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First Bank to Expand Operations to 11 African Countries

Written By Joseph Y. Musa on Friday, May 10, 2013 | 5/10/2013 11:47:00 am


First Bank of Nigeria Holdings Plc (FBNH)  Thursday disclosed plans to extend its business to 11 other African countries.


The Chief Executive Officer, First Bank Nigeria Limited, Mr. Bisi Onasanya said this in an interview with Bloomberg on the sideline of the ongoing World Economic Forum in Cape Town.

“Essentially we’re looking at West Africa, Francophone and Anglophone countries. We will never do greenfields and it has to be in line with our retail banking strategy,” he said, declining to name the countries.

The First Bank boss however stressed that the financial institution would not undertake any expansion that will hurt its plan to “dominate” the domestic market.

The 119-year-old bank, which has more than 700 branches in Africa and 7 million customers, said yesterday that it planned to sell a $500 million euro bond this year to fund loans and help the bank expand.

“A listing elsewhere is part of the medium-term to long-term strategy,” Onasanya said, adding that he had met with representatives of the Johannesburg Stock Exchange.

FBNH had said that the funds from the $500 million Eurobond would  be used to finance investments in loans and infrastructure.

The Chief Executive Officer, FBNH, Mr. Bello Maccido, had explained: “The bank intends to expand its investment banking and commercial business as well as insurance. We believe conditions will be favorable this year.”
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