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FirstRand receives license to build merchant banking business in Nigeria

South Africa based financial company FirstRand (FSR) has received merchant banking license from Nigerian central bank, which will enable it to expand its footprint and build merchant banking business in the country.

The license was granted after the bank meet minimum capital requirement of NGN15bn ($95.2m) and other conditions, as reported by Bloomberg.

RMB chief executive officer Alan Pullinger was quoted by the news agency as saying that the permission will leverage FirstRand’s unit, Rand Merchant Bank "to more rapidly build out its franchise, provide products and services to the corporate and institutional client segments."

The company is likely to start new operations early next year.

Following the debt crisis of 2009, the banking regulatory body had introduced modified licensing rules to avoid the reoccurrence of such financial crisis.

As per the improved banking regulations, a bank can either obtain a license to trade as a holding company operating local and international units or as national, regional or specialized banks.