NEF looking to purchase Mercantile Bank

According to Philisiwe Mthethwa (pictured), CEO of the National Empowerment Fund (NEF), the entity is contemplating an offer of R12.2 billion for Mercantile Bank, which recently announced it would be selling its South African bank.

The basis for buying the bank, Mthethwa said, is that Mercantile has existing infrastructure, IT and systems, a banking licence, an existing brand and existing assets. The possibility also exists to turn it into a completely black-owned bank. The source of funding for the acquisition would come from the Public Investment Corporation (PIC), the NEF and a black public participation initial public offering (IPO), the CEO said.

Mercantile Bank is being sold by Caixa Geral de Depósitos, its parent company in Portugal.