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Onyeali-Ikpe @ Fidelity: Cautious Optimism In 1st Qtr

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Fidelity Bank Tier-1

Assessments of the stewardship of the first female managing director of Fidelity Bank Plc, Mrs. Nneka Onyeali-Ikpe have been laced with cautious optimism following a 15% slip in the bank’s shares in her first quarter in office.

In the first three months of Mrs. Onyeali-Ikpe’s stewardship, Fidelity Bank shares slipped 15% closing at N2.40 at the end of March, down from N2.70 when she took office as Managing Director at the beginning of January.

The fall in Fidelity Bank stock, however, shadowed the fall in the All Nigeria Share Index which fell from 41,147 to 39,045, a slip of 5%.

Market watchers were, however, optimistic of her potentials with one capital market player telling  GreenWhiteGreen GWG that the slip in market share was not shocking and not seriously against market trend. One market watcher also said that the slip was not reflective of her competence or her capacity.

“Yes, there is a cultural issue that tends to project men ahead of women in the analysis of competence, so the slip in share price may not be an issue, at least for now.

Noting the tenure of her predecessor, Nnamdi Okonkwo, he added:
“We know that Nnamdi did well and believe that in time to come that she too will do well.

“Don’t forget that it (Fidelity Bank) is an institution and there is a support mechanism to support any MD that comes onboard and I believe that in the time to come that she will do well as she has been well prepared for it,” the senior capital market player told  GreenWhiteGreen GWG.

GreenWhiteGreen[E1]  GWG reports that the performance of the bank’s share in the first quarter of Mr. Okonkwo’s tenure between January 2014 and March 2014 was also in the same trend with the stock slipping 22% from N2.70 to 2.20 on the last day of trading in March 2014.

At the same time the ANSI slipped 7% showing a bearish market sentiment as with Mrs. Onyeali-Ikpe’s first three months.

Eyes would be on Mrs. Onyeali-Ikpe steering Fidelity Bank through its next phase of growth during which its stakeholders expect her to take the bank from its present Tier 2 status to the compete with the Tier 1 banks otherwise known as the FUGAZ banks comprising First Bank, UBA, Guaranty, Access and Zenith Banks.

 The markets believe that she has her job cut for her having been a key figure in the transformation of the bank and served as executive director, Lagos and Southwest during Okonkwo’s years.

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