AMCON To Sell Polaris Bank After Nigeria Elections

by Bamidele Ogunberu Posted on January 24th, 2019

Lagos, Nigeria: The Assets Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) has said that it will commence the process for the sale of Polaris Bank, after the general elections.

Spokesman for AMCON, Jude Nwazor, said that the corporation will advertise for investors to express their interest which will help the process of the sales after the election.

According to the spokesman, the corporation is seeking to recover non-performing debts owed to Polaris Bank and has asked for proposals on repayment.

Polaris bank was set up in 2018 to take over the assets of Skye Bank PLC, which collapsed and had its operating licence revoked by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

N786 billion had been injected into the bank through the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) to ensure the bank is sound and profitable.

In September 2018, Godwin Emefiele, Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, had announced the revoking of the licence of defunct Skye Bank. Polaris was established as a bridge bank to assume the assets and liabilities of the bank. It was then transferred to the state-owned bank for sale to investors. AMCON has previously sold three other nationalised banks.

“The capitalisation of Polaris Bank Limited is being done by the Assets Management Corporation of Nigeria through the injection of about N786 billion to return the bank to soundness and profitability so as to enable its subsequent sale to credible and financially sound third-party acquirers,” Godwin Emefiele, governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, had said when the licence was revoked.

He added that “As a responsible and responsive regulator and in consultation with the Nigerian Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC), we have decided to establish a bridge bank, Polaris Bank, to assume the assets and liabilities of Skye Bank. The strategy is for the Asset Management Company of Nigeria (AMCON) to capitalise the Bridge Bank and begin the process of sourcing investors to buy out AMCON. By this decision, the licence of the defunct Skye Bank is hereby revoked.”

He had also noted that the CBN invested about N800billion in Polaris Bank, and as such, the bank’s name had to change in order to reflect the new ownership structure.

AMCON was set up in 2010 to absorb non-performing loans from banks as part of efforts to resolve a financial crisis at that time.

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