Shareholders of Union Bank of Nigeria Plc yesterday approved the request of the directors of the bank to raise about $750 million (N120 billion) capital. The shareholders, who gave the approval they 45th annual general meeting (AGM) of the bank in Lagos, also expressed excitement at the bank’s return to profitability.
The directors had asked the shareholders, among other things, for their authority “to take all necessary steps to raise medium term funding by the issuance of debt instruments(s), tenured bond(s) and/or tier 11 securities or a combination of these financing options, up to a maximum of $750million or its equivalent in any currency or such terms as may be determined by the Board.”
Addressing the shareholders, Chairman of Union Bank, Udoma Udo Udoma said the fresh capital will facilitate the execution of the bank’s new strategies.
According to him, Union Bank finalised its three year strategy which provided a clear direction for its future growth in line with the on-going transformation programme.
“Union Bank aspires to be a highly respected provider of quality banking services, and to achieve this, the bank has identified six core areas, which are pivotal to tis success-the quality of our customer experience, the quality of our client base, the quality of our talent, the quality of our banking platform and our professional standards and the quality of our earnings,” Udoma said.
Speaking in the same vein, the Group Managing Director of Union Bank, Mr. Emeka Emuwa said the bank’s main priority in 2013 was to improve its efficiency by addressing operational challenges and implementing cost optimisation initiatives.
He said the the second priority was to develop medium term strategy which clearly outlined a road map to realising the bank’s ambition to be a.
highly respected provider of quality banking services. Emuwa declared that the bank made considerable progress on both fronts He said the bank recorded gross earnings of N121 billion, showing an increase of four per cent above the N117 billion posted in 2012. Profit before tax rose by 31 per cent from N2.8 billion to N3.8 billion, while total assets stood at N1 trillion as at the end of 2013.
“For 2014, our focus will be on executing key elements of our strategy, which we believe will yield immediate results,” Emuwa said.