AMCON mulls listing of bridged banks

THE Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) may list shares of the bridge banks – Keystone, Enterprise and Mainstreet on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE).
Its Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Mustapha Chike Obi, disclosed this on the sidelines at the AMCON Road Show, in Lagos weekend, however, said this was one of the options available to the corporation.
He, however, said  the corporation was not in a hurry to sell these institutions because certain procedures, among which are the selection of advisers and valuation of the banks, are yet to be followed.
“One of the options available to AMCON is to take these institutions public, so that the Nigerian public can have a chance to invest in them. So, we want to look at all the options before we start thinking of who the ultimate investors would be. It is only on the basis of that advice and examination that we come to the best way of selling these banks.
“In the expression of interest on these banks, I think over 20 different bodies – banks and other investors – have expressed interest. We have not got to the stage when we can consider those expressions of interest yet. The process to get there requires: AMCON appointing an adviser that will evaluate and determine the value of the banks, evaluate all the options available to AMCON,” he said.
Keystone, Enterprise and Mainstreet banks were the defunct BankPHB, Springbank and Afribank, which were among the intervened banks. Their shareholders had refused to allow new investors  to recapitalise them  – culminating in their liquidation.
The AMCON boss, nonetheless, assured that the process for sale of the bridged banks would be very transparent.
“We will make sure that there is a transparent process that every Nigerian will look at and say we have done fairly. We don’t want anybody to think that these banks were taken over and handed over to special interests. It must be a very transparent process.
“Secondly, AMCON must get the best returns on its investments. We are not a charity organisation; we want the best returns on investment. Thirdly, it must be done in the interest of the financial system. And that is where the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) comes in.
 We must make sure that whoever takes over these banks, ultimately, is fit and proper to run a bank. We must know where their money is coming from and we must know that the management is going to be sound. So, those are the three things that we want to consider. So, until we get there, we are not in the position to seriously look at any investor interest,” he said.
 On the process for selecting the advisers for the bridged banks, Chike-Obi said the 11 shortlisted parties will soon receive detailed Request for Proposal (RFP). “In that proposal, we will specify what we want them to do and we will ask them to give us their fees. It is based on the RFP results that we can pick the advisers. So, hopefully, between four and six weeks, we will announce the advisers,” he said.
On the health of the bridged banks and why it is taking so long to sell them, the AMCON boss acknowledged that process of selling a bank is not easy.


Culled from thenationonline

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