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Recapitalisation: FCMB plans to raise N150bn by end of third quarter

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The Management of First City Monument Bank (FCMB) has disclosed plans to raise N150 billion between now and September 2024.

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of FCMB Group Plc, Ladi Balogun, stated this on the sidelines of the company’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Lagos during an interview with journalists.

According to him, the company has devised a variety of means to meet the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)’s new capital requirements.

He stated, “Our plans during this period will be raising N150 billion through a series of structures. It’s not going to be one straight offer obviously and, that, we expect will be concluded by the end of September.

“We have a number of options, and we can achieve our objectives through any combination of the options we have. We are fortunate that as a group we have eight companies beyond just the bank. So, it’s just the bank that we have to capitalise on.

“We also have people speaking to us on potential merger and acquisition (M&A) partnership, but there is no conclusive plan at this stage. However, if there is an opportunity that is accretive to our shareholders from an earnings perspective, we will consider such things.”

Furthermore, Mr. Balogun commented on the bank’s plan to improve the non-interest income through leveraging digital products and services which would come fully on stream in the next two years.  On the rise of the bank’s loan impairment in the face of high-interest rate levels, the CEO stated that the bank will be supportive and ensure its actions will be in partnership with customers to prevent harming them in any way.

Recall that CBN, in March 2024, announced a new banking recapitalisation exercise aimed at supporting the $1 trillion economy target of President Bola Tinubu’s administration.

According to the CBN, Tier-1 international banks are expected to have a minimum capital base of N500 billion- up from N25 billion set during the last exercise about 20 years ago. National banks are expected to have a minimum capital requirement of N200 billion while regional and merchant bank’s minimum capital base was set at N50 billion.

The CBN mandated banks to ensure that in meeting the new capital requirements, retained earnings should not be calculated. Rather, it should involve the injection of fresh capital. Also, it asked banks to submit a plan to meet the new capital requirements by the end of April 2024.

FCMB has a capital shortfall of N374.7 billion to meet the apex bank’s new capital requirement to retain its international bank status. Currently, the bank’s capital base stands at N125.3 billion.

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Afreximbank, First Bank sign $200m facility agreement to finance clients’ needs

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Afreximbank and First Bank of Nigeria(FBN) have signed a 200 million dollar facility agreement for financing the needs of FBN’s numerous clients.

The signing took place at the ongoing 31st Afreximbank Annual Meetings (AAM2024) in Nassau, The Bahamas, on Friday.

The facility will finance the needs of FBN’s numerous clients engaged in oil and gas and energy, manufacturing, telecommunications and associated infrastructure projects.

The parties who signed the agreement included Olusegun Alebiosu, Acting CEO, FBN, Awani Kanayo, Executive Vice- President, Intra-African Trade Bank (IATB), Afreximbank, and Viswanathan Shankar, CEO, Gateway Partners on behalf of African Credit Opportunity Fund.

The 31 AAM2024 is being held in Nassau, The Bahamas from June 12 to June 15, with the theme: “Owning our Destiny: Economic Prosperity on the Platform of Global Africa’’.

The AAM is taking place alongside the 3rd edition of the AfriCaribbean Trade and Investment Forum (ACTIF2024).

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Shettima seeks public-private partnership to drive economic growth

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Vice-President Kashim Shettima has called for a more robust collaboration between the government and business leaders to propel Nigeria’s economic aspirations.

The spokesperson of the Vice-President, Mr Stanley Nkwocha in a statement on Friday, said Shettima made the remark at the Heirs Holdings Group Directors’ Annual Dinner, held in Abuja.

According to the Vice President, open dialogue, shared insights, and collaborative work between the public and private sectors are necessary tools to develop solutions tailored towards Nigeria’s unique realities.

He called for synergy between the political class and economic stakeholders, emphasising that the two spheres are not opposites but complementary forces vital for national stability and progress.

” Politics is too important to be left to the politicians and enterprises that define our economic destination are too important to be left to the businessmen alone to develop.”

The Vice-President urged conglomerates to serve as pipelines for the administration’s practical economic vision, departing from cosmetic reforms of the past.

“Collaboration between the public and private sectors is the ingredients of a thriving economy.

