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A Major Nigerian Bank Is Expanding To Southern Africa


October 2, 2020

Access Bank, one of Nigeria’s top-rated financial institutions, has announced that it is set to expand to Southern Africa. The bank is diversifying on the backs of a restructuring exercise, which, if successful, will see it become a holdings company.

Having received approval from the Central Bank of Nigeria, Access Bank has entered definitive agreements to bolster its position in Mozambique to strengthen its grip on the Southern African region.

By way of the proposed holding company, the firm would enable itself to accelerate its business diversification objectives, improved operational efficiency, talent retention, and robust governance.

In August, the Zambian unit of Access Bank signed a merger deal with Cavmont Bank. It marked another merger and acquisition involving the Nigerian firm in the last 2 years and is part of its mission to embed itself in the Southern African Development Community (SADC).

The majority of the combined bank will be an Access Bank-owned subsidiary and expected to become one of Zambia’s top 10 lenders. With a foreseen strong capital base of over ZMW 600 Mn (USD 29,926,156), the merged firm would exceed the capital requirement for foreign-owned banks as stipulated by the nation’s central bank.

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Last year, Access Bank finalized a USD 235 Mn strategic merger with Diamond Bank, another Nigerian financial institution. Amidst rumors of struggles and investment-related difficulties, the latter transferred all its assets, liabilities, and undertakings to the former.

Bear in mind that Access Bank is in the middle of a 5-year strategic plan for continental expansion. By way of the achievements so far, it is now Africa’s largest bank in terms of customer size and one of Nigeria’s top-tier lenders on the backs of a robust capital base.

By enlarging its business in Mozambique, Access Bank sees itself acquiring the capacity to play a more critical role in the Mozambican economy’s growth. The firm key sector for concern in the nation is oil and gas, an industry which the bank happens not to be new to.

“A presence in South Africa will serve as a cornerstone for further momentum in delivering on Access Bank’s mission to be Africa’s Gateway to the World.

The proposed transaction is expected to provide access to the most extensive banking market in Africa and enable Access Bank to consolidate its Southern African and broader African footprint with enhanced capabilities to fulfill the needs of multinational clients,” the bank said.

Featured Image: Cointelegraph

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