Diamond Bank to conclude sale of UK subsidiary

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Diamond Bank Plc has revealed plans to conclude the sale of its British unit this year.

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The Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Diamond Bank, Uzoma Dozie, who revealed this on Tuesday, was quoted by Reuters as saying that the bank was also going through a change of ownership.

The lender struck a deal with British industrialist, Sanjeev Gupta, earlier this year, after selling its West African subsidiaries last year.

In May, Diamond Bank posted a 2017 loss, its first time in the red in six years after selling assets to conserve capital and to focus on its home market.

Its half-year 2018 pre-tax profit declined by 69 per cent to N2.92bn, hurting its shares, which further fell by 1.60 per cent on Tuesday.

The bank said it expected loan growth to return; growing five per cent this year after credit declined in the first half by 3.6 per cent.

Weak economic growth hurt loan growth in Nigeria last year. However, as the economy improves, the bank expects loans to grow, especially as the Central Bank of Nigeria would be introducing liquidity to the banking sector, targeting credit to manufacturers.

“The loan growth would come from corporate banking. With the turnaround in Gross Domestic Product, we would begin to see opportunities in fast-moving consumers good, manufacturing,” the bank said on a call with analysts.

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