UBA Announces Plans for Recapitalization Amidst 75th Anniversary Celebrations

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United Bank for Africa (UBA) is gearing up for a major recapitalization effort, with plans to seek shareholder approval by Friday, May 24, according to Mr. Ogochukwu Nwaghodo, Executive Director of Finance and Risk Management. This announcement was made during a global news conference in Lagos, marking the bank’s 75th anniversary.

Nwaghodo emphasized the necessity of this move to comply with new regulatory requirements set by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). On March 29, the CBN mandated that commercial banks with international authorization increase their capital base to N500 billion, while national banks must raise theirs to N200 billion. Additionally, non-interest banks with national and regional authorization must increase their capital to N20 billion and N10 billion, respectively. This recapitalization, spanning from April 1, 2024, to March 31, 2026, aims to bolster Nigeria’s economy towards a $1 trillion target.

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UBA is actively engaging financial advisors to secure the needed shareholder approval for this recapitalization. Nwaghodo reiterated UBA’s commitment to achieving this mandate, noting the bank’s status as a commercial bank in Nigeria with international authorization, operating under the highest financial institution license.

He praised the CBN’s recapitalization policy, describing it as a vital step to fortify the banking system and aid in Nigeria’s economic development. “This policy will strengthen our banking system and contribute significantly towards our nation’s goal of becoming a trillion-dollar economy,” Nwaghodo stated.

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Adding to this, Mr. Oliver Alawuba, Group Managing Director of UBA, expressed confidence in the bank’s ability to raise the new capital base, highlighting UBA’s attractiveness to investors. He noted that UBA’s share price appreciation has been one of the highest on the Nigerian Exchange Ltd. (NGX) in 2023, with a dividend yield exceeding 12% over the past two years.

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Alawuba also pointed out UBA’s extensive presence in 24 countries, providing a strong diversification of income streams. “Investing in UBA shares means investing in a vast, diversified portfolio across multiple countries, which mitigates risks and enhances returns,” he explained.

He further revealed that UBA is not deterred by cross-border challenges and is ready to seize opportunities in other countries where it currently has no presence. “We are committed to connecting Africa to the world and have signed various partnership agreements with Fintechs and Telcos to support our mission,” Alawuba said.

UBA is also heavily invested in addressing infrastructural gaps in agriculture, roads, ports, telecommunications, and power across its operational regions. The bank’s strategy focuses on supporting key economic sectors, thereby driving growth and development.

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The CEO highlighted UBA’s contributions to infrastructure, revenue generation, and support for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). “Our financial performance reflects our commitment, with deposits reaching N18 trillion, shareholders’ funds at N2 trillion, and a growing customer base of nearly 45 million across Africa,” Alawuba stated.

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Founded in 1949 on Kakawa Street, Lagos Island, UBA has evolved from its modest beginnings into a global financial powerhouse with operations in 20 African countries and key financial centers in New York, London, Paris, and Dubai.

The bank’s 75th-anniversary celebrations, inaugurated with the news conference, will feature various events, including the launch of UBA’s documentary, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programs, an online HACKATHON for global youths, and a grand finale in November.

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