(Adds more details)
ABUJA, July 23 Nigeria's Guaranty Trust Bank
GTB.LG wants to expand into francophone countries in Africa by
acquiring local banks, Managing Director Tayo Aderinokun told
Reuters on Monday.
Aderinokun was speaking on the first day of trade on the
London Stock Exchange of Guaranty Trust's Global Depository
Receipts (GDRs), which rose to $11.60 from their launch price of
$11.20. The bank raised $750 million through the GDR offer.
"We have ambitions to extend our reach beyond anglophone
West Africa," Aderinokun said in answer to a question about what
the bank planned to do with the money it had raised.
"We believe we will most likely go into francophone Africa
through acquisitions because it's a new market and we don't
speak the language and it's easier that way. It's in the works,"
he said by telephone from London where he has been supervising
the GDR offer.
Guaranty Trust covers most of anglophone West Africa with
branches in Ghana, Gambia and Sierra Leone and plans to open in
Liberia soon, he said.
Aderinokun said Guaranty Trust was the first African bank to
list on the London Stock Exchange. The operation brings the
bank's market capitalisation to about $3.8 billion, he said.
The bank's shares, which have roughly doubled in price over
the past 12 months, were down 1.5 naira at 33 naira (26 U.S.
cents) per share in Lagos at 1500 GMT on Monday.