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Fidelity Bank started recapitalisation before CBN made it compulsory –Amuchie

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Fidelity Bank started recapitalisation before CBN made it compulsory –Amuchie

Fidelity Bank started recapitalisation before CBN made it compulsory –Amuchie

Recently, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) raised the capital base of commercial banks and set the tone for recapitalisation. But one bank that was already working on recapitalisation prior to that is Fidelity Bank Plc.

Revealing this in an interview, Fidelity Bank’s Executive Director, Chief Operations and Information Officer, Mr. Stanley Amuchie, said the bank had in August last year got its shareholders’ nod to recapitalise, only for the CBN to unveil the programme in March 2024.

He said Fidelity Bank was ahead of its competitors in knowing the right thing to do at every point in time.

He spoke on this and other things.

With CBN recapitalisation programme, which affects all banks, where you are on this?

The Central Bank of Nigeria, on March 28, 2024, announced recapitalisation for the banking industry. If you look at Fidelity Bank, we got the approval of our shareholders on August 11, 2023. That shows that, as a bank, we understand our business as well as the environment. We have done what we call Capital Needs Assessment. Based on that, therefore, we went out to seek approval of our shareholders to raise capital. And what we are trying to do is to issue 10 billion units of shares in public offering at N9.75k per share; and 3.2 billion units of shares by way of right issue to existing shareholders at N9.25k per share. That process has been in play. The signing ceremony is a step towards opening to the market. And that was why, a few days ago, on June 5, we had the signing ceremony. Of course, the processes involves getting all the parties together.

Who are these parties?

The parties will be the people at the issuing houses, the receiving banks, the reporting accountants and then the stockbrokers. Those are the people that will make up the parties to the offer. We have gone through the processes of getting all the people together, as well as prepared documents for the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for approval. We have also secured approval of the Nigeria Stock Exchange Commission (NSEC) and that of the Nigeria Exchange Limited (NGX) and then held the signing ceremony. The next step is to secure the final approval of SEC to open the offer to the market. And we hope to open the offer on June 20 this year. It will be open for 28 working days. What it means is that, we will close on July 29, 2024.

It looks like you want to go into the market before others and ensure you get your shares before the competition gets stiff…

Like I said, we started this process earlier, because ours is based on strategy. This is because we are looking at our current business. We believe we had enough capital to do our business but we are looking at growth, which is why we are projecting growth. We believe that, if you want to grow, you must have what it takes. I want to liken capital to what oxygen is to human beings. If you don’t have enough oxygen, you will suffocate. Therefore, we looked at the growth process and what we needed to do, hence we started ours quite early. We didn’t wait. Remember, we were not reacting to CBN’s pronouncement. We have been very proactive about our capital base. That is what we are doing.

Ir seems there are some jitters, maybe not so much, but when the news about the revocation of Heritage Bank’s license came out, banking stocks dropped, people were asking questions, and now you are going to the market. How do you convince the people that Fidelity Bank is safe?

Let me say this again. Fidelity Bank Plc is very safe. This is a bank that has shown capacity and growth over the years. For instance, in the last five years, if you look at the stock, which is what we are talking about, you will appreciate the value our bank has created between May 2019 and May 2024. The value or the share price of Fidelity has grown by 507 percent or at N1.68k as at 31st of May, 2019, to N10.20k as at 31st of May, 2024. That is 507 per cent growth. What this means is that we have grown at an average of over 100 percent for every year.

 

You hit a new record high, over one hundred and four thousand, for the all-share index?

Yes. For all that has happened, you will see that our bank grew more than two times the all-share index. Even if you talk about the banking index, which is what tracks the value of shares of the banking industry, our bank did four times.

What are the chances of mergers, or are you looking at acquiring some banks?

Everything is on the table. For now, what we are trying to do is to get additional capital at the level where we are today. And by the time we get that, we will be in a very good position to look at what is ahead of us.

What of acquiring banks that need help, which will also increase your branches and assets?

Those are very possible. Like I said, everything is on the table for us. Our plan is to put ourselves in that position where you can think clearly and then be able to take any decision. And if we need to acquire, there has to be value. We will look at those who bring that synergy we will need. That is what we are looking at. But aside from that, we are well positioned. For the offer that is about to open, we are already getting feelers that people are seeing the investments in Fidelity and what it has done over the years. That is why they are very eager to be part of what is happening in Fidelity.

