Shareholders set to approve Access Bank’s rights issue

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Shareholders of Access Bank, the Nigerian lender with operations in eight other countries, are expected to vote on October 13 on plans to raise as much as N68 billion in a share sale as it pursues expansion and stronger cash reserves.

The Nigerian Stock Exchange suspended movements in the bank’s share price until Jan 27 to “preserve shareholders’ value” before the planned stock sale, the bourse said in a statement.

Nigerian banks are preparing to sell equity and debt after the central bank last month changed the way lenders calculate capital buffers. The central bank is seeking to increase banks’ ability to withstand losses five years after saving the industry from collapse.

The regulator removed some assets lenders can count as capital in preparation for the implementation of Basel II and III, while limiting Tier 2 capital to 33 percent of Tier 1 capital, according to an Aug. 5 circular.

Access Bank received shareholder approval to raise $1 billion by methods including debt and equity funding, Chief Executive Officer Herbert Wigwe said April 30.

The bank’s shares were unchanged at N9.59 at Tuesday close in Lagos, paring this year’s decline to 0.1 percent. The Nigerian Stock Exchange All-Share Index has retreated 1.36 percent over that period.

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