Fidelity Bank: Here’s the perfect opportunity to grab your slice.

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By Iheanyi Nwachukwu

On Thursday June 20, Nigeria’s 6th largest bank, Fidelity Bank Plc will open its public offer and Rights Issue.

According to an article on the Businessday website and authored by Iheanyi Nwachukwu, the bank is raising a total of up to N127.100billion by way of a Rights Issue to existing shareholders and a Public Offer (the Combined Offer).

Under the Rights Issue, 3.2 billion ordinary shares of 50 kobo each will be offered in the ratio of 1 new ordinary share for every 10 ordinary shares held as of January 5, 2024, at N9.25 per share.

For the Public Offer, 10 billion ordinary shares of 50 kobo each will be offered to the general investing public at N9.75 per share.

The acceptance and application lists for the Rights Issue and Public Offer which will open on Thursday, June 20 will close on Monday July 29, 2024.

The Combined Offer is a part of the bank’s strategy to increase its share capital base in compliance with the revised minimum capital requirements for Nigerian commercial banks introduced by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on March 28, 2024.

Stanbic IBTC Capital is the Lead Issuing House to the Combined Offer, while the Joint Issuing Houses include Iron Global Markets Limited, Cowry Asset Management Limited, Afrinvest Capital Limited, FSL Securities Limited, Futureview Financial Services Limited, Iroko Capital Market Advisory Limited, Kairos Capital Limited and Planet Capital Limited.

As part of the capital raising process, Fidelity Bank will this same Thursday June 20 at the

Nigerian Exchange Limited (NGX) hold a Facts Behind the Offer presentation.

Overall, the bank expects that the capital raised would support its efforts to drive sustained growth and diversification of its earnings base.

The bank’s shareholders had approved the Rights Issue and Public Offer at the Extra-Ordinary General Meeting held on Friday August 11, 2023.

Nneka Onyeali-Ikpe, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Fidelity Bank Plc said at the Combined Offer signing ceremony that the proceeds will be applied towards investment in IT infrastructure, business and regional expansion, and investment in product distribution channels.

Oladele Sotubo, Chief Executive Office, Stanbic IBTC Capital who commended Fidelity Bank’s management team for their commitment towards executing the Combined Offer also lauded their efforts for being at the forefront of achieving the CBN’s revised minimum capital requirements for Nigerian commercial banks.

Sotubo expressed confidence that the deal would encourage other corporates to tap into the equity capital markets to raise funding to meet their strategic business needs.

Fidelity Banks share price, which closed May 31, 2019 at N1.68 per share, rose successively to N10.20 per share by the end of May 2024.

The ASI had, during the period, rose from its opening index of 31,069.37 points to close weekend at 99,300.38 points. The NGX Banking Index rose from 361.57 points to 797.37 points.

The NGX 30 Index, which opened the period at 1,286.68 points, closed the period at 3,676.44 points. The NGX Main Board Index appreciated from 1,267.54 points to close weekend at 4,634.31 points.

David Adonri, Managing Director, HighCap Securities Limited said the price of any stock in the market is a correct reflection of the market value for the stock.

Aruna Kebira, Managing Director, Globalview Capital Limited said that the market price of a stock represents the disposition of the investing public to the stock at a given period, noting that there should be consideration for both the market value and the book value or fundamentals of a stock.

“It could be summarised that the market price of a stock is premised on the psychology of the market, the markets mood as well as market sentiments,” Kebira said.

Sola Oni, Chief Executive Officer, Sofunix Investment and Communications said the stock market shows both the current and future prospects of shares.

“Share price reflects the current value of a company but also reveals the future prospects”, Oni said, noting that investment analysts traditionally combine market price and book values to determine the possible outlook of a stock.

For many independent investment research reports, Fidelity Bank was assigned BUY ticker, a recommendation to investors to consider the potential attractive returns of the bank.

The research reports were based on the historical and current operational performances of the bank as well as the clear-sighted implementation of the bank’s growth plan. The reports also considered the quality of board and management and the general human capital and resources of the bank.

For instance, the investment advisory reports included those of Afrinvest Group, FSDH Capital and CardinalStone among others.

Analysts were unanimous that Fidelity Banks share price could double in the period ahead given professional assessment of top traditional performance parameters including the company’s operational reports, investors preference and projections.

Ranked as one of the best banks in Nigeria, Fidelity Bank is a full-fledged customer commercial bank with over 8.3 million customers serviced across its 251 business offices in Nigeria and the United Kingdom as well as on digital banking channels.

Just recently, African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) disbursed $40-million Intra-African Investment Facility to Fidelity Bank Nigeria Plc to support the bank’s acquisition and recapitalisation of Union Bank UK as part of its international expansion programme. Provided in two tranches of $20 million each, the first tranche of the facility enabled Fidelity to part-refinance the acquisition of 100 percent equity stake in Union Bank UK, while the second tranche was used to support its recapitalisation via the injection of additional equity into the acquired bank, as approved by the United Kingdom’s regulator.

With this acquisition, Fidelity Bank is able to birth a new pan-African financial institution capable of providing correspondent banking and offshore banking services to banks in Africa and servicing the banking needs of Africans in the diaspora.

The average annual return of 101.43 per cent underlines that Fidelity Bank provides substantial return for investors, even where such investors had borrowed money at the ruling interest rate and the invested fund was adjusted for impact of inflation rate.

Investors in Fidelity Bank Plc have earned more than 507 percent in capital gains over the past five years, ranking above all other major return benchmarks at the Nigerian stock market and the entire banking sector.

Trading reports at the Nigerian stock market for the five-year period between May 31, 2019 and May 31, 2024 showed that Fidelity Bank outperformed all key indices at the stock market. Fidelity Banks share price rose by 507.14 percent over the period, representing average annual capital gain of 101.43 percent.

These returns underscore Fidelity Banks immense value as a stock for all times, helping investors to hedge against inflation while preserving significant long-term value.

With 507 percent capital gain in five years and average annual gain of more than 100 percent, the return analysis implies that investment in Fidelity Bank is more attractive than other class of assets, including fixed-income securities such as government and corporate bonds; real estate investment and mutual funds among others.

The high divisible nature of shares investment and high free float of Fidelity Bank, which makes the bank’s shares easily available, underline it as a most attractive investment option for all cadres of investors- small, medium and high networth; retail and institutional investors.

Comparative analysis showed that Fidelity Bank outperformed all other major market indices with the banks average annual return for the period twice the average return by the overall market and almost four times of average return in the banking sector.

Nigeria’s inflation rate peaked at a high of 33.69 per cent in April 2024 while the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) recently increased the Monetary Policy Rate (MPR), otherwise known as benchmark interest rate, to 26.25 per cent.

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