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First Bank’s Holding Company Targets N300bn Strategic Capital Raise

By William Emmanuel Ukpoju

FBN Holdings, the parent company of First Bank — one of Nigeria’s premier banks — is gearing up for a significant capital infusion as the group has announced plans to propose a capital raise of up to N300 billion (equivalent to $241 million) to its shareholders.

The proposed capital could be sourced through a public offering or a private sale, within Nigeria or internationally.

The move, Valuechain gathered, is in response to the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) recent directive, which set higher minimum capital requirements for banks to encourage more robust economic growth.

The shareholders’ meeting, scheduled for April 30, will be a decisive event where FBN Holdings will seek the green light for this initiative. The company’s shares, which peaked at 43.95 Naira in March, were last traded at 30.50 Naira on the Nigerian stock exchange.

The development comes as the banking sector in Nigeria braces for a recapitalization drive, prompted by the CBN’s announcement last month.

Access Holding Plc, which operates Access Bank — the nation’s largest bank — also disclosed last month, its intention to pursue a $1.5 billion capital raising program.

The upcoming shareholders’ meetings for both FBN Holdings and Access Holding Plc will be critical in determining how these financial institutions will meet the CBN’s new requirements and support Nigeria’s economic expansion.

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