First Bank Expands to Sierra Leone

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Onasanya

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THE First Bank of Nigeria Limited has acquired a 100 percent equity in the International Commercial Bank Financial Group Holdings Ag, ICBFGH, in Sierra Leone. This means that the First bank has expanded its interest in the West Africa with the unveiling of FBNBank Sierra Leone, formerly registered as International Commercial Bank, ICB.

A statement from the bank explained that the expansion drive further consolidates First Bank’s position as the largest corporate and retail banking financial institution in sub-Saharan Africa (excluding South Africa). The bank now exist in Ghana, Guinea, Gambia, Sierra Leone and Senegal as well as presence in the UK with representative offices in Johannesburg, Abu Dhabi and Beijing.

The expansion represents First Bank’s strategic objective to maintain significant market share, expand its pan-African footprint and diversify earnings while delivering value to shareholders, it added. It stated that FBNBank Sierra Leone had been strategically positioned to foster greater collaboration and provide better service for the country’s public and private sector clients, and the general public at large.

The bank stated that it leverages its international network, business expertise, which is part of the diversified synergies of the FBN Group to offer innovative, convenient and secure banking services to its customers and better seize the emerging opportunities in the local market

Bisi Onasanya, group managing director, GMD, First Bank, said: “The launch of FBNBank Sierra Leone fulfils one of the critical stages of our ambition to steadily broaden and build a more diverse footprint across Africa. We are committed to developing a multi-local business model that broadens our geographic revenue base while providing enhanced service delivery to our new customers and equity participation to local investors.”

Also, Nelson Akande managing director, FBNBank Sierra Leone, said “Having built value for Nigeria over the last 120 years, First Bank through FBNBank Sierra Leone is poised to do even more in the Sierra Leonean financial market.  FBNBank Sierra Leone will provide customers with a bouquet of banking solutions that make their financial lives more convenient and stress-free whilst providing a delightful service experience. Given our heritage and market leadership at FBNBank, we are committed to co-creation; to listen and input feedback received from our customers in the development of products and services that are relevant.”

Stanbic IBTC Gets Credit from European Banks

STANBIC IBTC Bank has secured a line of credit facility from European banks to boost its loan portfolio to the small and medium enterprises, SME. “Stanbic IBTC Bank has concluded a $90m line of credit facility from the FMO. The purpose of the facility, consummated recently, is for the bank to on-lend to small and medium-sized companies for the financing of projects in the infrastructure sector, which include agriculture, oil and gas, power, ports and telecom companies within Nigeria. The facility will run for a term of five years. The facility was provided to Stanbic IBTC Bank by the FMO along with European Financing Partners and the DEG – Deutsche Investitions- und Entwicklungsge-sellschaftmbH),” a statement from the bank said.

The statement quoted Yinka Sanni, chief executive officer, Stanbic IBTC Bank, as saying that the commitment of the lenders showed the confidence they had in the bank. He also emphasised that the facility would enable the bank to continue its SME-sector growth efforts and move the economy forward.

Linda Broekhuizen, FMO chief investment officer, was also quoted as saying, “This second facility to Stanbic IBTC Bank is further testimony to the long and good relationship between the Standard Bank Group and FMO. This syndicated loan facility will assist Stanbic IBTC Bank in expanding its leading role in financing of infrastructure development and providing long term funding to small and medium-sized companies, contributing to job creation in Nigeria.”

According to the lender, the primary lender, FMO, is a Dutch development bank established in 1970 by the Dutch government, commercial banks, the national employers’ association, labour unions, and private investors, in order to facilitate investments in private sector projects within developing countries and emerging markets.

The FMO is present as a development finance partner in over 80 developing countries and emerging markets around the world. The company’s mandate is to provide long term capital for projects in these countries. This is aimed at maximising development impact with a methodology designed to ensure that the FMO’s return on investment is not just financial but also has positive environmental and social effects.

The secondary lender, DEG, is a subsidiary of KfW and one of the largest European development finance institutions. For more than 50 years, DEG has been financing and structuring the investments of private companies in developing and emerging market countries. DEG invests in profitable projects that contribute to sustainable development in all sectors of the economy, from agribusiness to infrastructure and manufacturing to services.

The financial sector is a further focus in order to facilitate reliable access to investment capital locally. DEG’s aim is to establish and expand private enterprise structures in developing and emerging countries, and thus creating the basis for sustainable economic growth and a lasting improvement in the living conditions of the local population.

— Apr. 27, 2015 @ 01:00 GMT

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