Wema Bank set to approach money market for N25billion

Wema Bank Plc., has said that it will soon approach the money market to raise another N25billion to complete its N50 billion debt issuance program.

The first series of the debt Programme was issued in November 2017 when the bank raised N25billion from the market. The bank’s Managing Director/ CEO, Mr. Segun Oloketuyi, made the disclosure on Wednesday May 9, 2018 at the Annual General Meeting of Wema Bank in Lagos.

“We approached the money market in November 2017 to raise N25 billion in two Series under a commercial paper Program; Series 1 N10 billion – 182-day tenor and Series 2: N15 billion- 270-day tenor. Given the relative decline in interest rates and possible growth within the economy, the Bank will be re-opening the 2nd series of its N50 billion debt issuance program. This should commence from the second quarter of the year.”

The bank, which launched ALAT,  Africa’s first fully digital bank, confirmed the growth of its gross earnings by 20.07%, from N54.36 billion in FY2016 to N65.27 billion in FY2017.

“The growth was supported by the launch of ALAT – Nigeria’s first fully digital Bank, enhancing Wema Bank’s already existing alternate platforms which recorded a combined growth rate of 205.67% in transactions executed and with an estimated 30,000 accounts opened monthly. We have made necessary steps to consolidate on the growth achieved in the new financial year.” Mr. Oloketuyi said.

He commended the shareholders for their understanding over the years and for seeing the bank through the first two restructuring phases of the bank.  “I would like to appreciate our esteemed shareholders for their patience and the trust reposed in us. We are now in the final stage of our three-pronged strategy; stabilise the bank (2009 – 2012), reposition the bank (2013-2017) and grow the Bank (2017 and beyond),” He said.

Commenting on the financial year 2017 results, Mr Oloketuyi provided further insights into the performance of the Bank during the period.  “Despite the slow start to the year, 2017 recorded significant progress, highlighted by the introduction of the Investor & Exporters (I&E) window and recovery in oil prices,” He noted.

In October, the Bank held its Extra-Ordinary General Meeting (EGM) towards its proposed Capital Reorganisation Scheme.  The CEO announced that the exercise has been concluded. “With all relevant regulatory approvals in place and duly passed and reflected in the 2017 financial year accounts, the conclusion of the exercise would now lead to an efficient balance sheet, as ploughed back profit can be capitalised to grow the business while positioning the Bank for dividend payment in the near term” he explained.

On his part, the Chief Finance Officer, Tunde Mabawonku, noted that, the Bank’s earnings from non-interest income remained strong, growing by 24.44% from N9.80 billion in 2016 to N12.19 billion in 2017; surpassing its 2017 guidance of a 19% growth rate.

The Bank closed with a Profit before Tax (PBT) of N3.01 billion (2016; N3.24 billion), despite reporting an  increase in impairment charges which rose  from N0.42 billion in 2016 to N2.18 billion in 2017.

According to him, “Risk management remains at the core of our operations, as we leverage on our prudent risk management practices and reported a Non-Performing Loan (NPL) ratio of 3.52% (2016; 5.01%) while our Capital Adequacy Ratio (CAR), closed at 14.32% (2016; 11.07%). We remain confident, that the Bank’s credit rating will continue to remain affirmed at investment grade level,” he said.


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