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Shareholders okay Access Bank’s HoldCo structure as NGX remains bearish

By Helen Oji
17 December 2021   |   2:49 am
Shareholders of Access Bank Plc have unanimously approved the bank's proposed restructuring to a Holding Company (Holdco) to be known as Access Holding Plc.

Shareholders of Access Bank Plc have unanimously approved the bank’s proposed restructuring to a Holding Company (Holdco) to be known as Access Holding Plc.

GMD/CEO, Access Bank Plc, Dr. Herbert Wigwe(left); Chairman, Dr. Ajoritsedere Awosika and Company Secretary, Sunday Ekwochi, at the Court Ordered Meeting for the proposed restructuring of Access Bank Plc and other related group companies into a new non-operating holding company in Lagos…yesterday PHOTO;SUNDAY AKINLOLU<br />

The shareholders gave the approval at the bank’s court-ordered meeting held in Lagos, yesterday.

Specifically, the President, Association for the Advancement of the Rights of Nigerian Shareholders, Dr Farouk Umar, commended the board and management for the foresight of transforming the bank to Holdco.

Umar said that Holdco structure would help in risk management and as well enable the company to diversify into other business opportunities to increase profitability.

President, New Dimension Shareholders Association, Patrick Ajudua, described the Holdco structure as a welcome development that would impact positively on the bank’s bottom-line and improve shareholders’ value.

Ajudua commended the management for smooth running of the affairs of the bank, urging them to ensure enhanced returns on investment for stakeholders going forward.

Earlier, Chairman of the bank, Dr Ajoritsedere Awosika, told shareholders that the board considered the restructuring to be the most appropriate to create strategic flexibility and diversification of the group’s revenues.

Awosika said the restructuring would result in shareholders holding shares in the Holdco in the same proportion as their current holdings in the bank and the bank’s shares being held wholly by the Holdco.

On the justification for the restructuring, Awosika said that the transition to a financial Holding Company was in line with considerations such as regulatory compliance, facilitation of growth and expansion in banking across Africa, diversification into permissible financial services and risk management.

Awosika explained that the structure would unburden the bank from oversight functions and responsibilities of managing the subsidiaries.

Group Managing Director/CEO, Herbert Wigwe, appreciated the shareholders for their continuous support since the inception of the bank in 2002.

Wigwe assured the shareholders that the board and management would remain committed to decisions that would take the bank to the next level.

“The institution has grown beyond a lot of one of those things, even the very presence of your institution in several countries requires a different organisational structure to handle all of those things.

“If anybody tells you that there is one managing director who will oversee 20 or 30 countries, it’s a lie. We have to continuously evolve and create a structure that will ensure there is proper oversight over the subsidiaries,” Wigwe said.

Meanwhile, the Nigerian Exchange limited (NGX) yesterday sustained a sliding profile, as profit-taking in 21 stocks dragged the All-Share Index (ASI) further by 0.2 per cent.

Yesterday, the ASI fell by 87.13 absolute points, representing a decrease of 0.21 per cent to 42,270.23 points. Accordingly, investors lost N45 billion in value as market capitalisation declined to N22.057 trillion.

The downturn was impacted by losses recorded in medium and large capitalised stocks, amongst which are; Dangote Cement, CAP, Lafarge Africa, Livestock Feeds and NASCON Allied Industries (NASCON).

Analysts at Afrinvest Limited said: “In the final trading session, we anticipate a mildly bullish close, supported by bargain buying.”

As measured by market breadth, market sentiment was negative as 21 stocks recorded price depreciation while 15 appreciated in price.

Royal Exchange recorded the highest price gain of five per cent to close at 63 kobo while Chams followed with a gain of 4.76 per cent to close at 22 kobo. Nigerian Exchange Group (NGXGroup) went up 3.92 per cent to close at N18.55 kobo. Ecobank Transnational Incorporated (ETI) appreciated by 3.26 per cent to close at N9.50 kobo. Transnational Corporation of Nigeria (Transcorp) added 3.16 per cent to close at 98 kobo.

On the other hand, Livestock Feeds led the losers’ chart by 10 per cent to close at N1.80 kobo while UPDC followed with a decline of 8.33 per cent to close at N1.10 kobo.

CAP shed 5.70 per cent to close at N18.20 kobo. Sovereign Trust Insurance declined by 4.17 per cent to close at 23 kobo. Mutual Benefits Assurance shed four per cent to close at 24 kobo.

On the activity chart, the total volume of trades rose by 10.3 per cent to 249.429 million units, valued at N3.574 billion, and exchanged in 3,578 deals. Transactions in the shares of FBN Holdings (FBNH) topped the activity chart with 79.140 million shares valued at N955.871 million.

Access Bank followed with 33.257 million shares worth N299.454 million, while ETI traded 23.180 million shares valued at N218.354 million.

United Bank for Africa (UBA) traded 12.955 million shares valued at N100.791 million, while Zenith Bank transacted 9.622 million shares worth N238.421 million.

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