Bloomberg News

FirstRand Unit Buys Finance Bank Zambia for $5.5 Million

September 12, 2011

(Updates with central bank governor comment in second paragraph.)

Sept. 12 (Bloomberg) -- First National Bank, the retail banking unit of FirstRand Ltd., bought Finance Bank Zambia Ltd. for 27 billion kwacha ($5.5 million), said Caleb Fundanga, the Zambian central bank governor.

The central bank had followed “all legal processes” in the sale, Fundanga told reporters in Lusaka, Zambia’s capital, today.

Finance Bank was seized by the Bank of Zambia last year for breaching financial laws and was then managed by FirstRand, South Africa’s second-biggest banking group. Finance Bank has about 1,000 employees and 39 branches. FNB already operates in Zambia and has a presence in six other African countries excluding South Africa and Zambia. A group of shareholders had challenged the central bank’s decision to seize the lender and sell it.

--Editors: Gordon Bell, Emily Bowers

To contact the reporters on this story: Anthony Mukwita in Lusaka at amukwita1@bloomberg.net; Renee Bonorchis in Johannesburg at rbonorchis@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Antony Sguazzin at asguazzin@bloomberg.net


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