Bloomberg News

Nigerian Banks Rise From Oversold; Stanbic, Standard Bank Jump

December 12, 2011

Dec. 12 (Bloomberg) -- Nigerian banks posted the biggest gain in almost six weeks on bets selling was overdone, Lambeth Trust and Investment Co. said.

The Bloomberg Banking Index, which tracks the performance of the 10 most capitalized banks, added 0.9 percent, the biggest rise since Oct. 27, to 253.09 by the 2:30 p.m. close in Lagos.

Stanbic IBTC Bank Plc, a unit of Standard Bank Group Ltd., spiked 4.9 percent, the maximum jump since June 22, to 6.61 naira, while Fidelity Bank Plc rose 4.9 percent, the largest increase since Aug. 15, to 1.28 naira. Access Bank Plc, which acquired Intercontinental Bank Plc, one of the eight lenders bailed out by the central bank two years ago, climbed 4.2 percent to 4.48 naira.

The relatively lower prices of Nigerian banking stocks are “attracting both local and foreign investors,” David Adonri, chief executive officer of Lagos-based Lambeth Trust, said by phone today. Nigerian banks are trading at 0.8 times their price-to-book value, down from 1.2 in 2009 and 1.3 in 2010, according to Bloomberg data. Stanbic IBTC has fallen 28 percent since Sept. 30.

A debt crisis in 2008 and 2009 threatened the Nigerian banking system, prompting the central bank to fire eight chief executives of the country’s 24 lenders and set up the Asset Management Corp. of Nigeria, or Amcon, to buy bad debts to stabilize the industry. Amcon has acquired 3.14 trillion naira worth of debts, chief executive officer Mustafa Chike-Obi said Nov. 28.

The banking index has lost 37 percent this year compared with a 21 percent decline in the Nigerian Stock Exchange All- Share Index.

--Editors: Ash Kumar, Peter Branton

To contact the reporter on this story: Vincent Nwanma in Lagos at vnwanma@bloomberg.net

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


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