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Herbert Wigwe sells 28.8 million Access Bank shares

Access Bank’s Chief Executive Officer, Herbert Wigwe, has sold 28.86 million shares worth N297.82 million, which represents 2.33% of his stakes in the bank. The transaction, which was done through Trust Capital Limited, was disclosed in a notice filed at the Nigerian Stock Exchange.

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Access Bank CEO, Herbert Wigwe

Access Bank’s Chief Executive Officer, Herbert Wigwe, has sold 28.86 million shares worth N297.82 million, which represents 2.33% of his stakes in the bank. The transaction, which was done through Trust Capital Limited, was disclosed in a notice filed at the Nigerian Stock Exchange.

This means Wigwe had sold 6.81% of his stake in the financial institution, as he had sold a 4.48% stake on Friday. The bank disclosed in a notification of insider dealing, which was filed at the NSE on Friday, that its CEO sold 55.6 million shares ordinary shares, which he held indirectly.

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Details: Access Bank said Wigwe held a total of 1.24 billion indirect shares as of April 2019. The indirect shares were made up of 537.73 million shares owned by United Alliance Company of Nigeria Limited and 702.56 million shares owned by Trust and Capital Limited.

  • It said the 55.6 million shares sold were from Wigwe’s indirect holding through Trust and Capital Limited
  • It added that the number of shares sold was an aggregation of sales made on four different instances ― 3.61 million shares on January 10, 20.14 million shares on January 13, 9.24 million shares on January 14 and 22.63 million shares on January 15.
  • Wigwe sold the shares at a price of N10.80 on January 10, N10.70 on January 13, N10.56 on January 14 and N10.22 on January 15.
  • Out of the 15 members of Access Bank’s board of directors, Wigwe has the highest stake in the bank, directly owning 201.23 million shares and 1.24 billion shares indirectly.
  • The additional 28.86 million shares were sold at N10.32 on January 16.

Investors raise concerns: In what is looking like a major concern to investors, the bank CEO’s is selling down his shares just after the bank announced that it had suspended its closed period. Earlier in the year, January 8th the bank announced that it had suspended its closed period which it had earlier communicated on December 30th. The closed period was supposed to last until January 29th, 2020.

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Some investors who spoke to Nairametrics on the condition of anonymity are now wondering if there is a connection between the back to back sale of shares and the abrupt suspension of the announcement of the closed period.

While there is no proof, it is likely that as a leading member of the management of the bank he may have seen the results of the company giving him an undue advantage over other shareholders of the company who are not privy to results. 

The share price of Access Bank Plc closed at N10 on December 31 and recorded a sustained appreciation up till January 8, where it closed a N11.80. Access Bank closed trading on Tuesday at N10.05 having opened at N10.75.

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Abiola has spent about 14 years in journalism. His career has covered some top local print media like TELL Magazine, Broad Street Journal, The Point Newspaper. The Bloomberg MEI alumni has interviewed some of the most influential figures of the IMF, G-20 Summit, Pre-G20 Central Bank Governors and Finance Ministers, Critical Communication World Conference. The multiple award winner is variously trained in business and markets journalism at Lagos Business School, and Pan-Atlantic University. You may contact him via email - [email protected]

31 Comments

31 Comments

  1. Anonymous

    January 22, 2020 at 9:00 am

    hmm, this looks like bad news for access bank shareholders. He sold another round again on january 20, access bank shareholders need to keep a keen eye out to ensure this isn’t a dump considering the extension of access bank’s closed period.

  2. ebuka

    January 22, 2020 at 9:01 am

    hmm, this looks like bad news for access bank shareholders. He sold another round again on january 20, access bank shareholders need to keep a keen eye out to ensure this isn’t a dump considering the extension of access bank’s closed period.

  3. Anonymous

    January 22, 2020 at 10:34 am

    former Abia state governor you mean

  4. Anonymous

    January 22, 2020 at 11:12 am

    SEC and NSE are looking the other ways, is this how they protect retail investors?

    • Williams

      March 9, 2020 at 7:05 pm

      I don not believe that the regulators would condone any sharp practice.

      Moreover, the Bank made profit, so I guess Mr Wigwe had other reasons for selling the shares

  5. Obiageli Peace Okeke

    January 22, 2020 at 11:14 am

    Wigwe should be queried, why should he sell of his stake, it doesn’t sound well for us as shareholders. Let no story be told to common Nigeriansoo. It ll not sound palatals, too many deceits in the industry.

    The bank had better come up with the true reasons why a whole CEO of a bank ll consider such action.

