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Merger: Access Bank braces for big day!


How Nigeria’s biggest bank would run

By Nsikan Ikpe

Ahead of the formal take-off of its landmark merger with Diamond Bank which analysts say would lead to the inauguration of Nigeria’s biggest bank, Access Bank is bracing for its future.

The full service commercial bank which operates through a network of not less than 402 branches including service outlets in Nigeria, sub-Saharan Africa and the has a princely N591 billion in shareholders funds and 10 million plus customers.

As evidenced from its audited financial report for the year ended December 31, 2018, the bank is clearly set to go.

The results which were released at the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) indicated strong financial performance of the company even as it proposed a final divided of 20 kobo per share, bringing the total divided pay-out to its shareholders for the financial year ended December 31, 2018 to 50 kobo.

At the same time, Access Bank’s total assets grew 21 percent to a new figure of N4.85 trillion as at December, 2018 compared to N4.10 trillion it had recorded in 2017.

In the report also, interest earning assets and non-interest earning assets accounted for 70 per cent and 30 per cent respectively even as the bank’s subsidiaries continued to improve their contribution to the group’s performance, recording total subsidiary PBT of N27.9 billion, which is up 116 per cent y/y compared to the corresponding figure in FY 2017, where it had posted N13 billion. This accounts for 27 per cent of the group’s PBT.

Further broken down, the UK and Ghana subsidiaries accounted for 88 per cent of total FY’18 subsidiary PBT even as total loans for the subsidiaries stood at N500.9 billion.

On the merger deal with Diamond Bank Plc, it is set to be completed in April 2019.

Here, it will be recalled that the shareholders meeting held in Lagos, March 5, 2019 had approved the scheme of merger with Diamond Bank Plc. Of the total 1,569 shareholders of Access Bank, who own 14.405 billion units of shares, 1,529 voted for the merger scheme, 10 voted against it while 30 shareholders were absent.

It would also be recalled that both banks had signed a Memorandum of Agreement and announcement of headline terms which valued Diamond Bank at approximately N72.5 billion ($200 million) and will now see Diamond Bank shareholders receiving N3.13 per share in cash and 2 of Access Bank shares for every 7 of Diamond Bank’s held.

The Group Managing Director/CEO, Access Bank Plc, Herbert Wigwe in his speech then said: “2018 marked a significant year in progress for the bank amidst an unfavorable macro climate. We made solid progress throughout 2018 in line with our 2019-2022 five year strategy. We remain committed to the achievement of our strategic imperatives going forward as we continue to invest in our people and technology in service touch points with earnings growth in 2019.’

Mr Herbert Wigwe, CEO, Access Bank

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