The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has said that it would be guided by the decision of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on the ownership structure of FBN Holdings Plc, the parent company of First Bank Plc.
The company’s majority stake recently became a subject of controversy among investors, following the announcement of a significant share acquisition by billionaire business mogul, Femi Otedola.
Commenting for the first time on the controversy, the Governor of the CBN, Mr Godwin Emefiele, while fielding questions at the end of the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting in Abuja, said that SEC, as the capital market regulator has the final decision on the ownership structure.
He said, “We have cleaned up the Balance Sheet of the bank. The NPL has dropped. People are now competing for the shares of First Bank.
“Should I quarrel that people are now competing for the shares of First Bank which, six years ago was N2.00 and they were running away from it. The last time I looked at it, last weekend, it was N 11. 55.
“I am happy that they are competing for the shares. But of course, we should all know that First bank is so big that no one person can say he owns First Bank.
“I have read the SEC clarifying the shareholding percentages and differences and indeed they are the people that are supposed to look at it.