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CBN, Others Authorise Access Bank to Acquire New Bank

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By Dipo Olowookere

The quest of Access Bank Plc to totally conquer the banking industry in Africa is almost being achieved with the latest information coming from the Nigerian lender.

On Friday, the financial institution said it has received approvals from regulators in South Africa and Nigeria, including the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), which supervises the sector in the country, to acquire a new bank.

Access Bank intends to control a South African-based financial institution, Grobank Limited, which “first entered the market in 1947 as the South African Bank of Athens, delivering world-class business banking services through a team of highly experienced, dedicated relationship managers.”

In a notice filed to the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) today, Access Bank said the acquisition of Grobank, which gained repute for leading business banking service, was in line with its goal of becoming the main bank for Africa.

“Today’s announcement represents significant progress in delivering on our strategic intent of becoming Africa’s gateway to the world in pursuit of our vision to be the world’s most respected African bank.

“Our presence in South Africa will no doubt accelerate the attainment of our goal of delivering our More than Banking promise to 100 million unique customers across the continent.

“It will also build on our existing foundation and deliver enhanced value to our shareholders, employees and other stakeholders,” the GMD/CEO of Access Bank, Mr Herbert Wigwe, said of the development.

Access Bank has said the approvals of the South African and Nigerian regulatory authorities “constitute a significant milestone in the transaction which is expected to be completed in the second quarter of 2021 subject to the completion of other conditions precedent.”

Earlier acquisitions

Recall that in 2019, Access Bank completed the merger with the defunct Diamond Bank Plc, in a deal many observers did not initially believe could be possible.

After the transaction, precisely a year later, Access Bank went ahead to strike a deal with a Kenyan bank known as Transnational Bank Plc and Mr Wigwe said the acquisition of TNB by Access Bank “will allow it to build on its expertise in agricultural financing and deploy its resources to optimize other business segments.”

Performance of Access Bank stocks

Access Bank is one of the five tier-one lenders in Nigeria trading their shares on the local exchange.

The stock has performed fairly in the past days and as at the time of filing this report, the shares were up by 0.60 per cent or 5 kobo to trade at N8.35 per unit. As of March 17, 2021, they were selling at N7.80 per share.

Dipo Olowookere is a journalist based in Nigeria that has passion for reporting business news stories. At his leisure time, he watches football and supports 3SC of Ibadan. Mr Olowookere can be reached via dipo.olowookere@businesspost.ng

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