Caught in the web of huge oil and gas exposure and the dwindling oil prices, FCMB Group Plc plans to restructure half of its loans after plunging oil prices, the coronavirus lockdown and a naira devaluation hindered the ability of the Nigerian bank’s clients to repay their debt.
Credit facilities across industries ranging from oil and gas to small- and medium-sized enterprises will be reorganized, the Lagos-based lender said in a presentation on Tuesday. New terms will include a six-to 12-month moratorium on principal debt repayments and an extension on loan maturities of up to two years.
Plummeting crude prices have dealt a hammer blow to the economy of Africa’s largest oil producer, just as the outbreak of Covid-19 shutters businesses and the movement of people to contain the spread of the disease. Authorities devalued the local currency by 4% against the dollar in March and are under pressure to weaken the naira even further amid a shortage of greenbacks and lower export revenues.
The measures by FCMB come after impairment charges surged 61% to 3.7 billion naira ($9.6 million) in the first quarter, according to a filing to the Nigerian Stock Exchange. Loans in the period rose 7% to 764.3 billion naira from a year earlier.
The lender plans to increase impairments to offset losses in unhedged upstream assets in the oil and gas industry, it said. About 37% of the bank’s customers have foreign-currency loans and earn income in naira, so the lender will convert those into the local currency, FCMB said.