IFC INVESTS IN FIRST CITY MONUMENT BANK TO SUPPORT GROWTH, SME FINANCING - 29 NOVEMBER 2010
Lagos, Nigeria, November 29, 2010 — IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, today announced a $70 million investment in First City Monument Bank Plc to support the Nigerian bank’s growth strategy and help it increase financing of small and medium enterprises. IFC’s investment will consist of a long-term senior loan of $50 million and a convertible loan of $20 million.
First City Monument Bank and IFC also signed a cooperation agreement outlining areas for future partnership. They include acquisition finance of a distressed bank, co-financing on infrastructure projects, potential co-investment in an infrastructure project development investment company, and partnership in introducing new classes of assets to the pension industry.
Ladi Balogun, Group Managing Director, First City Monument Bank, said, “This partnership with IFC will help First City Monument Bank achieve our strategic growth objectives. We view IFC’s investment as a stamp-of-approval on our strategy and commitment to good corporate governance and risk management.”
Solomon Adegbie-Quaynor, IFC’s Country Manager for Nigeria, said, “IFC is committed to supporting the full recovery of Nigeria’s banking system, and our investment in First City Monument Bank reflects this strategy. IFC is particularly well positioned to support growth by well-managed banks and the expansion of their SME lending business.”
This transaction is part of IFC’s ongoing strategy to support the banking sector in Nigeria and across emerging markets in the aftermath of recent market turmoil by:
- Providing long-term financing to help well-managed banks achieve growth objectives and improving their reach to underserved segments, such as infrastructure and SMEs
- Helping partner banks improve corporate governance, risk management, and in developing robust environmental and social monitoring systems
- Supporting the recapitalization efforts of distressed banks
IFC’s investment in First City Monument Bank is expected to improve access to long-term credit, particularly among Nigerian companies focused on agribusiness and education. Both sectors are important to Nigeria’s economy, and include many small and medium-sized businesses that would benefit from increased access to finance.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in developing countries. We create opportunity for people to escape poverty and improve their lives. We do so by providing financing to help businesses employ more people and supply essential services, by mobilizing capital from others, and by delivering advisory services to ensure sustainable development. In a time of global economic uncertainty, our new investments climbed to a record $18 billion in fiscal 2010. For more information, visit www.ifc.org.
First City Monument Bank Plc (FCMB) is the parent company and flagship of a leading financial services group, known as First City Group. The group has over 33 years of operating history and is predominantly a wholesale banking group with a niche retail business. It operates through 150 branches in Nigeria, a subsidiary in the United Kingdom and a representative office in South Africa. FCMB is one of the best capitalized banks in Nigeria with excellent growth prospects and a strong pedigree.
IFC and First City Monument Bank
Encouraging Growth in Critical Sectors of the Nigerian Economy
IFC’s investment and partnership with First City Monument Bank is expected to have a favorable impact on access to long term credit in key sectors of the economy, particularly the agribusiness and education sectors.
IFC aims to achieve strong development impact through its financing of First City Monument Bank by encouraging increased lending to private businesses related to agribusiness. The agribusiness sector in Nigeria has been a key driver of economic growth, particularly during the past two years as oil prices weakened. Continued credit availability for agricultural-based businesses will help maintain the sector’s growth momentum. First City Monument Bank already has a strong presence and reach in this sector and is committing to provide additional resources to agricultural entrepreneurs and businesses with IFC’s long-term financing.
For agribusiness, the partnership is expected to lead to a range of social and economic benefits, including job creation, increased rural incomes, and better food security. Further benefits would include economic growth and higher output from the farming sector, as well as increased banking penetration in rural areas.
Nigeria’s private schools need better access to finance to expand. The sector is fragmented with numerous small enterprises that tend to suffer from chronic underfunding of capital investment and working capital. Improving access to finance is critical to enhancing the quality of private education and the ability of private education companies to grow and meet the needs of Nigeria’s rapidly growing economy and population.
The long-term loan from IFC will allow First City Monument Bank Plc to expand support to the education sector. Meanwhile IFC will deliver advisory services directly to small and medium educational institutions to build their financial and management capacity. The combination will improve the credit risk profile of local schools and other educational facilities and thus provide them with the ability to utilize increased external financing.
The IFC-First City Monument Bank partnership aims to improve the availability and quality of educational services, and help modernize and expand facilities.