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Nigeria’s Access Holding eyes US$1.5 billion share or bond sale

Nigeria’s Access Holding Plc plans to seek a shareholders vote next month for approval to launch a capital raising program of US$1.5 billion via a share sale or bond offering, it said in a notice ahead of the vote.

The holding company, which owns Access Bank, Nigeria’s biggest lender, said it will also ask existing shareholders to raise 365 billion naira (US$257.93 million) through a rights issue at a meeting set for 19 April.

Shares of Nigerian-based Access Bank Group, which operates across 15 countries, mostly in Africa but including Britain and France, closed at 24 naira on the Nigerian bourse on Wednesday. They hit a high of 30.70 naira in January.

A recapitalisation is looming for the banking sector in Africa’s biggest economy and most populous nation after central bank governor Olayemi Cardoso said lenders need to play a bigger role in boosting economic growth.

At a monetary policy committee (MPC) meeting on Tuesday, where the central bank raised rates by 200 basis points to 24.75%, the MPC asked the regulator to quicken action on the recapitalisation of banks.

The lenders will also asked for approval to elect as a non-executive director Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede, one of its founders, who had retired.

The move comes after the corporation’s chief executive Herbert Wigwe died in a helicopter crash last month.



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