Ecobank Rights Issue This Year

Arnold EkpeEcobank Ghana Limited is expected to commence its rights issue  this year. The bank, earlier last year, sought a special resolution from its shareholders to authorize the directors to increase by GH¢100 million, its current stated capital.

The bank sought the authorization by special resolution to amend regulating 7 of its systems. The move is in a bid to meet the minimum capital requirement set by the Bank of Ghana last year.

The rights issue was initially set to be undertaken by the end of last year but the public offer of its parent company, ETI, forced the bank to shift it to this year.
Since it is a foreign-owned bank, Ecobank has up to the end of this year to meet the requirement.

The recapitalization in the banking industry is to put banks in a competitive frame with their counterparts across the globe.

Chief Executive of the Ecobank group, Arnold Ekpe said it will also consider acquiring any bank that presents itself in a bid to consolidate its business.

He said his outfit is prepared to enter into a friendly merger with a local bank that is willing to merge.

It would be recalled that Ecobank Transnational Incorporated (ETI) launched a $2.5 billion Dollar rights issue, an offer that was the biggest in recent memory on the African continent.

The $2.5 billion Dollar additional capital saw 40 percent being in the form of a rights issue for existing shareholders whilst 60 percent was sought through a public offer to allow several entities to own stakes in the group.

ETI rose only $566 million from the combined rights issue and share offer issued in August last year.

According to the result which was released to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), regulators of the securities industry, the amount was above the $400 million subscription rate.
ETI was seeking to raise $3 billion from both equity and debt instruments.

However, at the time the share offer was being launched, interest rates had escalated due to high inflation and similarly the credit crunch had assumed alarming proportions in most advanced economies including the USA and Europe.  

This to a greater extent prevented foreign investors from buying into the share offer.

The monies raised are expected to be invested into existing subsidiaries in 25 countries, seek mergers and acquisitions of vulnerable banks as well as invest in new markets.

The launch took place in Ghana, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal and Togo.

By Charles Nixon Yeboah