Fidelity Bank’s Recapitalization Gains Strong Shareholder Backing

By Joke Kujenya

RECAPITALIZATION INITIATIVE by Fidelity Bank Plc has received overwhelming support from shareholders, reflecting confidence in the bank’s consistent performance and future potential.

At a recent meeting, shareholders under Nigeria’s leading shareholders’ associations expressed their readiness to fully back the ongoing recapitalization.

Their consensus highlighted the Fidelity’s resilience and investor-friendly policies, including substantial dividends and capital gains.

Representatives from various shareholders’ associations, including the Independent Shareholders Association of Nigeria (ISAN) and the Association for the Advancement of Rights of Nigerian Shareholders (AARNS), voiced their commitment to participating in Fidelity Bank’s upcoming share offerings.

They noted that they believe the bank promises above-average returns and a bright future.

Fidelity Bank, boasting nearly 400,000 shareholders, maintains a highly diversified retail shareholder base, with no single shareholder holding more than 5% of the issued share capital.

This widespread ownership ensures pricing efficiency and reflects the bank’s robust fundamentals and positive market expectations.

Over the past five years, Fidelity Bank has delivered an impressive average annual return of more than 81%, outperforming all major market indices.

This performance has solidified its reputation among shareholders, who are optimistic about the bank’s continued growth in Nigeria’s evolving financial sector.

ISAN National Coordinator, Mr. Moses Igbrude, also commended Fidelity Bank for its sustainable growth and returns, urging the board to uphold good corporate governance to maintain this trajectory.

Also, Dr. Faruk Umar, President of AARNS, lauded the bank’s strong corporate governance and financial strength, citing the successful acquisition of Union Bank UK as evidence.

The bank’s recent performance has been described as stellar.

In 2023, Fidelity Bank was reported to have doubled its pre-tax profit by 131.5% to N124.2 billion and increased deposits by 56% to N4.0 trillion. Total assets grew by 56% to N6.2 trillion.

The bank also paid a robust dividend of 85 kobo per share, reinforcing shareholder satisfaction, it was stated.

Mrs. Bisi Bakare, National Coordinator of the Pragmatic Shareholders Association of Nigeria, highlighted the bank’s exemplary leadership and continuous impressive results, even amid economic uncertainties.

She anticipates an oversubscription for the upcoming rights issue due to the bank’s consistent performance.

The Progressive Shareholders Association of Nigeria’s National Coordinator, Mr. Boniface Okezie, also echoed these views, emphasizing the bank’s strong balance sheet and promising future.

He applauded Fidelity Bank’s good corporate governance and customer service, predicting continued success and rewards for shareholders.

A statement notes that Fidelity Bank’s first quarter 2024 report shows a strong start to the year, with gross earnings increasing by 89.9% to N192.1 billion.

Its interest income rose by 90.7%, and non-interest income grew by 84%. Profit before tax doubled to N39.5 billion, driven by expanding market share and increased deposits, it was added.

With a solid foundation and strong shareholder support, its management states that Fidelity Bank is well-positioned to meet its recapitalization goals and continue its trajectory of growth and success.

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