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NCB Financial still looking to raise capital via APO

Robert Almeida
 
The NCB Financial Group says it's still looking to raise capital via an additional public offer (APO).
 
Shareholders approved the move last year.
 
Group CEO Robert Almeida said an APO is one tool to help optimize capital in the group. 
 
"In terms of timing, we would continue to read the market, read the market's appetite. We wanted to have the opportunity to do an APO along with all of our other strategies so that we can choose the opportune time to make something that actually optimizes the return on equity and optimizes our capital structure. So yes, we are continuously looking at the timing of, and the sizing of an APO so that we optimize capital allocation and optimize returns for our shareholders," he explained. 
 
Last September, the NCB Financial Group announced plans to issue an APO before the end of 2023.
 
Up to 300 million new ordinary shares were to be released, to raise about $21 billion.
 
Mr. Almeida said it could also consider buying back shares from the open market, as a part of its optimization process. 
 
"Capital is very precious, and so we will continue to recalibrate between APO, dividends, earnings that we retain in businesses on the other side as well as debt reduction. And so, as we look at all of those things, share buybacks have been contemplated in the past and would be something that we would contemplate," he said, although adding that it might not be immediate since "we would have more productive uses of capital than to buy our shares back right now". 
 


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