• Sunday, July 21, 2024
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BusinessDay

AMCON to start nationalised Keystone Bank sale after elections

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The Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) plans to begin the sale of Keystone Bank Ltd., the biggest of three lenders nationalised after a 2009 financial crisis, in the second quarter after general elections next month.

“We chose to start in the second quarter to allow for elections to come and go,” Mustafa Chike-Obi, chief executive officer of state-owned AMCON, told Bloomberg by phone on Thursday. “By that time everything has returned to normal.”

The sale will be transparent and AMCON will call for bids with a selection process lasting three to four months and ending this year, Chike-Obi said.

Keystone is the last of three nationalised lenders to be sold after Mainstreet Bank was purchased by Skye Bank Plc and Enterprise Bank by Heritage Banking Co. last year. AMCON was set up in 2010 to stabilise Nigeria’s banking industry and buy bad loans after a debt crisis in Africa’s biggest oil producer.

In February, President Goodluck Jonathan’s ruling People’s Democratic Party will face what may be its toughest poll since the end of army rule in 1999, challenged by a unified opposition led by former military ruler Muhammadu Buhari.