**Finally Redeems $300m Eurobond
By Dipo Olowookere
The seven-year $300 million Eurobond issued by First Bank in 2013 at 8.25 percent due to be repaid in 2020 has been redeemed by the financial institution.
Business Post reports that last month, the bank had announced its intention to repay the debt before maturity.
But on Tuesday, the lender disclosed that it had made the payment after obtaining necessary approvals.
At the moment, the bank said it had paid all bondholders.
First Bank said it has no plan to issue another Eurobond in the near term, because it had ample liquidity to meet its foreign and local currency funding needs.
Reuters reports that news of the redemption came after the stock market close yesterday and shares of FBN Holdings Plc, the lender’s parent firm, appreciated by 5 kobo or 0.51 percent to settle at N9.95k per share.
According to First Bank, the redemption of the $300 million Eurobond had no impact on its capital ratios and that it had built up dollar liquidity over the past year.
Nigerian banks cut lending last year due to weak economic growth and foreign currency risk. However, several of them are eyeing loan growth this year, citing economic improvements and especially as the central bank introduces liquidity to the banking sector targeting credit to manufacturers.
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