Saturday, 25 February 2012

Fitch keeps Ecobank Transnational on watch negative over Oceanic Bank acquisition-Reuters

Fitch Ratings has maintained Togo-domiciled Ecobank Transnational Inc.
 (ETI)'s 'B-' Long-term Issuer Default Rating (IDR), 'B' Short- term IDR
and 'b-' Viability Rating (VR) on Rating Watch Negative (RWN). 
 
The RWN reflects Fitch's view that there are still uncertainties about ETI's
capitalisation and asset quality after the acquisition in November 2011 of
Nigeria's Oceanic Bank International Plc (Oceanic). 
 
Oceanic was one of the banks in Nigeria that had to be supported in 2009 by the
central bank of Nigeria (CBN). Although significant efforts have been made since
2009 by the CBN and subsequently ETI to improve the bank's risk profile, there
are still uncertainties about Oceanic's asset quality and capitalisation that
have to be addressed by ETI. Nigeria is already ETI's largest market (27% of
ETI's total assets at end-Q311) and with Oceanic it may account for an estimated
44% of the group's total assets. 
 
The RWN is pending the completion of all transactions related to Oceanic's
acquisition announced in September 2011, the availability of robust information
on the merged Ecobank Nigeria and Oceanic entity and ETI's 2011 consolidated
audited financial statements. 
Source: http://af.reuters.com/article/togoNews/idAFWNA948420120206

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