Banks in frantic moves to put recapitalisation plans on course

Banks are holding a string of meetings to finalise their recapitalisation plans ahead of the April 30 deadline for the submission of their implementation strategies to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
The implementation/ work plan will detail how each of the banks intends to achieve its new minimum capital requirement within the two-year timeline stipulated by the apex bank.

The details which will cover the two-year compliance period ending March 31, 2026, comprise step-by-step activities, transactional details, instruments and other options.

The CBN last month released a circular on review of minimum capital requirement for commercial, merchant and non-interest banks. It increased the new minimum capital for commercial banks with international affiliations, otherwise known as mega banks, to N500 billion; commercial banks with national authorisation, N200 billion and commercial banks with regional license, N50 billion.

Others included merchant banks, N50 billion; non-interest banks with national license, N20 billion and non-interest banks with regional license will now have N10 billion minimum capital. The 24-month timeline for compliance started yesterday and ends on March 31, 2026.

Banks’ insiders told The Nation yesterday that directors of the banks and professional parties were making final adjustments of market-based values and timelines.

They said about one-third of banks plan to increase their capital base mainly raising their capitals adequacy, while others outline prospects for combination of capital raise and mergers /acquisitions.


Two banks are said to be considering downgrade of their licences as final options in addition to prospects of mergers and acquisitions.

While all the tier 1 banks appeared confident of raising the required funds on a stand alone basis, they also indicated their preparedness to explore acquisition of small banks.

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According to timelines of activities, about seven banks are expected to float their share offerings in the second half of this year. The capital market is expected to be busier in 2025.

An investment banking advisor said many big banks were seeking to raise more-than-needed funds in order to be in a position to cherry-pick when the recapitalisation fever pitches in mid-2025.

Under the new recapitalisation framework, banks have three broad options of injection of new equity capital, mergers and acquisitions and upgrade or downgrade of licence authorisation.

A source confirmed that Jaiz Bank has successfully scaled the recapitalisation hurdle with nearly N9 billion in excess of its national non-interest banking new capital requirement of N20 billion.

Jaiz Bank had closed 2023 with share capital and share premium of N18.62 billion. Multiple parties in the know said the bank has raised additional N10.05 billion through a recent private placement of 10.048 billion ordinary shares of 50 kobo each at N1 per share.

It has also secured preliminary approvals to float a rights issue of about 5.41 billion ordinary shares of 50 kobo each at offer price of N1 per share. This may take the bank’s minimum capital base, under the new definition, to more than N34 billion.

A source close to the bank said it could consider acquisition and “other strategic investments” where the offers align with its growth objectives.

Shareholders of Access Holdings at the weekend mandated the company to raise $1.5 billion and N365 billion in a multi-tranche, multi-currency and multi-instrument capital raising plan.

The N365 billion rights issue is expected to be the main plank of the recapitalisation plan, while the $1.5 billion foreign-denominated issuance, which broad mandate also includes equity offering, places the group, with a bold acquisition records, in position to play big in the mergers and acquisitions market.

Access Holdings already has share capital and share premium of N251.81 billion, with about N248 billion to meet its international authorisation category of N500 billion.

Shareholders of four of Nigeria’s largest banks- Zenith Bank, Guaranty Trust Holding Company (GTCO), United Bank for Africa (UBA) and Stanbic IBTC Holdings Plc– are scheduled to meet next month to approve recapitalisation plans involving about N3 trillion.

Zenith Bank, which is rounding off conversion to holding company structure ahead of the recapitalisation, is seeking a broad mandate to double its issued share capital. The bank is creating new 3.4 billion ordinary shares of 50 kobo each for a multi-layered capital raising exercise that could see the bank with nearly N1 trillion.

GTCO is seeking shareholders’ approval for a $750 million multi-tranches, multi-instrument capital raising. The group is creating new 15 billion ordinary shares of 50 kobo each for its new share issuance programme.

UBA, which has called a meeting later next month, is seeking approval to create additional 10.8 billion ordinary shares of 50 kobo each for issuance to both domestic and foreign investors.

Fidelity Bank, which has a subsisting recapitalisation exercise, is expected to roll out additional recapitalisation measures.

FBN Holdings, which had secured earlier approval to raise some N150 billion, at the weekend cancelled an extraordinary general meeting called to consider a N300 billion capital raising plan. Market analysts expected FBN Holdings to review its recapitalisation plan upward.

<<The Nation>>

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