By PROVIDENCE OBUH
During the National Association of Microfinance Banks (NAMB) Annual General Meeting (AGM), General Manager and Head of Listings, Sales and Retention at the Nigerian Stock Exchange NSE, Mrs. Taba Peterside, presented a paper calling on Micro Finance Banks (MFBs) to consider listing on the Exchange as the rigour of listing will address the various shortcomings of Micro Finance Banks in the country.
As a result, the NSE listed by Introduction 1,630,091,000 Ordinary Shares of 50 kobo each of Fortis Microfinance Bank at N5.00 per share last week. The listing added N8.15 billion to the Market Capitalization of the Exchange, increasing the visibility of the MFB and differentiating it as one with a high corporate governance standards, having met NSE listing criteria, says Mr. Oscar Onyema, Chief Executive Officer of the NSE.
Onyema said “Some of the difficulties Microfinance Banks currently face include: lack of adequate skills set by operators for effective service delivery, lack of proper corporate governance and management structure, inefficient internal controls, poor credit administration and lack of adequate capital base leading to insufficient loanable funds.
“It is no mean feat that FortisMFB has taken a strategic step to join the prestigious club of quoted companies in Nigeria and I once again commend them for this bold step. I will use this opportunity to call on other MFBs who are undecided on whether to list their shares on the Exchange to make up their minds as there are significant benefits to be derived from being a listed company.”
Managing Director of the bank, Mr. Kunle Oketikun, said that the bank planned to grow its business by providing access to funding needs of various middle and lower-end entrepreneurs in diverse vocations, adding that it is a leading player in the sector, positioned to take advantage of available opportunities.
Oketikun said the bank listed in order to bring banking services to majority of Nigerians that are vastly underserved, create more wealth for investors who will partner with the bank to establish a presence in the 774 Local governments in Nigeria over time.
He stated, “Microfinancing is the future and holds the ace for rejuvenation of the Nigeria economy”
He disclosed that Fortis will undertake a secondary equity offering to raise N2 billion and also sell five-year bonds to raise N5 billion.
“The funds will be used to increase working capital and acquiring a national licence. He said the target investors for the bond sale will be institutional investors especially the pension fund administrators,”.