By Kayode Tokede
Access Bank Plc on Tuesday Announ-ced acquiring 78.15 percent shareholding in African Banking Corporation of Botswana Limited (BancABC Botswana).
With the announcement, the company’s share price on Nigerian Exchange Limited (NGX) on Tuesday added N0.15 or 1.59 per cent to close trading at N9.60.
Company secretary, Access Bank, Sunday Ekwochi in a statement on the NGX said BancABC Botswana is the fifth largest bank in Botswana and is a well-capitalised franchise poised for growth in its local market.
He noted that, “The new acquisition will form part of the Bank’s nexus for trade and payments in Southern Africa and the boarder COMESA trade region.
“BancABC Botswana’s achievements in the retail banking space will provide an opportunity for the bank to deploy its best-in-class digital platforms and product suites to the benefit of BancABC Botswana’s customers and enable it to complete strongly across its core business segments.”
The GMD/CEO, Access Bank, Dr. Herbert Wigwe in a statement said, “We are pleased with the successful conclusion of this transaction which will provide significant synergies by combining BancABC Botswana’s strong retail banking operation with Access Bank’s wholesale banking capabilities.
“It will also strengthen the quality of earnings through revenue diversification and growth in the corporate and SME banking segments for BancABC Botswana.
“The combination is another step towards out broader vision of becoming the World’s Most Respected African Bank.”
The lender, which is fast becoming a foremost Pan-African financial institution, currently has a presence in over 10 countries in the continent.
Access Bank has subsidiaries across Sub-Saharan Africa and Europe, providing financial and banking services.
The Bank’s subsidiaries include Access Bank (Gambia) Limited, Access Bank (Sierra Leone) Limited, Access Bank (Zambia) Limited, Access Bank (UK) Limited, Access Bank (Ghana) Limited, Access Bank (D.R. Congo), Access Bank (Rwanda) Limited, Access Bank (Guinea) Limited, Access Bank (Kenya) Limited and Access Bank (Mozambique) Limited.
According to Wigwe, “On the outlook for financial targets for 2021, we remain committed to driving efficient and sustainable business growth by sustained efforts to improve our asset quality, to increase transaction income by migrating our customers to alternative channels and creating strong awareness for our flagship retail products.
“We will continue the drive to ensure low-cost deposits that will reduce our funding cost, thereby enhancing our liquidity and margins. We will enhance productivity across all our branches and extract value from our existing accounts. We will reduce operating cost by aggressively executing cost-saving initiatives and of course continuing to drive our merger synergies across the respective segments.
”Because of the current reality, we have revised our initial financial 2021 guidance as follows. Our expectation for 2021 is that we will achieve a return on equity above 20per cent, cost of risk less than 1.5per cent, our NPL ratio will be less than five per cent, the cost to income ratio less than 60per cent, net interest margin will be more than five per cent, our cost of funds will be less than 2.5per cent, our capital adequacy ratio greater than 20per cent, loan to deposit ratio about 65per cent, and our liquidity ratio greater than 50per cent.
“Despite the continued overhang from COVID-19 and the economic downturn we expect to see materially better results in 2021 compared to 2020.
“We believe that the strength of our balance sheet and our growing retail base provides us significant or substantial runway to help mitigate the risks related to COVID-19 as well as accelerate the development and generation of sustainable revenue.”