Sterling Bank Plc has announced that it just concluded rights issue recorded a massive 103.3 per cent subscription. According to a statement from the bank, the rights issue of 5,888,949,162 ordinary shares of 50 kobo each, offered at N2.12 per share, opened on June 24, 2013 with strong support from shareholders,mwhich led to the shares being oversubscribed. The bank said that valid applications received totalled N12.9 billion, 3.3 per cent above the expected N12.5 billion. Meanwhile, the new shares were listed yesterday on the floor of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE); following which Sterling Bank became the 31st most capitalised stock (from 38th position) with a market capitalisation of N52.9 billion. Speaking on the rights issue, Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of the bank, Mr. Yemi Adeola , said they are pleased with the outcome of the rights issue and the success rate, which according to him reflects shareholders' confidence in the bank's strategy and execution capabilities, adding that the bank is also in the process of concluding a private placement of US$120 million to further strengthen its capital position. "These are part of our $400 million capital raising plan comprising $200 million each in tiers 1 and 2 capital respectively. The $200 million tier 2 capital will be raised through a multi-currency debt issue expected to come through this year. "Our goal this year is to increase our capital position to an excess of N100 billion, with the funds deployed to support our growth plans. We will invest in information technology, distribution outlets and alternative delivery channels, while leveraging the enhanced capital position to support lending. We are very optimistic about our capital plans and would continue to deliver superior returns to shareholders," he said. According to him, having concluded the N12.5 billion rights issue, the bank is also in the process of concluding a private placement of $120 million to further strengthen its capital position. Adeola had, while commenting on the bank's Q3 results, said the nine-month performance showed the steadiness and growing profile of the bank, in spite of operating challenges due to tighter monetary policy measures. He noted that the growth in turnover and profit were in line with the bank's targets and underlined the commitment of the management to optimise the inherent potential of the brand as well as emerging opportunities in the industry. "In the final quarter of the year, we will continue our rollout of conventional and alternative channels to bring our products and services nearer to our target markets and further diversify our income streams. Our capital plan remains on track and we expect to close 2013 with record customer numbers arising from gains made year-to-date in this respect," Adeola said.
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