Jim Ovia Earns $24.7 Million fFrom Zenith Bank Shares

Jim Ovia, the founder of Zenith Bank Plc and Nigeria’s richest banker, has seen the market value of his stake in the country’s largest lender increase dramatically. This spike demonstrates growing investor confidence in Zenith Bank’s strategic direction within the Nigerian financial services industry.

Ovia’s shareholding has increased by N38.04 billion ($24.67 million) in the last 46 days, boosted by a recent increase in Zenith Bank’s share price on the Nigerian Exchange (NGX). Between April 25 and May 2, his investment decreased by $13.3 million, from N184.62 billion ($132.30 million) to N166.11 billion ($119.03 million).

Zenith Bank, regulated as a commercial bank by the Central Bank of Nigeria, is a significant provider of financial services in Nigeria and Anglophone West Africa. The bank is Nigeria’s most profitable and one of the major publicly traded financial services organizations on the Nigerian Exchange (NGX).

Zenith Bank’s NGX share price has recently returned by 25%, rising from N30 ($0.019) on May 24 to N37.5 ($0.024) on July 10, 2024. This spike has increased its market value beyond $750 million.

The good outcome comes after strong financial results in Q1 2024. Zenith Bank’s profit increased 202.3 percent to N676.91 billion ($522.03 million), driven by strong growth in gross earnings.

Jim Ovia, the founder of Zenith Bank, remains Nigeria’s wealthiest banker, with a 16.2 percent ownership (5,072,104,311 shares).

The market value of Ovia’s holding has increased by N38.04 billion ($24.67 million) in the last 46 days, from N152.16 billion ($98.70 million) on May 24 to N190.20 billion ($123.37 million) as of July 10, 2024.

Zenith Bank’s share price has increased by 2.98 percent in local currency year-to-date (YTD). However, the current naira devaluation presents a considerable problem for dollar-denominated investors.

Accounting for currency depreciation, Zenith Bank shares have fallen 44.51 percent year to date. This results in a tangible loss for foreign investors. For example, a $100,000 investment at the start of the year is now worth $55,490, resulting in a $44,510 loss.

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