A strategy analyst at Nigerian lender Fidelity
Bank has told RBI that the bank is eying up two weaker

Samuel Obioha, money market strategy analyst
at Fidelity Bank, confirmed that the bank had received approval
from the Nigerian Central Bank to acquire Spring Bank and is now
awaiting approval for the acquisition of Afribank.

More and more mergers and acquisitions are
taking place in the Nigerian financial sector as the Central Bank’s
deadline for the bailed-out banks to meet higher capitalisation
requirements is getting closer.

Already, the
acquisition of Finbank by First City Monument Bank
confirmed in May.

Then in July,
Access Bank emerged as the winning bidder
for Intercontinental
Bank and most recently,
announced the recapitalisation and acquisition of
Oceanic Bank.

Eight Nigerian lenders which were bailed-out in 2009
have got
until the end of September to meet higher capital requirements set
by the country’s central bank to prevent a lack of liquidation in
the case of another financial crisis.

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But despite the aggressive acquisition
targets, Obioha added that Fidelity aims to grow its branch network
organically, from 185 branches “to between 240-250 by the end of
the year.”