Access Bank Plc announced it has received regulatory approvals from both South Africa and Nigeria to go ahead with its proposed acquisition of South African-based Grobank Limited (Grobank).
The bank disclosed this in a statement signed by Sunday Ekwochi, Company Secretary, Access Bank Plc and released through the Nigerian Stock Exchange platform.
According to the leading financial institution, the approvals constitute a significant milestone in the transaction first proposed in September 2020 and now expected to be completed in the second quarter of 2021.
Speaking on the move, the GMD/CEO, Access Bank, Mr. Herbert Wigwe, said “Today’s announcement represents significant progress in delivering on our strategic intent of becoming Africa’s Gateway to the World in pursuit of our vision to be the world’s most respected African Bank.
“Our presence in South Africa will no doubt accelerate the attainment of our goal of delivering our More than Banking promise to 100 million unique customers across the continent. It will also build on our existing foundation and deliver enhanced value to our shareholders, employees and other stakeholders.”
Earlier in January 2021, Access Bank announced it has acquired Zambian-based Cavmont Bank Limited after key conditions were met.
This was after the bank announced it has received regulatory approvals to start operations in Mozambique under the name Access Bank Mozambique, S.A. (Access Bank Mozambique).
Access Bank Mozambique, thereafter, enters into a definitive agreement with ABC Holdings Limited (“ABC Holdings”), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Atlas Mara Limited (“Atlas Mara”) to acquire African Banking Corporation (Moҫambique), S.A., (“BancABC Mozambique”) for cash, inclusive of a contingent consideration.
In September 2020, while speaking on a strategy to connect Africa’s banking system, Herbert Wigwe explained that “We have consistently said that we are focused on building the scale needed to become a leading African bank; one that leverages our experienced and growing talent base and key stakeholder partnerships towards driving sustainable impact and profitability. Today’s announcement demonstrates further commitment to delivering our strategic aspirations of becoming Africa’s Gateway to the World in line with our vision to be the World’s Most Respected African Bank.
“These transactions will significantly strengthen our presence in Southern Africa and further our footprint for growth in the SADC region. With a broader presence across the continent, Access Bank will be better placed to support our customers who are increasingly looking towards intra Africa growth. The proposed transactions will accelerate the Bank’s momentum towards delivering world class banking services to an expanded customer base across Africa. Our goal remains to reach and impact 100 million unique customers across the continent by 2022.”
UBA Organises Capacity Building Forum
As part of its commitment to support the growth and sustainability of micro, small and medium-scale enterprises (MSME) in the continent, the United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc, is set to organise the next edition of its UBA Business Series.
The UBA Business Series which is a monthly event, is an MSME Workshop as well as a capacity building initiative of the bank where business leaders and professionals share well-researched insights on best practices for running successful businesses, especially in the face of the difficult operating environment that dominates the African business landscape.
Through this initiative, UBA has been assisting with essential tips to help businesses re-examine their models and strategies and ensure that they stay afloat and remain thriving, a statement from the bank explained.
The topic for the next edition of the series is, “Managing Performance for Business Growth,” and it will be held today, via Microsoft Teams.
At this session, the Managing Director, Secure ID Limited, Mrs Kofo Akinkugbe, will be sharing useful tips and insights on the key strategies of performance management to boost business growth.
Akinkugbe is the founder of SecureID Nigeria, a MasterCard, VISA and Verve certified Smartcard Personalization Bureau and Digital Technology company. She currently serves as the Managing Director/CEO, Secure Card Manufacturing, – a Smartcard manufacturing plant producing high security identity cards and documents for the Banking, Telecoms and Public sectors across Africa and beyond.
UBA’s Head, SME Banking, Sampson Aneke said of Akinkugbe, “with her vast experience garnered over the years from various sectors, she will help business owners understand how performance management strategies can be effectively implemented to ensure business growth.”
He emphasised UBA’s commitment and deep passion for small businesses, which according to him, remains the engine of any developing economy adding, “We know small businesses are the backbone of the economy in every country. In many climes, businesses with fewer than 100 employees account for 98.2 per cent of all businesses. This no doubt captures the importance of SMEs to a thriving economy which is why UBA is committed to seeing them flourish.”
CBN to Extend Credit Risk Management System to OFIs
In an effort to curb growing bad debt, the Central Bank of Nigeria has said it will extend its Credit Risk Management System to Other Financial Institutions (OFIs) operating in Nigeria to protect them from bad debtors.
According to the apex bank, this is important following the successful implementation of the credit risk system in other lending institutions operating in Nigeria.
The bank disclosed this in a circular titled ‘Credit Risk Management System: Commencement of enrolment of all Development Finance Institutions, Microfinance Banks, Primary Mortgage Banks and Finance Companies’ and signed by Kelvin Amugo, the Director, Financial Policy and Regulation Department, on Monday.
In part, the circular read, “As part of efforts to promote a safe and sound financial system in Nigeria, the CBN introduced the CRMS to improve credit risk management in commercial, merchant and non-interest banks as well as to prevent predatory borrowers from undermining the banking system.
“With the successful implementation of the CRMS in deposit money banks, it has become expedient to commence the enrolment of Other Financial Institutions on the CTMS platform.
“Accordingly, all DFIs, MfBs, PMBs and FCs are required to report all credit facilities (principal and interest) to the CRMs and to update same on monthly basis.
“OFIs shall note the Bank Verification Numbers and Tax Identification Numbers are the only basis for regulatory renditions”.
BoI Grows Assets by 78.8% to N1.86 Trillion
The Bank of Industry Group concluded the 2020 financial year with a 78.8 per cent growth of assets from N1.04tn to N1.86tn between 2019 and 2020.
A statement by the bank on Monday said the increase was driven to a large extent by the successful debt syndication of €1bn and $1bn that were concluded in March and December 2020 respectively.
BoI stated that the group’s financial statement demonstrated resilience and strength, noting that the period had significant challenges in the operating environment on account of the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on the economy.
“It also indicates synergy with the various interventions developed by the Federal Government, the Central Bank as well as other strategic partners towards ameliorating the impact of the pandemic on Nigerian enterprises,” the statement said.
The group’s total equity increased by 14.8 per cent from N293.08bn in the previous year to N336.48bn in 2020.
It added that as a reflection of the adverse impact of the challenging operating environment on growth of new facilities, loans and advances grew marginally in 2020 by 1.3 per cent to N749.84bn from the 2019 position.
The bank explained that this was largely due to the economic slowdown in the year as well as the various interventions and support initiated by the bank for its customers.
“The bank reviewed and restructured all its managed projects under the CBN intervention programme with interest rate reduction from nine to five per cent per annum for a period of one year and moratorium extension of three months (with a possible extension up to 12 months),” it said.
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