- Diamond Bank chairman, 3 directors quit
Nigeria's Diamond Bank in talks with new investors to recapitalise amid directors' resignations
Four Diamond Bank directors resign as the bank continues talk with new investors to recapitalise and settle bond maturity next year.
The chairman and three non-executive directors of Diamond Bank Plc have resigned from their positions as the bank eyes recapitalisation and means to settle its huge bond maturing next year.
Uzoma Uja, the company secretary made this known in a letter addressed to the Nigerian Stock Exchange on Wednesday.
The letter reads, “RESIGNATION OF CHAIRMAN AND NON-EXECUTIVE DIRECTORS,” the bank notified “the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) and the public that the following Non-Executive Directors have resigned from the Board of Diamond Bank Plc with immediate effect.
1. Mr Oluseyi Bickersteth
2. Mr Rotimi Oyekanmi
3. Mrs Juliet Anammah
4. Mrs Aisha Oyebode
“The directors are resigning for varied personal reasons, which will include focusing on their priorities. Diamond Bank will update the market with any further developments in due course.”
Diamond Bank planning to re-capitalise
The latest development, industry sources say it may not be unconnected to profitability and capital challenges currently facing the Nigerian lender.
The bank is currently looking for new investors to recapitalise after it was hit by huge loan losses during the economic recession.
“The bank has capital challenges and a large bond maturity in 2019, hence, the need to welcome new investors.
“The investors bringing in the money want to have some control and they have no choice than to let them go,” a top bank source tells Business Insider Sub-Saharan Africa.
Diamond Bank denies talks with new investors
In a follow-up release on Friday morning, the Bank denied media reports concerning new equity investment “Diamond Bank is not in talks with any party, global or otherwise, for any capital injection.
“While previous communication from the bank has highlighted a need to shore up the Bank’s Capital Adequacy Ratio (CAR), the preferred option is an internal capital management programme that has been explained in detail to analysts and investors.
“While we recognize the need to expand our options in the short term, we have no concrete new development to report and will notify The Exchange once there is any, ” the statement reads.
Business Insider Sub-Saharan Africa recalls that the Bank announced the sale of its international subsidiary, Diamond Bank (UK) Plc in April this year.
Uzoma Dozie, Diamond Bank's CEO, while commenting on the transaction, had said the bank's strategic objective is to be the fastest growing, and most profitable technology-driven retail banking franchise in Nigeria.
“This strategic intent requires the Bank to optimise the use of its resources which means, where necessary, divesting from its non-core assets and focusing on the priority area, namely Nigerian retail banking,” he had said during the signing of a Share Sale and Purchase Agreement with a member of GFG Alliance, for the disposal of its UK asset.
Last year, the Bank also divested from its West African business, Diamond Bank S.A.
Sources also told ThisDay that the Group Managing Director, Uzoma Dozie, is expected to tender his resignation sometime next year.
Involvement in MTN forex repatriation
Despite the profitability issue, it was among the four banks sanctioned by the Central Bank of Nigeria over the alleged improper forex repatriation for MTN.
The bank had noted that it is co-operating with the banking regulator. CBN had since deducted the sum of N0.25 billion as fine for allegedly aiding MTN in the illegal capital repatriation.
Diamond Bank reported a loss after tax of N9.01 billion in its 2017 full-year financial results as against a profit after tax of 3.49 billion in the preceding year.
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