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Access Bank gets SEC’s approval to raise N52.6b from rights issue


ACCESS Bank Plc has secured approval of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to to raise N52.6 billion from rights issue, as it pursues expansion and stronger cash reserves.

   The bank, with operations in eight other countries, will be selling shares to existing shareholders by way of rights issue of 7,627,639,636 shares of 50 kobo each at N6.90. Shareholders of the Bank had approved the directors’ proposal to raise additional equity at an Extra Ordinary Meeting (EGM) held in Lagos on October 13, 2014. 

   The capital raising falls in line with Access Bank’s five-year corporate strategy plan to be one of the top three banks in the country and the “world’s most respected African bank”. This will be anchored on four critical pillars – capital, human capital, governance and risk management. It will also enable the Bank to be more competitive and meet the funding needs of its blue chip    customers that meet its credit risk criteria.

   Acceptance List Opens for the Rights Issue opened on Monday, 26 January 2015 and will close: Wednesday, 4 March 2015. The Rights being offered are tradable on the floor of The Nigerian Stock Exchange for the duration of the Issue

    The Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Access Bank Plc, Herbert Wigwe said the proceeds from the offer will be used to upgrade the bank’s information technology platforms to enable it provide better services, upgrade its  branch networks and further improve the working environment.

   “The funds raised would provide Access Bank with additional capacity to further consolidate its leading corporate banking business as well as additional capital headroom to support our increasing market share in the SME and retail segments’” Wigwe said.

He noted that despite the challenging conditions in the nation’s banking sector with regulatory changes and increased competition, the bank has continued to shapen its execution skill, adding that the bank launched a highly successful $400 million Eurobond in June 2014. 

   The transaction, according to him, follows the bank’s highly successful $350 million five-year senior debt issued in 2012. Access Bank is also rated ‘B (Fitch) and A+ Agusto & Co.’

   Access Bank, had last year unfolded plans to become ‘the world’s most respected African Bank’ by 2018 and a ‘high performing Nigerian diversified banking leader’ this year.

Before the end of this year, the bank expects to have consolidated its retail franchise and become a more consumer-centric bank, become more dominant in corporate banking, and be a leader in the Ghanaian banking sector.

   By 2018, management expects to have expanded its African footprint to the most attractive markets, be a properly set-up multi-channel bank running an industrialized global operating model, be the preferred African bank in the U.K. and run the best in class technology platform in Africa.

   Access Bank aims to grow its customer base to between 15 and 20 million across its African markets by 2018, from around six million, as it shifts its focus to retail banking.  Wigwe said retail banking would account for around half of its total business in five years’ time, up from 30 per cent.

   The bank also said it intends to grow its loan book by 15 per cent this year, up from five per cent in 2012, channeling funds to retail, telecom, and oil and gas financing. 

The bank is optimistic that corporate banking and infrastructure financing would also be key drivers of revenue.

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