Access Bank hits N231bn in market cap as NSE delists Diamond Bank shares

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…. announces dual listing of N15bn corporate green bond

Story by Kayode Tokede

With additional 35,545,225,-622 ordinary shares of 50 Kobo each, Access Bank Plc has hits N231 billion in market capitalisation on Monday when it share price appreciated by N0.05 or 0.78 per cent to close at N6.50 per share.

The lender listed additional shares arising from the scheme of merger between Access Bank and Diamond Bank that was concluded on April 1, 2019.

The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) also announced the delisting of Diamond Bank’s 23,160,388,968 ordinary shares from its daily official list of the exchange.

The Head, Listings Regulation Department, NSE, Godstime Iwenekhai in a statement said,  “Further to the Market Bulletin of 20 March 2019, with Reference Number: NSE/LARD/LRD/MB19/19/03/20, wherein the market was notified of the suspension of trading in the shares of Diamond Bank, following the Court Sanction of the Scheme of Merger between Access Bank and Diamond Bank, Dealing Members are hereby notified that the National Council of The NSE on Friday, 29 March 2019 approved the listing of 6,617,253,991 ordinary shares of 50 Kobo each of Access Bank resulting from the Scheme.

“Consequently, the resultant Scheme shares of 6,617,253,991 ordinary shares of 50 Kobo each of Access Bank, were listed today Monday, 1 April 2019, while the entire 23,160,388,968 ordinary shares of Diamond Bank were delisted from the daily official list of The Exchange today Monday, 1 April 2019.

He explained further in a statement that “With the listing of the additional 6,617,253,991 ordinary shares arising from the Scheme, the total issued  and fully paid up shares of Access Bank Plc has increased from 28,927,971,631 ordinary shares to 35,545,225,622 ordinary shares of 50 Kobo each.”

Meanwhile Access Bank on Monday announced N15billion dual-listing of a fully certified Green Bond on the FMDQ OTC Securities Exchange and the Nigerian Stock Exchange.

This follows the formal approval of the bond by the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The Bond is the first of its kind to be issued by an African corporate and represents a major milestone in the development of the local green finance market.

The N15 billion, 5-year Fixed Rate Senior Unsecured Green Bond is rated AA- by Agusto& Co, the underlying framework is verified by PwC (UK) and certified by the Climate Bond Initiative as having met the Global Climate Bonds Standard. The issuance was fully subscribed by way of book build. The Bond is priced at a coupon of 15.5%, with participation from a wide range of asset managers and pension fund administrators.

The listing of the bondclosely follows the completion of the Bank’s merger with Diamond Bank and the launch of its new brand identity that fuses the Bank and Diamond Bank’s visual identities symbolizing their shared philosophy.

The Green Bond issuance highlights the Bank’s commitment to sustainability and its status as a pioneer ingreen financing in both the domestic and international capital markets. The bond comes amidst a global drive for responsible and sustainable green financing and will allow the financing of new loans and refinancing of existing loansin accordance with the Bank’s Green Bond Framework. It will support projects directed at flood defense, solar generation facilities and agriculture.

Speaking on the occasion of this landmark listing, the Group Managing Director/CEO of Access Bank, Herbert Wigwe, said, “At Access Bank we are a pioneer in both domestic and international capital markets, leading the way with our commitment to sustainable banking. We hope that this bond issuance inspires other African companies to support the long-term development of the green finance market whilst simultaneously realizing the growth potential of the fast-developing low carbon economy.”

Praising Access Bank’s efforts in promoting sustainability in Africa through the financing of green projects, Justine Leigh-Bell, the Climate Bonds Deputy CEO said, “This first Climate Bond certified corporate green bond out of Africa represents a major milestone in the development of the local green finance market. In addition to being an inspiration to other private companies, the leadership demonstrated by Access Bank is critical for the long term development of the green finance market in Nigeria and a great example for other African nations to follow.”

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