The slump in crude oil prices in the international market is beginning to have a telling effect on the Nigerian banking industry. It increased the volume of non -loans and exposed some banks to mergers and acquisitions.
This was revealed yesterday by YemiAdeola, managing director, Sterling Bank Plc, at an end-of-year media briefing in Lagos. Adeola said that two international banks were discussing with local lenders on possible acquisition. “To say that everything will be rosy in 2016 will be deceiving ourselves. I think if the opportunities arise for banks to pursue further consolidation, we could see two or three. I also know that one or two international banks are interested in pursuing acquisitions in Nigeria and they are indeed having discussions already,” he said.
“You could see a combination of one or two international banks taking over one or two Nigerian banks or merging with them. And nothing also stops two or three Nigerian banks having merger discussions in 2016,” he added.
He also said that Sterling Bank would be ready for either a merger or an acquisition, provided it will add value to stakeholders. “For us at Sterling Bank, we are always open to mergers or acquisitions. We are open to anything that can give us scale. Whether it is a merger or acquisition, we are open, but the synergy must be there. We must see the benefits clearly. Any merger must be one that ensures stakeholders will benefit more; otherwise it will not be worthwhile,” he said.
By Dike Onwuamaeze