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By NBF News
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SOME stakeholders have expressed optimism that the acquisition of Intercontinental Bank by Access Bank would reposition Access Bank and lead to improved earnings.

They said that they were anxiously awaiting the fourth quarter result of Access Bank after its acquisition of Intercontinental Bank. Alhaji Rasheed Yussuf, Chairman of Association of Stockbroking Houses of Nigeria (ASHON), said that the acquisition would translate to better profit for the bank and higher dividends to shareholders if the merger was well managed.

'Stockbrokers are waiting till the next quarter to see the performance of Access Bank after merging with Intercontinental Bank,' he said. Mr Emeka Madubuike, Vice President of ASHON, said that the bank's fourth quarter results would'douse the fears' of some shareholders.

'Everyone is adopting a wait-and-see attitude on the fourth quarter result of Access Bank,' he said.  Mr Ajibola Majekodumi, another stock broker, said that investors were expecting better result than that of the third quarter.

He, however, expressed fears that the bank's dividends to shareholders might decline at the end of the year due to the enlarged shareholder base.  Mr Solomon Kugbe, a dealer with Marriot Securities and Investment Ltd., said that market operators were expecting the bank's full year profit to be in the region of N16 billion.

Access Bank's profit after tax in the third quarter of this year stood at N12.81 billion and the expectation is that the bank will declare higher profit after the conclusion of its merger with Intercontinental Bank.

Mr Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede, the Group Managing Director of Access Bank, had said after the release of the third quarter result that the fourth quarter result would be better.

'With the recent acquisition of Intercontinental Bank, the fourth quarter will see us commence the implementation of our business combination plan and unlock the transformational potential of the acquisition,' Aig-Imoukhuede said.