First Bank’s FBN Holdings to Buy Back $300m Eurobond Debt Notes

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First Bank of Nigeria Limited, a subsidiary of FBN Holdings Plc is to exercise its option to call the $300 million 8.25 per cent subordinated notes(Eurobond) raised from the international debt markets before the due date of August 2020.

In a filing to the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) signed by the Company Secretary of FBN Holdings, Mr. Seye Kosoko, the bank said it would call and pre-pay holders of the note at the next callable date of August 7, 2018.

The bank said: “the liquidity management exercise demonstrates the strength of the bank’s foreign currency liquidity and robust capital base while further enhancing the efficiency of the balance sheet.”

Going by the bank’s 2017 full year’s financial statement, the Eurobond (notes I) bear interest rates at 8.25 per cent per annum up until the bank’s call date of 7 August 2018. From the call date up to the maturity date, the notes will bear interest at a fixed rate of 6.875 per cent per annum plus the prevailing two-year mid swap rate for the United States dollar swap transactions reported at 2.812 per cent. This implies higher interest rate on the bond for the bank post the callable date.

Commenting on the development, analysts at CSL Stockbrokers said calling back the bond two years before maturity points to the strength of the bank’s foreign currency liquidity position.

“We also expect the redemption to lower the bank’s funding cost reported at 3.3 per cent as at first quarter (Q1) 2018. This should also reduce the bank’s foreign-currency lending reported at 49 per cent of total loans in Q1 2018. On the flip side however, it suggests there is little room for profitable opportunities for USD lending and may mean loss of the spread, however marginal, that may be gained if availed for lending,” they said.

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Godwin Okafor is a Financial Journalist, Internet Social Entrepreneur and Founder of Naija247news Media Limited. He has over 16 years experience in financial journalism. His experience cuts across traditional and digital media. He started his journalism career at Business Day, Nigeria and founded Naija247news Media in 2010. Godwin holds a Bachelors degree in Industrial Relations and Personnel Management from the Lagos State University, Ojo, Lagos. He is an alumni of Lagos Business School and a Fellow of the University of Pennsylvania (Wharton Seminar for Business Journalists). Over the years, he has won a number of journalism awards. Godwin is the chairman of Emmerich Resources Limited, the publisher of Naija247news.

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