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FirstRand plans acquisition in Nigeria

FirstRand Bank is considering buying either of two Nigerian banks, Mainstreet or Keystone bank, as growth slows in its local market. The bank is planning to start commercial banking in Nigeria, said Sizwe Nxasana, CEO of FirstRand. The bank will start commercial banking in Nigeria with its merchant banking license. FirstRand started operations in Nigeria last year, with its investment banking unit, Rand Merchant Bank, which had since worked with the commercial division of FirstRand’s retail business to find corporate clients in the most populous black nation. FirstRand seeks to grow its investment in Nigeria and exploit the abounding opportunities in Africa’s second largest economy, prompting it to signify interest in acquiring one of Nigeria’s nationalised banks taken over and recapitalized by the Asset Management Company of Nigeria (AMCON) in 2011 following mismanagement of bad loans.

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