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Diamond Bank denies being in talks for merger, acquisition

By The Rainbow
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Diamond Bank has reacted to speculations in a section of the media that the bank is purportedly in discussions with Access Bank Plc to acquire the bank.

The bank, in a statement issued on Monday, was categorical that it is not in discussions with any financial institution at the moment on any form of merger or acquisition.

“We trust that the above clarifies the position of the Bank with regards to the rumor on the various media platforms,” Diamond Bank said.

Bloomberg had reported that a major investor was in the process of injecting funds into Diamond Bank  on condition that the CEO, Uzoma Dozie, exits his position. The report attributed to the Chairman, Seyi Bickersteth, has since been denied by the bank.

Diamond Bank is one of a number of smaller Nigerian lenders struggling to maintain a regulatory requirement for banks with international operations to have reserves of capital that cover at least 15 percent of outstanding loans. The company's ratio stood at 16.3 percent at the end of September, the lender has said.

The bank cut its full-year profit forecast by more than half on Tuesday after income from operations declined. It now expects profit before tax to reach 3.8 billion naira ($10.4 million), down from a previous target of 8 billion naira.

The shares rose 2.5 percent on Wednesday, trading at 1.21 naira at the close in Lagos. The stock is down 19 percent this year, compared with a 12 percent fall on the NSE Banking 10 Index.