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DIAMOND-ACCESS BANK MERGER: GOOD DEAL FOR STAKEHOLDERS

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In less than three months, Diamond-Access bank will hold the record as the Nigerian bank with the largest customer base in Sub-Saharan Africa through its merger which will largely benefit its stakeholders.

Through the merger, the employees, customers, depositors and shareholders of Diamond, Nigeria’s largest retail bank will reap from the bank’s operations.

Diamond Bank shareholders will receive a consideration of N3.13 per share, comprising of N1.00 per share in cash and the allotment of two (2) New Access Bank ordinary shares for every seven (7) Diamond Bank ordinary shares held as at the implementation Date.

The offer represents a premium of 260 percent to the closing market price of N0.87 per share of Diamond Bank on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (“NSE”) as of December 13, 2018, the date of the final binding offer.

According to Diamond Bank, customers are at the heart of its decision to create one of Nigeria’s leading banks; therefore, customers of the bank will continue to enjoy all the bank’s unique products and services even after the merger.

The products and services that Diamond Bank’s clients enjoy, including its commitment to digital innovation, will continue unchanged and will be backed by Access Bank’s own commitment to customers, financial inclusion and sustainability, and the bank’s corporate expertise and strong balance sheet.

Interestingly, these products and services will become better improved under the new entity, thanks to the combination of expertise between the leading lenders.

“Together, we will bring the power of banking to millions across Nigeria, focused on speed, service and security. We are determined to ensure that both Access Bank and Diamond Bank customers will experience no disruption to normal banking services while we join forces to create Nigeria and Africa’s largest retail bank by customers. While there may be some changes in due course, we are committed to inform you ahead of time and in a way that is most convenient for you,” Diamond Bank said.

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Diamond Bank’s customers will continue to enjoy DiamondXtra, an interest yielding hybrid account which allows deposit of both cash and third party cheques. Hybrid means a combination of both savings and current account features.

According to the bank, the reward scheme, which was launched in 2008 and has continued to run till date, will remain unchanged, even as new winners will continue to emerge and be paid. As a matter of fact, the merger with Access Bank will ensure that DiamondXtra becomes bigger and better because the scheme will be opened to Access Bank customers as well.

Secondly, Diamond Bank customers will enjoy instant, borderless banking from any Access Bank branch. In other words, whenever they walk into any Access Bank Plc branch and initiate payment in their local currency, the beneficiary will receive an instant direct credit to their account or cash in their local currency. This service will be available in all Access Bank subsidiaries in Nigeria, Ghana, Gambia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Zambia and Sierra Leone.

Also, following the merger, any Diamond Bank or Access Bank cards that get trapped in either bank’s ATMs will not be destroyed. Instead, such cards will be released to cardholders upon validation of ownership.

In the same vein, customers of both Diamond Bank and Access Bank will have access to over six hundred branches, where they can enjoy Same Day Clearing of cheques in either bank, just as they will get rewarded for using either Diamond Bank or Access Bank POS terminals. In the meantime, more lounges for the Diamond Bank XclusivePlus subscribers will be created.

According to Diamond Bank’s statement, when the highly anticipated merger eventually takes effect, Diamond Bank Plc and Access Bank Plc would have successfully combined efforts to bring the power of banking to millions of account holders across Nigeria and beyond. The new entity will have 29 million customers with 13 million mobile customers, with a wide spread of over 3,000 ATMs and over 13,00 digital/financial inclusion customers.

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Also much emphasis will be on the need for speedy and secured service delivery, the partnership will ensure that customers of both banks continue to experience the best banking experience, with zero disruptions to normal banking services.

Diamond Bank also noted that although there may be some changes in the future, any such changes will be duly communicated to the customers ahead of time.

Recall that both Diamond Bank Plc and Access Bank Plc announced late last year that they plan to combine resources in order to create the biggest retail bank in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Following the announcements, the banks proceeded to secure the necessary regulatory approvals from the Nigerian Stock Exchange and Securities and Exchange Commission. The court has also given its green light for the management of the two banks to convey an Extra Ordinary General Meeting where the shareholders of the two banks will ratify the proposed merger.

