United Bank for Africa (UBA), a Nigerian bank valued at over ₦1 trillion, plans to raise fresh capital by selling 10.8 billion new ordinary shares. The bank will prioritise existing investors in the planned share sale.

UBA assigned a nominal value of ₦0.50 kobo per share, but the actual selling price will be disclosed at an annual general meeting scheduled for May 24, 2024. Unlike First Bank and Access, UBA has not disclosed how much it will raise, although banks of its size are now expected to have a minimum paid-up capital of N500 billion. 

The bank will also raise additional capital by selling preference shares, convertible and/or non-convertible notes, bonds, or other instruments.

“UBA closed yesterday at N25 per share. But it will have to sell at a discount to the market to get investors to buy,” said a stock exchange market analyst. 

In a corporate disclosure on Monday, UBA noted that its total assets grew by 5% year-to-date to N974.47 billion in March 2024 compared to N931.95 billion in December 2023. This was responsible for a 121% growth in cash and cash equivalents during the period under review.

The last recapitilasation drive in Nigerian banking happened in 2004 when the CBN raised the capital base from ₦2 billion to ₦25 billion. The mergers and acquisitions that resulted from that process reduced the number of banks from 89 to 25. 

Similar mergers and acquisitions are expected to happen before the CBN’s 24-month deadline although the country’s tier-1 banks are generally expected to raise the required amounts relatively easily. 

Frank Eleanya Senior Reporter, TechCabal

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