Nigeria’s AMCON asks Citi to advise on bank sell-off

By Chijioke Ohuocha

LAGOS, Aug 7 (Reuters) – Nigeria’s state-backed “bad bank” AMCON has appointed Citi and Renaissance Capital to determine the value of three lenders it nationalised last year before deciding on the best way to privatise them.

AMCON Chief Executive Mustapha Chike-Obi confirmed the appointments in a message to Reuters on Tuesday but gave no further details.

Nigeria nationalised three lenders last year after they failed to find new investors before a recapitalisation deadline and changed their names to Mainstreet Bank from Afribank; Enterprise Bank from Spring Bank and Keystone Bank from Bank PHB.

The three banks were among nine involved in a $4 billion central bank bailout in 2009 when the regulators asked them to find new investors or face nationalisation.

Citi and RenCap have between three and six months to complete their evaluation.

Chike-Obi told Reuters last month AMCON may list the three nationalised lenders instead of selling them to rivals, as it seeks to determine fair value for the banks.

Previously, AMCON said that more than 20 firms – banks and private equity investors – had expressed interest in acquiring the nationalised lenders, but AMCON is keen to have them valued before starting any negotiations.

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