” We must engage in open dialogue and share insights and work together to crop solutions that are peculiar to our realities.

” Whether it is tackling unemployment, reducing poverty, or enhancing education and healthcare, our partnership must aspire to drive sustainable development and create a safe future for all Nigerians.

” Our bragging right will not be about having the most unicorns on the continent but also about our entrepreneurial standing with global comparisons,” he said.

Shettima, who commended the Chairman of Heirs Holdings Group, Tony Elumelu for his achievements, described him as an “enigma and a banking colossus whose entrepreneurial exploits have carved a niche in Africa’s economic landscape.”

He also lauded the Heirs Holdings chairman’s visionary leadership and commitment to empowering young African entrepreneurs.

“Tony Elumelu belongs to the class of wealthy men because he generates wealth and opportunities and is a harbinger of great tidings to the Nigerian people.

” For the dreams you have relegated to help build our nation, we offer our deepest gratitude and a promise to continue playing our part to enable the ease of doing business.”

Earlier, Elumelu, reaffirmed the group’s unwavering commitment to the philosophy of Africapitalism and empowering young entrepreneurs across the continent.

Elumelu, whose business empire spans 24 countries, noted that the annual gathering serves as a platform to review achievements, business practices, and learn from the experiences of over 100 board members.

“Today, we started our Annual General Meeting, and it will continue until Saturday.

” Sessions like this afford us the opportunity to reflect on everything we have done within the year, look at things we should have done better, learn from our past mistakes, and re-strategize on how to accomplish our purpose,” he said

Elumelu added that, at the core of Heirs Holdings’ ethos, was the belief that the private sector must play a leading role in Africa’s development, a philosophy he described as “Africapitalism.”

He stressed the group’s focus on human impact, citing the empowerment of 20,000 young African entrepreneurs with non-refundable seed capital of 5,000 dollars each as their most significant recent achievement.

Elumelu expressed confidence that the collective efforts of the holdings and other business groups would contribute to transforming the African continent and uplifting the black race globally.

The Founding Trustee of the Tony Elumelu Foundation and Chairperson of Avon Healthcare Ltd, Dr Awele Elumelu, described Vice-President Shettima as an exemplary leader committed to public service and nation-building.

” In Heirs Holdings Group, one of our core values is excellence, and our guest speaker embodies excellence,” she said, adding that the group felt honoured by VP Shettima’s presence.”

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Nigeria requests $500m World Bank loan to repair rural roads, combat rising food prices

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The federal government of Nigerian is requesting a $500 million loan from the World Bank to repair rural roads, enhance agricultural product access, and combat rising food prices.

The World Bank stated that this loan will benefit 92 million rural residents who lack adequate road infrastructure.

This funding request is part of the final draft of the Resettlement Policy Framework for the Nigeria Rural Access and Agricultural Marketing Project Scale-Up, managed by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.

The RAAMP-SU project will allocate funds to three main areas including, $387 million for resilient rural access, $158 million for climate-resilient asset management, and $55 million for institutional strengthening and project management.

The project’s total cost is estimated at $600 million, with the World Bank expected to cover 83.33% of the funding. This represents a 79% increase from the initial $280 million commitment for the original project.

According to the policy document, participating states must establish fully operational Roads Funds and Roads Agencies with appointed boards and staff, and allocate administrative costs in their budgets.

The document read, “Rural access is particularly restricted in areas densely populated by the economically disadvantaged. These factorst underscore the imperative to expand and enhance the rural road network, as well as conserve rural road and transport assets.

“While eligibility for state participation under RAAMP required the drafting and placement of Road Fund and Roads Agency bills in the State Houses of Assembly, the new project would require the States to have a fully functional Roads Fund and Roads Agency with appointed boards and staff, and provision for administrative costs made in the state budget. Additionally, RARAs offer an opportunity to foster women’s representation in the transport sector.”

This initiative comes as Nigeria faces rising food inflation, which according to the National Bureau of Statistics, reached 40.53% in April 2024. Experts attribute this to insecurity, high energy costs, and transportation expenses

Report according to the Debt Management Office, however has it that, as of the end of 2023, Nigeria’s total debt was N97.341 trillion, with debt at N38.22 trillion, accounting for 39% of the total debt.

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