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FBN Capital: ambition tempered by caution

Nigerian investment bank FBN Capital has high ambitions for international as well as domestic expansion.

First Bank of Nigeria is the largest and, as the name suggests, oldest bank in Nigeria. As the leading institution in perhaps the most promising market in Africa, FBN certainly seems to have the potential to be an important emerging market player.

FBN Capital, like the rest of the First Bank of Nigeria group, has undergone substantial reorganization over the past few years. The group has been re-evaluating its strategy for the past two-and-a-half years, and was joined by new chief executive Osaze Osifo in June 2010. "I joined with the view of turning the business into an investment bank of international standard," he says. "I’m determined to build the best investment bank in sub-Saharan Africa."

Compliance and risk management has been something of an issue in the past for FBN as a group, but hopes seem to be high. "We’re expecting FBN to exhibit stronger credit risk management and to lower costs of risk, which have been comparatively high in the past," says Samira Mensah, associate director for financial institutions rating services at Standard & Poor’s.

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