Unity Bank to raise additional capital in 2015
Unity Bank Plc will raise additional capital in 2015 to strengthen its balance sheet, its Managing Director/ Chief Executive officer, Mr. James Semenitari, has said.
He said the lender would build on its performance in 2014 to increase its fundamentals next year and deliver value to its shareholders.
The CEO spoke at a news conference in Lagos in Saturday.
He said, “We will raise more capital in 2015. We are raising funds to strengthen our balance sheet. Next year, we will do things to make our institution stronger.”
Semenitari recalled that after some write-downs that led to about N33bn loss, the lender was forced to raise additional capital of N40 this year.
He, however, noted that the exercise had helped to lift the bank from loss to profit, expressing confidence that next year held promising results for the financial institution.
The Unity Bank boss explained, “We had to embark on an inevitable capital raising exercise. It was important to gain confidence before the Nigerian public and shareholders. We were able to raise N40bn successfully-N20bn placement and N20bn rights issue. We were oversubscribed to the tune of N950m which we had to return.
“By 2015, we will be within the regulatory minimum, we were no more in deficit or negative because after that write-down, we were in negative, but today we are clearly above board and we will in surplus. We inherited a very good technology and it will remain there to support our balance sheet. We have what it takes.”
The senior banker also noted that part of its profit for the current financial year would go into retained earnings as part of efforts aimed at strengthening its balance sheet.
According to him, the bank will in 2016 achieve the Central Bank of Nigeria’s five per cent target in non-performing loans.
In order to achieve this, he said the lender would embark on aggressive debt recovery exercises next year.
Semenitari said, “We have seen a number of receiverships being carried out by other banks. We will also do same next year. There is no hiding place for the debtor. Our doors are open for sincere borrowers but not for fraudulent debtors. We are not shy to give out money but you must be ready to pay.
“For us, debt recovery is not the duty of the head of debt recovery alone. It is the duty of every one of us in Unity Bank. Every director knows what to do about this. To reduce NPLs is a task that must be done. It is a campaign, it