LAGOS Feb 3 Nigerian mid-tier lender FCMB
has sold 5.1 billion naira ($16 million) of bonds,
less than it originally planned to raise, at an interest rate
coupon of 17.25 percent, its advisers said on Friday.
The seven-year bond was issued by way of a book-building
with Standard Chartered Bank, local investment bank
Chapel Hill Denham and FCMB Capital Markets as book runners. The
offer was fully subscribed, they said in a statement.
Several Nigerian lenders will likely raise fresh capital
this year or sell some assets to boost capital ratios, after low
oil prices created dollar shortages and weakened the naira
leading to a pile-up of non-performing loans.
Last November FCMB said it wanted to raise funds to
strengthen its capital base but it halved the amount it planned
to raise to 7.5 billion naira in debt after announcing a bond
sale of up to 15 billion naira three months earlier.
Last year the lender closed some branches and slowed loan
growth to conserve its capital, which was close to the
regulatory limit of 15 percent of assets at mid-year.
Chief Executive Ladi Balogun said then it was undertaking
the capital raising to provide an additional cushion.
Nigeria, Africa's biggest economy, has been issuing bonds at
yields below inflation, making it difficult for corporates to
raise debt, as the government increases borrowing to try to
spend its way out of the country's first recession in 25 years.
In January the government sold a five-year bond at 16.89
percent to raise 34.95 billion naira.
Annual inflation in Nigeria hit 18.55 percent in December,
its 11th straight monthly rise to a more than 11-year high.
FCMB's shares were down 3.82 percent on Friday at 1.28
naira, having gained 19 percent this year. Shares fell 35
percent in 2016.
($1 = 314.50 naira)
(Reporting by Chijioke Ohuocha and Oludare Mayowa; Editing by