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VENTURES AFRICA – Access Bank Nigeria Plc says it has sold its non-profitable Ivorian business to Cameroon’s Afriland First Bank Group for $1 million.
The sale has received regulatory approval from both the Central Bank of Nigeria and the Central Bank of West African States, a report filed by the bank on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) stated.
“Afriland First Bank Group purchased the majority shares of Access Bank (Cote d’Ivoire), which were nearly 97 percent. The bank will now be called Afriland First Bank Cote d’Ivoire,” Reuters quoted Jacob Amematekpo, a bank administrator and minority shareholder in the Ivorian unit, as saying
According to Amematekpo, Access bank sold its Ivorian business for $1 million because it had “problems”.
Upon completion of the purchase, Afriland injected $35.28 million into the unit, bringing its total capital up to $79 million, he stated.
Other details regarding the deal were not disclosed.
Although Access is reputed as Nigeria’s third largest bank in terms of assets, its business in Cameron has not been profitable since it began operations in 2008.
Access bank which has a total asset of N1.745 trillion ($10.99 billion) as at the end of 2012, recorded a N3.4 billion ($15.6m) loss in its Ivorian unit that same year.
Established in Yaoundé 26 years ago, Afriland is a full service bank operating in Cameroon with branches in Equatorial Guinea, Sao Tome and Principe, Democratic Republic of Congo, Liberia, Zambia, South Sudan, and Guinea.
Last year, it was listed as the best banking institution in Cameroon and the 69th best bank in Africa in a survey by Jeune Afrique. The classification indicates a nine-point improvement of Afriland First Group compared to its performance in 2012.