Jim Ovia’s Zenith Bank Stake Drops $5.7 Million in Four Days

Jim Ovia, Nigeria’s richest banker and a leading role in the country’s financial services industry, has seen the market value of his Zenith Bank holdings fall even more. This decline is the result of the bank’s share price falling steadily on the Nigerian Exchange (NGX).

Ovia’s holding in Zenith Bank has dropped by N8.62 billion ($5.69 million) in the last four days, as investors have pulled back on Lagos-based Zenith. This comes after a decline of N18.46 billion ($13.3 million) between April 25 and May 2, when his holding decreased from N184.62 billion to N166.11 billion.

Zenith Bank, a leading commercial bank licensed by the Central Bank of Nigeria, is not only a major provider of financial services in Nigeria and Anglophone West Africa, but it is also Nigeria’s most profitable bank. It is also one of the largest publicly traded financial services companies on the NGX.

The bank recently announced a nearly 300 percent increase in earnings, to N258.34 billion ($188.83 million) from N66.01 billion. Despite the impressive results, Zenith Bank’s shares fell 4.9 percent in the last four days, from N34.70 ($0.023) on May 13 to N33 ($0.022), bringing its market capitalization below N675 billion. This drop has affected shareholders, notably Ovia.

Jim Ovia, a driving factor behind Nigeria’s banking sector’s evolution and digital transformation, established Zenith Bank in 1990. He remains Nigeria’s richest banker, owning 16.2 percent of the financial services firm, or 5,072,104,311 shares.

The recent dip in Zenith Bank’s share price has reduced the market value of Ovia’s investment by N8.62 billion ($5.69 million), down from N176 billion ($116.19 million) on May 13 to N167.38 billion ($110.50 million) as of this writing.

Despite the financial slump, Ovia remains Nigeria’s richest banker, demonstrating his long-term success as a major economic leader in the country.

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