First Bank of Nigeria Plc, the country’s third-biggest lender by market value, dropped to its lowest in more than 11 weeks on investor concern it hasn’t yet released earnings, Lambeth Trust and Investment Co Limited said.
The stock fell 3.5 percent to close at 9.26 naira in Lagos, the commercial capital, the lowest since Jan. 25.
“Investors are worried that First Bank has not released its full-year result after other major banks released theirs,” David Adonri, chief executive officer of Lagos-based Lambeth, said by phone today. “They feel the delay sends a signal that all may not be well with the result.”
First Bank has filed its results with the Nigerian Stock Exchange and they will be released on April 17, Babatunde Lasaki, a spokesman for the bank, said by phone today. “Nothing is wrong with our result,” he said.
The Central Bank of Nigeria introduced December as a common year-end for all the country’s lenders, as part of banking-sectors reforms following a debt crisis in 2008 and 2009 that threatened the industry with collapse. The Nigerian Stock Exchange gives companies listed on it 90 days from the end of the period to release their results. Some of the lenders in Africa’s most populous nation, including Zenith Bank Plc and Guaranty Trust Bank Plc, have since released their full-year results.
First Bank shares have risen 4 percent this year, compared with a 0.2 percent decline in the Nigerian Stock Exchange All-Share Index.