Jim Ovia, Ebenezer Onyeagwu invest N285.52m in Zenith Bank to save falling investment in firm


The chairman of Zenith Bank, Jim Ovia, and the lender’s Group Managing Director, Ebenezer Onyeagwu, have tightened their grip on the firm with new investment worth a total of N285,528,478.

According to Ripples Nigeria analysis, their investment in the firm comes amid -3.57% slump in Zenith Bank’s year-to-date share value, reflecting a reversed movement in shareholders investment, as the capital market’s confidence around the lender stay low – considering its -2.21% decline between January 2021 to Monday, May 9, 2022.

With investors not being bullish about Zenith Bank, amid blurry growth prospects, the investment from Ovia and Onyeagwu could be seen as the management’s effort trying to convert pessimistic investors and save the firm’s shares.

Ovia, who owns the largest individual and institutional stakes in Zenith Bank, acquired one million shares on Tuesday, May 9, through his investment company, Quantum Zenity Securities & Investment Limited.

The shares acquired are worth N24.35 million. He previously held 1.52 billion indirect shares both in 2021, as well as 2020, through five companies, which includes Quantum Zenith.

The godfather of Nigerian banking industry, as he’s quietly known, also holds 3.54 billion direct shares. This brings his total investment in Zenith Bank to N122.7 billion, when his total stake is pegged with the lender’s closing stock price of N24.25kobo per share.

On Onyeagwu’s part, he has been increasing his investment in Zenith Bank since the end of 2020, Ripples Nigeria gathered from analysis of his capital market activities, with the most recent being a 11.07 million shares purchased also on Monday.

He paid N274.45 million for the acquired shares, to increase his 65.06 million direct shares, which he held as of December 2021. Note that in 2020, Onyeagwu’s total direct shareholdings was 46.5 million – The GMD’s investment in Zenith Bank is now worth about N1.8 billion.

Also, aside from Ovia and Onyeagwu, another executive director, Ahmed Shuaib, also partook in the buying spree on Monday, purchasing two million shares to top up his direct investment.

Shuaib is one of the top ten largest stakeholder in Zenith Bank, and held 14.07 million direct shares as of December 2021, before his recent purchase in the financial institution.

He has also been increasing his shareholdings since the end of 2020, when Shuaib held 9.57 million shares. The director now holds shares worth about N389.69 million in Zenith Bank.




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