Herbert Wigwe, Group MD, Access Bank

Nigeria’s biggest lender Access Bank Plc says it has invested around $60 million to acquire a stake in South Africa’s Grobank.

The bank’s chief executive officer, Herbert Wigwe who confirmed the development in an interview with CNBC Africa Television on Tuesday, it has become the first Nigerian lender to venture into South Africa.

The bank 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,

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