* Ecobank expects Nedbank to convert debt to shares
* Aims for 15 percent loan growth in 2014
* Secures banking licence in Angola
(Adds comments, further details)
LAGOS, Aug 18 Pan-African lender Ecobank
expects South Africa's Nedbank to
convert a $285 million loan to shares in Ecobank before the end
of the year, Ecobank's chief executive said on Monday.
Albert Essien said he was confident Nedbank would exercise
the conversion option and also top up the conversion amount with
$206 million to give it a 20 percent stake in Ecobank.
After the Nedbank deal Ecobank expects its capital adequacy
ratio to hit 18.7 percent of assets by year-end, up from 17.5
percent in the first six months of the year, Essien said.
"The Nedbank stake is capped at 20 percent. If they do
convert ... I think that will strengthen the business
relationship that we have (had) since 2008," Essien told an
analysts conference call on its half-year results.
"The conversion will trigger reciprocal board seats. We see
it as very positive and we expect that it will happen."
Nedbank's chief executive, Mike Brown, told Reuters two
weeks ago that its had until November to decide if it will take
the 20 percent stake in the Togo-based bank, under a strategic
alliance it has with Ecobank.
Shares in Lagos-listed Ecobank, which is up 6.3 percent this
year, rose 2.79 percent on Monday to 17.20 naira each.
Essien also said he expected another institution EIB to
convert about $58 million of debt into shares.
Last month Ecobank, which has a presence in 36 African
countries, reported 27 precent rise in its first-half pre-tax
profit to 41.67 billion naira.
Chief Financial Officer Laurence do Rego said on the
conference call that the lender was aiming for a 15 percent
growth in lending in 2014, after it achieved 8 percent in the
first half, of which Nigeria accounted for 40 percent of total
Essien said Ecobank had recently set up operations in
Mozambique and secured a banking licence in Angola.
(Reporting by Chijioke Ohuocha; Editing by Tim Cocks and Greg