Access Bank targets top spot with listing (Ghana)

By Bernard Busulwa | Business & Financial Times, Ghana December 23, 2016

Access Bank, the number 12 bank in the country by asset size, listed on the Ghana Stock Exchange yesterday, with the aim to become a top tier bank “within the next few years.”

The bank, which is currently trading as “ABG” but is expected to change to “ACCESS” later, is the first bank of Nigerian heritage to list on the GSE. Its listing brings to 11 the number of banks on the bourse, and to 41 the total number of listed equities.

With a total of 118million shares issued, the current value per share rose from the initial value of GH¢4 to GH¢4.10 on the first day on trading, thereby adding almost GH¢500million to the total market capitalisation of the exchange, which is in excess of GH¢50billion.

The listing was led and sponsored by African Alliance Securities, with Chapel Hill Denham as co-brokers with Bentsi-Enchill Letsa&Ankomah and Deloitte as legal advisor and reporting accountant respectively.

“We have been clear in our mind that to rank among the top tier banks in Ghana, within the next few years, then it was important to make our banking franchise more indigenous, and certainly, this involved setting new standards and being more inclusive in ownership,” Managing Director of the bank, DolapoOgundimu, said.

Access, he said, has been interested in the development of the capital market as far back as the year 2010, when it hosted the first ever Thought Leadership Seminar on the Secondary Market in Ghana.

“Since then, we have engaged in several activities that strongly advocated participation in this market to ultimately enhance the prospects of Ghana’s socio-economic development,” he added.

Kofi Yamoah, Managing Director of the exchange, urged the bank to apply the offer proceeds strictly for the purpose intended and constantly provide the market with all price sensitive information to boost investor confidence.

“Constantly provide information to the market to boost the confidence of both institutional and retail investors. Attend the GSE-organised Facts Behind the Figures to always feed the market with valuable information,” he urged.

Wiston Nelson Jr., CEO of African AllianceSecurities, noted that it was not an easy journey due to the economic challenges which affected the banking sector in 2015 and 2016, but with the determination of his team and that of Access, the listing has been successful.

“There were days we believed, but on others we wavered. Being here means the belief was stronger. Although you were one of the last Nigerian banks to come to Ghana, you have set a good example by allowing for broad Ghanaian participation,” he added.

The outgoing Chairman of the GSE Council, KwekuBedu-Addo, added that with interest rates falling, this is the time for companies to step up their capital raising efforts and look at the capital market for opportunities.

“As interest rates fall, this is the time to diversify your capital structure and raise equities or debt on the capital market,” he said.

In 2015, Access Bank’s total assets grew by 41percent to GH¢2.42billion,from GH¢1.7billion in 2014. Total deposits also increased significantly by 44percent from GH¢1.2 billion in 2014 to GH¢1.73billion in 2015.

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