Otedola Joins FBN Holdings Board, as Shareholders Okay N150bn Capital Raise

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By Adedapo Adesanya

After much tussling, FBN Holdings Plc has held its 11th Annual General Meeting (AGM) with a considerable number of shareholders approving the payment of a 50 Kobo dividend and the raising of N150 billion in capital through a rights issue.

The yearly gathering was held virtually and coordinated by the Chairman of FBN Holdings Plc, Mr Ahmad Abdullahi.

At the meeting held on Tuesday, August 15, 2023, shareholders elected Mr Femi Otedola and Mr Samson Oyewale Ariyibi into the board of the group.

Speaking at the event, Mrs Bisi Bakare, a shareholder, commended the board and management of FBN Holdings Plc for paying a 50 Kobo dividend to shareholders.

She also welcomed the new board members, especially Mr Otedola, and made a case for an improvement in the gender diversity of the board and management.

She also lauded the Financial Holding Company for significantly increasing its gross earnings in the 2022 financial year.

The external auditor KPMG, represented by Mr Kabir Okunlola, stated that the financials of FBN Holdings Plc, as of December 31, 2022, represented a true and fair view of the company’s separate and consolidated financial position.

Mr Umar Farouk, the Chairman of the Statutory Audit Committee, in his statement, said the internal control mechanism was effectively monitored, and there was clear satisfaction with the level of insider-related parties’ compliance with the regulatory provisions of the Central Bank of Nigeria.

He also commended FBN Holdings Plc for its impressive H1, 2023 financial result and called for a hybrid format for future AGMs.

He also asked how the planned capital raising of N150 billion will reposition the financial holding company to be more viable and increase dividend payments in the future.

In his remarks, Mr Patrick Ajudua, a shareholder, expressed delight that First Bank, a subsidiary of FBN Holdings Plc, increased its customer base from 36 million to 41 million in the year 2022.

He also acknowledged that the bank’s non-performing loans dropped from 6.1 per cent to 4.3 per cent and commended the board for the dividend of 50 kobo.

Responding to observations and questions from the shareholders, Mr Nnamdi Okonkwo, the Group Managing Director of FBN Holdings Plc, said the Holdco had a track record in dividend payment and has been increasing it over the years.

He assured FBN Holdings Plc was committed to meeting the 35 per cent affirmative action for gender inclusion in the board and management. In the area of service delivery, he said the financial group has developed customer service improvement projects that will create value by leveraging innovation and technology.

Speaking on the N150 billion capital raise, the GMD said, “We are raising capital to brace up for the Basel III requirement, strengthen our balance sheet position, take advantage of business opportunities that can bring more profit and build a strong capital base.”

Business Post gathered that about 1,679 out of 1,700 shareholders voted to approve the N150 billion FBN Holdings Plc capital raising, which is 98.76 per cent of the votes counted.

Similarly, a total of 1,684 shareholders of the 1,702, which is 98.94 per cent, voted in favour of the resolution to approve the 50 Kobo dividend payment.

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