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Wema Bank floats N40bn rights issue in September

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WEMA Bank
WEMA Bank
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Wema Bank Plc says that the capital raising exercise of N40 billion will  hit the market in September, barring unforeseen circumstances.

The bank’s Deputy Managing Director, Mr Moruf Oseni, said this at the company’s Half Year 2021 investors/analysts presentation on Friday in Lagos.

Oseni said the capital raise would give the bank expanded base of business over the coming years to compete favourably in the industry.

He said the bank would boost its capital position with a rights issue in September having obtained shareholders’ approval in May.

“The rights issuance is expected to hit the market in September, this month of August is for us to have a court ordered meeting to get shareholders together and agree on the scheme of arrangement,” he said.

According to him, the bank will embark on a road show from next week to sensitise shareholder groups and associations on growth plan and capital raise.

Oseni said the bank would reduce its shares on issue before embarking on the rights issue to ensure enhanced growth for shareholders.

“Wema Bank today has a large number of shares in issuance, but before we float the right issue we need to get the shareholders to reduce the shares in issue and on the back of that we then issue those rights.

“This will not change the shareholding structure of the shareholders.

“We just want to manage the number of shares in issue and that will impact on our ratios.” It makes sense to have more efficient shares in issue before doing the rights issuance,” he said.

On merger and acquisition, he said that acquisition was part of the bank’s plan to ensure organic growth.

Oseni said the acquisition was not limited to the financial sector space.

“In organic growth, there is possibility of a combination; either you merge or you acquire and this acquisition is not limited to acquiring another financial player in this space or a Fintech.

“We are looking at all possible options, whether you like it or not no matter how efficient you are.

“In this game, we are playing skill to skill and we also have huge aspirations to scale up in the shortest possible time,” he added.

Oseni disclosed that the bank priority remains the digital banking play to drive improved performance.

He noted that the bank would sustain its digital offering and focus to meet the need of its customers.

“We are committed to playing in this digital space, we have positioned ourselves in the last four years as a bank of choice, and we will build the ecosystem together as they flourish, we will flourish.

“We are trying to make significant investment in technology on our side because we realised that for us to be partners for some of these Fintechs, reliability must be key,” he said.

Also speaking, Mr Tunde Mabawonku, Wema Bank Chief Finance Officer said that gross earnings in H1 increased by 4.9 per cent to N39.8 billion against N38.0 billion in H1, 2020.

Mabawonku attributed the growth to higher interest rate environment notably in loans and advances.

He noted that non-interest income declined by 7.9 per cent to N7.6 billion in contrast to N8.3 billion in 2020 due to 82.6 per cent decline in net trading income.

Mabawonku added that digital channels remain a priority in meeting customer needs and closing the financial inclusion gap.

He said that USSD recorded more than 37.8 million transactions, and transaction value of N220.0 billion, reaffirming its focus to grow change usage. (NAN)

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Business & Economy

Tinubu To Present 2024 Supplementary Budget To NASS

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President Bola Tinubu Presenting 2024 Budget Proposal to the Joint Session of National Assembly
President Bola Tinubu Presenting 2024 Budget Proposal to the Joint Session of National Assembly
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President Bola Tinubu will soon present the 2024 Supplementary Budget to the National Assembly (NASS).

“I submitted the last budget to you,” the President said when he addressed a joint sitting of the National Assembly on Wednesday.

“You expeditiously passed it. We are walking the talk. I will soon bring the Year 2024 (Supplementary) Appropriation Bill. That is just for your information,” the President said in his terse speech at the joint sitting to mark the Silver Jubilee Of Nigeria’s 4th Republic.

In his response, Senate President Godswill Akpabio, said, “Thank you, Mr President, we will be expecting the Supplementary Appropriation Bill of 2024 as soon as possible.”

Also, at the joint sitting which coincided with the first anniversary of the Tinubu administration, the President confirmed ‘Nigeria, we hail thee’ as the “latest national anthem”.

Tinubu said, “You sang out the latest national anthem, ‘Nigeria, we hail thee’. This is our diversity, representing all characters and how we blend to be brothers and sisters.”

