Deals and acquisitions were major catalysts for the rally in Nigerian Bank stocks in 2021 as only four major banks, FBN Holdings, Ecobank, Union and Access Bank made money for stock market investors in 2021, according to MoneyCentral’s analysis.
The gains were led by the rally in FBN Holdings stock which surged by 59.4 percent in 2021, largely as a result of the stock accumulation by billionaire Michael Otedola, which drove up the share price.
Ecobank shares rose by 45 percent for second place, while Union Bank which was acquired by Titan Trust Bank rallied by 10.28 percent and Access Bank was up 10.06 percent.
The worst performing bank stocks in 2021 were Sterling Bank which returned -25.98 percent for investors, Guaranty Trust Holding company -19.6 percent, Stanbic IBTC Holdings -18.27 percent, Unity Bank -15.6 percent and FCMB Group -10.21 percent.
Unity Bank is currently at a negative equity position and requires substantial capital injection to meet up with regulatory requirements.
Analysts believe Nigerian Banks will struggle to rally in 2022 as tighter regulatory pressures, increased competition from Fintechs and lower Net Interest margins put a squeeze on profitability.