What is the major drive for capital that you are looking to get from the market?

When you are in business, at every point in your business, you need to sit back and look at where you are going to. We have seen a lot of growth in Fidelity in the last three to five years, in almost all the indices. If you look at indices like gross earnings, we’ve seen growth from N206 billion in 2020 to N556 billion in 2023 on gross earnings. That is a cumulative average growth rate of about 39 per cent. Similarly, our Profit Before Tax (PBT) grew from N28 billion to N124 billion by the end of 2023. That is a cumulative growth rate of 64 per cent. Moreso, savings accounts and deposits have also grown, significantly.

So, almost all the performance Indices have been on trajectory of growth. Therefore, you appreciate the kind of businesses you are seeing on the horizon at this moment. In this regard, what we have done, essentially, is to look at the Capital Needs Assessment, because we are getting more businesses, which is why we need to increase our capital, to be able to take on more businesses so that we do not get businesses we cannot handle. And like I said, capital in business is like what oxygen is to human beings.

Small business owners do say that commercial banks are not their friend at all. Do you think this new capital will get to small businesses?

Fidelity Bank has always been known for supporting small and medium enterprises (SMEs). Our bank has won several awards for SMEs support and there are probably only a few banks, if any, that have supported SMEs the way Fidelity has done. Our bank is more like an SMEs’ bank. We’ve grown new champions in the market and that is what we are known for. I can assure you that we will continue to do that, even better in the years ahead.

Recently, the Independent Project Monitoring Company recognised Fidelity Bank. What is the bank doing diffetently in Environmental, Social and Governance to warrant such recognition?

We are doing a lot. Today, we are one of the banks in Nigeria that have taken ESG to a greater level. We are doing a lot on the environment, staff (socials), and corporate governance. Therefore, if you talk about governance board, of course, ours is recognized as one of the strongest boards in the banking industry in Nigeria. We have people from different facets of the economy: oil and gas, investment banking and others. It goes to show that the quality of the board and its discussions are very strong. Then talk about the environment; we are doing paperless office, green financing and all. These are the things they have seen and that is why they recognised us.

Business

Zenith Bank Capital Markets Day

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Zenith Bank Capital Markets Day

 

Highlights from the Zenith Bank Capital Markets Day held earlier today with the Founder & Chairman of Zenith Bank PLC Dr. Jim Ovia CFR, Dame Dr. Adaora Umeoji OON, GMD/CEO of Zenith Bank PLC, Executive Directors of the Bank; Dr. Henry Oroh, Dr. (Mrs) Adobi Nwapa, Mr. Akin Ogunranti, Mr. Lawani Adamu, Mr. Louis Odom; the Bank’s Chief Finance Officer Dr. Mukhtar Adam (PhD); the General Manager/Group Head Investor Relations & Corporate Development Mrs. Rolake Akinkugbe-Filani; existing and potential investors, analysts, stockmarket players, asset managers, customers and other members of the Senior Management Team of the Bank.

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GTCO Offers 9 Billion Shares At ₦44.50 Each, Envisions One Billion Dollar Profit

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GTCO Offers 9 Billion Shares At ₦44.50 Each, Envisions One Billion Dollar Profit

GTCO Offers 9 Billion Shares At ₦44.50 Each, Envisions One Billion Dollar Profit

 

Guaranty Trust Holding Company (GTCO), one of Nigeria’s largest lenders, is raising ₦400 billion in capital through a public offer anchored on the Nigerian Exchange Group (NGX).

The company is offering 9 billion shares at ₦44.50 each, with plans to invest the additional capital in profitable ventures in West Africa and East Africa, as well as recapitalize GTBank Nigeria, expand its asset management and pension businesses, and grow its loan portfolio.

According to Group CEO Segun Agbaje, GTCO has a track record of delivering strong returns, with a 29% average return on equity (RoAE) over the past ten years and a 253% return on investment over the same period.

The company has also made significant inroads into non-banking businesses, including fintech, asset management, and pension management, with plans to generate 5% of group profit from these businesses within three years.

Agbaje, in a “fact behind the offer” presentation at the NGX on monday, gave stakeholders compelling reasons to embrace the offer. He promised to soon make GTCO the first Nigerian company to realise a billion dollar profit.

