FBN Holdings Plc said it has sold its life insurance company and invested the proceeds of N25 billion as equity into First Bank to boost its capital after restructuring its loan book. Nigeria’s banks are expected to take a big hit to revenues and face rising borrowing costs this year as central bank measures to support the Naira currency squeeze banks already hit by fallout from the coronavirus and the oil price shock.
Chief Executive Officer Urum Kalu Eke said FBN Holdings sold its 65% stake in FBN Insurance to South Africa’s Sanlam Emerging Markets, a minority investor in the business. First Bank had restructured 15 per cent of its N1.759 trillion loan book by the end of the first half, up from 6 per cent three months previously, its chief risk officer said. “We don’t see so much deterioration towards year end,” Olusegun Alebiosu told an analysts’ call, adding that the bank’s exposure to the tourism and aviation sectors most impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic was around $10 million.