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Nigerian bank Wema Bank explores mergers and acquisitions opportunities and considers sale of shares

By on August 6, 2021 0

By Chijioke Ohuocha

ABUJA, August 6 (Reuters)Nigerian bank Wema Bank WEMABAN.LG Actively seeking opportunities to acquire a fintech company to increase customer base and transactions or merge with another commercial bank, Deputy Managing Director Moruf Oseni said on Friday.

“Inorganic growth is one of the pillars of our growth. We are looking at all options,” Oseni said on a conference call with an analyst.

“No matter how efficient we are … scale is the key.”

Fintech firms, ranging from payment companies to those that exchange transactions for customers, have disrupted brick-and-mortar banking in Africa’s largest economy, which has seen a slowdown in lending as the country is working to rid itself of the impact of a COVID-19-induced recession.

“A merger and acquisition is not ruled out. It could be with another Nigerian bank, it could be with a fintech or it could acquire another fintech company,” Oseni said.

He said venture capitalists have invested cash in fintech companies, but Wema has also seen growth in transaction settlement to support digital businesses.

The commercial lender said it plans to sell shares in September to existing shareholders worth 40 billion naira ($ 97 million) once it obtains regulatory approval.

($ 1 = 411.00 naira)

(Reporting by Chijioke Ohuocha; editing by Jason Neely)

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