    • Prince

      January 24, 2020 at 12:52 pm

      Errrr…he needed money? lol. What’s the whole idea of buying shares and investing? Is it not to make money. Now you have made money and you can’t convert this ‘money’ to cash when you need it? Why invest then?

  6. Ibrahim Suleiman

    January 22, 2020 at 1:54 pm

    I don’t see any reason for the panic, he only sold 55.6M shares of out of the 702.56 M shares of his indirect holdings with Trust and capital ltd.

    This is now remaining 482.13 M with United Alliance, 646.96 M with Trust indirect share holdings and 201.23M direct share holdings. Which is still very huge and significant for the bank.

    Observation: It could be that he ( the subsidiary) wants to take some profits because the share price of Access bank have proven to have accumulated some gains in the past months/ weeks. Remember he is an investor.. Investors reap profits

    It could also be that he has been advised to free up some shares for others to have access to. It is really amazing to see just one person owning this large amounts of shares in the company he is the CEO, it tells a lot.
    Also it could be that he( them..trust and capital) seek to diversify their portfolio into other sectors by way of investment, don’t forget Access bank’s recent drive to cover Africa banking space with its recent full take over of and setting up of financial institutions in the Republic of Cameron. The sell off may be a strategic positioning in all or most of this regards. My take though.

    • Iyke

      January 22, 2020 at 6:41 pm

      Very correct. I suspect divestment of portfolio.

  7. Anodebenze

    January 22, 2020 at 2:37 pm

    Why not you sees things from another angle.HE MAYBE SELLING FOR ANOTHER REASON,YOU DO NOT KNOW,FOR ONE THE REGULATING AUTHORITY the cbn have decreed, all ceo of any bank,must not exceed 10 yrs as chief executive officer,it looks his tenure is coming up,and he have about half a billion naira to invests,when he leave office,now it looks he wants to be a business operator,when he leaves his office,so it is 50% that the economy will grows at 3% or not for the next 3 yrs according to the world bank.
    However the cbn can change things fast,if they moves fast.e.g this recapitalization,uses your brain much better

  8. Stanley

    January 22, 2020 at 3:18 pm

    The timing of Wigwe’s actions are very suspicious, although he’s sold just less than 7% of his holdings so far. But the sales may be to meet some personal or corporate emergency on behalf of the institutions thru which he owns the shares. For instance, he may be raising the cash to pay off some partners who are on his neck or something. However, the timing of these transactions is not right at all.

    • Prince

      January 24, 2020 at 12:52 pm

      Well emergencies never warn us right? I also feel that the NSE would have flagged it if there was any foul play. Just my opinion.

  9. Anonymous

    January 22, 2020 at 6:30 pm

    You cannot rule out that facts that Wigwe has been phenomenal in transforming Access Bank to an enviable heights

    • Anonymous

      January 24, 2020 at 12:43 pm

      True. But we cannot rule out the bad belle factor.

  10. Sola

    January 23, 2020 at 3:25 am

    Does anyone realise that Trinity Towers is being built by his Church, City of David? Has it occurred to you that he may be making cash donations free of debt? Everyone is making donation to the project, abeg leave Wigwe to his God.

    • Prince

      January 24, 2020 at 12:51 pm

      Truth is, besides this, there are a myriad other possible things he could want to do with money. It’s even just a small portion of his shares he sold. It’s his now, right?

  11. Iyke

    January 23, 2020 at 4:44 am

    The end will justify the means…

  12. Anonymous

    January 23, 2020 at 6:00 am

    Buying of shares is to make money.I believe he need money for something. Why are people crying.the cash is still in access bank.is it not someone that bought it fron m him?that part he sold is now owned by another person so nothing is lost.

  13. Anonymous

    January 23, 2020 at 6:03 am

    The sell-off maybe genuine or suspicious, either way no bank can collapse with shareholders/customers funds anymore. This is because the CBN would intervene just right before it happened by dissolving the board of such bank.
    So shareholders/customers, fear not for whatever the case may be, your funds are secured and the truth will eventually come out.

    • Prince

      January 24, 2020 at 12:48 pm

      This is even going too far – talking about bank collapsing. The NSE would have intervened if there was foul play here. Let’s not scare our fellow customers.

  14. Anonymous

    January 23, 2020 at 10:36 am

    It is a severe red and purple flag.

  15. OKESOOTO IPADEOLA JONATHAN

    January 23, 2020 at 1:50 pm

    The disclosure is welcome; let Commentators accept it with maturity as He has right to acquire and divest. As a business Leader He has labored to grow Access Bank and other businesses, if there is no accusation of misappropriation; We need not to diagnose His privacy. We can make use of the information for our desired benefits.

