By Dipo Olowookere
Shares of Wema Bank Plc appreciated by 2 kobo or 3.18 percent on Thursday at the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) amid speculations that the board structure of the lender might be tampered with anytime soon.
This thought was triggered as a result of the huge transactions around the stock in the early days of this trading week.
On Monday, Wema Bank emerged as the most active stock on the NSE after a turnover of 2.7 billion units of its shares sold for N1.7 billion. The next day, the company maintained its position on the activity chart, transacting 2.4 billion shares valued at N1.5 billion.
These trades raised eyebrows and speculations at the stock market, with different theories coming up, including the board change rumour and a possible entry of a new core investor into the bank, which is gradually gaining its feet after going through turbulent situations in the past.
Speaking with Guardian on the matter, President of New Dimension Shareholders Association, Mr Patrick Ajudua, said, “Whatever it will take to reposition the bank in order to compete with its peers is a welcome development for minority shareholder.
“You will recall that there is a movement in trading of the bank shares in last three days, which is an indication of possible boardroom changes.
“Also, it is just recently that the bank is able to declare dividend after 14 years. So, I welcome the new development.”
In the report, it was said that the investors mopping up the bank’s equities could be Mr Adebutu Kensington, an ally of former President Olusegun Obasanjo and a billionaire businessman, who owns the multi-million Naira betting business, Premier Lotto (Baba Ijebu).
President of Progressive Shareholders Association of Nigeria, Mr Boniface Okezie, who reacted to this issue, stated that, “If the man has the capacity to run the place as a core investor, he is welcome on board, but I must also warn that the management must be allowed to operate with free hands with less interference.”
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