Awards for Excellence 2009: Nigeria
Best Bank: Guaranty Trust Bank
Nigerian banks increased their capital bases by $11 billion in 2007. Unfortunately, much of this seems to have gone directly or indirectly into the stock market, and after the Nigerian exchange crash last year, there has been a big sell-off of bank stock. Much of the international money in the exchange would perhaps have left anyway: when people invest in sub-Saharan Africa outside South Africa they often end up putting their money in Nigerian banks. But investors complained that a lack of transparency made it difficult to judge how badly individual banks were affected, and this exacerbated the sell-off.
Guaranty Trust Bank has been the object of relatively small amounts of criticism, perhaps partly because it is the only Nigerian bank to be listed in London. The bank was also one of the first in Nigeria to institute International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) even if others have since also started to do so.