The President pleaded with both the Senate and the House of Representatives to continue to collaborate and work together with the administration to build the country on the path of sustained progress and development.

“We have no other choice; it is our nation. No other institution or personality will help us unless we do it ourselves. No amount of aid from foreign countries or any other nation (will fix us), they take care of themselves first. Let us work together as we are doing to build our nation, not only for us but for generations unborn,” he said.

 

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We Have No Magic Wand, Tackling Inflation Will Take Time — Cardoso

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Yemi Cardoso,CBN Governor
Yemi Cardoso,CBN Governor
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The Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr. Olayemi Cardoso has urged the citizens to be patient over the fight against current inflation and hike in food items in the country.

Cardoso disclosed this while briefing journalists at the end of the Monetary Policy Committee, MPC, meeting in Abuja.

The CBN governor mentioned that there was no magic needed to solve inflation in Nigeria but rather patience.

Also, Cardoso noted that despite pressure from food inflation, the general inflation rate was “moderating”, pointing out that “the tools the Central Bank is using are working”.

He stated, “I have several times and I will say again, there is no magic wand. These are things that need to take their time.

“I am pleased and confident that we are beginning to get some relief and in another couple of months we will see the more positive outcomes from the Central Bank have been doing.”

He added, “The committee thus reiterated several challenges confronting the effective moderation of food inflation to include rising costs of transportation of farm produce, infrastructure- related constraints along the line of distribution network, security challenges in some food producing areas, and exchange rate pass-through to domestic prices for imported food items.

“The MPC urged that more be done to address the security of farming communities to guarantee improved food production in these areas.

“Members further observed the recent volatility in the foreign exchange market, attributing this to seasonal demand, a reflection of the interplay between demand and supply in a freely functioning market system.”

The Central Bank of Nigeria has also blamed the recent volatility of the country’s foreign exchange market on seasonal demand for dollars.

“Members further observed the recent volatility in the foreign exchange market, attributing this to seasonal demand, a reflection of the interplay between demand and supply in a freely functioning market system,” a communique issued by the committee on Tuesday stated.

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Port Harcourt Refinery Begins Full Operations Next Month

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Port Harcourt Refinery
Port Harcourt Refinery
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The 210,000-barrel-per-day Port Harcourt refinery is expected to commence operations by the end of July, following multiple delays.

National Public Relations Officer of the Independent Marketers Association of Nigeria, Chief Ukadike Chinedu, revealed this new timeline on Monday. He noted that the refinery’s operation would boost economic activities, reduce petroleum product prices, and ensure an adequate supply.

In December last year, Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Heineken Lokpobiri, announced the mechanical completion and flare start-off of the Port Harcourt refinery, the largest in the region.

The refinery consists of two units: an older plant with a 60,000-barrel-per-day capacity and a newer plant with a 150,000-barrel-per-day capacity. The refinery was shut down in March 2019 for the first phase of repairs after the government enlisted Italy’s Maire Tecnimont as a technical adviser and appointed oil major Eni as a technical adviser.

On March 15, 2024, NNPC Limited’s Group Chief Executive Officer, Mele Kyari, announced that the Port Harcourt refinery would begin operations in about two weeks. He made this statement during a press briefing following his appearance before the Senate Ad hoc committee investigating the various turnaround maintenance projects of the country’s refineries.

“We achieved mechanical completion in December,” Kyari stated. “We now have crude oil stocked in the refinery and are conducting regulatory compliance tests. The Port Harcourt refinery will start within two weeks.”

However, two months later, the refinery had yet to commence operations.

In an interview, IPMAN’s Ukadike emphasized that the work done on the refinery represented a complete overhaul rather than mere rehabilitation. He assured that every effort was being made to meet the July deadline.

Ukadike said, “When we visited, the MD informed us that the refinery was nearly ready and would start production by the end of July. The overhaul is extensive, with all the armoured cables replaced and everything almost brand new. The maintenance turnaround is massive, with work being done day and night. All hands are on deck to meet the target. By the end of July, the refinery should be operational.”

When asked about the government’s previous unfulfilled promises to restart the refinery, Ukadike acknowledged the delays but noted that no reasons were given for missing the last deadline in April

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