He welcome the CBN directive to banks in Nigeria to upscale their capital threshold, following adverse economic headwinds that have seen continuous erosion of assets noting that GTCO already had plans to raise fresh capital months before thedirective.

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Zenith Bank Wins Best Commercial Bank In Nigeria And Best Corporate Governance Awards At World Finance 2024 Awards

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Zenith Bank Wins Best Commercial Bank In Nigeria And Best Corporate Governance Awards At World Finance 2024 Awards

Zenith Bank Wins Best Commercial Bank In Nigeria And Best Corporate Governance Awards At World Finance 2024 Awards

Zenith Bank Plc has emerged as the Best Commercial Bank, Nigeria in the World Finance Banking Awards 2024, retaining the award for a fourth consecutive year.

The bank was also named as Best Corporate Governance, Nigeria for the third year running in the World Finance Corporate Governance Awards 2024.

The awards, which were published in the Summer 2024 Issue of the World Finance Magazine, are in recognition of the bank’s robust financial performance, superior customer service, sustainability initiatives and corporate governance practices.

Commenting on the dual honours, the Group Managing Director/Chief Executive of Zenith Bank Plc, Dame (Dr.) Adaora Umeoji, OON, remarked:

“These awards highlight our steadfast dedication to excellence, adherence to global best practices, and our persistent effort to deliver superior value to all stakeholders through innovative products and services. Receiving these awards consecutively for multiple years signifies the commitment of our staff, the loyalty of our customers, and the support of our shareholders. We remain devoted to setting industry benchmarks and driving excellence across all aspects of our operations.”

Dr. Umeoji expressed her delight at the recognition and dedicated the awards to the Founder and Chairman, Dr. Jim Ovia, CFR, for his impactful leadership in establishing a robust and flourishing institution. She also expressed gratitude to the board for their vision and insight, the staff for their unwavering dedication, and the bank’s customers for choosing Zenith as their preferred bank.

World Finance is a leading international magazine providing comprehensive coverage and analysis of the financial industry, international business and the global economy.

The editorial combines award-winning reportage, covering a broad range of topics from banking and insurance to wealth management and infrastructure investment, with contributions from some of the world’s most well-respected economists and theorists as well as consultants in government think tanks and the World Economic Forum.

Zenith Bank’s track record of excellent performance has continued to earn the brand numerous awards, with these latest accolades coming on the heels of several recognitions including being recognised as the Number One Bank in Nigeria by Tier-1 Capital for the 14th consecutive year in the 2023 Top 1000 World Banks Ranking, published by The Banker Magazine.

We were also awarded the Bank of the Year (Nigeria) in The Banker’s Bank of the Year Awards for 2020 and 2022; and Most Sustainable Bank, Nigeria in the International Banker 2024 Banking Awards

Further recognitions include Best Bank in Nigeria for three consecutive years from 2020 to 2022 in the Global Finance World’s Best Banks Awards and Best Commercial Bank, Nigeria for three consecutive years from 2021 to 2023 in the World Finance Banking Awards.

Additionally, Zenith Bank has been acknowledged as the Best Corporate Governance Bank, Nigeria, in the World Finance Corporate Governance Awards for 2022 and 2023, and ‘Best in Corporate Governance’ Financial Services’ Africa for four consecutive years from 2020 to 2023 by the Ethical Boardroom.

The bank’s commitment to excellence saw it being named the Most Valuable Banking Brand in Nigeria in the Banker Magazine Top 500 Banking Brands for 2020 and 2021 and Retail Bank of the Year for three consecutive years from 2020 to 2022 at the BusinessDay Banks and Other Financial Institutions (BAFI) Awards.

The bank also received the accolade of Most Sustainable Bank, Nigeria, in the International Banker 2023 Banking Awards and Best Commercial Bank, Nigeria and Best Innovation in Retail Banking, Nigeria, in the International Banker 2022 Banking Awards.

Zenith Bank was named Bank of the Decade (People’s Choice) at the ThisDay Awards 2020, Bank of the Year 2021 by Champion Newspaper, Bank of the Year 2022 by New Telegraph Newspaper, and Most Responsible Organisation in Africa 2021 by SERAS Awards

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