Nigeria’s Zenith Bank said on Tuesday it would seek shareholder approval next month to raise 100 billion naira ($318 million) via a combination of share or bond sale and global depository receipts.
The lender also said it would seek approval to increase its share capital to 40 billion naira from 20 billion naira at the shareholders’ meeting on March 22. Zenith Bank on Monday reported a 2016 pretax profit of 156.75 billion naira, up from 125.62 billion a year earlier.
Earnings from interest and similar incomes remained strong rising 11 percent to N385 billion but making up 76 percent of the bank’s total income, an indication that the bank still makes most of its money from giving out loans and advances. Sustaining income from its core operations is key because fees and commission income remained almost flat in the period.
Also despite rising inflation in the country, Zenith Bank was able to keep personal and operating expenses flat, a good strategy in a contracting economy where businesses must do all they can to extract higher value from all inputs. So by keeping core business earnings up and expenses flat, Zenith Bank announced a profit before tax of N157 billion, 25 percent higher than the profit before tax of N126 billion made in the same period of 2015.