Since the announcement of the merger in 17th December 2018, the share price of Diamond bank has rallied by 132.69 percent from its trading price of N1.04 in December last year to N2.42 in February 2019.

Post consolidation, the new entity is expected to combine on the individual strengths, particularly that of Diamond Bank which is more retail-focussed, and create a competitive edge in terms of total assets, loan book and total deposit when compared with other lenders operating in the nation’s banking industry.

Diamond Bank sees potential in Nigeria’s large unbanked population, and with increasing calls for financial inclusion in the country, the lender hopes to leverage its robust digital and mobile platforms to expand frontiers and break new grounds in the industry.

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Ibukun Awosika’s Other Love

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Ibukun

 

Love for children naturally come with women. This is a fact.

 

However, there are women whose affection for children is exceptional and unexplainable.

 

Respected Ibukun Awosika, the Chairman of First Bank Nigeria and Chief Executive Officer of The Chair Center Group is such a woman.

 

A success story in several business fronts, the woman has found a way of effectively finding time for her other love, children.

 

Renowned for her women conferences, her undying love for children has also drawn her into the board of some primary schools. 

 

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FIRST BANK: TOWARDS REVIVING NIGERIA’S TEXTILE INDUSTRY

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By Chinyere Joel- Nwokeoma (NAN)

For many years, until the early 1980s, the Nigerian textile industry was the highest employer of labour, after the public sector. Sadly, the industry is in dire straits battling for survival in recent times.

Among the challenges that confronted the sector were policy inconsistency leading to closure of many textile companies occasioned by poor power supply, smuggling, poor access to finance and high operating cost, among others.

It is unarguable that the closure of many textile companies contributed to the rise in the country’s high unemployment rate, rising insecurity and other social vices.

It is against this backdrop that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele, recently lamented the country’s descent from being a textile giant to a mediocre player in the world economy.

Emefiele said Nigeria used to be home to Africa’s largest textile industry in the 1970s and early 1980s with the employment of over 450,000 people.

“The textile industry at that time was the largest employer of labour in Nigeria after the public sector, contributing over 25 per cent of the workforce in the manufacturing sector.

“The industry was supported by the production of cotton by 600,000 local farmers across 30 of Nigeria’s 36 states.

“This sector supported the clothing needs of the Nigerian populace, as our markets were filled with locally produced textiles from companies such as the United Textiles in Kaduna, Supertex Limited, Afprint, Texlon, Enpee and Aswani Mills, among others.

“In addition, the cotton growing sector has gone dead, thereby depriving thousands of smallholder farmers the chance to earn a living.

Furthermore, a large proportion of our clothing materials today are imported from China and countries in Europe,” Emeifele stated.

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It is against this background that First Bank of Nigeria Ltd, in line with its celebratory 125th anniversary , themed, “Woven into the Fabric of Society”, on Oct. 2 commemorated the country’s independence with a locally made textile attire.

Specifically, the bank set aside Oct. 2 to have all staff wear a locally made textile attire adorned in its 125 anniversary logo and over 18,000 staff across the bank and FBN Holdings participated.

The bank in a statement attributed the initiative to moves to celebrate the country’s 59th Independence anniversary and at the same time support the textile industry.

“The native attire fashion statement by FirstBank and the FBN Holdings Group is rooted in our trust in the diverse opportunities the textile industry provides.

“And indeed its contribution to national growth and development, vis-à-vis the job opportunities, youth and women empowerment, as well as the entrepreneurship driven influence its creates cannot be overemphasised.

“The bank is indeed honored to have been woven into the Fabric of Society in the last 125 years and is committed to keep promoting activities and opportunities that contribute to the growth of the textile industry.” it added.

Apart from the above intitative, FirstBank also provide access to market and provide opportunities for entrepreneurs in the Small Medium Scale Enterprise (SMEs) of the fashion industry with an initiative tagged Fashion Souk.

The bank partners with Eventful Nigeria Ltd with Fashion Souk, a platform that creates an opportunity for players in the fashion industry to exhibit and sell their wares to the thousands of event participants.

Textile Industry

FirstBank Chairman, Ibukun Awosika The Octopus News

The bank also in a bid to ensure sustainability of the industry recently introduced fashion design loan specifically designed to offer financial support to the participants in the textile industry.

