Access Bank Plc has said that its Rights Issue of N41.8 billion to its existing shareholders was 80 per cent subscribed.
The share price rose by 1.71 percent to close N4.17 at the close of transactions yesterday.
It will be recalled that the bank earlier in the year obtained the approval of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, and the Securities and Exchange Commission, SEC, to raise N41.8 billion through the offer of 7.63 billion ordinary shares of 50 kobo each at N6.90 to its shareholders at the ratio of one new share for every three previously held.The offer opened on January 26, 2015 and closed on March 18, 2015.
The bank had said that it plans to increase lending to the small business sector and retail segment of Nigeria’s economy from the proceeds of the rights issue. Funds raised, at the end of the exercise, according to a statement from the bank, accounts for 80 per cent of the total number of new ordinary shares offered to the shareholders.
The capital raise puts investors firmly at the centre of the bank’s strategy, ensuring sustainable dividends through one of the strongest capital buffers as well as providing the means for further investment to exploit target markets, the bank stated.
Commenting, the Group Managing Director, Mr. Herbert Wigwe, said: “We are putting in place the building blocks for our future as we work to becoming one of the top three banks in Nigeria by 2017. The capital raised will allow us to retain our place amongst Nigeria’s best-capitalised banks and underscores our continued commitment to prudent risk management as we seek growth opportunities both in Nigeria and abroad.
“This additional capital will allow us to invest in our infrastructure and technology, which will make speed, service and security a guarantee for all our customers, as well as providing the firepower to diversify our geographic focus and target Africa’s fastest-growing industrial sectors.”
Meanwhile, shareholders of the bank have commended the performance of the bank and ability of its management to consistently enhance the quality and value of their investments, particularly through some of the strategic initiatives and decisions taken in the last couple of years, which signalled the direction the institution is heading.