Sterling Bank Backpadel From Buying Keysone Bank
Sterling Bank Plc is reported to have turned down its planned talks to buy Keystone Bank Limited from the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON).According to Thisday Newspaper, the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of the bank Abubakar Suleiman explained that Keystone Bank was “an unsuitable fit Sterling Bank via this same CFO had earlier in the year announced to the world that the bank was looking to buy “one or two” mid-sized banks aided by the devaluation of the Naira. He believed a Naira devaluation will probably put a lot of banks under regulatory pressure making them vulnerable for an acquisition. According to Thisday, he says any move was likely to come after studying the impact of last month’s 30 per cent fall in the value of the naira. It appears that he has now moved from “wanting to buy” to “Studying to buy”.
Sterling Bank is currently valued at about N37 billion keeping them above Fidelity Bank (N33b), Wema Bank (N28b), Unity Bank (N11.3b) and Skye Bank (N9b). These are probably the only banks they can make a bid for based on market capitalization. Their current Net Assets of about N94billion also puts them in the lower Tier 2 segment of commercial banks, making them even vulnerable for an acquisition.