11 Nigerian banks make top 50 African banks

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LAGOS — Eleven Nigeria banks have been ranked among the top 50 banks in the continent, according to The Banker magazine.

The banks that made it to the top 50 African banks are Zenith, FirstBank, Guaranty Trust, Access, UBA and Fidelity. Others are First City Monument, Diamond, Skye, Stanbic IBTC, and EcoBank Nigeria.

Banks in Nigeria beat other African countries in the number of banks it has in the Top 50 African banks as published by The Banker magazine in its January 2012 edition just released. The Banker which recently retained its world’s number one monthly publication position above Bloomberg Markets, Euro-money and Harvard Business Review by Global Capital Markets Survey through a study by Think Media, an independent company that researches readership of financial publications, listed 11 Nigerian banks in the Top 50 Banks in Africa.

The country was closely followed by Egypt with 10 banks but the inclusion of Africa Export-Import Bank, a continental bank, as Egyptian bank adds to the number of Egyptian banks from 10, according to a release from the Country Representative – Nigeria of The Banker, Mr. Kunle Ogedengbe.

Eleven Nigerian banks made it to the Top 50 Banks in Africa and the country was closely followed by Egypt with ten banks but the inclusion of Africa Export-Import Bank, a continental bank, as Egyptian bank adds to the number of Egypt from ten. Other top playing banks in Africa came from South Africa which maintains leadership of the continent’s banking industry, Morocco, Libya and Nigeria made up the first ten banks in Africa.

According to The Banker’s Africa Editor, Mr. Paul Wallace, banks from Nigeria, South Africa and North Africa still dominate the Top 20 with “only one lender, Togo-based Ecobank came from outside of those places” in the Top 20. Wallace noted that African banks have made tremendous improvements recently and writes: “African banks have grown rapidly in the past few years. Based on the 2010 results, nineteen of them have Tier 1 Capital of more than $1 billion, a level that roughly marks the cut-off point for the world’s biggest 500 banks”.

He adds that this is an impressive rise for Africa which, he noted had only 10 banks with $1 billion of Tier 1 capital or more at the end of 2007. “Moreover, 31 lenders on the continent now have capital strength of $500m or more, compared with just 13 in 2007.”

Going forward, Wallace observed that more Nigerian banks, which have finally shaken off their crisis of 2009, will rise to the top especially with the merger of Access Bank and Intercontinental Bank which may make the new Access Bank become one of the Top 10 African Banks by asset. The scene is also looking good for Ecobank Nigeria with its merger with Oceanic Bank, he added.

Other Nigerian banks that made good outings in different streams of The Banker’s ranking for distribution at the WEF Annual Meeting in Davos, Switzerland include Sterling Bank, Wema Bank and Unity Bank as the Nigerian banking industry has the highest return on asset and capital asset ratio of 2.07 per cent and 16.59 per cent respectively among the big top banking countries including North Africa countries and South Africa.

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