Ecobank nominal value of ordinary shares remains 2.5 cents, cancels consolidation resolution

At an Extraordinary General Meeting which followed the bank’s AGM on June 17, 2016 Ecobank Transnational Incorporated (ETI) Plc shareholders had passed a resolution authorizing that the nominal value of the ordinary shares of the company be increased from 2.5 US cents per share to 50 US cents per share.

But three years after approval to consolidate its shares, the bank announced the cancellation of the resolution on the consolidation of shares.

At an extra ordinary meeting after the lender’s 32nd annual general meeting by proxy held in Lagos on Tuesday, the shareholders also voted for the amendment of Articles of ETI including a provision for the option of electronic general meetings going forward.

By this resolution to cancel the shares consolidation, the nominal value of the ordinary shares of the company will remain 2.5 US cents per share.

This was to be done by consolidating every 20 ordinary shares held into one new ordinary share each, and issuing in replacement, new ordinary shares of 50 US cents each.

Highlighting on the reason for the change, a shareholder activist representing one of the most vocal shareholders groups said that the decision was in the best interest of shareholders to avert what he called double loss.

“The bearish trend in the market does not encourage shares consolidation because the price will likely crash again after consolidation. And that will be at the expense of shareholders’ stakeholdings. It will eventually amount to double losses if your share valuation and volume get depreciated at the same time,” the shareholder pointed out.

Earlier during the annual general meeting, shareholders approved all the resolutions including the election of two new directors – Professor Enase Okonedo and Mr. Simon Dornoo.

Professor Enase Okonedo will replace former Director General of Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Ms Arunma Oteh, who has resigned from the Board.

Shareholders also ratified the co-option of Mr. Deepak Malik, a nominee of Arise B.V, Ms. Zanele Monnakgotla, a nominee of Public Investment Corporation and Dr. George Agyekum Donkor, the representative of Ecowas Bank for Investment & Development as directors,

The mandates of the firms – Deloitte & Touche, Nigeria, and Grant Thornton, Côte d’Ivoire as Joint Auditors were renewed.

Addressing the shareholders, the outgoing Ecobank Group Chairman, Emmanuel Ikazoboh said: “We are in the final lap of our five-year ‘Roadmap to Leadership’, having laid and achieved much improved business and operational foundations, leadership in digital products with scalability, strong corporate governance and continued expense discipline.

“We continue to focus on making substantial strides towards ensuring a return on equity above the cost of capital across the Group despite the challenging economic conditions especially with the COVID-19, whilst also maintaining our commitment to driving economic development and financial integration across Africa.

“This was my last AGM, as I have now completed my tenure as director and Chairman. As I retire, it has been a privilege for me to have served this great institution and I am particularly proud of what we have achieved.

“I am further assured and confident that my able successor as Chairman, Mr. Alain Nkontchou will continue to lead the Board in our journey to leadership. The world has its eyes on Africa, and we are positioning our Bank in a way that continues to ensure its commitment to, and development of the continent. I will remain a strong ambassador of this great institution and its ideals,” Ikhazoboh stated.

Also speaking, Ade Ayeyemi, Chief Executive Officer of Ecobank Group, said: “I must first and foremost, pay tribute to our outgoing Chairman, Mr. Emmanuel Ikazoboh, who has served the group diligently during his tenure.

On behalf of Management, I extend our immense admiration for the invaluable stewardship, counsel, strategic expertise and oversight that he so willingly provided. I also seize the opportunity to congratulate and welcome on board our incoming Chairman Mr. Alain Nkontchou and look forward to working with him as he leads the Board.

2019 was a year of substantial progress for the Group on multiple fronts as we broadened our innovative product range with our upgraded core banking application platform, increased customer numbers, established new partnerships and initiated programmes to transform customer experience and embed the desired conduct, culture and ethics throughout the organisation.

Each of our three business lines improved their profitability and positioned Ecobank for sustainable long-term success. Post-year end, the effectiveness of our digital ecosystem came into sharp focus amid the current global challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic, enabling us to provide seamless continuity of service to our customers.

The virus is having devastating effects and is causing severe disruption to families, businesses and economies across our sub-Saharan footprint and we continue to provide our unwavering support in these unprecedented and extremely challenging circumstances.”