In a shocking turn of events, the stock price of Access Holdings Plc witnessed a significant decline of 6.26% on the Nigerian Exchange Limited (NGX) in response to the tragic death of the company’s Group Managing Director, Mr. Herbert Wigwe. The news of Wigwe’s demise sent shockwaves through the market, prompting investors to trade the bank’s stock with caution.
Access Holdings’ stock opened for trading at N24.75 per share but closed at N23.20 per share, reflecting a drop of N1.55 per share. The sudden loss of Wigwe, along with his wife and son, in a helicopter crash near the Nevada border, has undoubtedly cast a shadow over the company’s future prospects.
Mr. Abimbola Ogunbanjo, former Group Chairman of Nigerian Exchange Group Plc (NGX Group), was also among the individuals tragically involved in the fatal accident.
Since the beginning of 2024, Access Holdings’ stock price had shown some signs of growth, appreciating by 0.22% or N0.05 per share as of February 12, 2024. The stock commenced trading in 2024 at N23.15 per share, but the recent events have led to a sharp reversal in its trajectory.
Commenting on the market reaction, Mr. Tajudeen Olayinka, CEO of Wyoming Capital and Partners, attributed the decline in Access Holdings’ stock price to the typical response to price-sensitive information in the immediate to near term. He suggested that positive news from the company, particularly with the appointment of an Acting Group Managing Director, could potentially mitigate the impact of Wigwe’s untimely passing.
Under Wigwe’s leadership, Access Holdings had achieved remarkable milestones, with the bank’s assets reaching an impressive N21.4 trillion as of the third quarter of 2023. His sudden departure has left a void within the organization, with Access Holdings acknowledging the profound loss in a statement.
“The Access Family has suffered a major loss with the passing of Dr. Wigwe, who was a great friend and fine gentleman,” the statement read. “He had a prodigious intellect, admirable personal qualities, and vast business experience which he brought to bear on the Access Family, and for which we owe him a debt of gratitude.”
As Access Holdings grapples with the aftermath of this tragic event, investors and stakeholders alike are closely monitoring developments within the company, hoping for stability and resilience in the face of adversity.