By NKIRUKA NNOROM
Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Aso Savings and Loans Plc, Mr. Hassan Usman, has said that he is assured that the N5 billion rights issue embarked on by the mortgage bank will be well subscribed to, going by huge patronage that greeted it.
The company had recently embarked on right issue to raise N5 billion from existing shareholders in order to restructure and consolidate its leading position in the mortgage industry.
With the company’s shareholders’ funds at N3.5 billion, the N5 billion fresh capital is expected to increase it to about N8.5 billion and well over the minimum N5 billion stipulated by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for mortgage banks.
Usman explained that the company will likely embark on a further capital raising exercise from other sources so as to exploit the huge business opportunities in the mortgage and housing sector of the Nigerian economy.
He said that the company has not raised capital from shareholders in the last three years, noting that many changes have taken place that warranted fresh capital to remain ahead of competition.
“We have been there without raising capital for the last four or so years from the shareholders. There are many developments in the mortgage market. There are new entrants in our market. The market place has increased significantly. What we can do in the market is a function of our shareholders’ funds. We are therefore, raising capital to be able to service larger capital market,” he said.
Usman disclosed that the management and board of Aso Savings are always innovating ways to remain a leader in the industry, adding that the company is currently going through a restructuring.
“We are looking at what we are doing on daily basis and see what we can do better. We are now going through a restructuring that will lead to a stronger platform so that we can deliver better services for our customers and returns for shareholders.
We are also using a balanced score-card approach whereby each person in the company has a template to show what their deliverables are, from financial perspective, consumer perspective and so on and so forth. Through the balanced scorecard, people will be held more accountable. If you are not delivering on your targets, there are consequences. And if you are meeting your targets, there are incentives,” he said.
The CEO assured investors that going forward, the company would deliver 25 per cent return to shareholders year-in-year-out.
He said this was not achieved in 2012 due to the restructuring cleaning of its books, he declared that “going forward we believe this is achievable”
“We can give shareholders good dividends and bonuses. We want to remain the leading mortgage bank in this country. We want to increase our market share; we want to be a mortgage of choice. And all these are achievable,” he said.