The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on Tuesday weighed in on who is the highest shareholder in First Bank of Nigeria Plc.
According to the apex bank, the over 100 years old bank is too big and strategic for one individual to own outright.
Addressing journalists at the end of bimonthly Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting in Abuja, CBN governor Godwin Emefiele described First Bank as a domestically important bank in Nigeria, if anything happens to the bank that means something is wrong with Nigeria’s banking system.
Emefiele then stated:
First Bank is so big that one person cannot own it.
With regards to who then holds the highest shares of the bank, the CBN governor said CBN will “take SEC’s position as a regulator of the capital market on who is majority shareholder in the bank.”
Emefiele said he is happy that Nigerians are showing interest in the shares of First Bank which has a direct relation to the intervention of the apex in First Bank six years ago.
When the CBN intervened, he said First Bank’s shares were going for N2 per share but after the intervention, the bank’s shares are now selling for N11.
At the end of the MPC meeting, the committee unanimously voted to retain the Monetary Policy Rate at 11.5 per cent; retain the MPR at 11.5 per cent; retain the Asymmetric Corridor of +100/-700 basis points around the MPR; retain the CRR at 27.5 per cent, and retain the Liquidity Ratio at 30 per cent.