Nigeria is reckoned to be the world capital of oil theft, losing at least 400,000 barrels a day. It has maintained this title thanks to a network ... of criminals among local politicians and security officers who collude with crooked international oil traders and refineries.
Nonetheless, having had stints in Standard Chartered and Absa, much more ring-fenced brands, Awori will now be walking a tightrope in Ecobank, for five classical reasons.
1. ‘ETI is a thinly capitalized non-operating entity’
First, the Group’s holding (parent) company, Ecobank Transnational Incorporated (ETI), is a thinly capitalized non-operating entity that relies on medium term borrowings and dividend cheques from affiliates for capitalization.
The fragmentation of the group’s total capital of $2bn across the 34 operating affiliates doesn’t present a strong underwriting proposition. The task is either to build a new capital vehicle or establish strategic affiliate balance sheets that can easily be externalized.