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Access Bank Gets Kudos For Resilience ,As Shareholders Approve N100b New Capital

Mosun-Belo-Olusoga, access bank,chairmanNational Coordinator, Independent Shareholders Association of Nigeria (ISAN), Sir Sunny Nwosu has commended access bank resilience in the face of harsh operating environment.

He said the performance of the bank was a pointer that the future is promising, urging the bank to improve on the dividend payouts in the coming years as it has all it takes to surpass other lenders in the country.

He said this at the 27th annual general meeting in Lagos on Wednesday,At the event shareholders authorised the bank to raise additional debt capital of up to N100 billion through the issuance of non-convertible loans, notes, bonds and any other instruments either as a stand-alone issue or by establishing a debt issuance programme.

The resolution empowered the board of directors to undertake the new debt issue by way of a public offering, private placement, book building process, reverse call enquirer or any other method or combination of methods, in such tranches, series or proportions and at such dates, coupon or interest rates within such maturity periods and upon such terms and conditions as may be determined by the board of directors subject to obtaining the requisite approvals of the relevant regulatory authorities.

The board of the bank explained that the new capital issue was in line with the strategic growth objectives and prudent risk management of the bank with the overall goal of enhancing the bank’s funding, capital base and profitability through an efficient capital structure.

“This need is underscored by the growing scale of regulatory headwinds and economic realities which have further put demands on capital. This is further strengthened by the fact that from 1 July 2016, the Capital Adequacy Ratio for Systemically Important Banks (SIBs) is being increased from 15 per cent to 16 per cent,” the board stated.

 Shareholders also approved payment of a final dividend of N8.68 billion in addition to earlier interim dividend of N7.23 billion, bringing total dividend for the 2015 business year to N15.9 billion. The breakdown of the dividend recommendation indicates that shareholders will receive a final dividend per share of 30 kobo, in addition to interim dividend per share of 25 kobo, bringing total dividend per share to 55 kobo.

Shareholders who spoke at the meeting generally commended the resilience of the bank in the face of macro and industry headwinds.

National Coordinator, Independent Shareholders Association of Nigeria (ISAN), Sir Sunny Nwosu noted that the bank has remained resilient in the face of harsh operating environment.

He said the performance of the bank was a pointer that the future is promising, urging the bank to improve on the dividend payouts in the coming years as it has all it takes to surpass other lenders in the country.

Chairman, Access Bank Plc, Mrs. Mosun Belo-Olusoga assured on the prospects of the bank notwithstanding the changes in the macroeconomic environment.

“The bank is in a position of strength for the future-we have a solid franchise that allows us to continue to succeed during difficult economic times. We have a conservative risk profile that has placed us in a position of advantage amidst the economic storm and we are investing for long-term growth, which will allow us to capitalise on opportunities as we eventually emerge from the downturn,” Belo-Olusoga said.

Chief executive officer, Access Bank Plc, Mr. Herbert Wigwe said the bank remained committed to delivering value to its shareholders as it continues to maintain and sharpen focus on the execution of its strategy to create a large diversified bank with a strong retail base.

“We are well-positioned to leverage promising market opportunities in target sectors and to enhance our digital banking capabilities, with the ultimate goal of delivering superior service to customers and sustainable returns to investors. Access bank will cautiously maximize its strong capital position to realise the full value of its network, with the aim of attaining strategic objectives,” Wigwe said.

Key extracts of the audited report and accounts of Access Bank for the year ended December 31, 2015 showed considerable growth across the key indices. Gross earnings rose by 37.5 per cent from N245.38 billion in 2014 to close at N337.40 billion in 2015. Operating income rose by 39 per cent to N234.8 billion in 2015 as against N168.4 billion in 2014. Profit before tax grew by 44 per cent from N52.02 billion to N75.04 billion. Profit after tax improved by 53.3 per cent to N65.9 billion in 2015 as against N42.98 billion in 2014. Earnings per share thus improved from N1.85 in 2014 to N2.62 in 2015. Return on average equity (ROAE) improved to 20.4 per cent in 2015 as against 16.5 per cent in 2014.

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