  16. Anonymous

    January 24, 2020 at 12:41 pm

    Nobody is asking the right questions. This man sold 2.33% of his shares. A barely significant amount of his total holding. Why is that a big deal? If any governance guidelines were breached, the Stock Exchange would have been the ones screaming. But… no one has heard a word. EFCC went on TV and said he was not arrested. Yet people are still carrying the gist. Why?

    • Prince

      January 24, 2020 at 4:11 pm

      I can’t understand it myself o

  17. Anonymous

    January 24, 2020 at 12:43 pm

    So what???

  18. Anonymous

    January 24, 2020 at 12:44 pm

    Herbert Wigwe catches a cold and all of Naija is sneezing. Abeg leave him alone.

  19. Anonymous

    January 24, 2020 at 1:24 pm

    It’s just a very small percentage of his stake that he sold. Could have needed the money for 1001 things in my opinion.

  20. Abu Sule

    January 24, 2020 at 2:21 pm

    Na wa. Somebody cannot take like 3% of his property and sell to settle soem quick needs again, abi? If he did something wrong, shebi the cBN and SEC would have come for him? In a heavily regulated inductry like banking, you can’t just do rubbish.

    Nairametrics, you are becoming Linda Ikeji with these sensational headlines o

  21. Marvin Chukwuka

    January 24, 2020 at 4:12 pm

    I think we are panicking too much. Even if he sold his shares, there’s no law that says he can’t. What if he simply needs the money for something else? You think the NSE would see it and not flag it if it was a breach?

  22. Prince

    January 24, 2020 at 4:14 pm

    What he sold was literally an insignificant fraction of his total shares. Not enough for any suspicion at all.

    • Olisa Mbanefo

      February 2, 2020 at 9:56 am

      Why the panic about Wigwe selling his shares? Bill Gates reduced his share holding in Microsoft to its present level of 3.6% to invest in other businesses. Jeff Bezos of Amazon sold more than 2 million of his Amazon shares in May & August 2016 for $1.427Billion to invest in others businesses, & he’s been selling $1Billion in Amazon shares every year since 2016 to raise capital for his Blue Origin business. Has Amazon crashed because of that? Wigwe is an investor just as Gates & Bezos are. He’s entitled to sell his shares just as a landlord is entitled to sell his house. If you are uncomfortable with that, sell your Access Bank share holdings.

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Entertainment

What BBNaija winner, Laycon can do with N30 million  

Nairametrics has come up with possible investments that Laycon should consider, as he begins his millionaire phase. 

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After 71 days of intense competition, the season 5 of BBNaija tagged, Big Brother Naija Lockdowncame to an intriguing end yesterday, as one person walked away with the N85 million total grand prize.

After 10 weeks of staying cooped in one house, executing several tasks from sponsors, partying every Saturday, and watching their competitors leave one after the other; finalists emerged from the 20 that started the show  Vee, Neo, NengiDorathy, and Laycon. 

Of the 5, just 1 emerged winner – Olamilekan Agbeleshepopularly known as ‘Laycon’.  

As earlier announced by Multichoice, N30 million was awarded to him as cash prize, with the supplementary 55 million covering;  

  • A two-bedroom apartment courtesy of Revolution Plus 
  • top of the range SUV from Nigerian automaker, Innoson Motors 
  • trip to Dublin courtesy of Guinness 
  • Home appliances courtesy of Scanfrost, and a branded Chiller 
  • trip to Dubai packaged by Travelbeta 
  • 1-year supply of Indomie noodles, Munch it, and Colgate toothpaste 
  • 1-year supply of Pepsi 
  • trip to watch the UEFA Champions League finale 
  • brand new Oppo Reno 3 smartphone. 

Not many are surprised with the outcome, as Laycon was a strong contender from the first day in the house. Despite his vivid intelligence and calm nature; his victory can be attributed to a strong social media strategy by his campaign team. His acceptance was easier, being a lightweight Twitter influencer himself prior to the show.

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Also, from the diary session in the final week, two of the finalists projected Laycon as the most likely winner. Nengi, particularly said she had always considered Laycon a strong competition, and she views him as someone viewers would love. Neo saw Nengi as a possible winner, while Laycon thought Dorathy to be his biggest competition. Vee said that Laycon had strong plans of what to do with the money, and believes he is deserving of the grand prize.

Speaking of strong plans, Nairametrics research team has come up with possible investments that Mr. Agbeleshebioba Massoud Al Khalifah aka Laycon should consider, as he begins his millionaire phase.

Already, the finalists have won some prizes via tasks from sponsors of the show; in fact, all of the finalists have won at least N3million prize each, and Laycon in particular has about N7 million in excess winnings. Assuming that this N7 million and other gifts would take care of his living expenses for the next few months, while he channels the N30 million into worthwhile investments.

