* Five year Eurobond planned for later this year
* To fund oil and gas, power, infrastructure projects
By Tim Cocks and Chijioke Ohuocha
LAGOS, April 8 (Reuters) - Nigeria’s Fidelity Bank has asked Citibank to lead manage a planned 5-year Eurobond this year that should come in at around $350 million to fund oil, power and infrastructure projects, the CEO said on Monday.
Fidelity CEO Reginald Ihejiahi told a Reuters Africa Investment Summit in Nigeria’s commercial hub of Lagos that the bond would help meet demand for dollar financing, much of it from energy clients in Africa’s top oil and gas producer.
“We’re bolstering our balance sheet on the dollar side. There will be a Eurobond later in the year,” he said.
He added that the bank was targeting a 15 percent growth in its loan book for 2013, from its current 400 billion naira ($2.54 billion) value.
The mid-tier lender launched a $100 million 2-year loan facility in February, also managed by Citi, which analysts said tested the water for possible bigger issuance.
Ihejiahi said the bank had several projects with dollar financing needs, some of them with power companies buying state assets under a privatisation programme launched this year. They included two “significant size gas pipeline projects.”
Fidelity also has a $500 million memorandum of understanding with Royal Dutch Shell to finance its local contractors, he said.
Fidelity’s operations have been heavily focused towards the corporate side, with around 70 percent of its loan book in the corporate sector, against 20 percent in retail banking, he said.
But Ihejiahi said the bank was looking to increase the share of retail customers over time.