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Post-Merger Access Bank Eyes $200m Additional Capital



Access Bank
  • Post-Merger Access Bank Eyes $200m Additional Capital

Access Bank Plc is planning a rights issue to raise additional capital of about $200 million next year, when it concludes its deal with Diamond Bank Plc, Financial Times has said.

The proposed fund raising, according to the paper, is to keep its capital well above regulatory requirements.

Although efforts to confirm this development were unsuccessful as officials of the bank declined to comment last night, FT quoted bankers handling the rights issue to have said the move would enhance the new entity’s capital base and business development.

The proposed business combination deal between the two banks will result to a combined entity with total asset size of N6.108 trillion.

This, according to the third quarter unaudited results of both banks for the period ended September 30, 2018, means that the new combined entity will have the largest asset size among the banks in the country, thereby displacing Zenith Bank Plc and Guaranty Trust Bank Plc, respectively.

While Zenith Bank reported total assets of N5.618 trillion in its unaudited results for the third quarter of 2018, GTBank’s stood at N3.443 trillion.

Similarly, when the merger deal is concluded, the new institution would hold total customer deposits of N3.543 trillion. This is slightly higher than that of Zenith Bank, which was N3.275 trillion as at the end of September 2018, as well as GTBank’s total customer deposit of N2.239 trillion as at the end of the third quarter of 2018.

In addition, the loan book of the new entity would be N2.703 trillion, higher than that of GTBank, which was N1.270 trillion as at September 30, 2018, and that of Zenith Bank Plc which was N2.066 trillion as at September 30, 2018.

The transaction has been approved by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

According to a statement from Diamond Bank on Monday, it was expected to be completed in the first half of 2019.

The statement added that the proposed merger would involve Access Bank acquiring the entire issued share capital of Diamond Bank in exchange for a combination of cash and shares in Access Bank via a Scheme of Merger.

Based on the agreement reached by the Boards of the two financial institutions, Diamond Bank shareholders would receive a consideration of N3.13 per share, comprising of N1 per share in cash and the allotment of 2 New Access Bank ordinary shares for every seven Diamond Bank ordinary shares held as at the Implementation Date.

Speaking on Arise TV yesterday, the Chief Executive Officer of Cowry Assets Management Limited, Mr. Johnson Chukwu, hailed the deal.

“Diamond Bank had huge non-performing loans (NPLs) which were weighing down the performance of the bank. And when you have huge NPLs, it leads you to lose your liquidity.

“Diamond Bank was already having some stress as a result of high NPLs. But this for me was one of the easiest and smoothest ways to resolve an emerging banking crisis.

“The reality is that the bank had challenges and took a wise decision, instead of waiting for the central bank to intervene and drive its consolidation. For Diamond Bank, this was a good deal for its shareholders and directors,” Chukwu explained.

On their part, analysts at Lagos-based CSL Stockbrokers Limited, stated that Diamond Bank shareholders stand to benefit considerably from the merger, considering that the offer was at a premium of 260 per cent over the market price as at the date of the final binding offer (December 13) while Access Bank was priced at market price.

The financial advisory firm noted in a report yesterday, that the transaction would be, if it goes ahead seamlessly, a good strategic deal for the shareholders of both entities.

“Diamond Bank shareholders apart from getting a premium at the point of merger over current holdings will also in the long term stand to benefit from expected positive synergies from the merger.

“Access Bank on the other hand stands to benefit considerably from Diamond Bank’s strong retail franchise.

“Diamond Bank has a strong retail franchise especially on the liability side giving it the lowest funding cost among peers.

“A merger with Access Bank, which still has a relatively high funding cost will be positive for Access Bank and in the long run, for the shareholders of the bank,” it explained.

They, however, pointed out that mergers and acquisitions are complex and “we do not expect to begin to see synergic benefits translate into profit in the near term.”

“We also expect that integration issues which are not strange to Access Bank, considering its prior acquisition of Intercontinental Bank, will slow down growth of the combined entity in the near term,” the firm added.

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.

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Ecobank Group Appoints Jubril Mobolaji Lawal as Regional Executive and Managing Director Designate for Ecobank Nigeria



Jubril Mobolaji Lawal

Ecobank Group, the leading pan-African banking group, announces that Jubril Mobolaji Lawal has been appointed as Regional Executive and Managing Director designate of Ecobank Nigeria, subject to the approval of the Central Bank of Nigeria.

The appointment is made ahead of Patrick Akinwuntan’s upcoming retirement, due to him reaching retirement age in January 2022.

Mobolaji Lawal joins Ecobank having been a versatile senior banking executive and digital transformation specialist for over 28 years with Guaranty Trust Bank Plc. He has deep involvement and experience in digital and retail banking, corporate and commercial banking, credit risk management and corporate finance. His previous experience includes being Executive Director at GTBank Plc Nigeria, and Non-Executive Director roles at both GTBank Ghana Limited and Nigeria Interbank Settlement Systems Plc. Mobolaji led the team that envisioned and implemented GTBank Plc’s retail and digital banking strategy to achieve industry-wide leadership over a ten-year period and he introduced new products and solutions that have helped to deepen payments and access to digital financial services in Nigeria.

Mobolaji was selected and appointed as Managing Director designate following a keenly contested selection process, which included both internal and external candidates.

