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FCMB Public Offer Records Fastest Turnaround

Lagos, Monday 25th February 2008; First City Monument Bank, one of Nigeria’s largest financial institutions has recorded the fastest ever completion of a public offer and GDR by a Nigerian bank. On February 6th, 2008 FCMB successfully secured approval from the SEC for the basis of allotment of its second public offer less than 3 months after the offer closed. Shareholders are now beginning to receive share certificates from their brokers.

In recent months many investors in Nigeria’s public share offers have seen long delays in the time taken to finalise their share allotment. FCMB stands out as an example of how best practice can be applied in the Nigerian capital markets and as a demonstration to the international investor community that the bank meets global standards.

Speaking about the success of the public offer FCMB MD/CEO Ladi Balogun said; “Over recent weeks the SEC has rightly started to clamp down on the delays that are threatening the credibility of Nigeria’s capital markets amongst the international investment community. We are delighted that we have succeeded in showcasing how best practice can be applied in this country”

The period of time between an investor initially investing in a public offer and the moment that he receives his share certificate will significantly influence his perceptions moving forward. Money that is held in escrow in the meantime represents an opportunity cost to the investor that issuers and regulators should aim to minimise in order to improve confidence in Nigeria’s capital markets.

Having completed the public offer in record time FCMB is now set to start the work of allocating its newly acquired capital with a view to enhancing shareholder returns while mitigating risk. As Nigeria continues to grow at record levels, FCMB looks forward to providing much needed capital in key sectors of the economy.