Nigerian billionaire banker Jim Ovia scores $43-million gain from Zenith Bank stake

In a bullish market for Nigerian banking shares, Jim Ovia, the esteemed multimillionaire banker and founder of Zenith Bank, has experienced a remarkable surge in the market value of his stake in the renowned financial institution.

Over the past 34 days, Ovia’s stake in Zenith Bank has seen a staggering rise in value of N19.78 billion ($42.93 million), propelling him further into the ranks of Nigeria’s richest businessmen.

Zenith Bank, licensed by the Central Bank of Nigeria as a commercial bank, stands out as a prominent financial services provider in Nigeria and anglophone West Africa.

Not only does it hold the title of Nigeria’s most profitable bank, but it also takes pride in being the largest listed financial services group on the Nigerian Exchange.

Ovia, who established Zenith Bank in 1990 and played a pivotal role in the evolution and digital transformation of Nigeria’s banking industry, owns an impressive 16.2-percent stake in the leading financial services group, amounting to 5,072,104,311 ordinary shares.

Since April 18, Zenith Bank shares have witnessed an impressive 17.9-percent surge, rising from N21.8 ($0.0473) to N25.7 ($0.0557) at the time of writing. The surge has propelled the group’s market capitalization beyond N800 billion ($1.7 billion).

The substantial increase in Zenith Bank’s share price has directly impacted Jim Ovia’s stake, with its market value growing by N19.78 billion ($42.93 million) in just 34 days. 

As of the report’s drafting, Ovia’s stake in the leading financial institution is valued at N130.33 billion ($282.9 million), a significant leap from N110.57 billion ($239.96 million) on April 18.

This remarkable surge in share price follows the group’s impressive financial performance in the first quarter of 2023.

Zenith Bank reported a notable 13.4-percent increase in profit, from N58.2 billion ($126.4 million) in Q1 2022 to N66.01 billion ($143.3 million) in Q1 2023.

The surge in its profit in the first quarter of 2023 can be attributed to a significant increase in net interest income, which rose from N100.54 billion ($218.3 million) to N120.79 billion ($262.3 million).

The growth was primarily driven by a substantial increase in loans and advances, rising from N3.55 trillion ($7.69 billion) to N4.03 trillion ($8.73 billion

Feyisayo Ajayi
Feyisayo Ajayi
Feyisayo Ajayi is a financial reporter for Billionaires.Africa. He covers topics ranging from company valuations to educational technology. Feyisayo holds a degree in geology from the acclaimed University of Ibadan.

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