Sterling Bank Raising Funds Amid Drive to Boost Loans

Sterling Bank Plc, which acquired a bailed-out Nigerian lender in 2011, plans to raise $120 million by the end of June as it targets a 25 percent increase in lending this year.
The bank will conclude the private placement this quarter, Chief Executive Officer Yemi Adeola told investors today in Lagos, Nigeria’s commercial capital. It also plans to issue $200 million of “multi-currency subordinated debt” in the second half of this year, he said.
“Growth will be driven by increased exposure to sectors such as agriculture, real estate, construction and power,” Adeola said.
Sterling Bank is joining other Nigerian lenders in raising funds to add new branches and boost credit to the energy industry in Africa’s top oil producer. Sterling Bank acquired Equitorial Trust Bank Plc, one of eight lenders bailed out by the central bank during a debt crisis in 2009.
Sterling Bank expects deposits to grow by 29 percent this year while return on equity climbs by 20 percent, Adeola said.
The bank last month reported an 18 percent increase in profit to 8.27 billion naira ($504 million) last year.
Source: Bloomberg

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