Wema Bank will execute a share placement to raise N40 billion before the year ends in a move to scale shareholders’ funds to N160 billion.
According to Reuters, Chief Finance Officer Tunde Mabawonku made this known in an interview on Monday.
The share sale is planned to close on 29 December and could help beef up its shareholders’ funds, which stood at N118.6 billion at the end of September, by one-third, and lift retained earnings from N90 billion.
“The plan is to get this in … then depending on the quantum of the central bank order, we can decide to do a special placement or a public offer,” Mr Mabawonku was quoted as saying.
The push followed an announcement by the governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Olayemi Cardoso, that lenders would be required to shore up their capital levels in the face of weakening naira and sluggish economic growth as Nigeria limbers up to attain a $1 trillion economy by 2030.
Tier-1 rival FBN Holdings already has shareholders’ nod to raise N150 billion by way of a rights issue.
The capital adequacy ratio for lenders with national banking permits in Nigeria is 10 per cent, while that of those operating internationally is 15 per cent.
Mr Mabawonku expects Wema Bank’s capital level to reach 20 per cent at the end of the equity raise from 16 per cent in September.
In all, 8.6 billion shares will be offered at N4.66 per unit based on two new shares for every three held to existing shareholders on the bank’s register of members as of the close of business on 28 September.
“We would have capital to do more next year. With more capital, our limit on lending is enhanced so we would be able to (boost loans),” the CFO said.
“In dollar terms, our balance sheet has fairly grown this year. We hope the exchange rate will be a little bit more stable next year.”
The bank is setting sights on a profit before tax of N75 billion in 2024, up from N30 billion.
Wema Bank’s shares have returned 34.6 per cent this year.
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