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Fidelity Bank to tap Irish Stock Exchange for $500m unsecured note issuance

Fidelity Bank, one of Nigeria’s notable commercial lenders, has announced its plans to raise $500 million from the international debt capital market through an unsecured notes issuance.

With the backing of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Fidelity Banks aims to list the notes on the Irish Stock Exchange, an international debt capital market where companies and governments can raise funding through the trade of debts, securities, corporate and government bonds.

According to a notice to the investing public as published by the Nigeria Exchange Group (NGX) on Monday, Fidelity Bank said it will be issuing the debt with no collateral but with high-interest rates.

The purpose of the notes’ issuance, according to the lender, is “for general corporate purposes including supporting its trade finance business.”

Fidelity Bank announced via the NGX website that plans to commence meetings with investors regarding the transaction are in motion.

The last step in issuing the note in a release signed by the company’s secretary, Ezinwa Unuigboje is subject to finalising necessary transaction documentation and the existing market conditions.

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The announcement by Fidelity Bank is coming less than a month after Access Bank, the country’s biggest lender by asset tapped the international debt capital market for funds.

A BusinessDay poll of analysts had revealed that the successful issuance of a $1 billion Eurobond by Access Bank will pave way for other banks to approach the market ahead of the November 2021 effective date for banks to commence the implementation of Basel III guidelines.

While there are other ways the banks can raise capital such as equity financing, investment and securities, the success record of the Access Bank Eurobond issuance shows that other lenders may go that route, analysts said.

Fidelity Bank’s debt issuance will be instrumental in helping the lender scale its drive to assist many small businesses in Africa’s largest economy.

The lender has organized 11 Export Management Programs in a bid to promote and provide support for entrepreneurs in the non-oil export sectors in the country.

Fidelity Bank said it recently collaborated with Lagos Business School and the Nigeria Export Promotion Council to train entrepreneurs on the exportation of non-oil products through its Export Management Programme.

The bank said in a statement that the programme was facilitated by the staff of the LBS and NEPC as well as experts in financial management and exports.

The Managing Director of Fidelity Bank, Nneka Onyeali-Ikpe, said the bank was committed to helping diversify the Nigerian economy and increase its export earnings.

“One of the ways we are doing this is through the Export Management Programme, which provides participants with the knowledge needed to navigate both the international non-oil export market and the larger export market,” she said.

As a testament to its determination to support Small and Medium-scale Enterprises (SME) to scale and run profitable ventures, Fidelity Bank Plc was recently presented the 2020 Development Bank of Nigeria (DBN) service award for the highest disbursement to DBN-focused locations.

With over 6 million customers, the Bank has in recent times, won several awards such as the Best SME Friendly Bank, Best in Mobile Banking and the Most Improved Corporate/Investment Bank among several industry awards and recognitions.

The bank was also ranked the 4th Best Bank in the Retail Banking Segment in the 2017 Banking Industry Satisfaction Survey conducted by KPMG.

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