By Omoh Gabriel, Business Editor
Unity Bank Plc has said it will, in the first quarter of 2010, approach the investing public with an offer for subscription in a bid to raise N70 billion to shore up its capital to meet the Central Bank of Nigeria’s deadline of June 2010 to recaptalise. The bank has already set machinery in motion to achieve this goal. This fact was disclosed, weekend, by the Managing Director of the bank, Falalu Bello, in a chat with newsmen in Lagos.
Bello said that the bank was looking at raising its capital to between N60 billion and N 70billion. He said, â€œWe are coming to the market by, latest, February 2010. To meet the CBN minimum capital adequacy requirement, we need to have the sum of N32 billion. But we want to raise more than that. We intend to raise between N60 billion and N70 billion to have enough working capital to finance our activities and expansion.â€
Addressing the question of the public offer timing and the downturn in the capital market, Bello said, â€œWe have taken that into consideration. We have seen lately some banks coming to the market to raise N300 billion, some N 500 billion by way of debenture but we are just looking at N35 billion, by way of debenture. We are not looking at such a huge amount of money because we do not want to raise too much capital; we want to raise adequate capital.â€
Ahead of its public offer which may hold as early as January 2010, Unity Bank is said to be perfecting plans to engage the investing public on the basis of the integrity of the bank as captured by the October 2009 joint report of industry regulators namely, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC).