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Nigeria’s Amcon Says $20 Billion of Liabilities on Takeovers

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Nov. 14 (Bloomberg) -- The Asset Management Corp. of Nigeria, which nationalized three banks and took on the bad debts of others to save the banking system, said liabilities surged last year to 3.2 trillion naira ($20 billion).

Net liabilities rose from 2.4 trillion naira a year earlier, Kayode Lambo, spokesman for the Lagos-based bad bank, said in an e-mailed statement, without giving a reason for the increase. Amcon’s net loss for last year was 791.7 billion naira, compared with 2.4 trillion naira a year earlier.

Africa’s top oil producer established Amcon in 2010 as part of measures to save its banking industry from collapse as lenders reeled from bad loans to stock speculators and fuel importers after the global financial crisis in 2008. The Central Bank of Nigeria fired the chief executive officers of eight lenders and bailed them out with 620 billion naira.

Amcon sold bonds to fund the purchase of bad debts and took over three of the rescued banks after regulators said they were unlikely to meet a recapitalization deadline. Lenders are required to contribute part of their earnings to a fund aimed at paying for the bonds.

‘Mark-to-Market’

Amcon’s liabilities increased because of higher mark-to-market losses in the assets of the corporation, Pabina Yinkere, head of research at Lagos-based Vetiva Capital Management Ltd., said by phone today.

Amcon Chief Executive Officer Mustafa Chike-Obi said yesterday it received more than 20 expressions of interest for the acquisition of Enterprise Bank after bids closed Sept. 30.

FirstRand Ltd., South Africa’s second-biggest financial-services company, said it would consider buying either of the other two nationalised lenders, Mainstreet Bank Ltd. and Keystone Bank Ltd. to help establish a consumer-banking presence in the country. The two banks are scheduled for disposal after the sale of Enterprise, according to Amcon.

To contact the reporter on this story: Emele Onu in Lagos at eonu1@bloomberg.net

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

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