Polaris bank sale to begin after election – AMCON

Ahmed Kuru, Managing Director, Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON)
Ahmed Kuru, Managing Director, Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) [Photo: Tadall]

The Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria on Tuesday said it will seek new investors to take over Nigeria’s money deposit bank, Polaris.

Jude Nwauzor, the spokesperson of AMCON, told Reuters that the move would be perfected after the general elections in February.

Mr Nwauzor said the corporation is taking stock of the bank’s assets ahead of the sale, adding that it is being impeded by election activities.

“The election season has slowed down things,” the AMCON spokesperson was quoted as saying Tuesday. “We would advertise for expressions of interest from investors after elections and commence the sale process.”

Many Nigerian banks have faced tough times since low oil prices put pressure on their business of lending to the oil and gas industry. The West African country slipped into recession in 2016 after several contractions occasioned by crash in oil price.

By the second quarter of 2017, the nation emerged from recession in 2017 amidst slow growth.

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On Tuesday, Mr Nwauzor said the corporation was seeking to recover debts owed to Polaris that were non-performing and had asked for proposals on repayment.

AMCON was set up in 2010 to take on non-performing loans from banks as part of the country’s efforts to resolve a financial crisis at the time.

Last September, Polaris Bank was set up to take over the assets of Skye Bank which collapsed and had its operating licence revoked by the Central Bank of Nigeria. Polaris was then transferred to the state-owned bank for sale to investors.

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