Fitch Ratings Reviews Nigerian Banks’ Support Rating

Fitch Ratings, First Bank, seven energyFitch Ratings has revised down the Support Rating Floors (SRF) of 10 Nigerian banks to ‘no floor’ and downgraded nine banks’ Support Ratings (SR) to ‘5’ following a reassessment of potential sovereign support for the banking sector.

As a consequence, the long-term issuer default ratings of First Bank of Nigeria Limited, FBN Holdings PLC, Diamond Bank PLC, Fidelity Bank PLC, First City Monument Bank Limited and Union Bank of Nigeria PLC are downgraded to ‘B-‘ from ‘B’, in line with their stand-alone creditworthiness as defined by their viability ratings.

The agency has affirmed the long-term IDRS of Zenith Bank PLC, Guaranty Trust Bank PLC, Access Bank PLC, United Bank for Africa PLC, Wema Bank PLC and Bank of Industry (BOI).

The downgrade of the nine banks’ SRS and the revision of 10 banks’  SRFs to ‘no floor’ reflects Fitch’s view that senior creditors can no longer rely on receiving full and timely extraordinary support from the Nigerian sovereign if any of the banks become non-viable.

Zenith Bank To List $850 Million Shares On London Stock Exchange

Zenith Bank PLC expects the approval of British authorities for it to list up to $850 million of its shares later this month on the London Stock Exchange (LSE) as global depository receipts, a banker close to the deal said on Tuesday.

The London Stock Exchange said last week it expected an increase in new listings from African companies this year as businesses in the continent’s fast-growing economies seek to attract foreign investors.

Zenith said in October the secondary listing was aimed at improving liquidity in its stock rather than raising capital.

Zenith has all necessary approvals from Nigerian authorities to go ahead with the listing, the banker said, adding that the deal will enable foreigners who prefer to hold dollar assets to invest in the bank.

“Investors can only switch a maximum of $850 million worth of local shares into the GDR programme,” the banker said, adding that the GDR price will be based on the naira exchange rate and the local share price of Zenith Bank.

“Hopefully, it will be listed within two weeks,” the banker said.

Zenith Bank has a primary listing in Nigeria with a market capitalisation of N674.7 billion ($4.3 billion), based on Tuesday’s close of N21.49 per share.

One GDR will represent 50 ordinary shares, the bank said.

JP Morgan is acting as the depository bank, while Citi Bank will act as the custodian.

The LSE is already home to 96 companies whose main operations are in Sub-Saharan Africa, including 23 which have shares listed on its main market.

With this listing, Zenith Bank is expected to join three other Nigerian lenders with GDRs trading in London — Guaranty Trust Bank, Diamond Bank and First Bank.

Dangote Cement, Zenith Bank, ETI top Forbes list of W/African companies

Dangote Cement, Zenith Bank PLC and Ecobank Transnational Incorporated have emerged amongst highly rated West African companies listed for an award ceremony by Forbes Africa that will hold in Lagos.

Aliko Dangote, President and Chief Executive of Nigeria's Dangote Group speaks during the final session of the World Economic Forum on Africa meeting in Cape Town June 6, 2008.

A statement by Forbes Africa holding on Thursday revealed that the event, titled, ‘The Top Listed West African Companies” was a celebration of the success of risk takers and job creators in the West African sub-region.

Companies on the list include Zenith Bank, Dangote Cement Plc, Nestlé Nigeria Plc, Ecobank Transnational Incorporated and Cote d’Ivoire’s Soc Africaine De Plantations.

The statement added that the event, which would be hosted by Pan-African Event Company, ABN Productions and Forbes Africa Magazine, was an initiative aimed to encourage organisations to strive for sustained excellence and to promote their profiles in Nigeria and around the world.

The list covers the top 25 companies in the West African capital market comprising the Nigerian Stock Exchange, Ghanaian Stock Exchange and the Abidjan-based Bourse Régionale des Valeurs Mobilières SA (Regional Securities Exchange SA) or BRVM.

Speakers expected at the event include the Chief Executive Officer, Nigerian Stock Exchange, Mr. Oscar Onyema, and Managing Editor, Forbes Africa, Mr. Chris Bishop.

The event is the first of a series of awards organised by ABN Productions with broadcast partner CNBC Africa and it is expected to bring together listed West African companies that operate across a variety of sectors.