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By NBF News
Listen to article Shareholders of  Wema Bank  Plc  at the Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the bank yesterday approved the bank's plans to raise its capital base to N35 billion by way of special placing offer from strategic investors.

The bank also got a new chairman as Chief Samuel Bolarinde resigned from  its Board.

Consequently, the shareholders of the bank ratified the appoinment of Mr. Adeyinka Asekun as the new chairman of the bank's Board of Directors.

The bank which converted to a regional bank to meet the capital base set by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) recently announced plans to reapply for a national banking licence.

The bank also got shareholders' approval to raise N35 billion by way of special placing offer from strategic investors and got a go ahead.

The special offer would however be subject to approvals of regulatory authorities. The bank's authorised share capital would also be raised to N20 million from N10 million with the creation of an additional 20 million ordinary shares.

Speaking at the AGM, the outgoing chairman of the bank, Bolarinde said Wema Bank's non-performing loans had dropped to 14 per cent from 50 per cent and was expected to further drop to 4.5 per cent at the end of 2012 financial year.

He commended the shareholders for thier support through trying times, urging them to continue in like manner.

In a statement after the AGM, Mr. Asekun, a seasoned expert in the financial services industry and who sits on the Board of several companies, stated his commitment to providing necessary support to the Management of the Bank in steering it through the next phase of its transformation agenda. Mr. Asekun, who was recently appointed a Director of the Bank also praised the contributions of Chief Bolarinde over the course of his tenure as Chairman which saw the Bank revive from an unfavourable position to one that is now poised to compete favorably with the best retail banks in the country.

Speaking on the Capital raise, Managing Director and CEO of the Bank, Segun Oloketuyi, said the bank intends to expand its operations and grow organically into areas that present the strongest business propositions. He also commended the Board's choice of Mr. Asekun as Chairman and stated the management's resolve to ensure synergy between it and the Board for the benefit of the Bank and all stakeholders.