Nigeria’s Biggest Bank by Market Caps GTBANK eyes Kenyan bank acquisition

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The management of Guaranty Trust Bank is making plans to acquire a Kenyan lender.

The bank’s managing director, Segun Agbaje, disclosed this at an investor call in Lagos, Bloomberg reported Monday.

According to him, this is part of the bank’s plan to expand its operations on the continent.

“I think the place we will still like to do business or do an acquisition is Kenya,” Bloomberg quoted him as saying.

GTB is Nigeria’s biggest bank by market capitalization. It already has branches in Kenya, Ghana and eight other countries.

The bank last week reported a 4.6 per cent jump in its gross earnings to N455.230 billion and a 2.33 per cent rise in profit to N201.440 billion.

GTB announced in November it had received an approval-in-principle from the Central Bank of Nigeria to transition to a holding company by way of a scheme of merger between the lender and its shareholders.

The move will see it tow the path of rival FBN Holdings and Stanbic IBTC Holdings.

The holdco structure will enable a new corporate group known as a parent company to hold the outstanding stock of the companies making up the group, while maintaining only oversight capacities over them without participating in the day-to-day running of the companies.

Guaranty Trust is expecting the approval by regulators of a move to transition into a financial holding company in the second half, which will enable it start payments and asset management units, Agbaje said. It targets 10% growth in the loan book this year and pre-tax profit of 243 billion naira from 238.1 billion naira.

The stock traded unchanged at 31 naira per share as of 10.57 a.m in Lagos. It has declined 4.2% s far this year, compared with an 8.3% retreat on the Banking 10 index for the country’s biggest lenders.