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First City Bank of Nigeria Posts Loss of 9.9 Billion Naira

First City Monument Bank Plc, a Nigerian lender, posted a full-year loss of 9.9 billion naira ($62.8 million) in 2011, compared with a profit of 7.9 billion naira a year earlier, as it took an impairment charge.

Revenue rose 28 percent to 80.4 billion naira, the Lagos-based lender said today in an e-mailed statement.

Results were “affected by a significant impairment charge of 29 billion naira in the fourth quarter of 2011,” the bank said. “All legacy loans and weaknesses associated with capital market and oil and gas transactions have been fully regularised” through sales to the Asset Management Corp. of Nigeria or provisioning or write-off, the lender added.

Nigerian lenders are cleaning their books of non-performing loans after the central bank implemented a banking-sector reform following a debt crisis in 2008 and 2009 that threatened the industry with a collapse. The Central Bank of Nigeria fired the chief executives of eight of the country’s 24 banks and asked those that failed an audit to recapitalize, be acquired by others, or face liquidation.

FCMB, which completed the acquisition of Finbank Plc, a lender bailed out by the central bank in 2009, in February, fell to a three-month low on March 15 after saying would report a full-year loss. The stock gained 2.5 percent today, its first rise since Mar. 2, to 3.70 naira by the 2:30 p.m. close in Lagos.

FCMB management expects that the first half of 2012 will see continued improvement and is likely to exceed its released forecasts, according to the statement. Management also anticipates improved earnings in the second half of this year, following the Finbank merger, the company said.

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