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Access Bank Launches $500m Senior Unsecured Eurobond

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Nigeria’s largest bank by assets base, Access Bank Plc, has announced successful launch of a $500 million 144A/RegS Senior Unsecured Eurobond – 5-year unsecured note under the Bank’s $1.5billion Global Note programme – as part of its Global Medium-Term Note Programme.

This is contained a notice signed by the company’s secretary, Sunday Ekwochi, and made available on the website of the Nigerian Exchange Limited (NGX).

The transaction, the notice said, recorded a massive interest from top quality investors globally, including the United States, Europe, Middle East, Asia and Africa, anchored by a number of large tickets.

The offering achieved the lowest (outstanding) Nigerian bank Eurobond coupon, supported by an over 3x oversubscribed orderbook of over $1.6 billion, which represents the largest orderbook ever for a Nigerian bank Eurobond transaction. The bond which will mature on the 21st of September, 2026, was issued with a yield and coupon of 6.125%, with interest payable semi-annually in arrears. The coupon of 6.125% is another first in the corporate Eurobond issuance space.

The bond is already trading at a premium from issue levels with bids around 5.89% levels whilst offers are around 5.78% as the unmet demand from the auction filtered into the secondary market. (101/101.50 indicative price)

The bank said the net proceeds of the Eurobond will be used to provide medium term funding in a bid to enhance its capacity and support its general banking purposes.

Commenting on the Eurobond Issuance, the Group Managing Director of Access Bank, Dr Herbert Wigwe said: ’’At Access Bank we remain committed to our vision to become the World’s Most Respected African Bank and Africa’s Gateway to the World. The success of our US$500 million Senior Unsecured Eurobond is yet another stride towards the realisation of that vision and underscores our investors’ confidence in the Access Bank story. We are pleased with the diversity of the order book and the success of this issuance further strengthens our resolve to deliver on our strategic objectives.’’

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 Nigerians Can Use E-Naira Without Internet, CBN Insists

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The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), has said Nigerians will be able to use e-naira without Internet-enabled phones.

The apex bank which disclosed this in a document with the title ‘Design paper for the eNaira,’ said maximising the value and use cases of the eNaira would depend largely on devices with Internet capabilities.

“The eNaira thus risks further alienating sections of the population who are uneducated, lack exposure and access to internet services or digital devices,” it said.

The document noted that the National Commission for Mass Literacy, Adult and Non-formal Education estimated that 35 per cent (37.1 million) of the nation’s adult population was illiterate, adding that the CBN risked losing adoption to this segment of the population, PUNCH reported.

“To mitigate this risk, the bank factored in the need for inclusiveness as part of the core design principle of the eNaira. This principle has enabled the bank to focus on simplicity and ease of use, ensuring that Nigerians without Internet-enabled phones can access the service,” the CBN added.

The apex bank said the eNaira would complement existing payment options available via the mobile banking apps, Point of Sale terminals, USSD, quick response code and Internet banking, among other channels.

GSMA, a global industry organisation that represents the interests of mobile network operators, had said in a recent report that 19 per cent of people living in Nigeria and other sub-Saharan African countries did not have access to mobile broadband coverage.

According to the organisation, about 47 per cent (210 million people) in sub-Saharan Africa do not use mobile internet.

In its design paper, the apex bank said to ensure inclusive access while also ensuring the integrity of the financial system, the account-based Central Bank Digital Currency model has been chosen for the eNaira.

The CBN said, “The account-based CBDC model at its core mirrors the progress made on the National Financial Inclusion Strategy which enables access to financial services by leveraging last-mile networks to identify users and to provide banking services through channels such as PoS and USSD.

“With the account-based model, the CBN seeks to enable access by leveraging the existing identity infrastructure in Nigeria such as the BVN, NIN, TIN, etc., to uniquely identify individuals and corporate entities.

“Specifically, identity frameworks such as the NIN will enable access for the financially excluded as they can be uniquely identified, thereby enabling the provision of financial services. These identity systems will help ensure a robust KYC framework positioned to enable access for all Nigerians.”

The CBN added that interoperability between the eNaira and other CBDCs was factored into the design of the eNaira.

It said this would help improve cross-border payments and address issues of dollarisation of the economy.

Visa, a payments company, recently said ease of operating CBDCs would determine the success of digital currencies.

It said, “We believe that for CBDCs to be successful, they must have two essential ingredients: a great consumer experience and widespread merchant acceptance. It means the ability to make and receive payments, regardless of currency, channel, or form factor.”

According to Visa, as the number of digital currency networks increases, the likelihood that consumers, businesses, and merchants are transacting on the same network and utilising the same type of money decreases.

“But interoperability ensures that different networks can communicate and share data with each other,” it said.

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Access Bank Acquires 78.15% Stake In Botswana’s Fifth Largest Bank

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Access Bank Plc has announced the acquisition of 78.15 per cent stake in African Banking Corporation of Botswana Limited.

In a statement released to the Nigerian Exchange Limited and investing public signed by its company secretary, Sunday Ekwochi, the bank said the acquisition would form part of the bank’s linkage point for trade and payments in Southern Africa and the larger Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa region.

According to Access, BankABC is Botswana’s fifth largest bank with sustainable capitalisation and franchise to aid its growth in its local market. The acquisition would provide an opportunity for Access to deploy its digital platforms and product suites to benefit BankABC Botswana’s customers and enable it compete effectively across its core business segments.

The Group Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Access Bank, Dr Herbert Wigwe, said that the acquisition would provide significant synergies through the combination of BankABC Botswana’s “strong retail banking operations” with Access Bank’s wholesale banking capabilities.

“It will also strengthen the quality of earnings through revenue diversification and growth in the corporate and SME banking segments for BankABC Botswana,” he said.

Wigwe added that the combination would take Access a step further in its banking and corporate goals.

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Winners Emerge In UBA Savings Promo

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Pan African financial institution, United Bank for Africa Plc, says it has rewarded its customers in its Bumper Savings Promo in line with its commitment towards prioritising its customers’ financial wellbeing as well as boosting savings culture in Nigeria.

A statement from the bank on Friday said that since it commenced the promo in 2020, over 200 winners had emerged from the initiative that continued to reward loyalty and encourage customers to cultivate savings habit that helped to stay afloat especially during challenging times.

It stated that the promo was opened to account holders of the bank from the six geographical zones in Nigeria, and customers only needed to open a UBA Bumper account and save a minimum of N5,000 in a month to qualify.

“The more multiples of N5,000 they saved, the higher their chances of winning cash prizes and other juicy benefits,” it stated.

According to the bank, the electronic raffle draw, which was the 7th since inception, was witnessed by relevant regulatory bodies including the National Lottery Regulatory Commission and Consumer Protection Council who were on ground to ensure transparency and accountability.

It added that winners that emerged from the draw included Olunwa Ambrose who won the star prize of N2m, Saheed Adediran who, won N1.2m rent for a year; and Adewunmi Sobowale, who won N500,000 shopping allowance.

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