Dear Subscriber,

The combination of interests of Access Bank and Diamond Bank will result in Nigeria’s largest retail bank by customer base (29 million) and balance sheet footings. The real work begins in unlocking value in the post-merger period. The typical integration issues have already been identified and outlined. Access Bank has a history of efficiently digesting acquired targets, but Diamond Bank is a different kettle of fish and will be a handful to gobble. A write down of its risk asset portfolio will be a challenge, although it could lead to huge tax benefits and other latent advantages.

As 2018 winds down, the Nigerian economy is beginning to show signs of wobbling. Oil prices are sharply lower, and OPEC has clamped an output quota on Nigeria. It had been exempted along with Libya from the last production cuts in 2016. With oil revenue down and debts increasing, fiscal consolidation will be threatened. Nigeria needs another economic shock just as much as it needs a bullet in the head as the 2019 elections gets closer.

In this edition of the FDC Bimonthly publication, the FDC Think-Tank analyses these issues and their implications on businesses and investment decisions.

Enjoy your read.