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The 26-year-old singer and rapper has over the last couple of years built a music profile that could benefit massively from his new-found fame. Already, front-line artistes like Davido are hinting a possible collabo with the University of Lagos graduate.

In April 2019, Fierce Nation signed on Laycon, alongside Runnjozzy. His singing career dates back to the 2014 Coke Studio University of Lagos event, where he was one of the 10 artistes who performed. Later in 2017, he was one of the top 10 finalists at the MTV Base LSB challenge.

After struggling through his music career for years, without recognition, Laycon will discover that N30 million is a lot of money if invested wisely. It is also a sum that could evaporate in a matter of weeks, if misused.

Mercy Eke, winner of last year’s ‘Pepper Dem’ edition, invested her cash winnings in expanding her luxury clothing line, and launching her real estate company “Lambo Homes” which she founded in partnership with a seasoned real estate Consultant/luxury property developer, and an experienced lawyer.

Now, Laycon does not have a luxury clothing line which he might want to expand, but Research Analyst Samuel Oyekanmi avers that he could consider real estate investments just like last year’s winner. He may not have to start a real estate company, if he has no interest in it, and some landed property could make a good addition to his portfolio, given that the value rarely depreciates. “Such property could become hoteling centres or rented apartments, and bring impressive returns over time,”  he said.

Founder of Nairametrics, Ugochukwu ‘Ugodre’ Obi-Chukwu, suggests Laycon should consider choice stocks in the Nigerian and foreign stock exchanges, as well as investments in money market instruments, where some decent profits can be made.

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According to him, “This will also be the time to look into Agri-Tech investments, using crowdsourcing platforms, after which you can sit back and watch your funds grow over a time span of 5 months to a year.” 

Another investment worth considering is Food production. Food is a necessity, and the border closure has done wonders for investments along the food value chain, from farming to processing, and so on.

The transportation sector can also be considered. With proper management, an investment in a couple of vehicles in the transport line, could also yield good returns for Laycon.

Nairametrics’ Investment Analyst, Olumide Adesina, thinks that Crypto-currencies are a good bet at this time, as they are now being used to facilitate payments. He said, “Cryptos offer the highest yield across financial assets, and investing in them can only turn out great. It has recently been attracting institutional funds, and is properly regulated through a legal framework. Laycon could also consider Agro-allied stocks, as many of them have performed quite well. In spite of the insecurity problems disrupting farming in Northern Nigeria, agro stocks such as Okomu Oil have enriched investors, through dividend pay-outs and appreciation of share price. A lot of investors are looking at U.S stocks, but among the log, the tech market remains the most attractive, after the impressive performance tech companies like Google, Facebook, Apple, and Amazon put on this year. A lot of people have been spending more time on their phones, working remotely, moving their businesses to the digital space, and providing services down the value chain; all of these has improved the performance of tech stocks.” 

Laycon might need to keep all these in mind, while drawing up the budget allocation for his N30 million cash prize.

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Business

These industries drove business activities in September

The development indicates recovery as manufacturers continue to benefit from the ease of the lockdown.

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Nigeria’s manufacturing sector contracts for 5th consecutive month – CBN , To test FX market, CBN pumps $50 million, CBN issues guidelines to Finance Institutions on establishment of Subsidiaries and SPVs, CBN injects $2.63 billion to defend naira in one month, CBN’s COVID-19 N50 billion targeted credit facility, CBN’s heterodox policies buoys credit growth, These industries drove business activities in September

Despite the fact that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) declared last Wednesday that the nation’s Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) contracted at 46.9 index points, some industries still drove business activities in September.

The industries are Electrical equipment, up from 33.3 index points in August to 66.7 index points; Transportation equipment from 53.8 to 58.1; and Paper products from 44.4 to 50 within the same period.

Though, the Cement industry and non-metalic mineral products dropped from 64.4 to 58.1 and 66.0 to 50.6 index points respectively, the sub-sectors still contributed to the business activities recorded in September.

This was disclosed by the apex bank in its September PMI report released on Wednesday.

Nairametrics had earlier reported that manufacturing PMI for August stood at 48.5 index points, indicating contraction in the sector for the fourth consecutive month.

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READ: Can a lower MPR rate really prevent this recession?

Also, out of the 14 surveyed subsectors, 5 sub-sectors reported expansion (above 50 index points thresholds), while the others contracted.

Meanwhile, the production level index for the manufacturing sector indicated contraction in September 2020 for the fifth consecutive month, as well as Employment level and Raw material inventories.

