- Russian Bank Targets Nigeria, Others in Expansion Drive
Promsvyazbank, one of Russia’s largest privately-held banks, is looking to Nigeria and other Africa countries to expand its business, one of its senior executives told Reuters.
Alexander Meshcheryakov, the bank’s Head of Transaction, Documentary and International Businesses said in an interview in Moscow that the move was due to sluggish loan demand at home.
“There is growing interest in Africa among (Russian) clients.
“Many clients come to us with this topic and ask to help them with financing projects in Africa.
“To cater to its clients’ needs, Promsvyazbank is now studying business opportunities in Nigeria, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and other countries, Meshcheryakov said.
He said Africa’s economies were predicted to grow faster than the global economy over the next decade as they try to attract foreign investors with tax breaks and guarantees.
“Africa is basically one of the fastest growing regions and could be the only economic region that has not yet unlocked its potential … From a growth point of view, it’s likely to be the most promising one on the world map.
“In the future, we expect that the ‘Made in Russia’ tag would be regarded as decent and worth the money,’’ Meshcheryakov said, declining to elaborate on the details of the projects the bank is involved in.
According to him, Promsvyazbank has already signed an agreement with the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank), and it is setting up contacts with certain governments.
He said that for now, Promsvyazbank would focus on financing projects in Africa, but may eventually consider opening a branch there.
With its Africa expansion plans, Promsvyazbank will join other Russian banks already operating in the region, such as VTB, Gazprombank and Renaissance Capital.
Promsvyazbank is Russia’s 10th largest bank by assets.
Russia’s second biggest bank VTB opened its subsidiary Bank VTB-Africa in Angola in 2006, focusing mostly on corporate and investment banking but also featuring a small retail division for its clients’ employees.
Gazprombank Africa, a branch of Russia’s third largest lender Gazprombank, has been based in South Africa since 2014. Investment bank RenCap has offices in Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa.
The economies of the African countries targeted by Promsvyazbank will grow by 4-7 per cent a year by 2019, according to World Bank estimates.
This is in contrast to Russia’s economy, which, emerging from two years of contraction is forecast to expand by less than 2 per cent in 2017.
Remove Face Mask When Using ATM, Banks Tell Customers
Face Mask May Cause ATM Transaction Failure, Banks Tell Customers
Deposit Money Banks have said due to their face recognition technology, customers wearing face masks may experience service failure while using the Automated Teller Machines (ATMs).
In an email issued to customers by Fidelity Bank, the bank said why the use of face masks is important to curb the spread of COVID-19 pandemic, customers should remove when performing ATM transactions.
The bank said “Wearing of face masks is a safety and precautionary measure we must all adhere to in this period of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“However, we advise that you remove your face mask while making withdrawals or carrying out ATM transactions to allow our ATM properly recognise you.
“Fidelity Bank ATM machines have face detection features installed to curb incidences of fraudulent ATM withdrawals.
“Consequently, you may not be able to carry out any transaction if our ATMs are not able to properly recognise you. We apologise for the inconvenience that this may cause you.”
Meanwhile, Guaranty Trust Bank plc continues to ease accessibility for all customers and advised customers to protect themselves.
GTBank said, “When visiting any of our branches, kindly protect yourself by wearing a face mask at all times. It is also very important that you keep a safe distance when in a queue inside or outside the branch.
“Before visiting any of our branches, please remember that you can withdraw up to N150,000 at all our ATMs and that you can do most of your banking from the safety of your home.”
Access Bank in Talks to Acquire Cavmont Bank
Access Bank to Acquire Cavmont Bank in Zambia
Access Bank Plc on Wednesday announced that its wholly-owned subsidiary in Zambia, Access Bank Zambia Limited (Access Bank Zambia) is in talks to acquire Cavmont Bank Limited, a subsidiary of Cavmont Capital.
According to the statement signed by Mr. Sunday Ekwochi, Company Secretary, Access Bank and released on the Nigerian Stock Exchange website on Wednesday, the ongoing discussions is to acquire 100 percent of Cavmont Capital’s interest in Cavmont Bank.
However, the lender said “there can be no certainty that a transaction will be agreed, nor as to the terms of any such agreement.
“The completion of a transaction would be subject to formal regulatory approvals. Access Bank will be updating the market as appropriate and in accordance with its disclosure obligations.”
The lender, therefore, advised shareholders to exercise caution when dealing in Access Bank’s securities.
Investors King Ltd note: This announcement further threw more lights on the recent purchases of Access Bank’s shares by Herbert Wigwe, the Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director, Access Bank.
The CEO/MD purchased 7.532 million of Access Bank‘s shares in the last one month.
Mohammed Umar is the New Acting Chairman of EFCC
Buhari Appoints Mohammed Umar as EFCC Acting Chairman
President Muhammadu Buhari has appointed, Mohammed Umar, the director of operations at the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), as the new Acting Chairman of the agency, according to the NAN.
A top official of the commission confirmed to NAN that Umar has taken charge of the agency following the suspension of Ibrahim Magu, the former acting Chairman.
Ibrahim Magu was suspended by the President on Tuesday following series of allegations bordering on frauds, financial misappropriations and abuse of power.
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