Sunday, 24 August 2008

Ecobank's USD 2.5bn capital raising begins today.

Well, here we go. A really big deal by African standards. Ecobank's rights offer will be made simultaneously on three stock exchanges, the Ghana Stock Exchange, the Nigerian Stock Exchange and the ‘Bourse Régionale des Valeurs Mobilières', the regional stock exchange in Abidjan. Approval has been given by the Union Economique et Monetaire Ouest Africaine, so the whole of French speaking Africa is behind the bank.

Ecobank Nigeria Plc, Stanbic IBTC Bank Plc and ICMG Securities Limited are joint issuing houses to the offer in Nigeria, while Ecobank Development Corporation and First Africa SA Limited are financial advisers to the offer in all of the three stock exchanges. Plenty of fees for everyone but lt's wait and see if there is stock for those of us who are long term investors in the bank.

Ecobank, also known as ETI, will raise the $2.5bn equity through a 3.76 billion rights issue, being offered at $0.27 apiece at a ratio of five new shares for every nine held.

A further 5.12 billion shares are also being offered to the public at $0.29 each.

This implies a discount of 20 per cent for the rights offer and 12.5 per cent for the public offer to the 30-day volume-weighted average price of the company’s stock across the three stock markets where it trades.

The offer is to strengthen Ecobank accelerated branch oppening plans.
The bank plans consolidate its position as the leading pan-African banking group.

Chief Executive Officer, ETI, Mr. Arnold Ekpe, said in London today that he believed Africa would continue to bouyed by demand for commodities from China and India and that his business would be driven by the consumer side.

Ekpe said Ecobank will open new offices in 22 other strategic countries, particularly in the Central and Southern African sub-regions such as Angola, Equatorial Guinea, Mozambique, Botswana and Zambia, among others.

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