Fortis Micro-finance Bank Plc has listed additional ordinary shares of 657 million units on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE).
The shares arose from the conclusion of a Special Placing exercise following Equator Capital's investment in the Bank. The Special Placement of exactly 656,666,668 Ordinary Shares of 50 Kobo each were pegged at N1.50 per share. Equator Capital partners LLC is a fund management company dedicated to improving lives in lasting ways by investing in private sector financial enterprises in emerging markets. It manages the ShoreCap family of funds, which specialises in investing in inclusive financial services entities in developing and transitional economies.
Chairman of Fortis Micro Finance Bank Mr. Felix Achibiri during the NSE closing gong ceremony held in Lagos on Wednesday, noted that the investment is a huge vote of confidence in the vision of the Bank to be the dominant microfinance bank in Nigeria by reaching out to more under-served communities across the country, especially on the back of the Bank’s recently acquired National Microfinance Bank License.
“In the last eight years, Fortis has majorly funded its growth from seed capital, customers savings and retained earnings, and in doing so, have built one of the fastest growing microfinance institutions in Nigeria.”
He mentioned that the investment is expected to bring a renewed sense of purpose and additional resources to deliver varied products and services to our esteemed customers and improved value to all stakeholders.
Achibiri also said the Bank is looking at sourcing for fund through the capital market in the fourth quarter of the year.
He added that Central bank of Nigeria (CBN) has granted National Banking Licence to the Bank, also saying, Fortis recently became second micro-finance Bank Africa and first in West Africa.
Speaking also, managing director of the Bank, Mr. Tiko Okoye said that every sector of the economy is faced with harsh operating environment but the micro-finance banks are at relative advantages over the other financial institution.
According to him, these are institutions that deal with people at the base of the pyramid and are not affected by changes at the foreign exchange rate. They are concern with the essential commodity of living, foods. In that sense Micro-finance sub-sector is relative more stable than the other sector.
Commenting on the Company's performance for 2016, he said, “We have been growing number with consistency increase in loan portfolio recovery, increase in the balance sheet size, and increase in all operational indices as we look forward to a year of adding values to the shareholders.”
For the fist quarter of 2016, Fortis MFB increased Net assets by 21.9 percent to N2.8 billion from N2.3 billion. The bank also grew revenue for the period by 17.9 percent to N667.8 million from N566.4 million posted in 2015.
The microfinance bank's Profit Before Tax for Q1 however fell 55.3 percent to N102.7 million from N229.9 million, while Profit After Tax dropped 55.3 percent to N71.9 million from N160.9 million recorded for Q1 2015, driving earnings per share 60 percent lower to 4 kobo from 10 kobo per share posted in 2015.