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IFC Supports Nigeria’s FCMB To Finance SMEs Facing COVID-19 Related Challenges

Lagos, Nigeria: International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, today announced a $50 million loan to Nigeria’s First City Monument Bank (FCMB) Limited to help it expand lending to small and medium enterprises (SMEs) so they can sustain business activities disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The loan, made through IFC’s COVID-19 fast-track financing support package, reflects IFC’s commitment to Nigeria’s private sector following the severe challenges brought by the health and economic crisis. The funds will allow FCMB to support hundreds of businesses with trade financing and working capital loans. FCMB’s Chief Executive, Adam Nuru, said, “IFC’s loan facility will allow us to keep credit flowing to SMEs as well as corporate companies across all sectors of Nigeria’s economy, including in the health, pharmaceutical, food and trading industries.” IFC’s Country Manager for Nigeria, Eme Essien Lore, said, “Supporting financial institutions like FCMB is vital to keeping smaller businesses solvent, saving jobs, and limiting economic damage in the face of a challenge as formidable as COVID-19. Although Nigeria has a strong and dynamic private sector, it needs liquidity now to ensure it remains viable during and after COVID-19.”

IFC’s $8 billion global COVID-19 fast track facility was launched in March 2020 to support existing clients through direct lending to affected companies and to financial institutions so they can continue lending to their clients and help to preserve and create jobs. With a network of 205 branches, FCMB serves more than 4.5 million customers in Nigeria. IFC’s portfolio in the country stands at $1.3 billion in sectors including manufacturing, financial services, infrastructure and technology.
About IFC: IFCa sister organization of the World Bank and member of the World Bank Groupis the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets. We work in more than 100 countries, using our capital, expertise, and influence to create markets and opportunities in developing countries. In fiscal year 2019, we invested more than US$19 billion in private companies and financial institutions in developing countries, leveraging the power of the private sector to end extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity. For more information, visit www.ifc.org.

About FCMB: FCMB is the retail and commercial banking arm of FCMB Group Plc, a financial services Group with operations in Nigeria and the United Kingdom. From its early origins as an investment bank, FCMB transitioned into a full-fledged commercial bank in 2012 and has since grown to become one of the top 10 banks in Nigeria by total assets. Through its network of 205 branches, FCMB serves more than 4.5 million customers across Nigeria.

FCMB Group set to Acquire 96 percent Stake in AIICO Pensions: Lagos: FCMB Group has notified the Nigerian Stock Exchange that its pensions arm, FCMB Pensions Limited, has entered into an agreement to acquire 96% of AIICO Pensions Limited. This appears to be part of a deliberate strategy to grow the Group’s investment management portfolio and build on the inherent synergies between this and banking. It will be recalled that FCMB Group increased its stake in Legacy Pensions (now FCMB Pensions) to 91.6 percent in 2019 and now has full control of the business. FCMB Pensions has since grown its assets under management (AUM) to N325 billion with 350,000 customers as at March 2020, while that of AIICO Pensions is estimated at N126 billion with over 240,000. A combined AUM of N451 billion and almost 600,000 customers will take the entire Group’s customer base to 8,000,000 and its total AUM (inclusive of all investment management activities) to over N560 billion. In addition, the enlarged pension business will benefit from FCMB’s extensive distribution platform, comprising of 205 branches, a strong web and mobile presence; and the recent the launch of its Pensions’ online enrolment platform.

Analysts have already seized on the announcement expressing broadly positive views of its impact for both FCMB Pensions and FCMB Group. One investment banking analyst described it as, “a positive move and a statement of intent from FCMB’s management to leverage its non-banking businesses to drive profitability”. Another analyst described this as a, “landmark transaction giving a mid-tier player a great opportunity to bulk up”, further remarking that, “we believe the combined entity will be better positioned for stronger organic AUM growth and fee income contribution to the Group’s performance”. This acquisition is one of several proactive steps, along with digitisation, that the company has embarked upon to enhance its market position and competitiveness as the industry braces itself for the commencement of Retirement Savings Account (RSA) portability. Investment funds’ performance is also receiving greater attention especially in the low interest rate environment. In this regard, FCMB Pensions has strengthened its investment committee with the addition of Mrs. Titi Odunfa Adeoye to its Board of Directors. Mrs. Adeoye is the Founder and Chief Investment Officer of Sankore. The new Director holds an MBA from Harvard Business School, a BBA in Accounting (summa cum laude) from Howard University and is a Certified Public Accountant (Gold Award). Mrs. Adeoye’s skills in investment strategy were honed at firms like Goldman Sachs in New York. Her area of expertise is strategies for the creation, growth and preservation of individual or family wealth with a focus on “alternative” asset classes.

Speaking about recent announcement, Mr Ladi Balogun, Chairman of the Board of Directors – FCMB Pensions, remarked that, “the business intends to use its scale to positive effect towards investing in the growth of the Nigerian economy, while ensuring safety and the most competitive returns for its customers”.




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