NGX halts trading in Access Bank shares ahead of HoldCo listing

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By Chinwendu Obienyi

The Nigerian Exchange Limited (NGX) has announced the full suspension of trading in the shares of Access Bank Plc, to enable the bank to prepare for eventual delisting of Access Bank Plc from the Daily Official list of the NGX and listing of the Holding Company, Access Holdings Plc.

The statement from the NGX read, “Trading License Holders and the investing public are hereby notified that trading in the shares of Access Bank Plc (the Bank) was suspended on Thursday, 24 March 2022. The suspension is necessary to prevent trading in the shares of the Bank in preparation for the eventual delisting of Access Bank Plc from the Daily Official List of Nigerian Exchange Limited (the Exchange) and listing of the Holding Company, Access Holdings Plc on the Exchange”.

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The bank had kicked off plans to restructure after its corporate merger with erstwhile Diamond Bank Plc and its shareholders in December 2021, unanimously approved the bank’s proposed restructuring to a Holding Company.

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Speaking at the meeting, the Chairman, Access Bank Plc, Dr Ajoritsedere Awosika, told shareholders that the board considered the restructuring to be the most appropriate to create strategic flexibility and diversification of the group’s revenues.

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Awosika said the restructuring would result in shareholders holding shares in the Holdco in the same proportion as their current holdings in the bank and the bank’s shares being held wholly by the Holdco.

On the justification for the restructuring, Awosika said that the transition to a financial Holding Company was in line with considerations such as regulatory compliance, facilitation of growth and expansion in banking across Africa, diversification into permissible financial services and risk management.

She explained that the structure would unburden the bank from oversight functions and responsibilities of managing the subsidiaries.

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