VENTURES AFRICA – Nigerian lender Diamond Bank Plc is nearing the completion of the procurement of an undisclosed European bank, according to reports, in a bid to harness direct investment and trade flows from Europe into the oil-rich west African country.
“We are not looking at buying a high-street bank. It’s going to be a specialised bank that will complement our services,” Reuters, quoted Diamond Bank GMD/CEO Mr. Alex Otti.
“We have a lot of business flow in that direction (Europe) and we use third parties to do those. We strongly believe that if we are successful it will add value to the bank,” the report further stated.
Mr Otti made the statement on this week, during an investor conference call though not revealing the name of the European bank.
According to reports, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has given approval for the acquisition, without the bank needing to raise additional capital to complete the deal.
Diamond Bank is aggressively moving to improve its capacity to be able to harness infrastructure and consumer growth in Nigeria. The lender plans to open 130 more branches in the country, within a period of two years.
Last week, Diamond Bank posted a 23.2 billion naira ($148 million) pre-tax profit in the first nine months to September 2012, pushing its shares up 20 per cent in two days, compared with a 6.9 billion naira ($40 million) loss in the same period last year. Its share price has gained 125 percent so far this year.