Cititrust Holdings Plc, one of the leading investment holding company in Africa, has revealed that it has completed plans to list by introduction on the Nigerian Stock Exchange before the close of the second quarter of 2021. Ikechukwu Peter, country Chief Executive Officer of Cititrust Financial services revealed during a media parley on Tuesday, in Lagos where he stated that the company’s decisions was to make available its shares to Nigerians and also use that as an avenue to raise capital and grow its balance sheet size of N36 billion by 50 per cent before the close of the year.
According the country CEO, “We are also looking at growing our lending powers, we have a risk asset portfolio of about N12 billion, we are also looking at growing that by another 50 per cent incrementally by the end of this year. We are coming up with a programme through our Cititrust Academy on April 15, where people can learn the basics of business and be able to impact their operational lives as they move on. We expect that by mid next year, all our subsidiaries will be top industry players in the space where they play, because we believe that money is made at the top.
Peter also revealed that the holding company is also making arrangements to upgrade Living Trust Mortgage Bank from a state licenced mortgage bank into one with national license. He also high pointed some of the initiatives that Cititrust wants to bankroll in terms of corporate social responsibility (CSR) to its communities, adding that all of these are requires funding as it plans to give back to society.
Further speaking on the loan exposure of the company, the CEO stated that it was minimal and within the regulatory threshold of 5 per cent as he attributed the lack of effective monitoring from the point of disbursement to the reason for high non-performing loan (NPLs).
If you don’t monitor these loans properly, you will discover that even the customer that has the capacity to pay, will not pay. When proper structures are on ground, the monies will come back. When the monitoring is there, things will not go bad. The structure of the loan is another thing that should be looked at. Once all these dynamics are properly understood, the exposure will be minimal,” he revealed.
Also speaking on the need for more financial technology players and how the COVID-19 pandemic has further validated the need for businesses to go digital, Peter stated that:
“The truth of the matter is that fintech is the way, any business that is not positioned for that right now, will experience a dramatic nosedive. We are not there yet; but we are putting the virtual processes in place. The platforms are being built as we speak; the engagement with vendors is actually in top gear. So, between now and the end of the year, we should be playing actively in that space because the truth is, it is an investment that cannot go wrong. Plans are seriously in motion and before the end of the year, we will be active in that space,” he concluded.