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The Chairman of Zenith Bank Plc, Jim Ovia, is an astute businessman who has, over the years, successfully built many enterprises that can stand the test of time. His numerous investments are now working for him, earning him some serious money by the way. Now, this is the sort of cool life we should all aspire to have!

According to information available in Zenith Bank’s audited full-year 2018 financial report, Jim Ovia has a total of 5, 059, 336,405 units of direct and indirect shareholding in the bank which is one of Nigeria’s top lenders. This makes him the biggest shareholder in the company and one of Nigeria’s top billionaires.

Jim Ovia

It should not come as a surprise that Mr Ovia has this level of shareholding in the company, considering that he literally built the company from scratch.

The value of his shares as at September 2nd

As an equity investor, Mr Ovia’s net worth is constantly changing. Zenith Bank’s share price could swing downwards within a 24-hour period and cause him to lose a lot of money, just as a slight increase in share price could make him extra billions. That is exactly what happened yesterday.

[READ: The Stock Market closes in positive territory]

On September 2nd, the Zenith Bank stock traded huge volumes and ended up on the top gainers’ list after a 2.03% increase in the share price. Specifically, the share price increased from N17.20 on Friday last week to N17.55 yesterday; marking an N0.35 increase. This may not seem like much. However, for a major investor like Ovia, that slight increase translated to a lot of money.

[READ: Zenith Bank’s MD states 2019 plans]

 How much exactly did he make yesterday?

You’ve been longing for this so here is it— Jim Ovia made as much as N1.6 billion in just one day. Ovia’s total shareholding multiplied by a share price of N17.55 equals about N88.6 billion. Compare this to the sum of N87 billion which was the monetary value of Ovia’s shareholding as at Friday, you’d have the difference.

Deal book 300 x 250

For other billionaires like him, this is probably nothing. However, small-money people everywhere will appreciate the immense magnitude of this amount. Just imagine earning N1.6 billion in one day and compare that to how much that man could potentially earn in a year; all the volatility in the equity market considered.

The takeaway from this is clear —strive to become like Jim Ovia by, at least, investing your small money somewhere. Over time, it will accumulate and maybe one day begin to earn you this amount in one day or even more.


[READ: Why You Might Still End Up Broke Despite Your Bumper Salary]


  1. Looking at the recent news of a looming recession in the US stock market, should such a downturn occur, the repercussion on global markets (Nigeria included) could be very detrimental. You know what they say: “when the US sneezes, the world gets a cold”. Let’s hope Zenith has a good stress test result.

  2. Well Ifeanyi and Jerry you are both right from your viewpoints however, looking at it from Emmanuel”s standpoint which is for someone trading in shares yes he would have made money if he had sold his shares given the increase in share price within the review period.

    He is also trying to point out the benefits of a trading investor and when looked at from a global perspective as an investor you do not isolate the accrued dividends over the years in trying to determine his real increase in investment or wealth.

    In other words, we would be looking at the price increase over time plus the dividends received within same period (Price increase + All dividends received within the period = investment growth). So if he bought the shares say 10years ago at N10 and over the years there have been fluctuations in the price of the stock either north or south and as at today the price is N17 then we assume dividend over same period for the sake of ease of understanding average N1/Div. it means the growth in his investment per share is N7 + N10 (div for the 10yrs) = N17 so per share he has effectively added N17 per share. so would you still say his investment has not grown because the price was once N23 and what if he sold some when it was N23 and bought when the price went down and now has grown again to N17. Please note the figures used were for purposes of illustration.

    For purposes of enlightenment, it is always good to throw light on both the benefits and associated risks however Emmanuel has done a good job by trying to encourage people to invest especially in companies with good fundamentals.

    Thank you


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