Ecobank says to hold board meeting on Tuesday

LOME, March 7 Fri Mar 7, 2014 7:23am EST

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LOME, March 7 (Reuters) - Pan-African lender Ecobank will hold a board meeting on Tuesday in the Cameroonian capital Yaounde two weeks after an injunction blocked a similar meeting that would have discussed the position of chief executive Thierry Tanoh.

Ecobank is one of the largest financial institutions in sub-Saharan Africa with a presence in 35 African countries. Senior executives are divided over the leadership of Tanoh, an Ivorian former vice-president of the World Bank's International Finance Corporation (IFC).

The bank instituted governance reforms on Monday at a shareholder meeting at its headquarters in the Togolese capital Lome that followed its own reform process and criticism of bank governance by Nigeria's securities regulator.

Ecobank group head of communications Mwambu Wanendeya confirmed the meeting would take place on Tuesday. It was not bank practise to disclose advance details of a board agenda, he said.

Ecobank's 12-member board was to have met on Feb. 25 in Lome but a court injunction prevented that meeting from taking place.

In the wake of the aborted meeting, the bank's biggest shareholder, Public Investment Corporation (PIC) of South Africa, denounced Tanoh's leadership in a letter and said his contract must be terminated immediately.

"The Board was to discuss extensively the position of the GCEO," said the March 1 PIC letter, referring to Group Chief Executive Officer Tanoh.

The meeting would also have discussed the status of former director of finance Laurence do Rego, whom Nigeria's Securities and Exchange Commission said must be reinstated, said PIC chief investment officer Daniel Matjila, who signed the letter and has a seat on Ecobank's board.

A senior source close to the bank said those issues would be on the table again at Tuesday's meeting in Yaounde. (Editing by Daniel Flynn, editing by David Evans)

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