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FBNQuest Merchant Bank Offers to Help SMEs Issue CPs, Bonds

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By Modupe Gbadeyanka

For Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) and corporates looking to raise funds for their day-to-day operations, commercial papers and bonds can be issued instead of obtaining a loan from commercial banks.

This is the view of FBNQuest Merchant Bank, the investment banking and asset management group of FBN Holdings Plc.

A commercial paper, also known as CP, is a money-market security issued by companies with a maturity of not more than 270 days to get capital from investors to meet short-term debt obligations.

On its part, a bond is a note issued by organisations to obtain funds from investors at a coupon rate but has longer maturity, unlike the CP. Most companies sell bonds with a tenor of three, five, seven and 10 years and even more.

Raising capital is one of the challenges small business owners face, but FBNQuest Merchant Bank is offering to assists SMEs to overcome this hurdle.

As a leading investment banking institution, FBNQuest has advised on the issuance of several commercial papers transactions for organisations such as Valency Agro Nigeria Limited, Mixta Real Estate plc, Dangote Cement plc, Nigerian Breweries plc (NB), Lafarge Africa plc, Flour Mills of Nigeria plc (FMN), Wema Bank plc, and UACN Property Development Company plc (UPDC) to mention a few.

These transactions add to the firm’s impressive portfolio of organisations it has supported and once again highlights its capabilities in the successful execution of sizeable capital market and commercial debt transactions.

At the latest edition of the Leading Conversations with FBNQuest webinar series, Mr Oluseun Olatidoye, the Head Capital Markets, FBNQuest, noted that many companies do not take advantage of Nigeria’s growing commercial paper and bond market to access stable funds that match their capital needs.

“Even though interest rates have trended higher in the first quarter of this year, there is still significant scope for many companies to access cheaper and more stable funding from investors who are seeking well-run businesses with predictable cashflows to invest in,” said Mr Olatidoye.

The webinar with the theme Funding through Commercial Papers and Bonds was hosted to engage corporates and investors on the opportunities within issuing and investing in commercial papers and bonds.

Mr Olatidoye submitted that Nigeria’s capital market has recorded a flurry of corporate commercial papers and bond issues since a sharp decline in interest rates in the third quarter of 2020.

“We think the market conditions have just cast the spotlight on a financing option that discerning companies should consider.

“We look forward to working with our clients to navigate the process of issuing CPs and bonds and therefore unlocking the efficiency and convenience that these instruments offer” stated Mr Olatidoye.

Other speakers included Sumit Jain, Senior Executive Director at Valency International, a leading food-ingredient supply chain company. He echoed the sentiment about the benefits of issuing commercial papers.

“We believe that corporates can lower the interest paid on bank debts by up to 4 percentage points by issuing commercial papers. Loans also offer other tremendous benefits in the current macroeconomic environment,” said Jain.

Modupe Gbadeyanka is a fast-rising journalist with Business Post Nigeria. Her passion for journalism is amazing. She is willing to learn more with a view to becoming one of the best pen-pushers in Nigeria. Her role models are the duo of CNN's Richard Quest and Christiane Amanpour.

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