Nigerian banking tycoon Jim Ovia, who is one of the country’s richest businessmen, has recorded a N6.85 billion ($14.87 million) boost in his net worth since the beginning of the year, as the market value of his stake in Zenith Bank surged by 5.6 percent in the past 54 days.
With a market capitalization of N796 billion ($1.73 billion), Zenith Bank is Nigeria’s most profitable bank and the largest listed financial services group on the Nigerian Exchange. It is also the seventh most valuable company on the local bourse.
Ovia, who founded the tier-one bank in 1990 and has played a pivotal role in both the evolution and digital transformation of the Nigerian banking industry, owns a sizable 16.2-percent stake in the leading financial services group, or 5,072,104,311 ordinary shares.
Zenith Bank’s share price has increased by more than five percent since the start of the year, from N24 ($0.052) on Jan. 1 to N25.35 ($0.055) on Feb. 23, resulting in gains totaling millions of dollars for shareholders in the group, including Ovia, who owns a significant stake in the bank.
The increase in Zenith Bank’s share price is a direct result of income-seeking investors actively purchasing shares in the leading financial services group as they await the release of the 2022 financial statements and the projected 2023 dividend payout.
As a result of the recent surge in the bank’s share price, Ovia has seen the market value of his stake in Zenith Bank increase by N6.85-billion ($14.87 million), from N121.73 billion ($264.38 million) at the start of the year to N128.57 billion ($279.25 million) at the time of drafting this report.
The $14.87-million increase in the market value of his stake solidifies his position as one of the country’s richest businessmen.