Access Holdings, the parent company of Access Bank Plc, says its Zambian subsidiary, Access Bank Zambia Limited, has secured approval of the country’s central bank for the acquisition of African Banking Corporation Zambia Limited.
Sunday Ekwochi, the company secretary who announced the development on a statement on Friday, said the acquisition is to be completed in the third quarter of 2023.
“Further to its announcement on October 25, 2021, Access Holdings Plc (Access Holdings) is pleased to announce that Access Bank Zambia Limited (“Access Zambia”), a subsidiary of its flagship subsidiary, Access Bank Plc , has received final regulatory approval from the Central Bank of Zambia for the acquisition and merger of African Banking Corporation Zambia Limited (“Atlas Mara Zambia”) into its existing operations (‘the Transaction’),” the statement said.
“The Central Bank of Nigeria and Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa Competition Commission had earlier granted their “no objection” to the Transaction in 2022.
“Access Zambia will now move towards integrating and merging Atlas Mara Zambia into its operations, which is expected to create one of the top five banks in Zambia .”
Commenting on the transaction, Dr. Herbert Wigwe, Group Chief Executive Access Holdings said: “The transaction builds on our earlier acquisition and merger of Cavmont Bank Plc into Access Bank Zambia and underscores our resolve to strengthen our presence in Zambia, a key African market that fits into our strategic focus on geographic earnings growth and diversification.
“The combination of the two banks will create significant synergies between Access Zambia’s world class wholesale and transaction banking capabilities and Atlas Mara Zambia’s market leading retail and public sector capabilities to form a market leading universal banking platform that will greatly impact the Zambia market”
Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has directed all commercial banks to open for operation on Saturdays and Sundays, as part of a coordinated effort to ease circulation of banknotes of various denominations.
The CBN also confirmed the evacuation of banknotes from its vaults to commercial banks across the country.
This latest development was disclosed in a statement signed by CBN Acting Director, Corporate Communications Department, Isa AbdulMumin, in Abuja, on Friday afternoon.
The statement noted that, a substantial amount of money, in various denominations, had been received by commercial banks, for onward circulation to their respective customers, even as it prevailed on banks, to conduct physical operations in banking halls through the weekends.
Excerpts of the statement read: “The CBN has directed all banks to load their Automated Teller Machines, as well as conduct physical operations in the banking halls through the weekends.
“Branches of commercial banks will operate on Saturdays and Sundays to attend to customers’ cash needs.
“The Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr Godwin Emefiele, would personally lead teams to monitor the level of compliance by the banks in various locations across the country,” it stressed.
The bank, therefore, urged Nigerians to be patient, as the current situation would ease soon, with the injection of more banknotes into circulation.