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Libra Internet Bank takes the first step on the Bucharest Stock Exchange where it lists a EUR 4mn bond issue

9/3/2020

 

  • Libra Internet Bank attracted almost EUR 4.3mn through a 10-year bond issue denominated in EUR from capital market investors.

  • The bonds will be traded on BVB's Multilateral Trading System starting with September 3rd.

 

Libra Internet Bank attracted EUR 4.29mn, through a private placement for subordinated bonds, unsecured and denominated in EUR, and conducted on the capital market between March 17th and 23rd, 2020. Thus, Libra Internet Bank took the first step on the Romanian capital market and the bonds started trading on Thursday, September 3rd, on Bucharest Stock Exchange (BVB) Multilateral Trading System (MTS).

The bonds characteristics are in the table below:

Issue
(ticker and ISIN)

Issue ammount

Number of bonds

Face value

Interest

Issue date

Maturity

LIBRA30E
ISIN RONHCMNHSL69

EUR 4.29mn

8,593

EUR 500

5% p.a. (payable on a half year basis)

March 26, 2020

March 26, 2030

 

“Being listed on the Stock Exchange means being able to meet the highest requirements regarding the quality, transparency and performance of your activity. The presence on the capital market expresses total confidence in one's own strengths and openness to investors, in conditions of continuous communication. For all these reasons, the listing of the Libra Internet Bank bonds is an important step in the bank's evolution, through which we manage to demonstrate once again our solidity and development capacity, regardless of the moment ", said Radu Gratian Ghetea, Chairman of Libra's Board of Directors Internet Bank.

"The stock market has always been an accessible financing channel even in times of uncertainty, and the success of the financing round carried out by Libra Internet Bank is a clear proof of this fact. We are talking about a bond issue of over EUR 4mn that were sold right at the beginning of the state of emergency in Romania, when there were many unknowns and when the capital market was coming after a few weeks of important corrections. However, even in this tense context, investors have allocated large amounts in these bonds. We have repeatedly shown that the stock market is the place to attract financing regardless of the context, as long as the issuer is determined to attract financing and gain the confidence of investors, and investors are always looking to identify any opportunity to place their money. The value of the financing rounds carried out this year, one with many challenges due to the pandemic, exceeded EUR 500mn, and if we take into account the transactions already announced publicly for the coming months, it is very possible to reach last year's level, which makes us happy because there is clear evidence that the stock market is a financing channel accessible at any time", said Radu Hanga, Bucharest Stock Exchange Chairman of the Board.

Libra Internet Bank's bonds debut to trading was marked by the official opening of the trading session by the bank Chairman of the Board, Radu Gratian Ghetea, and the CEO, Emil Bituleanu. The event took place at BVB headquarters, in a restricted setting, in compliance with the regulations in force on the conduct of events, in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.

"People need security and credible investments and investing in banks remains very safe and profitable. Although there are risks of over-regulation or market loss in favor of fintechs or neobanks, traditional but agile commercial banks with a significant appetite for new technologies and open to partnerships remain a solid option for any investor. It is a success profile to which Libra Internet Bank fully corresponds”, stated Libra Internet Bank CEO, Emil Bituleanu.

"Libra Internet Bank is an example of how a financial institution can be digitized, how innovation can help grow the economy into a new reality where accelerated digitization and speed are key factors for the success and of customer interaction. If until the beginning of this year, the digitalization was seen as a useful thing, but not essential, the COVID-19 pandemic proved that in fact digitalization is something essential in the life of any company or even any system. The current context has given us the opportunity to put in the front the work of the entire capital market community in the sense of a complete digitization and simplification of the entire stock market investment process (starting from the opening of an account and up to the payment of taxes). We are already working on many of these issues and we are convinced that together with the state, the authorities and all our partners we will be able to complete this digitization and, at the same time, to increase the investors’ confidence and of the companies that want to attract financing. The CCP will play a very important role in strengthening investors’ confidence and reducing the risk, through the risk management system, and will also provide them with new trading opportunities, new instruments, including portfolio hedging instruments, by trading derivatives with active support on the shares they have in their portfolios", said Adrian Tanase, Bucharest Stock Exchange CEO.

The private placement for Libra Internet Bank bonds was intermediated by TradeVille. The bonds were subscribed by 27 investors, of which 2 are institutional investors and 25 retail investors (one legal entity and 24 individuals).

