|Muhammed Jah, CEO, QuantumNet|
We made a verge reference, in today's blog, to the impending sale of the Arab Gambian Islamic Bank (AGIB) to a Gambian businessman because we couldn't confirm at the time the salient features of the deal.
We can now confirm that negotiations were concluded last week and the Board of Directors of the AGIB has approved the sale of the Nigerian-owned bank to Muhammed Jah, a prominent Gambian businessman and owner and CEO of QuantumNet, an IT company.
Details of the deal are not known, but the Central Bank which must give its approve for the deal to be consummated. Approval of the sale is expected within the next few days.
When we asked about AGIB's balance sheet, our source indicated that it is not as strong as it could be, given the overall state of the economy and the keen competition in the banking sector as a result of the numerous banks in a very small market, leaving them with small margins. Of course, AGIB has a niche market with a growth potential, as the only bank that provides Islamic banking to a large Muslim population.
Our source who has a wide and authoritative knowledge of Gambia's banking/financial sector said, in response to our question about AGIB's strategy to survive a very strong competition, "AGIB has the potential to grow to be the third largest bank if he, (Muhammed Jah), knows what he is doing." One of the things he must do, according to the same source is to bring in competent staff. In short, bankers must be allowed to run the bank if AGIB is to survive the competition.