Nigeria's Access Bank buys $60 million stake in South Africa's Grobank

An Access bank signage is displayed on the roof of the bank's building along Herbert Macualay way in Abuja, Nigeria, August 30, 2017. REUTERS/Afolabi Sotunde

ABUJA (Reuters) - Nigeria’s biggest lender Access Bank has invested around $60 million to acquire a stake in South Africa’s Grobank, its chief executive said on Tuesday, to become the first Nigerian lender to venture into South Africa.

Access invested both equity and debt in the South African bank, part of a regional expansion to tap into correspondent and trade banking deals on the continent, Herbert Wigwe told CNBC Africa Television.

Wigwe said Access will expand trade finance capability within Grobank which is currently focusing on the agricultural sector in South Africa.

The bank on Friday said it had received regulatory approvals for the acquisition which is expected to close in the second quarter of 2021.

In August, Access Bank agreed to buy loss-making Cavmont Bank from the Zambian arm of Namibian financial services group Capricorn, for a nominal fee of 1 kwacha ($0.0014).

Access is restructuring itself into a holding company and has received approval from Nigeria’s central bank.

Reporting by Chijioke Ohuocha; Editing by Kirsten Donovan and Louise Heavens