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CBN Approved Access Bank and Intercontinental Bank Merger

By on July 11, 2011

The Central Bank of Nigeria has approved an implementation plan worked out by both parties, the lenders said in an e-mailed statement today.

“Consequently, the parties will now commence the process of a scheme of arrangement” that will be subject to approval by shareholders, regulators and the courts, the lenders said.

Intercontinental Bank is one of eight lenders bailed out by the central bank in 2009 with the injection of 620 billion naira ($4.1 billion) following a financial crisis that threatened the country’s banking industry. Eight of the lenders’ chief executive officers were fired and the central bank called for interested parties to bid for stakes in the banks. The central bank has set a deadline of Sept. 30 for the recapitalization of the banks.

The announcement is “positive” for Nigeria’s banking sector, Adesoji Solanke, a Lagos-based analyst with Renaissance Capital, said in an e-mailed note to clients today. “The deadlines are in place and we want to see mergers and acquisitions going through and this is moving closer to being a fact.”

Intercontinental shares retreated for the first day in three, losing 1 percent to 1 naira by 11:31 a.m. in Lagos.