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The bank’s fashion design loan with a single obligor limit of up to two million naira is targeted at tailors, dressmakers and traders in clothing accessories with no tangible collateral required.

Textile Industry

CEO, FirstBank, Adesola Adeduntan

To be eligible for the loan, applicants must have been in line of business for a minimum of three years.

Commenting on the development, Mr Moses Igbrude,  Publicity Secretary,  Independent Shareholders Association of Nigeria (ISAN), described the initiative as a wonderful concept.

“I hope those in the local textiles value chain will key into it and take advantage of this initiative.

“FirstBank should also ensure that the concept is properly communicated to the larger audience to ensure more patronage of locally made textile,” Igbrude said.

He noted that the Federal Government on its part should encourage institutions that are supporting our local industries by way tax incentives.

Also speaking, Mr Shehu Mikail, National President, Constance Shareholders Association of Nigeria, commended the bank’s support for local fabric and the textile industry.

Mikail said that the initiative would boost the morale of interested bodies who would like to venture into local fabric in promoting our culture to the world.

He said that the bank should focus on the fashion designers who would be ready to promote Nigerian mode of dressing to meet the world class in fashion design.

“This will help in promoting Made in Nigeria fabric and it will also encourage an interested investor to venture into textile industry business and this will tranform our economy,” Mikail stated. (NAN)

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UBA Honours Kola Jamodu after 12 Years of Service; Assures of Solid Governance Processes

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Kola Jamodu

 

Pan African financial institution, United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc has assured investors and shareholders of her continuous adherence to solid corporate governance processes as the bank honoured its ex-director, Chief Kola Jamodu.

In a glitzy cocktail event and dinner in his honour at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja, on Thursday, Jamodu was celebrated for his service on the bank’s board for 12 years as a non-Executive director. Accolades were poured on him, for his remarkable contributions to the group over the period that have helped solidify the bank’s footprints in its many countries of operations. 

Speaking at the event, UBA’s Group Chairman, Tony O. Elumelu, commended Jamodu’s efforts at contributing towards the strong corporate governance policies which UBA currently boasts of.

He said, “Chief Jamodu is a great Nigerian, a respected man and a great non-executive director to UBA. He has been wonderful and instrumental to today’s current standing of UBA across our 20 presence countries in Africa as well as in America, United Kingdom and in Paris. He was on the board of UBA for 12 years, and in line with corporate practices, which says at the end of 12 years, you retire from the board, he is retiring and we are here to celebrate his contribution to the bank.”

While reeling off some of Jamodu’s many achievements, Elumelu said, “He has been extremely supportive to UBA; he served as Chairman of Board Risk Committee, and he has all the experience – a chartered accountant, extremely astute, chairman of Nigerian Breweries, chairman of PZ, chairman of Nutricima; former minister of industry; a great tax expert, financial and management expert and UBA has been extremely lucky to have him on our board for 12 years. So to him and his family, we say thank you for all the support, for the teachings, for being generous with knowledge and for asking those hard questions that made us solidify our governance processes here at UBA.”

On his part, the Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Kennedy Uzoka, explained in fine details the impact that Jamodu’s experience has had on the bank, adding that he was able to help UBA navigate through some challenges that have now made the bank come out even stronger.

He said, “Chief Kola Jamodu is a very astute financial manager with diverse experience; he is someone that has helped us as managers to look into areas that we may not have looked into. During his time, he helped us to navigate critical issues, and now UBA America is a bank on its own as is UBA UK. He was always asking the right questions which others would have missed, and this is what helped us be where we are today. He started with us when we had just a few countries of operation and now today, UBA is operating in 23  countries. Kudos to Jamodu, he will be missed.”

Jamodu, who attended the event with his beautiful wife Funmilayo, thanked the bank for the opportunity given to him to contribute to the growth of the UBA Group, adding that as a board member one should be able to have an impact in the way things are being done, in governance principles and much more.

Speaking on his most memorable achievements on the board, he said, “I am very happy today that loan loss provisioning in UBA is one of the lowest because of the way we have handled those issues. My door is quite open and I will continue to offer what I can to ensure that this bank which I am still very much a part of continues to flourish.  My advice to the board, is that they should continue to ensure good succession planning which is very important.”

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