An estimated 1.1 billion units of FBN Holding shares have been exchanged in the last 4 days suggesting that the battle for the control of one of the most important banks in Nigeria is still raging on.
The data was gathered from the daily trade volumes recorded by the company on the Nigerian stock exchange’s trading engine. A cursory view of the data shows 128.8 million, 364 million, 441.9 million and 228.5 million shares of the bank were traded on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday respectively.
Sources with knowledge of the trades suggest a major portion of the transactions were off-market block trades similar to the pattern recorded weeks before Mr. Otedola was announced as purchasing over 5% of the bank.
Mr. Tunde Odukale, a current director of the bank, also informed the bank that he has a direct and indirect ownership amounting to 5.36% of the FBNH through several entities tied to Leadway Pensure. However, PENCOM reportedly issued a statement debunking this claim, clarifying that ownership of pension funds is that of pension fund contributors and no one else. Thus, it cannot be added to cumulative shares of any shareholder or related party who may be claiming it as part of their indirect ownership of the bank.
This currently leaves Mr. Otedola as the current largest shareholder of the bank based on the official statement of FBNH. However, the latest 9 months audited accounts of the bank did not report any disclosure stating any shareholder had 5% and above of the shares.
So, who is buying?
It was gathered that the recent purchases are not unconnected with the latest tussle for shares of the bank and believe a statement is imminent in the coming days. According to a reliable source, “an announcement will be made soon that will reveal a significant change in the majority ownership of the bank.”
FBN Holdings recently released its 9 months Interim results showing gross earnings of N427 billion compared to N439.3 billion same period last year. Despite economic challenges, the bank still reported a pre-tax profit of N52.9 billion compared to N63.3 billion same period last year.