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However, the manufacturing supplier delivery time index stood at 53.5 points in September 2020, indicating faster supplier delivery time for the fifth time.

(READ  MORE: Manufacturing: Momentum in activities slows in January)

Is the nation coming out of the woods?

Though CBN revealed that only 4 sub-sectors reported expansion in September, contrary to the 6 sub-sectors recorded in August, it is imperative to note that this is an improvement when compared to manufacturing activities in May and June, or the performance in July which saw 12 sub-sectors decline, with one reporting no change, while one expanded.

The impressive performance of cement and other sub-sectors, according to the manufacturing PMI report, is attributable to the expansion in production, new orders, employment, and raw materials’ inventories.

READ: CBN’s Manufacturing PMI up to 58.2 points in October 

A cursory look at the financials of key players in the industrial goods sector showed that despite the increased cost of higher energy pricing and adverse COVID-19 impacts on transport and naira devaluation, key cement manufacturers still recorded increased topline, driven by demand surge from domestic cement sales.

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Back story: Nairametrics had reported on Wednesday that 9 subsectors reported contraction (below 50% threshold) in the reviewed month in the following order:

  • Petroleum & coal products
  • Primary metal
  • Furniture & related products
  • Printing & related support activities
  • Food, beverage & tobacco products
  • Textile, apparel, leather & footwear
  • Chemical & pharmaceutical products
  • Fabricated metal products and
  • Plastics & rubber products

READ: Can a lower MPR rate really prevent this recession?

The Non-manufacturing sector PMI stood at 41.9 points in September 2020, indicating contraction in nonmanufacturing PMI, for the sixth consecutive month.

In all, the development indicates recovery as manufacturers continue to benefit from the ease of the lockdown.

However, conditions within the domestic economy remain relatively tight, reflecting continued uncertainties as investors remain cautious of the lingering risk of the pandemic.

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Energy

Electricity tariff increase is suspended for 2 weeks

The FG and the Nigerian Labour Unions have agreed to suspend the electricity tariff increase for a period of two weeks.

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Minister of Labour, Ngige, says labour demand will force government to sack workers

The Federal Government and the Nigerian Labour Unions have agreed to suspend the electricity tariff increase for a period of two weeks. This was part of the agreement reached between Labour and the Government as they deliberated to avert a nationwide strike that would have grounded an already deteriorating economy.

While the strike was over two major issues, an increase in electricity charges and fuel price respectively, the decision to call off the strike was based on the suspension of the electricity bills. The following terms of reference underpinned the agreement between Labour and the Government.

Explore the Nairametrics Research Website for Economic and Financial Data 

Terms of reference for suspension of electricity increase for 2 weeks.

Terms of reference “The Terms of Reference (ToR) are as follows: To examine the justification for the new policy on cost-reflective Electricity Tariff adjustments.”

  • Both parties are to examine the justification for the new policy on cost-reflective tariff adjustment
  • To look at the different Electricity Distribution Company (DISCOs) and their different electricity tariff vis-à-vis NERC order and mandate.
  • Examine and advise government on the issues that have hindered the deployment of the six million meters.
  • To look into the NERC Act under review with a view to expanding its representation to include organized labour.
  • The Technical sub-committee is to submit its report within two weeks.
  • During the two weeks, the DISCOs shall suspend the application of the cost-reflective electricity tariff adjustments. “The meeting also resolved that the following issues of concern to Labour should be treated as stand-alone items:
  • The 40% stake of government in the DISCO and the stake of workers to be reflected in the composition of the DISCOs Boards.
  • An all-inclusive and independent review of the power sector operations as provided in the privatization MOU to be undertaken before the end of the year 2020, with Labour represented.
  • That going forward, the moribund National Labour Advisory Council, NLAC, be inaugurated before the end of the year 2020 to institutionalize the process of tripartism and socio dialogue on socio-economic and major labour matters to forestall crisis.

READ: FG says no electricity tariff increase for poor, vulnerable Nigerians, gives conditions for increase

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What this means: The decision reached between the government and labour means the service reflective tariff regime which started on September 1, 2020, is effectively suspended. Customers are therefore no longer required to pay the service reflective tariffs and will revert to the previous MYTO tariffs of 2015.

  • By looking at the “different Electricity Distribution Company (DISCOs) and their different electricity tariff vis-à-vis NERC order and mandate” it appears labour might be looking to recalibrating the tariffs for some Discos.
  • According to documents on the tariff order published by the NERC, some Discos have tariffs for residential customers that are as high as N62/kWh while it’s just under N54 for others.
  • Labour could also get involved in determining the veracity of the tariff bands that determines which customers pay what as electricity tariffs.

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