would provide loans to the SMEs in manufacturing, educational institutions, agriculture, health and general commerce. The N4.3 billion devoted to retail lending would be use to provide loans to retails and individual customers in the form of automobile loans, home loans, cash advance loans and general loans.

He said that the N1.43 billion devoted to retail infrastructure would be used to purchase retail lending infrastructure technology. The retail lending infrastructure technology are processing platforms that will be used for loan application, loan scoring, loan approval, loan monitoring, loan collections, and consumer analytics.

Fidelity Bank Plc recorded 72 percent increase in its profit before tax for the year ending December 31st 2014.   The financial statement showed that the bank recorded 21 percent increase in Interest income to N104.3bn from N86.3bn in 2013, while Operating Income increased by 15 percent to N72.6 billion from N63.3 billion in 2013.   Total expenses increased by five percent to N57.1 billion  from N54.3 billion, while Profit after Tax increased by 79 percent to N13.8 billion from N7.7 billion in 2013.

During the year, Customer Deposits increased by two percent  to N820.0 billion  from N806.3 billion  while  Net Loans and Advances increased by 27 percent  to N541.7 billion  from N426.1 billion.  The Bank’s   Total Equity increased by six percent  to N173.1 billion  from N163.5 billion  while    Total Assets increased by 10 percent  to N1.187 trillion from N1.081 trillion in 2013.



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