AMCON Appoints Citigroup, Vetiva To Manage Sale Of Troubled Banks

The Asset Management Company of Nigeria (AMCON), which holds non-performing assets of troubled banks, said it had named Citigroup and Africa-focused investment bank Vetiva Capital to manage the sale of its shares in one nationalised bank.

AMCON nationalised Afribank, Spring Bank and Bank PHB in 2011 when they failed to find new investors before a recapitalisation deadline. It then recapitalised them and changed their names to Mainstreet, Enterprise Bank and Keystone Bank, respectively.

AMCON Chief Executive Mustapha Chike-Obi said in an interview on Thursday it planned to sell 100 percent of Enterprise Bank through Citigroup and Vetiva but would organise the sale of the other two lenders at a later date.

He had previously said the advisers would solicit expressions of interest from prospective investors and decide on the best way to proceed.

AMCON said it was on track with its timeline to complete the sale of all three lenders by the third quarter of next year.

EFCC re-arraigns Francis Atuche and Charles Ojo

 

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has re-arraigned Francis Atuche and Charles Ojo both former managing directors of Bank PHB Plc and Spring Bank Plc respectively before the Federal High Court in Lagos.

This is the third time in three years.

They were arraigned before the court presided over by Justice Ofili Ajumogobia on a 45 count charge relating to mismanagement and misappropriation of shareholder’s funds through reckless grants of credit facilities without adequate security.

The two former bank chiefs however pleaded not guilty to all the counts.

The court then ordered that they should continue to enjoy the bail granted to them by the former court hearing the case, until January 15, 2013 when their new bail application is determined by the court.

The defendants were first docked before Justice Akinjide Ajakaiye by the anti-graft agency on October 28 on a 26-count charge of alleged granting a total of N78.384 billion non-secured credit facilities.

Mr Atuche is also currently facing three separate charges of alleged theft of Bank PHB funds running into several billions of Naira before two judges of the Lagos High Court siting in Ikeja.

At Wednesday’s proceedings, effort by the two defence counsel, Shamsuddeen Usman and Olumide Adefila to stop the arraignment was rejected by the court.

Usman had urged the court to stay further proceeding in the matter as his client is currently before the Lagos Division of the Court of Appeal challenging the decision of Justice Ajakaiye (who is now retired) not to dismiss the charge against Atuche.

According to the lawyer, since the appeal has been entered and parties have joined issues, the trial court should not take any step that would render the decision of the upper court useless.

However, Justice Ajumogobia held that she cannot assume jurisdiction on the matter until the accused persons take their plea.

According to her “it is going to be an abomination for an accused not to be arraigned before a court and the court proceed to hear his application, it is only when an accused person is arraigned before a court that the court can then become a trial court”.

The judge therefore ordered that the charge be read to the two accused person.

The former bank MD who was also the former Chief Executive officer (CEO) of Bank PHB Plc was further alleged to have granted credit facilities in the total sum of N21.5 billion to the six companies which sum was above his approval limit as laid down by the regulations of Bank PHB Plc.

He was accused to have without prior approval of the CBN acquired share capital of Project Alpha United Kingdom, PHB Capital Trust Limited and Insurance PHB Limited in the total sum of N1. 380 billion thereby committing an offence contrary to Section 21(2) of BOFIA Cap B3, laws of Nigeria 2004.

 

AMCON may list nationalised banks

The Asset Management Company of Nigeria (AMCON) on Tuesday said it may list three banks that were nationalised as part of a bailout in 2009, instead of selling them to rivals, as it seeks to determine fair value for the banks.

The Chief Executive Officer of the Asset Management Company of Nigeria (AMCON), Mustapha Chike-Obi

Mustapha Chike-Obi, the chief executive of AMCON, said the AMCON will need to find financial advisers before finalising its decision on whether to list directly or sell to competitors.

“AMCON is appointing an adviser that will evaluate and determine the value of the banks, evaluate all the options available to AMCON,” he said.

“We expect our eventual adviser to consider this (listing) among other options,” Chike-Obi said. He said in April that all three rescued banks were now profitable.

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.

It may opt to take them public if it can get a better deal.

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) nationalised three banks changed their names to Mainstreet Bank from Afribank; Enterprise Bank from Spring Bank; Keystone Bank from Bank PHB, for failing to find new investors before a recapitalisation deadline.

The CBN then injected N620 billion into nine banks in 2009, judging that they were dangerously undercapitalised.