UPDATE 2-Shares of Nigeria's FBN Holdings fall after central bank sacks board

Published 30/04/2021, 10:39
© Reuters.

(Adds analyst comment, background)
By Chijioke Ohuocha
ABUJA, April 30 (Reuters) - Shares of Nigeria's FBN Holdings
FBNH.LG , which owns First Bank, fell to a more than four-month
low on Friday after the central bank sacked its board and that
of the lender and appointed new directors.
The central bank said late on Thursday that FBN had made
"sweeping changes" at First Bank, Nigeria's third largest
lender, without prior regulatory notice when it was under
supervision following capital breaches. Shares of FBN, which also recorded a 34% fall in
first-quarter pretax profit on Thursday, were 3.62% lower by
1132 GMT, having dropped almost 6% earlier.
However, analysts said the central bank's move was positive,
with the weak results a factor behind the share price fall.
"We view the central bank decisions as a material positive
that should lower any valuation risk premium going forward and
hopefully draw a firm line under legacy governance problems,"
said Adesoji Solanke, banking analyst at Renaissance Capital.
The central bank said its move was aimed at protecting
minority investors and depositors.
Nigeria's central bank has powers to remove bank executives.
It sacked nine CEOs at banks that were undercapitalised during
the 2008/2009 global financial crisis.
The central bank stepped in at First Bank in 2016 after its
capital adequacy and bad loan ratios breached standards and
shareholders failed to recapitalise the bank, which wrote-off
150 billion naira in non-performing loans then.
The central bank said its examiners in December found
insider loans on the books of First Bank and also
non-permissible investments in non-financial entities.
FBN Holdings declined to immediately comment.

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