Fidelity Bank Plc. on Friday listed N30 billion bonds on FMDQ OTC to boost Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) financing.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that N30 billion 7-year unsecured bonds due in 2022 at 16.48 per cent would also act as tier 11 capital for the bank.

The bank’s Managing Director, Mr Nnamdi Okonkwo, said at the listing that the bond issuance and listing would enable the bank to fulfil its promise to increase SME lending to 50 per cent by 2017.

Okonkwo said that the bond would enable the bank to fund increased lending to small businesses and retail clients.

He said that the bank had earmarked 80 per cent of the bond proceeds for SMEs financing.

The managing director said that the bank was strengthening ties with established and emerging entrepreneurs to deepen the burgeoning market.

"We don’t want to be financing big SMEs with short-term finance because of strategic decision we have taken to deepen and support the sector,’’ he said.

"We recognise the strategic importance of SMEs, particularly as it relates to diversifying the nation’s monolithic economy,’’ Okonkwo added.

He said that FMDQ had empowered the Nigerian debt capital with price discovery, transparency and market integrity.

"Following our successful experiences with FMDQ, we decided to list the Fidelity Bank Bond on FMDQ platform, to be a part of the bond market revolution in Nigeria.

"By virtue of this listing, the bank is offering greater value to its esteemed shareholders and investors by improving liquidity, visibility and transparency of transactions,’’ Okonkwo said.

He added that in view of this, the bank was strengthening ties with established and emerging entrepreneurs to deepen the burgeoning market.

NAN reports that FMDQ, a securities exchange and self-regulatory organisation registered by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), is positioned to lead innovation and development in the Nigerian DCM space.

It provides a platform for listing, quoting and trading of fixed income and currency products.

Mr Bola Onadele, FMDQ Managing Director, said that the listing would deepen the nation’s capital market.

Onadele said that bonds listed and admitted on FMDQ would be traded by Fixed Income Specialists who would act as market makers to these bonds thus providing trading liquidity to the bond.

READ: Fidelity Bank recovers N8bn debt in 2014

"FMDQ provides a platform for the registration, listing, quotation and trading of bonds and other fixed income securities,’’ said Onadele.

He said that the company had empowered the Nigerian bond market with price discovery, transparency and market integrity through market development initiatives.

Onadele said that listing and quotation on FMDQ provides a host of benefits across the debt market value chain, positively impacting stakeholders in the Debt Capital Market (DCM).

"FMDQ’s value-add to DCM includes visibility and transparency to the listed/quoted debts, improved secondary market liquidity, benchmark pricing and price formation,’’ he added.

The managing director said that FMDQ had made the nation’s capital market globally competitive with continuous disclosure of relevant information on fixed income issues listed on its platform. (NAN)