JOHANNESBURG Oct 5 FirstRand, South
Africa's biggest lender by value, is taking another look at
Nigeria since a sharp economic slowdown has left asset prices
have become "much more realistic", its chairman said.
Nigerian banks have come under pressure in recent months
after the central bank suspended nine of them from foreign
exchange transactions for failing to remit money owed to the
government. A slowdown in the oil producer has raised concerns
that the West African country could slip into a recession.
"We believe that asset prices in jurisdictions such as
Nigeria have recently become much more realistic," FirstRand
chairman Laurie Dippenaar said in annual report posted on the
"We feel more comfortable to look for opportunities to
deploy shareholder capital for acquisitions to assist us in
scaling up our operations."
Dippenaar's comments may signal a reversal of the lender's
strategy of looking for growth in more developed markets due to
slowing growth and rising risks elsewhere in Africa.
(Reporting by Tiisetso Motsoeneng, editing by Louise Heavens)