Nigeria: N30 Billion bond sale to boost SME lending
Fidelity Bank's N30 Billion bonds are now listed on the stock market.Some N30 billion in naira (€136.6 million) of denominated bonds issued by Fidelity Bank Plc in May 2015 have now been admitted on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), meaning that they can be traded on the secondary market.
Chairman of the bank Christopher Ezeh told Vanguard that the bonds' proceeds would be placed in a fund destined to finance the business growth of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMES) and retail infrastructure.
The Managing Director of Planet Capital Limited, lead issuing house to the offer, Tony Anonyai, added: "We cannot down play the importance of SMEs to economic growth and entrepreneurs should take advantage of this fund."
He added that many small businesses face difficulties to access finance in Nigeria and the sum will significantly contribute to improving the situation.
SMEs are increasingly being targeted by Nigerian banks. Ecobank and First City Monument Bank (FCMB) have both launched new initiatives this year to attract and contribute to developing small businesses in the country.
Ecobank unveiled the SME Club, which offers preferential business support, products and services to SME customers across the country, while FCMB unveiled an empowerment programme dedicated to SMEs in a bid to enhance their financial, marketing and management skills.