Vanguard (Lagos)

Nigeria: Zenith Bank Set to Raise N250bn Capital Base

Lagos — The stage is now set for Zenith Bank to approach the Capital Market to raise about N250 billion.

Shareholders of bank yesterday approved an increase in authorised share capital of the bank by creating additional 5 billion ordinary shares of 50 kobo each amounting to N2.5 billion. But going by the market price of the bank the created shares when offered for subscription will amount to N250 billion. This will prop up the shareholders fund of the bank to about N400 billion. Shareholders of the bank gave unanimous approval to the creation of 5 billion ordinary shares which the directors were mandated to offer for sale to both local and offshore investors.

The resolution, which was seconded by more than six shareholder groups at the meeting saw shareholders clamouring for 50 per cent of the created shares as right issues. The bank resolution stated: "That the directors be and are hereby authorised, pursuant to article 56 of the company's Article of Association to create ad-ditional shares of the com-pany not exceeding the number of un-issued shares in the company's authorised share capital and offer the newly created shares for sale to subscribers locally or offshore or both including but not limited to taking steps to list such shares on any appropriate Stock Exchanges within Nigeria and offshore at a date and upon terms to be determined by the Directors, and that directors be and are hereby authorised to allot part of the shares so offered by way of preferential allotment subject to the approval of the appropriate regulatory au-thorities."

They also gave approval for the alteration of the bank's Memorandum and Articles of Association in line with the requirements of the Companies and Allied Matters Act. The President of the Nigerian Shareholders Solidarity Association (NSSA), Chief Akintunde Asalu, said that the new share structure became imperative in view of the bank's growth and sustained returns to investors.

"As shareholders, we con-curred that by supporting the board and management in raising its share capital to N7.5 billion from N5 billion, our dream of leveraging from a bank to a financial power house will be met," Asalu said.

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