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SME Fund: Fidelity Bank Disburses N80m, Eyes 10 % Deposit Growth

Fidelity Bank Plc, one of the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) supporting financial institutions disbursed N80 million to three firms recently

Sunny Obidigbo

Managing Director, Fidelity Bank Plc, Mr Nnamdi Okonkwo has said that the bank disbursed N80 million to three firms under the N220 billion Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) fund.

Okonkwo disclosed this at the occasion of the bank’s “Facts Behind the Figures,’’ held at the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) in Lagos recently.

The Fidelity Bank boss also used the occasion to announce the bank was targeting a deposit growth of 10 per cent for the financial year ending December 31, 2015 to finance SMEs in the country.

On the bank’s recent bond, Okonkwo said that the N30 billion, 16.48 per cent fixed rate subordinated unsecured bonds due in 2022 was fully subscribed.

He said that the bond which was closed on May 13, would enable the bank to be a dominant player in the small and medium enterprises sector of the economy.

Okonkwo said that the fund would be used to expand its support to the SMEs and retail segments of the market.

He explained that the fund would count as tier II capital, in line with the guidelines of Basel II of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

The Managing Director said that the bank’s Capital Adequacy Ratio (CAR) was in excess of 22 per cent higher than the 15 per cent threshold of the apex bank. He said that the offer was fully underwritten, which showed the level of confidence of investors in the bank.

Okonkwo said that the bank was committed to its four growth strategies, to ensure enhanced returns to all stakeholders.

He said that the bank in 2014 recorded a deposit growth of 1.7 per cent, the target would be visible through branch expansion and aggressive growth in its retail customer base. In anticipation, he said that the bank would open 25 branches in 2015 which would be enhanced by the use electronic channels to reach out to more customers.

He said the bank was targeting a non-performing loan (NPL) ratio of 4.0 per cent, against the 4.4 per cent achieved in 2014, on a net interest margin of seven per cent. According to him, this is in comparison with six per cent posted in 2014.

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