UPDATE 1-Nigeria’s First Bank redeems $300 mln Eurobond before maturity

UPDATE 1-Nigeria's First Bank redeems $300 mln Eurobond before maturity

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LAGOS, Aug 7 (Reuters) – Nigeria’s First Bank said on Tuesday it had redeemed a $300 million Eurobond before maturity and had paid all bondholders.

The seven-year bond was issued in 2013 at 8.25 percent and had been due to be repaid in 2020.

First Bank announced its intention last month to repay the debt before maturity and said on Tuesday it had made the payment after obtaining necessary approvals.

It said the redemption 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.

First Bank said it did not plan to issue another Eurobond in the near term, because it had ample liquidity to meet its foreign and local currency funding needs.

News of the redemption came after the market close. Shares in FBN Holdings, the bank’s holding company, closed up 0.51 percent. (Reporting by Chijioke Ohuocha; Editing by Emelia Sithole-Matarise and Mark Potter)

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