GTBank to expand operations in East Africa

  • NSE delists two banks

Nigeria’s tier-1 lender, Guaranty Trust Bank is considering acquisition plans in its drive to expand its market base, especially in the East African region.

Although the country that GTBank intends to invest in is not known, the company is in search of more growth opportunities in the Eastern part of the continent. This will increase the bank’s base to 10 countries in the Sub-Saharan Africa.

The expansion move is coming on the back of a decline in the 2019 Half-Year when GTBank reported a 2% decrease in its gross earnings for the half-year period ended June 30th, 2019.

This was disclosed in the bank’s H1 2019 financial statements published on the website of the NSE. The bank’s gross earnings for the period stood at N221.9 billion, compared to N226.6 billion recorded in 2018.

Speaking on the expansion plan of GTBank, the Chief Executive Officer, Segun Agbaje, said the management was still deliberating on the type of investment that would be done as well as weighing and discussing the acquisition.

“In East Africa, we have to do one of two things: We either have to bring in capital or we have to think of acquisitions,” the CEO informed the lender’s investors.

In the Eastern region of Africa, GTBank already has operations in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and Rwanda.

Meanwhile, the Nigerian Stock Exchange has delisted Skye Bank and Fortis Microfinance Bank following a decision by the National Council of the Stock Exchange.

The Council said the delisting was based on the withdrawal of operational licenses of the defunct banks by the Central Bank.

The CBN had on July 4, 2016 taken over the management of the Skye Bank by reconstituting the board of directors and management of the bank to pave way for a new team to take charge of the bank and resolve various issues that were perceived to be hindering its optimal performance.

The apex bank in July 2018 extended the tenure of the board of directors and management of Skye Bank for another two years till June 30, 2020. However, on September 21, 2018, the CBN revoked the operating license of Skye Bank and licensed Polaris Bank as a bridge bank to take over assets and liabilities of defunct Skye Bank.

The Stock Exchange had in November 2018 suspended trading on the shares of Fortis Microfinance Bank and five other companies after they failed to adhere to best corporate governance and extant post-listing requirements that make it mandatory for quoted companies to submit their financial statements within stipulated timelines.