Home Columnist Nigerian Banker Jim Ovia Gains $84 Million In One Year As Zenith...

Nigerian Banker Jim Ovia Gains $84 Million In One Year As Zenith Bank Shares Soar

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Nigerian banker Jim Ovia has made at least $84.5 million in paper gains over the last one year as shares of Zenith Bank, a Nigerian-Stock Exchange-listed commercial bank in which he holds a minority stake, surged 59.32%.

Jim Ovia is the founder of Zenith Bank, one of the largest commercial banks in Nigeria. He is the chairman and largest individual shareholder owning slightly more than 9% of the company.

This time last year, Zenith Bank’s stock was trading at around N13.1 ($0.04) per share, but at the close of trading on Wednesday the stock was trading at N23.5 ($0.06).

Ovia currently owns 2,946,199,395 shares in Zenith Bank. His stake is currently valued at N69.2 billion ($189 million), compared to N38.5 billion ($105 million) last year.

Ovia, 63, founded Zenith Bank in May 1990 and grew it into one of the largest commercial banks in Africa with a market capitalization of more than $4.2 billion. He served as CEO of the bank from its inception till 2010 when he stepped down to comply with a Central Bank directive limiting the tenure of bank chiefs to a maximum of 10 years.

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