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Zenith, UBN Deny Acquisition Reports

Zenith Bank Plc and Union Bank of Nigeria Plc have denied recent online media speculation suggesting an agreement by the former to acquire the latter.

Union Bank in a statement signed by its Company Secretary, Somuyiwa Sonubi, obtained from the Nigerian Stock Exchange, refuted the speculation, noting that no such agreement had been made by anyone to either its shareholders or the bank’s Board of Directors.

Zenith Bank also said in a statement signed by its Company Secretary, Michael Otu, that the bank had not made any binding offer to acquire any financial institution.

Union Bank recently announced its audited financial statements for the year ended 31st December 2019, posting a profit before tax of N24.7bn as against N18.7bn recorded in 2018, representing a 33 per cent growth.

Gross earnings grew by 14 per cent to N159.9bn from N140.1bn in FY 2018, driven by an increase in earning assets.

Interest income was up by 11 per cent to N116.5bn from N104.8bn in FY 2018 while net interest income before impairment was up by one per cent to N51.7bn from N50.9bn in FY 2018.

Based on the financials, the lender recommended a dividend of 25 kobo per share to its shareholders for the financial year.

The Chief Executive Officer of Union Bank, Emeka Emuwa, said, “The bank’s strong overall performance has paved the way for a critical milestone. With the approval of the Central Bank of Nigeria, the board of directors will recommend a dividend payment to shareholders for the first time in over a decade.”

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