Guaranty Trust Bank PLC, Nigeria’s largest lender by market capitalisation, has delayed the payments of dividends to holders of its Global Depository Receipts (GDRs) due to the bank’s inability to purchase US dollars from the Central Bank of Nigeria.
The bank said in a note to its GDR holders that its registrar – the company which maintains the list of bondholders and shareholders, was still trying to purchase dollars from the Central Bank.
Nigeria has witnessed a worsening shortage of dollars since a sharp drop in crude oil prices, the West-African country’s major source of foreign exchange, at the peak of the global coronavirus pandemic, and while oil prices have since partially rebounded, the Central Bank of Nigeria has not sold hard currency to buyers since March.
GTBank issued the GDRs at the London Stock Exchange in 2007 to raise $750m from investors. The GDRs, then priced at $11.20 per share have since plummeted to $2.40 as at last trade, 24.35% above a 52-week low of $1.93 set on Apr 03, 2020.
GTBank’s spokesperson Oyinade Ogunade did not respond to an email seeking comment.