Raising $300m won’t be difficult for Access Bank — Aig-Imoukhuede

Raising $300m won’t be difficult for Access Bank — Aig-Imoukhuede

Chairman of Access Holdings Plc Aigboje Aig-Imokhuede has said he is confident that Access Bank would raise $300 million in capital considering the bank’s strong market position and shareholders’ support.

Mr Aig-Imokhuede said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on the sideline of Access Holdings’ second annual general meeting (AGM) held in Lagos.

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on March 29 directed commercial banks in Nigeria with international authorisation to shore up their capital base to N500 billion and national banks to N200 billion.

Similarly, non-interest banks with national and regional authorisation will increase their capital to N20 billion and N10 billion respectively.

The recapitalisation exercise is expected to commence from April 1 to March 31, 2026.

Consequently, the shareholders of Access Bank, at the AGM, unanimously backed the group’s plan to establish a capital raising programme of up to $1.5 billion.

They also agreed to the subset initiative to raise up to N365 billion specifically, through a rights Issue of ordinary shares to its shareholders.

The proceeds of the rights issue will be used to support ongoing working capital needs, including organic growth funding for the group’s banking and other non-banking subsidiaries.

Aig-Imokhuede explained that having announced raising capital through right issue, he was confident that the group’s shareholders would support the bank in the journey.

“It is not the first time CBN is coming up with such policy. Recall that in 2004 when CBN announced that all banks must recapitalise to the tune of N25 billion and Access Bank had about N3 billion of capital,” he said.

“Between 2004 and 2007, our team, when I was the CEO of the bank, raised $2 billion of common equity capital.

“Therefore, in 2024 when Access Holdings is much older, wiser, stronger, larger and significantly respected by the capital market with over 800,000 shareholders, raising $300 million in capital for Access Bank, its banking subsidiary is not really much of a challenge.

“We signalled to the market first that we will be doing a right issue, which means that we must carry everybody along, in spite of our large institutional shareholders.

“Nonetheless, we believe in ensuring that shareholders, either large or small, continue with us on our journey.

“They have always supported us when need be with good reasons, because they believe in the company and the performance that would be delivered subsequently to such capital raising exercise.

“What is on the mind of our shareholders now is recapitalisation and they are also concerned about how their company continues to deliver returns.”

Commenting on the CBN recapilisation policy, the chairman noted that Access Bank as a group endorses the CBN policy wholeheartedly.

Aig-Imokhuede described the policy as a good and sensible prudential regulation.

Access Holdings full-year results for the period ended December 31, 2023, showcased a 335 per cent increase in pre-tax profit to N729 billion from N167.68 billion in 2022.

The group also experienced an 87 per cent surge in gross earnings to N2.59 trillion from N1.39 trillion in 2022 and reported a 306 per cent growth in profit after tax to N619.32 billion, from N152.20 billion posted in year 2022.

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