By NKIRUKA NNOROM
Shareholders of Sterling Bank Plc, at the 51 annual general meeting in Lagos, authorised the Board and management of the bank to raise fresh capital amounting to N56.2 billion from the capital market.
The first phase of the exercise will involve raising of tier one capital through a rights issue of N12 billion (an equivalent of US$75milliion) and a private placement of N19.2 billion, while the second phase will involve raising of tier two capital (subordinated debt) of N25 billion multi-currency.
They also approved distribution of 20kobo per ordinary share dividend to every member of the bank for the year ended 31st December, 2012.
Addressing shareholders at the meeting, the chairman, Alhaji S.A Adegunwa, explained that the process for the first phase of the exercise had commenced in the first quarter of the year and would be concluded before the end of June, 2013.
Adegunwa stated that the process for the second phase would commence in the third quarter and would be concluded in the first quarter of 2014, adding that the additional capital would enable Sterling Bank to successfully implement its medium to long term strategic objectives.
He noted that the bank made significant progress in integration of its processes and operations following merger with Equatorial Trust Bank, ETB, at the end of the previous financial year.
“We successfully consolidated the two banking systems into a single banking platform, allowing us to streamline our processes, maintenance and development costs, hardware and software, as well as improve the time-to-market for developing our products and services,” he added.
Speaking, the Managing Director/CEO, Mr. Yemi Adeola, thanked the shareholders for supporting the bank’s effort to raise fresh capital, saying that the management only wanted to wait for the market to sufficiently rebound before taking a plunge.