“The private placement carried out at the onset of the lockdown in Romania is testament to how well technology can augment the 25 years of experience TradeVille boasts on the local capital market. Despite a difficult period of time worldwide, the bond offering was successfully completed ahead of time, in less than a week, with most buying orders having been placed online. TradeVille will also make the Libra Internet Bank bonds available for trading through its Android and iOS app on all mobile devices. The private placement in March was an excellent expression of the role online mobile technology plays in 2020, a field led and pioneered by TradeVille and Libra Internet Bank on the Bucharest Stock Exchange and in the Romanian banking system”, stated Mihaela Biciu, CEO and President of TradeVille.

Founded in 1996 and operational since 1997, Libra Internet Bank is, since 2003, member of the American investment group New Century Holdings (NCH), one of the most important foreign investors in Romania, with investments of over $ 3bn in Central and Eastern Europe. Active in Romania since 1993, NCH is involved in the development of several important areas of the Romanian economy: electrical industry, bakery, construction materials industry, financial-banking services, financial services, real estate, being the majority shareholder in many Romanian companies active in these areas.

Since 2011, along with the change of the name to Libra Internet Bank, the bank has strengthened its strategy of "internet bank", relying on speed in processing customer requests and operations, creating one of the most modern and dynamic internet banking services in the Romanian market and on the launch of award-winning products, such as the LibraPay online payment system, the online account, the online credit etc.

It is the first bank to offer its customers a 100% online bank account and 100% online credit, without papers and without trips to the bank, and in 2019, Libra Internet Bank became the first financial player on the domestic market to export its own technology, as part of an international instant payment project through a messaging app. The bank has 3 IT development centers and currently offers customers some of the most modern and flexible mobile and internet banking services on the Romanian market.

Libra Internet Bank closed 2019 with a net profit of RON 115.3mn (+ 20% vs. 2018) and assets of RON 6.53bn (+ 19.7% vs. 2018). At the end of last year, Libra Internet Bank had a loan portfolio of over RON 4bn, of which the largest shares were held by real estate (36%) and companies (30%), followed by liberal professions and agribusiness (each 16%), and individuals (2%). At the end of 2019, the bank had a 1.32% market share by assets, placing itself on the 15th position in the Romanian banking system.

Libra Internet Bank bond issue is the 11th bond issue to be listed on Bucharest Stock Exchange this year. The value of all the 11 bond issues listed this year at BVB is RON 2.59bn (EUR 535mn). In 2019, the Bucharest Stock Exchange reached a historical maximum of the number of listed bond issues, being listed 18 bond issues, with a cumulative value of RON 4.83bn (EUR 1bn).

 

 

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About Libra Internet Bank
Libra Internet Bank, member of the American investment group New Century Holdings (since 2003), registered one of the highest organic growth rates in the Romanian banking system, with an annual average of + 30% in the last 5 years. After the first semester, the bank’s total assets had reached almost RON 6.6bn, while having a network of 55 branches and a portfolio of over 100,000 customers. The bank specializes in areas such as the liberal professions, real estate developers, agribusiness or the SME segment and pays special attention to modern technology and fintech partnerships.

 

About TradeVille
TradeVille has over 25 years of experience on the Romanian capital market facilitating swift and easy access for its clients to the Romanian and the largest international stock exchanges. TradeVille accounts are opened entirely online and clients can trade using any mobile device. TradeVille was awarded most trophies by the Bucharest Stock Exchange at its 2020 Gala dedicated to excellence in the field. The accolades won by TradeVille were Retail Broker of the Year, Most Innovative Broker, and Most Active Intermediary on the AeRO Primary Market.

 

About Bucharest Stock Exchange
The main role of the stock exchanges is to facilitate the flux of money between investors, those in possession of capital, and entrepreneurs in need of capital for development. The benefits of becoming a listed company are however much more sophisticated than just gaining access to capital, as once listed, companies simultaneously benefit from enhanced profile, free and constant publicity, improvement of corporate governance, extra visibility towards clients, business partners as well as the community as a whole. The Bucharest Stock Exchange offers a financing alternative both to mature companies, which can attract capital on the Main Market, as well as to start-ups and SMEs for which the was created the Multilateral Trading System, of which the equity segment is also known as the AeRO market. Stocks and bonds can be issued on both markets.

 

 

Radu Gratian Ghetea (Chairman of the Board, Libra Internet Bank)

From left to right: Adrian Tanase (CEO, BVB), Mihaela Biciu (CEO, Tradeville), Radu Gratian Ghetea (Chairman of the Board, Libra Internet Bank), Emil Bituleanu (CEO, Libra Internet Bank)