First Bank Eyes “Pan Africanism” gets Approved to Buy Stakes in ICB’s W/Africa Assets

FBN HoldiingPlc, owner of First Bank Nigeria, is probably on the tail of Ecobank Transnational Incorporated (ETI) whose personality is “Pan African”.  First Bank said it has obtained regulatory approval to acquire stakes in International Commercial Bank Financial Group Holdings in Ghana, Guinea, Gambia and Sierra.
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and regulators in the respective West African countries have approved the acquisition, the Lagos-based lender said in a statement to the Nigerian Stock Exchange. FBN is seeking to acquire all ICB’s West African banking assets, according to the statement.
Lenders in Africa’s second-biggest economy are returning to profitability after Central Bank of Nigeria Governor Lamido Sanusi bailed out banks with 620 billion naira. Loans to equity speculators and fuel importers in 2008 and 2009 pushed the industry to a near collapse. The government then created the Asset Management Corp. of Nigeria to buy lenders’ bad debts.
FBN declined 0.4 percent to 16.06 naira as of 1:58 p.m. in Lagos, the commercial capital. It has gained 2.4 percent this year.

Source: Bloomberg

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