The apex bank has endorsed the proposed merger between Access Bank Plc and Diamond Plc.

The Central Bank in a letter dated December 17, 2018, addressed to the Managing Director/CEO of Access Bank and signed by Director of Banking Supervision, Mr. Ahmad Abdullahi, said it had no objection to the proposal, advising the commercial bank to proceed to obtain other necessary regulatory approvals for the merger.

“We refer to your letter dated December 17, 2018 on the above subject (application for pre-merger) and write to inform you that the Central Bank of Nigeria has no objection to your proposed merger with the Diamond Bank Plc.

“Furthermore, you are required to obtain other necessary regulatory approvals for the merger.”

Waiting for SEC’s approval

In a related development, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has said it is waiting for formal application from the banks on the merger. According to the apex capital market regulator, however, it is aware of the intention of the banks to go into a merger.

Bua group

According to SEC

“Access bank and Diamond Bank have both notified the Commission and the general public. It is a notice to merge, they have not merged yet. SEC is awaiting their application on the matter.

“SEC received on Monday, Dec 17 2018, notice of intention by Diamond Bank & Access Bank to merge. The Commission is currently waiting for their formal Application”.

The completion of the merger is subject to certain shareholder and regulatory approvals expected to be completed in first half of 2019.

The shares of Access Bank jumped 9.40 per cent – the bank biggest daily gain since January 2016 – to a six week high of ₦8.15 per share while those of Diamond Bank appreciated by 9.47 per cent to close at ₦1.04 per share the highest in five weeks.

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