Access Holdings Plc Leads Peers with $1.5 Billion Capital Raising Plan

Less than 24 hours after the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) announced a new policy requiring banks to increase their minimum capital, Access Holdings Plc took the lead among its peers by revealing plans to initiate a $1.5 billion (N1.963 trillion based on the N1309/$ official rate as of Thursday) capital raising programme.

This move comes as financial market analysts, economists, and bankers welcome the recapitalization exercise, which mandates banks to bolster their capital base to N500 billion and N200 billion for commercial banks with international and national authorization, respectively.

However, some analysts have raised concerns about the exclusion of retained earnings from the regulatory capital composition.

The CBN has emphasized its commitment to closely monitor the exercise, in collaboration with law enforcement agencies, to prevent the inflow of illicit financing into the sector.

The central bank’s announcement on Thursday introduced new capital requirements for Nigerian banks, stipulating minimum share capital thresholds of N500 billion, N200 billion, and N50 billion for international, national, and regional banks, respectively.

In defining share capital, the CBN chose to exclude retained earnings from the computation, focusing solely on banks’ ordinary share capital and share premium.

Access Holdings Plc, in a statement, unveiled plans to establish a capital raising programme of up to $1.5 billion or its equivalent.

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