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Zenith Fintech Subsidiary Zenpay Limited Partners AfCFTA on Innovative Trade Portal

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Zenpay Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of Zenith Bank Plc, has signed an Agreement with the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Secretariat for the development and deployment of the SMARTAfCFTA Portal to facilitate trade within the African continent.

The agreement which was signed by the Chairman of Zenpay Limited, Dr. Ebenezer Onyeagwu and the Secretary-General of the AfCFTA Secretariat, His Excellency Wamkele Mene, at Zenith Bank Headquarters, Ajose Adeogun Street, Victoria Island, Lagos on Friday, May 3, 2024 comes as a follow-up to the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) which was previously signed by both parties during the 8th Annual Edition of Zenith Bank’s International Trade Seminar on Non-Oil Export which was held on Wednesday, August 8, 2023.

During the agreement signing, Dr. Ebenezer Onyeagwu, Chairman of Zenpay Limited, expressed his enthusiasm for the collaboration with the AfCFTA Secretariat, highlighting its significance given the current understanding of trade flows in Africa.

Dr. Onyeagwu noted, “In Africa, intra-African trade constitutes only about 20% of total trade, with the rest going overseas, despite Africans making up 18% of the world population but contributing less than 5% to global GDP. By trading within Africa, we anticipate building prosperity across the continent.”

He further stated, “This initiative is not driven by profit but by the need to support the African Continental Free Trade Area. It aims to create a unified African market, enhancing economic integration and standardising customs and practices. As we advance this agenda, we expect tosee significant growth and improvement in intra-Africa trade.”

Also speaking during the agreement signing, His Excellency, Wamkele Mene, Secretary-General of the AfCFTA Secretariat, shared his delight over the partnership with Zenpay Limited in developing SMARTAfCFTA. He appreciated Jim Ovia, CFR, Founder and Chairman of Zenith Bank Plc, for his commitment to the project.

According to him, “Four years ago, we discussed and envisioned SMARTAfCFTA as a digital platform to empower SMEs and young entrepreneurs in Africa, facilitating their inclusion in trade and boosting intra-African trade. This platform will serve as a repository for crucial trade data, offering insights on rules of origin and market intelligence, thus playing a pivotal role in implementing the AfCFTA agreement. Today is a testament that working together with our African partners in this case, Zenith bank, shows that their commitment goes beyond their progit margins to their stakeholders, but are motivated by our shared duty towards the Continent.”

Speaking about the Pan-African Payment and Settlement System (PAPSS) alongside the SMARTAfCFTA portal,  H.E. Mene described PAPSS as “Africa’s payment highway.” He clarified that, unlike PAPSS, SMARTAfCFTA is not a payment platform itself but will be interoperable with PAPSS, allowing functionalities that facilitate easy payments. He emphasised that these platforms complement each other; they are not in competition. “We promote and encourage only one payment platform—PAPSS. Our goal is to integrate the digital ecosystem we are developing into PAPSS. We are committed to fostering innovation within this framework, ensuring it supports a seamless continental payment system without creating competition among platforms.”

SMARTAfCFTA is a digital platform designed to facilitate international trade by providing the necessary information and tools to the African private and public sectors. The Portal aims to streamline and unlock vast opportunities for trade across the African continent, and has the capacity to provide information like trade indicators, market trends, custom tariffs, trade agreements, Rules of Origin, market access requirements of relevant jurisdictions, export potentials, export diversification indicators and contact details of business partners in target markets and other trade-related information about Africa.

About ZENPAY Ltd

Zenpay Ltd is a private limited liability company duly incorporated under the laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as a wholly owned subsidiary of Zenith Bank Plc. The company. It is a one-stop revolutionary financial technology (Fintech) company responsible for digital innovation and payments.

Is the CEO/Founder of Investors King Limited. A proven foreign exchange research analyst and a published author on Yahoo Finance, Businessinsider, Nasdaq, Entrepreneur.com, Investorplace, and many more. He has over two decades of experience in global financial markets.

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Banking Sector

Guaranty Trust Holding Plans N500 Billion Share Offering

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Guaranty Trust Holding Company Plc (GTCOPLC) has announced plans to raise up to N500 billion through a new share offering, according to a preliminary prospectus filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

This move aims to support the company’s ambitious growth and expansion strategy.

GTCOPLC’s proposed offering will involve the subscription of ordinary shares of 50 kobo each, although the exact number of shares and the price range are yet to be determined.

The offering includes a concurrent filing of a preliminary universal shelf registration statement, allowing the company to issue various types of securities, potentially raising up to $750 million in multiple currencies.

Purpose of the Offering

The funds raised from this offering will primarily be allocated towards:

  1. Business Growth and Expansion: GTCOPLC plans to invest significantly in technology infrastructure to enhance its current operations. Additionally, the company intends to establish new subsidiaries and make selective acquisitions of non-banking businesses.
  2. Recapitalization of Guaranty Trust Bank Limited: Part of the proceeds will be used to strengthen the capital base of its banking subsidiary.

Target Investors and Structure

The offering is structured to attract both institutional and retail investors. It will be divided into two main tranches:

  • Nigerian Tranche: An institutional and retail offering aimed at eligible investors within Nigeria.
  • International Tranche: A private placement targeting qualified institutional buyers outside Nigeria.

