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By Dipo Olowookere

Shareholders of Guaranty Trust Bank (GTBank) Plc have expressed confidence on the leadership of Mrs Osaretin Demuren and Mr Segun Agbaje, the Chairman and Managing Director of the bank respectively, to take the new GT Holdings Plc to greater heights.

The investors, who spoke through their representatives last Friday at a Court-Ordered Meeting (COM) in Lagos, said GTBank has performed well under the leadership of the two board members and thus projected that the new brand would perform better if the duo is still in charge.

The shareholders of the tier-one financial institution were in Lagos over the weekend to take a decision on the transfer of the 29,431,179,224 ordinary shares of 50 kobo each in the issued and paid-up share capital of the GTBank held by them to GT Holdings Plc.

After the approval of this proposal, the founder of the Independent Shareholders Association of Nigeria (ISAN), Sir Sunny Nwosu, expressed the excitement of shareholders on the arrangement the bank has put in place is devoid of complexities usually known as share reconstruction.

“We are excited about the development because we are going to get value as everything we have would be transferred to the holding company. There will be no manipulation as a result of reconstruction that usually leads to fractional shares,” Mr Nwosu said.

On his part, the President of Progressive Shareholders Association of Nigeria, Mr Boniface Okezie, noted that, “GTBank has over the years proven to be a force and leading initiator of revolutionary advancement and technology-based development in the nation’s banking industry and we look forward to the growth and advancement it is sure to bring into the new business areas it will be taking on with the Holdco structure.”

“The arrangement where all existing shares of the bank would be transferred entirely to the Holdco in the name of the beneficial owners is good, while the same number of units and percentage would be held in the new entity, is commendable,” he added.

In his remarks, the Mr Segun Agbaje, explained that in line with Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)’s regulations, which require the separation of commercial banking business from other financial services businesses, the bank is adopting a Holdco structure.

He Mr Agbaje explained that the overall strategy was to create an operating model that would profitably grow the bank’s presence in the market for commercial banking and non-banking financial services in order to achieve the aspiration to be the dominant financial services group.

“I am delighted over the approval by shareholders for the holding company and I assure the investors of a more rewarding future. The bank will not embark on any share reconstruction as the same number of shares they have with the bank will be maintained.

“Under the new structure, existing shareholders of GTBank would be migrated to Guaranty Trust Holdings via a share-for-share exchange between the shareholders of GTBank and GT Holdings,” he said.

Dipo Olowookere is a journalist based in Nigeria that has passion for reporting business news stories. At his leisure time, he watches football and supports 3SC of Ibadan. Mr Olowookere can be reached via dipo.olowookere@businesspost.ng

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