Nigeria: Union Bank to raise $164m to boost capital reserves
(Ecofin Agency) - Nigeria’s Union Bank has revealed plans to raise N50 billion ($164 million) by the end of second quarter of 2017. This amount will be raised through rights issue to increase its capital reserves and lend to agribusiness enterprises.
Emeka Emuwa, chief executive of the bank said on Thursday it is targeting a capital ratio of more than 18% after the fundraising as against the 13.4% recorded in Q3 of 2016. “We are en route to a capital raising. We see opportunities to leverage our capital not just to be in regulatory compliance but to be able to tap opportunities that we see in the medium term,” he said.
Emuwa explained that the total value of the bank’s loans increased by 40% in 2016 driven by the devaluation of the naira which affected dollar loans to oil companies. But without the devaluation, loans grew by 13%.
After formerly profitable loans to oil companies in the country became less favorable due to the fall in crude prices, Nigerian banks were forced to change their business models to survive.
Union Bank is seeking opportunities as the government is looking towards agriculture and solid minerals to diversify the economy away from oil and reduce imports.
“We see opportunities in agribusiness, food processing, fast-moving consumer goods. Anything that is aligned with how the economy is evolving, manufacturing of consumer goods, manufacturing of goods by replacing what is previously being imported are areas where we see opportunities,” Emuwa added.