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Access Bank acquires Kenya’s major bank

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Access Bank acquires Kenya’s major bank
Acting Group Chief Executive Officer, Access Holdings Plc, Ms. Bolaji Agbede
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Access Bank Plc, the flagship subsidiary  of Access Holdings Plc, has entered into a binding agreement with Kenyan-based KCB Group Plc (KCB) for the acquisition of the entire issued share capital of National Bank of Kenya Limited (NBK) from KCB.

NBK is one of Kenya’s major banks with total assets in excess of $1.1 billion. KCB is also the holding company of KCB Bank Ltd, Kenya’s largest commercial bank.

The parties will be working together in the coming months to fulfil the conditions precedent relating to the Transaction, which include the regulatory approvals of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Central Bank of Kenya.

Sequel to the completion of the transaction, NBK would be combined with Access Bank Kenya Plc to create an enlarged franchise in the pursuit of Access Bank’s strategic objective for the Kenyan and East African markets.

In a regulatory filing yesterday, Access Holdings, stated that the proposed acquisition was in furtherance of its African expansion strategy and will reposition Access Bank as a stronger and significant player in the Kenyan market whilst serving as a regional hub for the East African bloc anchored by a solidified balance sheet.

Acting Group Chief Executive Officer, Access Holdings Plc, Ms. Bolaji Agbede said the proposed acquisition marks a significant step in the execution of the group’s five-year strategic plan aimed at positioning the bank as Africa’s gateway to the world.

“The deal with NBK, a historically strong and well-known bank in Kenya with a balance sheet in excess of $1.1 billion, presents a compelling opportunity to scale up our growth in the East African market. We remain confident that our investments towards diversifying and strengthening the bank’s long-term earnings profile will deliver significant value for our shareholders, customers, and wider stakeholder groups,” Agbede said.

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The latest transaction comes on the heels of recent other acquisitions talks. Access Bank had sealed a deal to acquire the majority equity stake of about 80 per cent in Uganda’s Finance Trust Bank (FTB).

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The deal will see Access Bank concurrently acquiring the shares held by FTB’s Institutional Shareholders who have sought to exit to a strategic, long-term shareholder.

The transaction is, however, subject to regulatory approvals by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and Bank of Uganda. It is expected to close in the first half of the year, following the fulfilment of customary conditions precedent.

Following the anticipated closing of the transaction, Access Bank would own an estimated 80 per cent shareholding in FTB.

Access Bank had earlier this year completed the acquisition of Atlas Mara Zambia in a major move that uplifted the Access Bank Zambia to one of the top five banks in Zambia.

With the completion of acquisition, Atlas Mara Zambia, otherwise known as African Banking Corporation Zambia Limited, became a wholly owned subsidiary of Access Bank Zambia (Access Zambia).

Access Zambia is a subsidiary of Access Bank Plc, the flagship subsidiary of Access Holdings Plc.

Access Holdings had indicated that the integration of Atlas Mara Zambia into the operations of Access Zambia is underway. The integration of the two banks will make Access Zambia one of the top five banks in the country.

Access Bank had also recently partnered with Visa, the world leader in digital payments, to enhance the efficiency of cross-border business-to-business payments, a partnership that will facilitate cross-border payments to some 110 countries globally.

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Access Bank’s corporate, commercial and small and medium enterprises (SMEs) customers will be able to adopt Visa B2B Connect platform to send and receive payments to and from 110 countries worldwide in a faster, more efficient and more secured way, thus facilitating seamless global business operations.

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Peter Obi should be held responsible for anarchy arising from August 1 hunger protest – Presidency

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Bayo Onanuga
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Bayo Onanuga, a senior to President Bola Tinubu, has alleged that supporters Mr Peter Obi, former presidential candidate of the Labour Party, LP, are planning mayhem in Nigeria.

Onanuga claimed that the proposed nationwide protests were being planned by Obi’s supporters, whom he described as failed presidential candidate.

According to him, Obi should be held responsible for whatever crisis that would emanate from the action.

In a post on his X handle on Saturday, Onanuga said the proposed protest planners are also the same people who were instigated by the incarcerated IPOB leader, Nnamdi Kanu to launch the destructive ENDSARS protest in Nigeria in October 2020.

