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Ecobank Board Meets Next Week to Plan Strategy for Africa Lender

March 5 (Bloomberg) -- Ecobank Transnational Inc., which faces allegations of senior management fraud, will hold a board meeting to devise strategy on March 11 in Cameroon, the Lome, Togo-based lender’s biggest shareholder said.

“The current board urgently needs to meet to map a way forward,” Daniel Matjila, chief investment officer of South Africa’s Public Investment Corp., which owns more than 18 percent of Ecobank, said by phone today. The board will “discuss the implementation of resolutions approved at” the extraordinary general meeting on March 3, he said.

Mwambu Wanendeya, a spokesman for Ecobank, couldn’t immediately confirm the board meeting when contacted by phone.

Investors decided at the EGM earlier this week to retain Ecobank’s 12-person board and withdrew a motion to create a smaller interim grouping. Shareholders approved a plan to improve corporate governance following recommendations by Nigeria’s Securities and Exchange Commission.

The PIC, Ecobank’s biggest investor, yesterday repeated a call for Chief Executive Officer Thierry Tanoh to quit. Nigeria’s regulator investigated Ecobank after former Director of Finance Laurence do Rego told the SEC in August that Tanoh and former Chairman Kolapo Lawson planned to sell assets below market value. Do Rego said she was pressured to write off debts owed by a business headed by Lawson and manipulate the bank’s results. Both Tanoh and Lawson deny any wrongdoing.

To contact the reporters on this story: Janice Kew in Johannesburg at jkew4@bloomberg.net; Renee Bonorchis in Johannesburg at rbonorchis@bloomberg.net; Chris Kay in Lagos at ckay5@bloomberg.net

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

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