Bloomberg reported yesterday that First Bank Plc, Nigeria’s largest lender by market value, resurrected plans that were initiated in 2005 to merge with Togo-based Ecobank Transnational Inc. in a bid to form one of the largest lenders in Africa, along with London-based Barclays Plc, Standard Chartered Plc and South Africa’s Standard Bank Group Ltd., Africa’s largest bank by assets.

Shares in First Bank rose 0.40 naira, up 2.6%, to 15.45 naira, while Ecobank shares were unchanged at 9.25 naira on the Nigerian market.  Ecobank also sells shares on the Ghanaian stock exchange in Accra and the bourse of Ivory Coast in Abidjan.