Lagos - Firstrand, a South African financial services provider, has expressed interest in acquiring Nigeria's two nationalised banks.
FirstRand Chief Executive, Sizwe Nxasana, confirmed his company hopes to acquire Keystone and Mainstreet Banks by next year.
FirstRand was no longer pursuing plans to acquire another of Nigeria's nationalised banks, Enterprise.
"We are not after Enterprise Bank, but Mainstreet and Keystone are now a certainty. They are the ones that are a little bit more interesting for us," Nxasana said.
The Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) intends to conclude with the disposal of the three nationalised banks by the third quarter of 2014, starting with Enterprise Bank.
FirstRand's interest comes soon after AMCON said that it had, in conjunction with the Central Bank of Nigeria, outlined a comprehensive plan for refinancing its initial zero coupon bonds expected to mature by October 2014.
Enterprise, Keystone and Mainstreet banks are wholly owned by AMCON. The corporation had acquired them in August 2011, after an intervention by the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation and the CBN.
Meanwhile, Nxasana also said the bank was still awaiting regulatory approval for its planned purchase of a stake in Merchant Bank Ghana.
- CAJ News