Listing and Trading

GTCOPLC has also filed an application with the Nigerian Exchange Limited (NGX) to list and admit the new ordinary shares for trading on the NGX Official List.

The company anticipates opening the offering by July 2024.

Financial Strategy

The universal shelf registration will enable GTCOPLC to issue a variety of securities over time, with a total value of up to $750 million (or its equivalent in Nigerian Naira).

This approach provides the company with flexibility to raise capital in different markets during the programme’s validity period. The current proposed offering will be the first issuance under this new programme.

Regulatory Compliance

GTCOPLC emphasized that this notice does not constitute an offer of securities for sale in the United States or to U.S. persons, as defined under Regulation S of the U.S. Securities Act of 1933.

The offered shares have not been, and will not be, registered under the U.S. Securities Act or any state securities laws, and cannot be sold in the United States without proper registration or an applicable exemption.

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Banking Sector

Fidelity Bank Launches N127.1bn Public Offer and Rights Issue on June 20

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Fidelity Bank Plc, Nigeria’s sixth-largest bank, is set to open its public offer and rights issue to investors on Thursday, June 20, 2024.

In preparation for this significant financial event, Fidelity Bank will host a “Facts Behind the Offer” presentation at the Nigerian Exchange Group (NGX) on the same day.

This presentation is expected to provide detailed insights into the bank’s strategy and the opportunities presented by the public offer and rights issue.

Under the rights issue, Fidelity Bank will offer 3.2 billion ordinary shares of 50 kobo each at N9.25 per share. These shares will be available to existing shareholders in the proportion of 1 new ordinary share for every 10 ordinary shares held as of January 5, 2024.

In addition to the rights issue, the bank will also offer 10 billion ordinary shares of 50 kobo each to the general investing public at N9.75 per share. This dual approach is part of the bank’s comprehensive strategy to raise a total of up to N127.1 billion.

The acceptance and application period for the rights issue and public offer will commence on Thursday, June 20, and close on Monday, July 29, 2024.

This timeline provides investors ample opportunity to participate in the bank’s capital expansion.

Fidelity Bank has engaged Stanbic IBTC Capital as the lead issuing house for the combined offer. The joint issuing houses include Iron Global Markets Limited, Cowry Asset Management Limited, Afrinvest Capital Limited, FSL Securities Limited, Futureview Financial Services Limited, Iroko Capital Market Advisory Limited, Kairos Capital Limited, and Planet Capital Limited.

These firms will play a crucial role in managing the offer and ensuring its success.

The bank’s initiative to raise N127.1 billion is seen as a strategic move to bolster its capital base and ensure compliance with the CBN’s revised capital requirements, which were introduced on March 28, 2024.

This capital raise is expected to enhance the bank’s capacity to support its growing customer base and expand its operations across Nigeria and beyond.

In recent years, Fidelity Bank has demonstrated robust financial performance and growth, positioning itself as a key player in Nigeria’s banking sector.

The successful completion of this public offer and rights issue will further solidify its standing and enable it to pursue new opportunities in the competitive financial landscape.

Investors and stakeholders are keenly anticipating the outcome of this capital-raising exercise, which is poised to mark a significant milestone in Fidelity Bank’s journey toward sustained growth and stability.

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Banking Sector

Fidelity Bank Plc Promotes 11% of Staff Following Record Financial Performance

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Leading financial institution, Fidelity Bank Plc has announced the promotion of 11% of its workforce, a testament to the exceptional performance and dedication of its employees.

This significant move follows the release of the bank’s 2023 full year Audited Financial Statements, which reported an impressive 131.5 percent growth in Profit Before Tax (PBT) to N124.26 billion.

The recent promotions span every level within the bank, reflecting Fidelity Bank Plc’s commitment to recognizing and rewarding excellence across its entire organization.

This strategic initiative has garnered positive reactions from staff members, who see it as a validation of their hard work and contribution to the bank’s remarkable financial achievements.

In addition to the promotions, Fidelity Bank Plc has also concluded arrangements to raise a total of N127.1 billion through a Rights Issue to existing shareholders and a Public Offer. This move is part of the bank’s broader strategy to strengthen its capital base, support future growth, and enhance shareholder value.

Fidelity Bank Plc’s impressive financial performance and the subsequent employee promotions highlight the bank’s robust operational strategy and its commitment to fostering a rewarding work environment. By investing in its people and ensuring their career growth, the bank continues to build a motivated and high-performing workforce.

Ranked as one of the best banks in Nigeria, Fidelity Bank Plc is a full-fledged customer commercial bank with over 8.5 million customers serviced across its 251 business offices in Nigeria and the United Kingdom as well as on digital banking channels.

The bank has won multiple local and international awards including the Export Finance Bank of the Year at the 2023 BusinessDay Banks and Other Financial Institutions (BAFI) Awards, the Best Payment Solution Provider Nigeria 2023 and Best SME Bank Nigeria 2022 by the Global Banking and Finance Awards; Best Bank for SMEs in Nigeria by the Euromoney Awards for Excellence 2023; and Best Domestic Private Bank in Nigeria by the Euromoney Global Private Banking Awards 2023.

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