AMCON to sell Polaris Bank after elections

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The Assets Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) says it will put up Polaris Bank for sale after the 2019 general elections.

AMCON Spokesman, Jude Nwauzor, disclosed this in a statement on Tuesday. Nwauzor had said that electioneering activities have slowed things down.

In his words, “The election season has slowed down things. We would advertise for expressions of interest from investors after elections and commence the sale process.”

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sound third-party acquirers,” Godwin Emefiele, governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, had said when the licence was revoked.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.

Speaking on plans to sell Polaris bank, Nwauzor said the corporation is already working on recovering the non-performing loans owed to Polaris and that AMCON has asked for repayment proposals.

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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