June 16, 2015 / 10:35 PM / 3 years ago

Ivory Coast's NSIA Banque-CI plans IPO before year's end

ABIDJAN, June 16 (Reuters) - Ivory Coast bank NSIA Banque-CI is planning an initial public offering on West Africa’s regional BRVM bourse before the end of this year, the president of its parent company said on Tuesday.

The bank, formerly BIAO-CI, is part of the NSIA financial group, which owns another bank in Guinea and is a leading insurance provider in 12 countries across West and Central Africa.

“By the end of the year, the bank will be listed on the bourse in order to allow us to raise more capital to finance our development,” Jean Kacou Diagou, president of parent company NSIA Group, told a news conference in AAbidjan.

Diagou gave no further details of the plan. Ivorian law requires companies to offer a minimum of 10 percent of shares in order to be listed.

NSIA Group owns an 80 percent stake in NSIA Banque-CI via its holding company NSIA Participations, according to the bank’s website. The remaining 20 percent is held by the Ivorian state.

As part of a plan to liquidate stakes in 15 companies, the Ivorian government announced in 2013 that it planned to sell off half its shares in NSIA Banque-CI.

National Bank of Canada and France’s Amethis Finance earlier this year agreed to acquire stakes of 20.9 percent and 5.4 percent, respectively, in NSIA Group from Africa-focused private equity fund Emerging Capital Partners.

Diagou, whose family controls 61 percent of the group, said the deal was worth 100 billion CFA francs ($171.53 million). The remaining stakes are controlled by private Ivorian investors.

“For us, the challenge is to look for growth, profits and revenue. Africa is a growth zone,” said National Bank of Canada’s president and chief executive, Louis Vachon, who was also present at the news conference.

“We want to invest in Africa, but we needed a reliable partner,” he said.

NSIA Group recorded turnover of 200 billion CFA francs in 2014, a figure that is expected to rise by about 10 percent this year, Diagou said.

$1 = 583.0000 CFA francs Reporting by Loucoumane Coulibaly; Additional reporting and writing by Joe Bavier; Editing by Leslie Adler

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