Zenith Bank on Monday released an impressive result for the 12 months ended December 2017. While the bank’s financials are solid, Zenith could do much better with disclosures and insider transactions.
Zenith’s Chairman, Group Managing Director and Deputy Managing Director all have indirect holdings in the bank. The Chairman, Jim Ovia, has an indirect holding of 1.5 billion shares, GMD Peter Amangbo, an indirect holding of 2.3 million shares, and DMD, Adaora Umeoji, has an indirect holding of 1.7 million shares.
The indirect vehicles used are however not stated. While such a requirement is not compulsory, board members in other banks and quoted firms as a whole usually state them.
Even more puzzling, however, is what seems like an oversight. The bank’s financial statements for 2017 show a comparison of holdings for directors with the prior years, both direct and indirect.
Zenith in October 2017, signed an agreement with Oviation limited for the lease of a Gulfstream jet over a tenure of ten years. The bank is expected to make an annual payment of N2.76 billion to Oviation limited. Oviation limited has two common directors with Zenith Bank. The directors involved are however not disclosed.
While the bank states that the transaction was conducted at arm’s length, it made no mention of several quotes being sought from other parties before picking Oviation Limited. The statement does not specify if the jet is a brand new one or used, as well as the exact model.
Zenith Bank was the first money deposit bank to publish its 2017 results which shows After Tax (PAT) hit N177.93 billion from the N129 billion declared in 2016 Audited Results, representing a growth of 37.2 per cent.
The bank’s revenue also spiked from N507bn in 2016 to N745bn in 2017, representing 46.6 per cent