He wrote: “REVEALED: Peter Obi’s supporters are the people planning mayhem in Nigeria: Obi should be held responsible for anarchy

“Don’t be fooled: the malcontents planning to stage nationwide protests are supporters of Peter Obi, the failed presidential candidate of the Labour Party. And he should be held responsible for whatever crisis emanates from the action.

“The protest planners are also the same people who were instigated by IPOB leader Nnamdi Kanu to launch the destructive ENDSARS protest in Nigeria in October 2020. ENDSARS began as a genuine protest by youths against the Police Special Anti-Robbery Squad, notorious for its high-handedness. IPOB members planning to extricate the South East region from Nigeria infiltrated the protest and hijacked it for their own agenda. Lagos still bears the scar of the malicious destruction by IPOB elements until today.

“Two years after ENDSARS, the IPOB and the gullible innocents joined the Labour Party in 2022 to support Peter Obi, a sympathiser of their cause.

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They are the people spreading the hashtags ‘EndBadGovernance’, ‘Tinubu Must Go,’ and ‘Revolution2024’. They are not democrats but anarchists. They are attempting to call out our people via propaganda because their Messiah, Peter Obi, failed to win the Presidency in the 2023 election. As bad losers, they don’t have the patience to wait for another election in 2027; they would rather destabilise Nigeria by staging a civilian coup against President Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

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Two brothers drown in FCT River

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Two brothers drown in FCT River
•The river behind the village
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Two brothers, Joshua and Samson, have drowned in a river in Robukya community in Kwali Ward in Kuje Area Council of the FCT.

A relation of the deceased, Musa Abednego, who confirmed the incident to our reporter on Thursday, said it happened on Tuesday around 9am while they were crossing the river.

He said the brothers, Joshua and Samson, were between the ages of nine and 12 and that they were on their way to the farm when the incident happened.

He explained that the victims got drowned following a heavy rainfall which made the river to overflow.

He said, “Their father asked them to hold on after the rain subsided. Unfortunately, they left home to the farm without him knowing.”

Abednego said their corpses were recovered on Wednesday around 4pm through the help of some fishermen, adding they had been buried.

The spokeswoman of the FCT Police Command, SP Josephine Adeh, was yet to speak on the incident.                                              Daily Trust

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CBN intervenes in foreign exchange market

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CBN intervenes in foreign exchange market
Central Bank of Nigeria
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The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has started selling foreign exchange on a regular basis through Authorised Dealer Banks and licensed Bureaux De Change (BDCs) as a response to the current fluctuations in the foreign exchange market.

These fluctuations are primarily caused by the demand pressure coming from corporate entities and the seasonal increase typical during the summer period.

By implementing regular sales of foreign exchange, the CBN aims to stabilise the market and ensure smoother transactions for both businesses and individuals involved in foreign exchange activities.

Director, Financial Markets Department of the CBN Dr Omolara Omotunde Duke in a statement on Friday night assured the public of the bank’s commitment to address the demand pressure and stabilize the foreign exchange market.

Highlighting recent transactions, the CBN disclosed that it sold a total sum of US$106,500,000.00 to 29 authorized dealer banks on Thursday, July 18 and Friday, July 19, 2024.

These transactions took place within an exchange rate range of N1,498.00/US$1 to N1,530.00/US$1. Additionally, the CBN purchased US$9,500,000 (Nine Million and Five Hundred Thousand Dollars) from four authorized dealer banks at rates between N1,510.00/US$1 and N1,550.00/US$1. All these transactions are marked for settlement on July 19, 2024.

The Central Bank also stated its commitment to closely monitor compliance with existing trading rules and regulations by authorized dealer banks. This is seen as an effort to promote ethical conduct and ensure stability in the foreign exchange market.

The general public was also advised to direct their foreign exchange demands to their respective banks and BDC operators, adhering to prevailing market regulations.

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With the regular sale of foreign exchange and ongoing monitoring of trading practices, the CBN aims to meet demand pressure, foster stability, and sustain a well-functioning foreign exchange market.

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