The stake of Nigerian multimillionaire banker Jim Ovia in the leading Nigerian lender Zenith Bank Plc has increased by $35.14 million (N14.46 billion) in 80 days on the Nigerian bourse, as investors anticipate impressive half-year financial results.
The leading tier-1 Nigerian bank, a top-500 bank globally, posted resilient financial results in Q1 2021 despite the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on its operating environment.
Zenith reported a five-percent increase in profits after tax from $122.80 million (N50.53 billion) in Q1 2020 to N53.06 billion ($128.94 million) in the corresponding quarter of 2021, despite a 5.7-percent decline in its gross earnings for the quarter.
A 45-percent fall in interest expenses, which saw its net interest income increase from N81.50 billion ($198.05 million) in 2020 to N83.17 billion ($202.12 million), boosted its earnings in Q1 2021.
Buying pressure on the Nigerian Stock Exchange in reaction to Zenith’s resilient financial performance in Q1 2021 has led shares in the bank to return double-digit gains to shareholders.
As of press time, 5:30 PM (UTC), July 23, shares in the bank were worth N24.85 ($0.0604), 20 basis points higher than its opening price of N24.80 ($0.0603) for the year.
The bank’s share price increased from N22.00 ($0.0534) on May 4 to N24.85 ($0.0604) on July 23. This translates to a gain of 13 percent for the shareholders in 80 days.
Ovia, who founded the leading financial services group in 1990, holds a substantial stake of 5,072,104,311 ordinary shares in the bank.
Research conducted by Billionaires.Africa revealed that the market value of his equity stake in the tier-1 lender has increased from N111.59 billion ($271.28 million) to N126.04 billion ($306.42 million) within the period under review.
This translates to a gain of N14.46 billion ($35.14 million) for the multimillionaire businessman in 80 days.
According to Forbes, Ovia had a net worth of $900 million in 2013, making him one of the 40 wealthiest men on the African continent. However, he dropped off the list of the wealthiest Africans in 2016 when his net worth fell below $500 million.
The multimillionaire businessman derives the majority of his wealth from his equity stake in Zenith Bank. He also owns prime real estate across Nigeria.