Diamond Bank PLC returned to profit in the 2012 financial year with its profit before tax climbing 253 per cent to N27.4 billion from a N17.9 billion loss in 2011.
According to its audited report for the 2012 year sent to the Nigerian Stock Exchange on Tuesday, gross earning moved up 34.8 per cent to N112.3 billion, while its net profit came in at N22.1 billion, a 261.1 per cent advance from the 2011 financial year.
However, despite the positive numbers, the bank’s stock fell10 per cent at the stock market on Tuesday because it said there would be no dividend.
Raising $550 million Equity
Meanwhile the bank has revealed plans to plans to raise $550 million in debt or equity to expand its lending operations this year, the bank’s chief financial officer said on Tuesday.
The bank’s Chief Finance Operations Manager, Abdulrahman Yinusa made this known during a Reuters Africa Investment Summit, stating that the bank would use the funds to increase lending to the oil and gas, power and infrastructure sectors.
He added that the bank expected a 20 per cent increase in its loan book this year, from its current N500 billion ($3.17 billion), after last year’s 40 per cent increase largely reflecting a recovery from write downs of bad loans.
The debt was part of $750 million needed for operations, of which $200 million had already been raised last year, he said.
“The balance of $550 million is what we will raise this year,” Yinusa said, adding that it would seek to close the gap while pricing was favourable. The bank had not yet decided whether to issue debt or equity, but Diamond will seek a shareholders’ vote on the plans this month, he said.
“We need to be able to do either equity or debt,” he said, adding that part of it could be a Eurobond. The bank last year appointed HSBC, Standard Chartered Bank and Renaissance Capital to lead manage a $300 million Eurobond, but Yinusa said whether that goes ahead would depend on how attractive the pricing is relative to other options.
Diamond Bank completed acquisition of a London-based niche operation owned by Access Bank last week, which Access had earlier bought off rescued lender Intercontinental Bank, Yinusa said.
The move would help Diamond profit from growing trade flows between Europe and Nigeria, he said.