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Diamond Bank to raise fresh capital before end of year


October 01, 2007/BusinessDay



Managing Director of Diamond Bank plc Emeka Onwuka at the weekend disclosed that the Bank intends to raise new fund from the capital market before the end of the year.


According to Onwuka, at a \"Facts Behind The Figures\" session at the Nigerian Stock Exchange on Friday, the bank has concluded plans to raise fresh capital from the market but the method and modalities are still been considered at the board level.


Towards funding the Bank’s growth plans and its strategic objectives, the bank would be seeking to optimize its capital requirements. Its plan to strengthen its Tier 1 capital is currently being executed and would be concluded within the current financial year.


The decision to increase share capital comes with the overall objective of optimizing shareholder returns.


\"We are positioned to be at the forefront of the banking industry as well as take advantage of the opportunities that abound in the Nigerian economy and the West African region to achieve this goal in the medium term\", he said.


He noted that diamond Bank has achieved the results for the year ended April 30, 2007 through partnering for growth in terms of collaborating with customers, relevant institutions and the community in which it operates.


The facts behind the figures also indicate strong performance of the Bank is backed by many factors, including strong asset growth as the total assets have grown by an annual rate of 51 percent over the last five years; improved service delivery through technology; creative solutions to customers’ business problems and positioning in trade and project finance operations, strong ratings from Fitch (A), Agusto & Co. (A+) and Global Credit Rating (AA-); and customers regard for the bank as a symbol of strength, innovation and integrity.


It was gathered that the Bank intends to reinforce these qualities and leverage on them for future growth.


Onwuka explained that, \"TheBank’s potentials for growth remains very strong and will be driven by the immense opportunities and its focused strategy\".


With the Bank’s strength and pedigree, it plans to significantly increase its market share in the industry, diversify income stream by investing in the insurance and mortgage sectors; and expand into the West African sub region. The Bank anticipates tremendous opportunities for it to realize these plans arising from improving GDP growth rate with non-oil sector driving growth of the Nigerian economy.


The facts presented showed that Diamond Bank group recorded impressive growth in all performance indices during the year to April 30, 2007. TheGroup’s profit before tax for the year stood at N9.0 billion, representing a 5 percent increase over the forecasts in its 2005 initial public offering prospectus (IPO). The profit after tax of N7.0 billion is 3 percent higher than the IPO forecast while the earnings per share closed the year at 97kobo as against 91 kobo in the IPO forecast.


Further breakdown indicated that gross earnings for the Bank stood N38.5 billion while profit before tax was N8.8 billion. Diamond Bank du

Benin, S.A and Diamond Securities Limited added N215.0 million to the group’s profit before tax, signifying an increase of 40.4 percent respectively above their achievements in the preceding year.


According to the managing Director, \"These achievements are indications that the implementation of the Bank’s post-industry consolidation growth strategies have started to yield good results. The financial results are underpinned by our commitment to excellent service, innovation, investment in people, business integrity and good governance\". -

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