In what financial analysts posit as an impressive leap within a slow moving economic environment, Unity Bank Plc recorded 24 per cent increase in its 2013 half-year pre-tax profit.
This is coming close on the heels of the departure of Alhaji Ado Yakubu Wanka, the managing director of the bank.
His voluntary retirement was disclosed to newsmen by the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) penultimate week. Wanka joined Unity Bank in 2008 as its Group Executive Director, Risk Management and Controls but began his banking career in 1988 with the then Nigerian International Bank (Citibank Nigeria) as a Deputy Manager before moving to the then FSB International Bank Plc (1991-1997) where he rose to become an Executive Director.
There are strong indications that the bank's performance, despite increasing regulatory pressure and significant local and international economic slow-down, may have attracted the attention of foreign and domestic venture capitalists keen on investing in high potential financial service operations in Nigeria.
Investigations have revealed that top contenders include the Lagos-based Verod Capital Management, Development Partners International - based in the UK, and Bank of Africa, an intercontinental banking and investment conglomerate. Reports indicate that the investors are looking to partner with Unity Bank which is currently expanding its business reach and growing its market share in Nigeria's under-exploited, yet lucrative retail banking sector.
Checks suggest that Development Partners International (DPI), which was established in London in 2007, has indicated willingness to make a commitment of up to $200 million in Unity Bank plc, even as the investor currently manages a $400 million private investment fund and is in the process of raising a further $500 million in investment funds.