Monday, 8 October 2007

Oceanic Emerges Most Capitalised Bank in Nigeria

With public offer proceeds of N175 billion, Oceanic Bank International Plc is now the most capitalised bank in Nigeria. Oceanic Bank's initial capital base of N38 billion in addition to its public offer proceeds (N175 billion) has now raised the bank's shareholders funds significantly to N213 billion, representing a growth rate of 461 per cent. The closet bank to Oceanic Bank is Intercontinental Bank Plc, which has a shareholders' fund of N177 billion.

Oceanic Bank's recently concluded public offer was oversubscribed by 215 Per cent. With this development, the bank has now emerged the largest bank in Nigeria by capital base and is projected to be the first Nigerian bank to cross the $2 billion capital base. The bank's capital base is expected to be over N220 billion when the results of its 2007 financial year are announced next month.

In effect, this quantum leap in capital will further consolidate the bank's position in the management of the country's foreign reserve. The public offer, according to the bank, was undertaken to give investors opportunity of being part of the bank, increase its capital base as well as working capital, invest heavily on information technology, and to increase its branch network locally and offshore.

Photo : Cecilia Ibru welcoming guests at an Oceanic Bank event in Lagos recently.

With the increased capitalisation, the Managing Director and Chief Executive of the bank, Dr. (Mrs.) Cecilia Ibru, said the bank would be a global player in various corporate and investment banking related services.

As the winner of various real sectors financing awards ranging from small and medium scale and top tier companies, Oceanic Bank has good understanding of business dynamics of medium to Mega Corporation towards contributing to their growth with its array of financial solutions. She assured that the bank would continue to optimise its resources to expand and deepen its participation in the real sector of the economy as well as give adequate returns on shareholders investments.

Ibru during the offer projected a profit of N18.9 billion for the bank in 2007, N24.9 billion in 2008 and N28.6 billion in 2009. The bank also projected a dividend of 56 kobo in 2007, 58 kobo in 2008 and 67 kobo in 2009. Analysts however described the bank's projections as grossly conservative, noting that the bank would significantly surpass the projections going by its nine months results. The bank for the nine months grossed N46 billion made a profit before tax (PBT) of N16.2 billion and a profit after tax of (PAT) rose by 54 per cent to N13.4 billion per cent as against the preceding year's N8.7 billion.

Capital market analysts are of the view that since the bank went to the capital market in 2004 to raise funds, its story and that of the investors have changed for good. Aside an enhanced financial performance that made it close 2006 as the third most profitable financial institution and the fifth largest bank in Nigeria, the bank's high rate of returns on investment has been highly commended.

It would be recalled that the bank gave a dividend of 42 kobo for the 2006 financial year as well as a surprise bonus issue of one for every four shares held. This was insignificant when compared with the capital appreciation gained by the investors. Since the end of the public offer (which was sold for N16.50 per share), the bank's stock has continued to increase in value. As at the close of trading last week, Oceanic stock closed at N30.36 per share, a significant increase of 85 per cent.

Chairman of the bank, Apostle Hayford Alile, had also during the public offer assured investors that the bank would enhance their wealth through consistent dividend, bonus and also capital appreciation. In the last three years, the bank has effectively shown resilience as one of the strongest banks in Nigeria going by the comparative analysis with the industry performance. The bank has posted excellence performance on virtually all indices. The growth rate of its capital base for the reviewed period is 461 per cent compared to the industry's 178 percent, exhibiting rare financial soundness and ability to transact high volume businesses.

Besides, the bank's aggressive deposits mobilisation is another driving force for its performance. Going by the industry average deposit growth rate for the period, which is 101 percent, Oceanic grew thrice more than the industry by posting 399 percent growth. This confirms the bank's ability to generate deposits to fund its banking business more than any bank in Nigeria and to meet financial obligations as they come due.
With each passing year, the bank has recorded tremendous growth, making it the fifth largest bank in the country and the third most profitable financial institution as at the end of 2006 financial year.

The bank's performance so far in the last three quarters has shown clearly that it would exceed its targets and set a standard in the industry. It is clear from the performance that the bank's vision of becoming the most dominant financial institution in the industry in terms of profitability and excellent service delivery is also realisable.

Sourced from This Day newspaper (Lagos) 8 October 2007

Click here for pictures and report from the Oceanic Bank July 2007 International Breakfast meeting themed : What The World Expects From Nigeria, Post 2007.

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