Fidelity Bank Plc, has concluded plans to issue up to N50 billion ($131.3 million) in local bonds by the fourth quarter of 2020, in order to refinance existing debts as the yields drop.

The new issue will be made to redeem the existing N30 billion bond which was issued at 16.48%.

This was disclosed by the Chief Operations and Information Officer, Gbolahan Joshua, during an analyst call on Tuesday, September 8, 2020.

The crash of crude oil price globally, which was triggered by the novel coronavirus pandemic, has led to a decline in bond yields on the local debt market. This has made foreign investors to dump their local assets, leaving excess liquidity in the money market. This has also put a lot of pressure on the foreign exchange market as they look for dollars to repatriate their funds.

The Fidelity Bank top executive disclosed that the new issue will be made to redeem the existing N30 billion bond which was issued at 16.48%.

The global economic situation has seen yields in the debt market drop from as high as 18% about 3 years ago to less than 5% for the one-year treasury bill.

Fidelity Bank had revealed that it expected to see a 15% drop in profit this year when compared to 2019 result due to the coronavirus pandemic. Its profit after tax increased by 21.9% to N12 billion for the half-year 2020.

The second-tier bank also disclosed that its income declined in the second quarter due to a downward review of lending rates on loans as a result of the economic downturn.

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