Access Bank’s shareholders on Wednesday approved the Board of Directors’ new debt issue, which will see the bank raise up to ₦459 billion ($1.5 billion). Prior to this time, Access Bank Plc had an existing $1 billion debt issuance programme.
The go-ahead was given during the bank’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) held in Lagos yesterday.
Details of the new debt issue
Access Bank Plc will raise capital through the issuance of notes, non-convertible loans and other instruments that can be issued through public offerings, private placement, book building, etc. The bank’s board of directors are to decide the entailments of any issue type they choose and work towards ensuring the success of the capital raise.
Speaking at the AGM, Mrs Mosun Belo- Olusola, the Chairman of Access Bank Plc, noted that the proposed $1.5 billion debt issue is indicative of the board of directors’ determination to strengthen its funding/capital base, and ultimately increase profitability.
She further stated that the new debt issuance programme is necessitated by prevailing regulatory and economic realities which she said has put growing demand on liquidity and capital. The bank must, therefore, do everything possible to cushion its capital base and actualise its set objectives.
The chairman also commended the successful completion of Access Bank’s strategic five-year growth plan which lasted between 2013 and 2017, while noting that the new strategy that has been adopted will position the bank to becoming Africa’s leading bank in the next five years.
As we move on to the next phase of our growth story, the board is positive that we will achieve our growth aspirations through a sustained and sharp focus on our strategic priorities. Operating efficiency will remain at the heart of our decisions and we will continue to focus on effective execution of our strategy and on delivering value to shareholders.-Mrs Mosun Belo-Olusoga
Meanwhile, the bank’s shareholders approved the earmarked ₦18.8 billion for the payment of dividends and used the occasion to appreciate the bank’s management for their consistent payment of dividends over the years. They also commended the fact that Access Bank excelled beyond the ₦4 trillion balance sheet size.
Also speaking at the AGM was Access Bank’s Group Managing Director, Herbert Wigwe, who said that the bank performed well in 2017. In his words:
Looking at the top-line of major banks, we are doing well. The new phase of our five-year corporate strategic plan will extensively cover what we could not achieve in the previous phase. We shall continue to invest in staff trainings in order to ensure our staff remain one of the best amongst their colleagues in the industry. As a customer friendly institution we have set-up an Interactive Voice Response (IVR) centre and ombudsman complaints Call Centre to tackle issues from customers.