Jim Ovia, renowned as Nigeria’s richest banker and a key figure in the country’s banking industry, has experienced a significant surge in the market value of his stake in Zenith Bank — this reflects growing confidence in the bank’s strategic moves in the global market.
Ovia, ranked among Africa’s richest individuals, has seen his stake in Zenith Bank soar by N10.42 billion ($13.26 million) over the past eight days — as investors react to the lender’s decision to expand its operations into France, signaling the bank’s commitment to diversification beyond the African continent.
Zenith Bank shares surge 6.14 percent, returning impressive gains to shareholders
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 also ranks as the largest listed financial services group on the Nigerian Exchange.
The recent surge in Zenith Bank’s shares on the Nigerian Exchange, rising from N33.15 ($0.042) on Nov. 20 to N35.20 ($0.045), marks a gain of over six percent, offering substantial returns to shareholders — this includes Ovia, who owns a significant stake in the Lagos-based lender.
Jim Ovia’s Zenith Bank stake surges, market value soars above $220 million
Ovia, a key figure in Nigeria’s banking industry’s evolution and digital transformation, 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 wealthiest banker in the country.
According to data tracked by Billionaires.Africa, the market value of Ovia’s stake has soared by N10.42 billion ($13.26 million) in the past eight days, from N168.44 billion ($214.47 million) on Nov. 20 to N178.86 billion ($227.73 million) at the time of writing.
This remarkable surge of $13.26 million cements Ovia’s position as Nigeria’s wealthiest banker and also reinforces his reputation as one of the nation’s most successful businessmen. Zenith Bank’s strategic decision to venture into the French market aligns it with other Nigerian financial giants actively pursuing expansion strategies beyond the African continent.