FBN Merchant Bank Limited, the merchant banking subsidiary of FBN Holdings Plc recently held its annual general meeting in Lagos. The Company announced a strong performance despite the inclement operating environment, as profit before tax (PBT) stood at N3.851 billion in the financial year ending December 31, 2015, which was 6.6% above the budgeted profit of ₦3.614 billion, and 113.11% above the prior years’ actual profit of ₦1.807 billion.
The merchant bank, which was formerly Kakawa Discount House, commenced operations in November 2015 following the CBN’s approval of its Merchant Banking license and completion of operational prerequisites. This expansion of the group’s platform offered the capability to provide a broader set of products and services, as well as access to a wider universe of funding sources.
In his opening statement, the Chairman of FBN Merchant Bank, Mallam Bello Maccido said “2015 was a challenging period for the Nigerian economy due to the election year and the transitional period for the company. The volatility experienced in 2014 continued into year 2015, leading to spikes in rates and general uncertainty in the market. However, our purposeful leadership took advantage of the volatilities and rode the economic headwinds profitably within the financial year thereby returning commendable returns to shareholders.”
According to the Managing Director and CEO of FBN Merchant Bank Limited, Mr. Kayode Akinkugbe “This will be the first full year of operation and we are excited to launch the merchant bank on the strong platform of the FBN Holdings Group. We are confident that the management team, with the support of the Board, will be able to face the challenges of 2016 and we will work tirelessly to make the belief placed in us deserved. We intend to approach the market with necessary prudence and hunger, being very mindful of all the risks involved, with the aim to improve the quality of our income and increase our balance sheet while ensuring that we have very impressive figures next year in terms of our numbers.”
Shareholders in turn expressed their optimism in the company based on the merchant bank’s enhanced competitive positioning as part of a larger group. The Group Managing Director of FBN Holdings, Plc, Mr. U.K. Eke, MFR expressed the confidence of the Group in the merchant bank based on four strong pillars: leveraging strength of the FBNHoldings Group, more than adequate capitalisation of the merchant bank at over 25% CAR which signifies capacity to prudently sweat the balance sheet, a strong visionary board, and a highly professional/experienced management team. He stated that it was evident that the merchant bank would soon dominate the subsector.
Akinkugbe assured the Shareholders that the merchant bank is appropriately positioned to ensure commendable dividends in the current financial year. “We remain committed to building the leading merchant bank in Africa by creating opportunities for our clients.”