By Goddy Egene, 10.26.2010
Chairman, Guaranty Trust Bank Plc, Mr. Oluwole Oduyemi has said that the proposed equity investment by International Finance Corporation (IFC) would enable GTBank to profitably exploit opportunities in the banking sector of the Nigerian economy, West African and global environment.
IFC, which is the private sector arm of the World Bank has proposed to make an equity investment of $30 million in GTBank apart from $170 million 10-year debt facility to support the bank’s lending activities.
Speaking at the Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) held in Lagos, where shareholders of the bank approved the proposal, Oduyemi said that after a due consideration of the unique attributes offered by IFC, the Board arrived at the conclusion that the proposed investment represents a viable route towards the achievement of GTBank’s strategic objectives.
“The admission of IFC as strategic investor in the bank via proposed placing is an important further step in the bank’s multi-pronged approach towards achieving a stronger capital base and ensuring that the bank’s sustainability as a virile financial institution with multiple competencies,” he said.
The chairman added that the bank would be able to leverage on the global competencies of IFC and solidify GTBanks’ presence in the West Africa sub-region including expansion into other lucrative markets within the continent, especially Francophone West Africa.
On the divestment of the bank from non-banking sub-subsidiaries, Oduyemi said that after considering the core strength of GTBank, the directors decided that the most optimal means of ensuring compliance with the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) directive was to concentrate its resources on commercial banking.
According to him, based on the decision, GTBank would divest its shareholding interest in Guaranty Trust Assurance, GTB Asset Management Limited and GTB Registrars Limited, while the assets liabilities and undertakings of the mortgage banking subsidiary-GTHomes Limited would be merged with GTBank.
“Upon completion of the divestment, the bank shall apply for a commercial banking licence (with international scope) from the CBN in order to facilitate the continuation of its commercial banking operations both on a national scale in Nigeria and through its offshore banking subsidiaries in West African sub-region and the United Kingdom,” he said.The shareholders approved the proposals including the increase of the bank’s authorised share capital from NN15 billion to N25 billion.