Home » Richest Nigerian banker Jim Ovia’s stake in Zenith Bank declines by $32 million

Richest Nigerian banker Jim Ovia’s stake in Zenith Bank declines by $32 million

by Omokolade Ajayi
Jim Ovia

After recording some impressive wealth gains earlier this year, Nigeria’s richest banker Jim Ovia has suffered a significant decline in his net worth due to the recent plunge in the shares of Zenith Bank, a leading banking group he founded more than three decades ago.

According to data retrieved from the Nigerian Exchange, Ovia, who ranks as one of Africa’s richest individuals, has seen the market value of his stake in Zenith Bank decline by N24.4 billion ($32 million) in the past 32 days.

Zenith Bank, licensed as a commercial bank by the Central Bank of Nigeria, not only stands out as a leading financial services provider in Nigeria and anglophone West Africa but also holds the title of Nigeria’s most profitable bank. It ranks as the largest listed financial services group on the Nigerian Exchange.

Ovia, a key figure in the evolution and digital transformation of Nigeria’s banking industry, founded Zenith Bank in 1990. His 16.2-percent stake in the financial services group, comprising 5,072,104,311 ordinary shares, makes him the richest banker in the country.

In recent times, the decline in Zenith Bank’s shares, from N37.10 ($0.0487) on Sept. 4 to N32.30 ($0.0424), reflecting a 12.67 percent loss, has had a profound impact on shareholders, including Ovia, who owns a significant stake in the Lagos-based lender.

With the recent slump in Zenith Bank’s shares, the market value of Ovia’s stake has decreased by N24.4 billion ($32.01 million) in the past 32 days, declining the market value of his stake from N188.51 billion ($247.38 million) on Sept. 4 to N164.12 billion ($215.37million).

However, despite the recent decline in the market value of his stake, Ovia is poised to receive $3.2 million in interim dividends from his stake in the bank, underscoring his continued significance in the Nigerian financial landscape.

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