•Concern over exclusion from NSE’s premium board

Barely a month after it raised N41 billion new equity funds through a rights issue to shareholders, Access Bank yesterday said it plans to raise additional capital to complete its three-level capital raising programme.

Executive director, commercial banking, Access Bank Plc, Mr. Roosevelt Ogbonna, at a press briefing in Lagos, said the bank plans to raise additional capital through a unique local currency instrument that will appeal to various investors’ groups.

He said the new fund raising would complete the bank’s three-level capital raising programme noting that the bank had successfully floated a $400 million Eurobond and recently concluded an equity issue through rights to shareholders.

Ogbonna said while the bank has yet to decide on the timing and amount of the new issue, the definitive features of the new issue will be its local currency denomination and unique structure, which will altogether make the new issue first-of-its-kind in the Nigerian financial market.

He said the new equity funds from the rights issue has placed the bank in a stronger position, noting a bank can always make use of additional capital once it fits into the growth plan of the bank.

According to him, the subscription pattern of the rights issue has further underscored the wide acceptance of the bank as a value stock among Nigerian investors. Foreign investors only contributed N290 million while domestic investors accounted for N40.7 billion.

He noted that the international investors, who hold 35 percent equity stakes in the bank, did not pick up their rights because of the skepticisms over the Nigerian macroeconomic direction and the uncertainties that cloud the political transition.

He said that the new equity fund has pushed Access Bank within the top three banks in terms of capital, adding that the impact of the new fund would become visible in loan growth and overall performance in the second half.

Meanwhile, Ogbonna expressed surprise over the exclusion of the bank from the maiden listing on the newly introduced premium board at the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE).

He said the non-inclusion of the bank within the inaugural companies on the new board was shocking and questionable noting that the bank recorded the highest score in the corporate governance rating test conducted by the NSE.