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AMCON to adopt due diligence in sale of bridged banks – Chike-Obi

By The Citizen

The Chief Executive Officer of the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON), Mr. Mustafa Chike-Obi, has said that the corporation would adopt due diligence strategies in the sale of the three bridged banks.

The three bridged banks are Mainstreet, Enterprise and Keystone.

Chike-Obi stressed at a news conference in Lagos on Wednesday that AMCON would be careful in selling the nationalized banks.

He said selling the banks was a small part of what the corporation was doing, adding that there were over 10,000 bad loans currently within the bank's management.

He said, 'We will sell the banks. We have over 10,000 loans that we are pursuing, and selling the banks will not distract us from doing our job. Selling the bank is not the only thing we do and it is not occupying much of our time and will not determine what the corporation does on a daily basis, either now or in the future.

'We are doing it sequentially and we have started with Enterprise Bank and if one wants to guesses, one hopefully guess that the process will end by the end of 2014 or early 2015.'

He also spoke on the interested bidders for Enterprise Bank and noted that the corporation did not know the companies which had submitted bids, pointing out that only the financial advisers had such information.

He said AMCON did not know how long it would take the financial advisers to submit the list of qualified or shortlisted bidders because it would depend on the number involved.

He noted that everybody who was qualified to run a bank would require the approval of the Central Bank of Nigeria and such person must be fit and proper to run a bank.

Chike-Obi also revealed that AMCON's total outstanding debt now stands at N5.7tn.

He said out of the amount, N3.6tn was being held as bond by the Central Bank of Nigeria.

AMCON recorded N822.9bn loss in 2012. The corporation spent N544.8bn to purchase non-performing loans from banks while the remaining N278.1bn was used for the recapitalization of banks.

On the plan to amend AMCON's Act, he said, 'We want to make the sinking fund a binding agreement between the CBN and the banks, so that it will be a law, and when the current CBN or a bank chief executive leaves, whoever takes over will not say they are not aware of it. That is why we want to amend the AMCON Act.'