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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.

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.

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 - abiola.odutola@nairametrics.com.


  1. 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. 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.

    • 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

  3. 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.

    • 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?

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

    • 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?

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

    • 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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?

  12. 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

  13. 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?

    • 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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