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19.09.2005 Business & Finance

Zenith Bank Begins Business in Ghana

By Vanguard (Lagos)

Lagos -- ZENITH Bank has begun its offshore operation in keeping with its preparation for post consolidation competition as it commenced operations last Friday in Accra, Ghana having been issued banking licence by the Bank of Ghana. Zenith Bank is about the third Nigeria bank to take Nigeria banking culture to the shore of Ghana. Union Bank, GTB and Diamond Bank have all raced to Ghana to set up subsidiaries.

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) had earlier given its blessing to Zenith to commence its offshore operation in Ghana. Zenith Bank Ghana would be the most capitalised new entrant into the Ghanaian banking land scape. The Ghanaian operations would use the brand name of Zenith Bank.

The commencement of this subsidiary will give a tremendous boost to the international launch of the Zenith brand as the bank sees its Ghanaian operation as a launch pad for the bank's bid for the sub-regional market. Zenith is vastly recognised for innovation, service excellence, performance and exceptional value creation for stakeholders. This is clearly a delightful development for the bank's corporate and individual customers in Nigeria who have substantial business interests across the West African sub-region. The main beneficiaries of this development are the Ghanaian citizens who will be served with a good dose of a unique customer experience in banking from one of the most dynamic banking institutions in the sub region.

Just a fortnight ago, the Zenith Brand received an international endorsement having bagged the Bank of the Year award for 2005 by the Bankers' Magazine, a publication of the Financial Times of London. Zenith Bank was selected as one of the top 1000 banks in the world by the organisers of the award.

Going by its operating results for the year ended 30 June 2005, the bank is the third largest bank in Nigeria in terms of total assets while maintaining its position as the third most profitable bank in the country. The bank's market capitalisation has also remained one of the highest on the Nigerian Stock Exchange.

The bank's impressive financial performance over the years reinforces its stability and consistency. A five-year growth rate of 446 per cent in total assets, 462 per cent in shareholders' fund, 227 per cent in profit before tax and 287 per cent in gross earnings, no doubt reflects its competitiveness, the strength of the brand and the high quality of its leadership.

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