UPDATE 1-Nigeria's Diamond Bank suspends $550 mln bond issue
* Says will consider other options to raise funds
* Nine-month pretax profit up 10 pct year on year
* Shares up nearly 40 pct this year (Adds CEO quotes, shares, rights issue option)
By Chijioke Ohuocha
LAGOS, Nov 5 (Reuters) - Nigerian lender Diamond Bank has suspended the launch of a seven-year $550 million bond because of pricing turbulence in the international debt market, its chief executive said on Tuesday.
CEO Alex Otti said that the bank's roadshow to Britain and the United States in June coincided with uncertainties around when the U.S. Federal Reserve will halt the monetary stimulus that has kept global markets awash with cash.
The mid-tier lender had planned to launch the bond sale in July after a two-week investor roadshow to update fund managers on the bank and gauge appetite for the issue.
"Our efforts towards injection of Tier II capital have been put on hold following the persisting pricing turbulence in the international debt market," Otti said in a call with analysts to discuss the bank's nine-month results.
Shares in Diamond Bank, which have risen by almost 40 percent since the start of the year, gained 1.3 percent on Tuesday to close at 6.95 naira.
Otti said that the bank was not in any significant danger of a capital shortfall and that he will examine other options to raise funds, including a possible rights issue.
"There are a whole lot of alternatives to explore," Otti said, adding that the bank had a capital ratio of 17 percent at the end of September, against the 15 percent minimum required by the Nigerian central bank.
The bank's pretax profit in the nine months to Sept. 30 rose 10.2 percent year on year to 25.6 billion naira ($162 million).
Rival lender Guaranty Trust Bank (GT Bank), meanwhile, is pressing ahead with a $400 million five-year Eurobond, pricing it on Monday with a 6.125 percent yield.
The Diamond Bank bond was marketed by France's BNP Paribas and Afrexim Bank as lead managers. ($1 = 158.5000 Nigerian nairas)
(Editing by Tim Cocks and David Goodman)
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