Diamond Bank debunks fresh capital injection

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Diamond Bank

The management of Diamond Bank Plc has debunked news of plans to raise fresh capital attributed to its former Chairman, Mr. Oluseyi Bickersteth.

The lender in a statement said, it has not received an offer from an investor to inject cash.

The bank’s comment came after it said last month that four of its directors, including its former Chairman, Mr. Oluseyi Bickersteth, had resigned, fuelling speculations that the lender was in talks with a new investor to recapitalise.

According to the statement, “The Board of Diamond Bank notes the media speculation relating to comments attributed to its former Chairman, Mr. Oluseyi Bickersteth.

Contrary to such media articles, the Board wishes to clarify that the company has not received an offer from an investor to inject cash.

Further to the Company’s announcement of 26 October 2018, Diamond Bank and its Board of Directors continue to review all strategic options on a regular basis.

Diamond Bank would also like to clarify it enjoys the support of its major shareholders, including The Carlyle Group and Kunoch Holdings who are, as ever, working in cooperation with the Board and management as appropriate to ensure the successful operation of its business in Africa’s most dynamic banking market.”

Diamond Bank has 61.9 per cent free float, while Carlyle owns a 17.75 per cent stake, which it bought for $147million in 2014 when the bank was trading at 0.6 times book value as against 0.15 times now.

The statement added further that the bank awaits Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) approval to appoint new non-executive directors to the board.

“Further to the announcement of 24 October 2018, Diamond Bank is in active discussions with regards to the appointment of new non-executive directors to the Board and, subject to CBN approval, these will be announced in due course.

“Diamond Bank’s recent Third Quarter results published on October 26, 2018 show the business continues to execute its clearly articulated tech-led retail strategy despite headwinds in the Nigerian economy,” the statement added.

The share price of Diamond Bank closed last Friday at N1.28, N0.08 higher from N1.20 it opened for trading.

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