Mobolaji Lawal holds a Bachelor of Law degree from the Obafemi Awolowo University, Nigeria; B.L. from the Nigerian Law School and a Master of Business Administration from Oxford University, United Kingdom. He has also attended several executive management and banking specific developmental programmes at leading educational institutions including Harvard Business School, Stanford Graduate School of Business and Institut Européen d’Administration des Affaires (INSEAD).

Commenting on the appointment, Ade Ayeyemi, CEO, Ecobank Group said: “We welcome Mobolaji Lawal to the Ecobank Group and we stand to benefit from the extensive experience that he has acquired in various fields across banking, which will play a major role in continuing to rebuild our franchise in Nigeria. Nigeria is a key market for us, in which we have seen significant improvement over the past three years as we reposition and leverage upon our pan-African strengths in digital products and services, payments and as the go-to-bank for businesses seeking to grasp the growth opportunities being created by the AfCFTA, across all our markets on the continent. I wish Mobolaji the best and assure him of both my support and that of the entire Ecobank Group.”

Mrs. Bola Adesola, the Chairman of the Board of Ecobank Nigeria said: “We look forward to working with Mobolaji and assure him of the full support of the Board, Management and all the staff of Ecobank Nigeria. The business in Nigeria is on the path of transformation and we are confident that Mobolaji will have significant impact in advancing our positive trajectory.”

Mobolaji Lawal will assume the position of Managing Director, Ecobank Nigeria, upon receiving the approval of the Central Bank of Nigeria and after Patrick Akinwuntan retires.

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South Africa Encourages Nigerian Businesses to Expand to the Country



In an effort to improve trade relations between Nigeria and South Africa, the South African High Commissioner to Nigeria Thamsanqa Dennis Mseleku has implored more Nigerian businesses (especially financial institutions) to expand their businesses to South Africa.

The South African representative revealed that the South African consulate was currently working on issuing Nigerian business owners (or operators) visas valid for ten years, in order to further bolster business relationship between both countries.

This was mentioned by Mseleku yesterday on ‘The Morning Show’, a programme which is monitored closely by Arise news, on which he also noted that the bilateral agreements being signed by both countries would be fully executed in the coming years.

According to Mseleku, Nigerian businesses are operating in South Africa, with the issue being raised back in 2019 when President Buhari was present in South Africa specifically talking about Access Bank and Air Peace. Mseleku stated that Access Bank has since opened up a branch in South Africa, and Air Peace is now making flights to and from South Africa.

Mseleku then said,”So, the issue is that we must encourage more businesses that want to go to South Africa from Nigeria to do so particularly in the financial sector.”

This prospective deal between both countries is promising, because the encouragement of Nigerian businesses to come into South Africa may eventually lead to more South African businesses coming into Nigeria to operate. The moves will undoubtedly boost the economies of both countries.

It may also encourage other African countries to engage in trades and have bilateral or multilateral agreements with other African countries, boosting economies across the entire continent.

Mseleku also noted that some South African countries were pulling out of Nigeria, which he cited as one of the reasons for the visit of the South African President.

He also addressed the inaccessibility of visa to business personnel, saying that the country is agreeing and would go on implementing longer term visas for them. He then mentioned the 10 years visa which the country is considering.

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All Business Stakeholders Will Benefit from Stronger ESG Policies, Says GlobalData



The age-old view that addressing environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues will make a dent in profits is a myth, says GlobalData. The leading data and analytics company notes that businesses that embrace all three elements of ESG will actually outperform their peers.

Cyrus Mewawalla, Head of Thematic Research at GlobalData, comments: “The reluctance of many CEOs to fully engage with sustainability can be attributed to the age-old view that it will hurt profits. However, GlobalData’s research suggests the opposite: CEOs that are too slow to improve their company’s approach to ESG will see an exodus of customers and a drop in profits far sooner than they ever imagined.”

GlobalData’s latest thematic report, ‘Thematic Research: ESG – Top Trends by Sector‘, notes that, while saving the planet used to just equate to implementing sustainable practices such as ‘limiting the use of plastics’ and ‘reducing carbon footprint’, ‘sustainability’ has morphed into an umbrella term that includes all aspects of ESG issues. The company proposes an ESG framework that identifies key areas in which companies should invest. One of these is climate change.

Luke Gowland, Analyst in the Thematic team at GlobalData, comments: “With COP26 setting the agenda on climate change, companies are focusing their efforts on tackling carbon emissions by switching to renewable energy and undertaking energy efficiency projets. However, companies must excel across all three aspects of ESG, and not overlook the importance of strong social performance and having the correct governance structures in place to achieve ESG goals.”


Citizens, governments, regulators, and the media are turning the spotlight on corporations and demanding action. Social inequality, corruption, tax avoidance, and a lack of action on climate change are all issues that companies must now address head-on, in full public view.

Since Q1 2021,GlobalData has been asking respondents to detail their company’s approach to ESG goals In Thematic Sentiment Analysis, Q3 2021, conducted in Q3 2021, nearly a quarter of respondents thought that, for most companies, ESG was just a marketing exercise.

Gowland continues: “Our latest sentiment analysis report shows that more companies have changed their behavior to meet ESG goals (33%) than not (22%). While the attitudes towards ESG are improving, there is a long way to go.”

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