Nigerias UBA bank in talks with Dangote Cement for pan-African alliance.

By bne IntelliNews April 24, 2012
United Bank for Africa (UBA), Nigerias third biggest bank, is in talks with Nigerian billionaire Aliko Dangote, for a strategic partnership to provide banking services to his Dangote Cement group in 13 countries, Vanguard reported. UBA is present in all of the 14 countries in which Dangote is building cement plants, except for South Africa and that would help to standardise services, according to UBA CEO Phillips Oduoza. Services would include payment collection and short-term financing of cement distributors working with Dangote. UBA aims to grow its loan book across the continent by 15% to NGN 100bn (EUR 482.8mn) by the end of this year, Oduoza said. Foreign markets make up 18% of UBA's portfolio, and the aim is to grow that to 25% in the next few years, he added. UBA offers universal banking services to more than 7 million customers across 750 branches in 19 African countries and a presence in New York, London and Paris. UBA posted a loss of NGN 10.5bn in 2011 mainly due to write-offs of bad debts incurred during a banking crisis in 2008/09. After clearing its balance sheet, the bank reported a pre-tax profit of NGN 16.1bn for the first quarter of 2012. Dangote Cement, which is Nigeria biggest listed company, has three plants in the country and 70% market share. Dangote has recently said he intends to free-float a 20% stake in Dangote Cement on the London Stock Exchange next year to fund its rapid expansion. Founded as a small trading firm in 1977, Dangote Cement is now valued at over USD 15bn.

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