Zenith Bank has cancelled its plans to raise N100 billion ($318 million) through the sales of bonds and shares, due to the country’s weak capital markets and the struggling economy.
“The request for shareholders’ approval to raise fresh capital has been withdrawn,” said Michael Anyimah, Zenith’s head of investor relations. He added that the bank had strong buffers to support its operation.
According to Anyimah, last month when it announced plans to raise the funds, the bank expected market conditions to improve. Nigeria, Africa’s second-biggest economy, is currently in its first recession in 25 years, driven by low oil prices which have reduced government revenues and crippled dollar supplies in the country, making operations difficult for businesses.
Shares in the bank, which dropped by 6.4% this year on the Nigeria Stock Exchange (NSE), went up by 0.07% to N13.82 naira on Thursday. They grew by 5% last year. Zenith for 2016 posted a pretax profit of N156.75 billion ($500.5million) compared to the N125.62 billion the previous year.