Due to the unfortunate economic impacts that have been wrought by the Coronavirus pandemic, Fidelity Bank Plc said it has slashed its growth forecast for 2020.
Fidelity Bank’s Chief Operations and Information Officer, Gbolahan Joshua, disclosed that the company’s profit for the year is now expected to drop significantly by 15% to about N25.8 billion.
Recall that the mid-tier Nigerian bank had recorded a profit before income tax of N32.3 billion in 2019, according to an earlier report by Nairametrics.
More on this: Q1 2020 may likely be the worst for most companies including Fidelity Bank Plc. This is because it was during this period that the Coronavirus pandemic took the world by surprise and grounded the global economy to a halt.
Nigeria is still reeling from the negative health and economic impacts of the deadly virus. Earlier this week, the country’s Federal Government had to issue lockdown orders for some parts of the country, including Lagos.
[READ MORE: Digital payments sustains surge, affirms growth prospects)
Commenting on this, Joshua told Reuters via phone that Fidelity Bank Plc is optimistic that the second quarter of the year “is going to be soft after the disruptions associated Coronavirus”.
Note that Fidelity Bank Plc is now set to release its Q1 2020 unaudited result, after announcing a closed period yesterday.
Fidelity Bank’s Eurobond coupon: In a related development, Gbolahan Joshua disclosed that the sum of $21 million had been transferred to Citibank, the bond trustees, for the half-yearly coupon payment on Fidelity Bank’s $400 million 2022 Eurobond. The coupon is due in two weeks.
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Joshua disclosed that the bond issue was yielding 16% interest as against just 5% in January. The increase in interest yield is due to the fact that most investors resorted to shedding their assets in emerging markets.
Fidelity Bank’s share price stood at N1.75 at the end of Wednesday’s trading session on the Nigerian Stock Exchange.
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