By Omoh Gabriel
Thirteen out of the twenty four banks operating in the country have been listed in the Global 1,000 bank ranking by the Banker magazine that does global ranking of banks in the last twenty years. The Banker, a subsidiary of the Financial Times of London released its 2009 ranking of banks globally on Friday. This implies that Nigerian banks are solid without any threat of systemic distress.
According to the list First Bank PLC is top on the Nigeria banking scene but fifth in the Africa continent and occupies the 215 position out of 1,000 banks in the global banking arena with a shareholders fund of $2.993 billion. Following closely is the leader of the first generation banks in the country, Zenith which is ranked second in the Nigeria banking industry, sixth in Africa and 218 in the global market place with a shareholders fund of $2.935 billion. Another new generation bank Oceanic International ranked third in the Nigeria banking space, 7th in Africa and 327 in the global player list and has a shareholders fund of $1.750 billion . Intercontinental Bank is fourth in the Nigeria banking map, 8th in the Africa banking hierarchy and 335th in the global player listing with a shareholders fund of $1.699 billion.
Another Nigeria Bank that made the Global 1000 list is United Bank for Africa which is listed as 5th in Nigeria, 9th in Africa and 356 in the world and has $1.541 billion as shareholders fund. Next on the list is Access Bank which is ranked 6th in Nigeria, 10th in Africa and 392 in the global banking place with a total of $1.431 billion shareholders fund. Guaranty Trust Bank made the list of global 1,000 banks and was listed as 11th in Africa and 402 in the banking world having a total shareholders fund of $1.382 billion.
According to the Banker magazine, Fidelity Bank occupies the 12th position among Africa banks and 450 position in global bank ranking with a total shareholders fund of $1.163 billion. In the same vein Union Bank is the fourteenth largest bank in Africa and the 556th in the global banking arena for its $826 million shareholders fund. Skye Bank was ranked 15th in Africa and 580th in the world having a shareholders fund of $776 million. Ecobank Transnational is 16th in Africa and 651 in the world with a shareholders fund of $620 million. Diamond Bank ranked 18th in Africa and 802 in the globe having $423 million as shareholders fund just as Afribank was ranked 19th and 895th position in the world with a shareholders fund of $321 million.
Commenting on the ranking of Africa banks in the global ranking of banks the Banker said ‚ÄúAfrican banks have so far been relatively insulated from the wider financial crisis, and results for calendar year 2008 reflect this. However, with plummeting commodities prices and a dearth of foreign external financing so far in 2009, next year’s results might look so rosy.
‚ÄúOf the top 21 sub-Saharan African banks that made it into The Banker’s Top 1,000 rankings, five were South African, 13 were Nigerian, two were Mauritian and one, EcoBank, was from Togo. Nigeria’s banks continued to amass Tier 1 capital in calendar year 2008, making them even stronger than last year, when compared with the traditionally dominant South African Banks. Whereas last year Nigeria’s banks made up 34 per cent of total Tier 1 capital from the sub-Saharan banks, this year they made up 43.4 per cent. South Africa’s share of total Tier 1 capital fell from 62 per cent in last year’s ranking to 52.8 per cent.
‚ÄúA tough year in global banking did not directly affect Africa’s bank profits for calendar year 2008. Total pre-tax profits for sub-Saharan Africa grew a healthy 8.9 per cent to $11.4 billion, moving up from $10.7 billion in calendar year 2007. The Nigerian banking sector as a whole boosted its total pre-tax profits substantially in calendar year 2008, from $1.9 billion in 2007 to $3.1 billion last year. ‚ÄúHowever, a dark cloud looms over the sector. The Nigerian banks have been hit hard in 2009 by the financial crisis as oil revenues plummet in the country and external finances dry up. A collapse in the Nigerian Stock Exchange in late 2008 which wiped 60 per cent of the value of stocks, left banks reeling and exposed many of them to staggering losses from their margin trading activities. Next year’s rankings will undoubtedly reveal a somewhat more sober set of results.
‚ÄúSouth African bank profits were slightly down on the year before. Total pre-tax profits from South African banks in the Top 1000 fell bey about 20 per cent in calendar year 2008 from about $8 billion in calendar year 2007 to just over $6 billion. In terms of regional rankings, South Africa’s banks remain static. In Nigeria, however, the picture is much more fluid. First Bank of Nigeria tops the Nigerian league for Tier 1 capital and is placed fifth in the regional total. Oceanic Bank has slipped from fifth in the sub-Saharan category to seventh. The seemingly unstoppable march of the Nigerian banks up the global rankings appears to have cooled somewhat. Whereas last year Nigerian banks dominated the highest movers category of the Top 1000, this year their performance has been solid rather than spectacular‚Äù the Banker said.
TOP 20: SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA ($M)
Regional ranking World ranking Bank Country Tier 1 capital
1 110 Standard Bank Group (Stanbank) South Africa 7275
2 128 First Rand Banking Group South Africa 6303
3 197 Nedbank South Africa 3594
4 205 Investec South Africa 3175
5 215 First Bank of Nigeria Nigeria 2993
6 218 Zenith Bank Nigeria 2935
7 327 Oceanic Bank Nigeria 1750
8 335 Intercontinental Bank Plc Nigeria 1699
9 356 United Bank for Africa Nigeria 1541
10 392 Access Bank Nigeria 1431
11 402 Guaranty Trust Bank Nigeria 1382
12 450 Fidelity Bank Nigeria 1163
13 523 African Bank South African 922
14 556 Union Bank of Nigeria Nigeria 826
15 580 Skye Bank Nigeria 776
16 651 Ecobank Transnational Togo 620
17 696 Mauritius Commercial Bank Mauritius 566
18 802 Diamond Bank Nigeria 423
19 895 Afribank Nigeria 321
20 935 State Bank of Mauritius Nigeria 295