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Wema Bank sells 75% stake in GNI to unknown company

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Wema Bank Plc has sold its majority equity stake of 75 per cent in the 56 years old Great Nigeria Insurance (GNI) Plc to Insurance Resourcery and Consultancy Services Limited, a relatively unknown firm.

A regulatory report obtained by Ripples Nigeria showed that Wema Bank has received regulatory approval of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), where both Wema Bank and GNI are listed, to sell the 75 per cent majority equity stake in GNI to Insurance Resourcery and Consultancy Services Limited.

However, a search with the National Insurance Commission (Naicom), Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), Chartered Insurance Institute of Nigeria (CIIN), Nigerian Council of Registered Insurance Brokers (NCRIB), Nigerian Insurers Association (NIA) and West African Insurance Institute (WAII) as well as extensive web search did not provide any details about Insurance Resourcery and Consultancy Services Limited, the new core investor.

Read also: SEC draws October 31 deadline for sanctions on unregistered operators

The report by NSE showed that a block divestment of 2.87 billion ordinary shares of GNI currently held by Wema Asset Management would be transferred to Insurance Resourcery and Consultancy Services.

GNI presently has a total of 3.827 billion ordinary shares of 50 kobo each. GNI is trading at its nomibnal value of 50 kobo, which puts its total market value at N1.91 billion and market value of the divestment at N1.44 billion.

GNI started operations in 1960 and its core investors were Wema Bank and its associated group, Odua Investment Group of Companies. Wema Bank had started divesting from its non-core banking subsidiaries in line with Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)’s banking regulatory regime that requires banks to either divest from non-core banking subsidiaries or form a holding company to hold those subsidiaries.

The bank had sold other subsidiaries including Wema Insurance Brokers Limited, Wema Registrars Limited,Independent Securities Limited and Whyte Cleon Limited. It had integrated operations of Wema Asset Management Limited, Wema Securities and Finance Plc, Wema Homes (Savings and Loans) Limited and Wise Properties Limited into its core banking operations.

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