Sterling Bank says it is open to merger or acquisition in order to build up scale and battle the weak market and a deteriorating economy.
According to reports from Reuters, the CEO Yemi Adeola said on Thursday that the slowdown in the economy along with currency weakness provided opportunities for a market consolidation to build scale and cut costs, adding that one or two foreign banks were having discussions about possible acquisitions in Nigeria.
“As for us at Sterling, we are always open, anything that will give us scale, we will pursue.”
Sterling is also reported to have said it would raise N35 billion ($177 million) in Tier II debt early next year to expand its loan book, saying that it saw no need to approach the equity markets. Sterling Bank released its 2015 9 Months results in October showing pre-tax profits was that 2.3% to N8.3 billion. The company however reported earnings per share was down 25% year on year.
Sterling Bank’s share price is down 27% year to date compared to the banking index that is down 22% year to date.