FBN Seeks Opportunities in 11 African Countries Beyond Nigeria

FBN Holdings Plc (FBNH), owner of Nigeria’s third-largest bank by market value, is looking for opportunities to enter 11 other countries in Africa, said Chief Executive Officer Bisi Onasanya.

“Essentially we’re looking at West Africa, Francophone and Anglophone countries,” Onasanya said in an interview today at the World Economic Forum in Cape Town. “We will never do greenfields and it has to be in line with our retail banking strategy,” he said, declining to name the countries.

FBN Holdings, owner of First Bank Nigeria, won’t undertake any expansion that hurts its plan to “dominate” in its home market, Onasanya said. The 119-year-old lender, which has more than 700 branches in Africa and 7 million customers, said yesterday that it plans to sell a $500 million euro bond this year to fund loans and help the bank expand.

“A listing elsewhere is part of the medium-term to long-term strategy,” Onasanya said, adding that he met with representatives of Johannesburg’s stock exchange yesterday.

FBN Holdings has gained 27 percent this year in Lagos trading, beating the 22 percent increase in the Nigerian SE Banking Index, which tracks the country’s 10 biggest banks.

To contact the reporter on this story: Renee Bonorchis in Johannesburg at rbonorchis@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Dale Crofts at dcrofts@bloomberg.net

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