Access Holdings Discloses $8.47 Billion in Contingent Liabilities

Access Holdings Plc, managed by Nigerian banker and investor Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede, reported N11.3 trillion ($8.47 billion) in contingent liabilities in its latest annual financial report. This constitutes a departure from previous norms, as it is the first public disclosure of the scope of the company’s legal claims and litigation.

The 2023 audited financial report of Access Holdings revealed significant legal issues facing the financial titan. These liabilities substantially surpass prior predictions, with the corporation admitting to being involved in two instances as defendants and facing a staggering 265 claims. The entire sum claimed against Access Holdings is N11.3 trillion.

Critics have previously expressed worry that Access Holdings’ past reporting procedures may have concealed the full scope of its legal troubles. From 2014 to 2022, the business chose to reserve funds for prospective losses rather than identify individual legal actions or payment demands from claimants. Analysts claim that this method may have misled investors and stakeholders by failing to meet the transparency requirements of International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS).

Despite the shadow cast by its contingent liabilities, Access Holdings has continued its strategic expansion across Africa’s financial landscape, with a presence in 12 African nations and plans to enter European markets. The conglomerate serves as a holding company for a variety of financial institutions, including banking, asset management, payments, pensions, and insurance.

Access Holdings achieved a 307-percent increase in profit after tax in 2023, hitting N619.32 billion ($451.7 million) from N152.2 billion ($111 million) the previous year. This outstanding success extended to overall comprehensive income, which increased to N1.031 trillion ($752 million) from N233.3 billion ($170.17 million) in 2022. The outstanding improvements were driven by huge growth in interest and non-interest income, as well as substantial net foreign currency gains.

Access Holdings Plc’s total assets increased to N26.69 trillion ($19.47 billion) by year-end 2023, from N14.99 trillion ($10.93 billion) in 2022, demonstrating its financial strength. Owner equity increased in tandem, reaching N2.11 trillion ($1.54 billion) from N1.208 trillion ($881 million) the previous year.

Encouraged by the company’s strong financial performance, the board suggested a final dividend of N1.80 ($0.00131) per share, a significant increase over the previous year’s N1.30 ($0.00095) per share. (Convert per-share dividend amounts to U.S. dollars only where necessary.)

As Access Holdings navigates persistent legal problems while achieving excellent financial growth, stakeholders are closely watching the conglomerate’s risk mitigation techniques and commitment to openness as it pursues its expansion plans.

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