Land Bank head office in Centurion, Pretoria. Picture : Masi Losi

Johannesburg - The Land Bank of South Africa said it wants to sell 4.5 billion rand of bonds by March next year as the state-owned lender seeks to increase loans to customers and extend the maturity profile of its debt.

The company will probably sell a first tranche of bonds by the end of the month, chief financial officer Lebogang Serithi said in an interview in Johannesburg today.

“We used to issue less frequently but quite a lot of volume,” Serithi said.

“The intention now is to actually issue more frequently and smaller volumes.”

The term of the new notes were likely to be between three and five years, Serithi said.

The Land Bank is refinancing debt after the agricultural lender spent the past six year cutting costs and improving collections on loans.

The lender has four floating bonds of 3.7 billion rand in issue, of which 1.34 billion rand matures in March.

Profit increased 22 percent to 372 million rand in the year through March as performing loans climbed 25 percent to 33 billion rand, Serithi said at a presentation in Johannesburg.

Non-performing loans decreased 21 percent to 1.1 billion rand, he said.

The Land Bank will aim to increase its loan book by 10 percent in the 2015 fiscal year, Serithi said in the interview. - Bloomberg News