Archives July 2017

GTBank Celebrates 10th Anniversary of Listing on LSE

Guaranty Trust Bank Plc (GTBank) is celebrating the 10th anniversary of its listing on the London Stock Exchange (LSE) as the first Nigerian bank to be listed on the London bourse.

The bank is the first to dual list on an international exchange and the first Nigerian company to raise international capital using listed Global Depositary Receipts.

To mark the pioneering feat, the Managing Director/ Chief Executive Officer of GTBank, Mr. Segun Agbaje, led the market open ceremony at the LSE last Friday, accompanied by senior representatives of the bank and other institutional partners.

The LSE is a diversified international exchange that offers international business, and investors, unrivalled access to Europe’s capital markets.

A statement from the bank at the weekend explained that since its listing on the LSE, GTBank has embarked on a decade of unparalleled growth, leading the financial industry in profitability and products and service delivery.

Commenting on the anniversary, Agbaje, said: “To be listed on the London Stock Exchange, one of the most illustrious exchanges in the world, was a pioneering feat which remains fresh in our minds.

“We are deeply grateful to all our investors and partners for the integral role they played and their confidence in our ability to pull of that giant leap. Ten years on, we remain committed to maximising shareholders’ value and delivering superior and sustainable return, guided by our founding values of hard work, discipline and integrity.”

GTBank offers a wide range of financial services and products throughout Nigeria, with strong footprints in West and East Africa, as well as the United Kingdom.

GTBank had been recognised as the Best Bank in Nigeria by Euromoney (2016), the African Bank of the Year by the African Banker Magazine (2016) the Best Bank in Africa for Corporate Governance (2015) and the Most Innovative Bank in Africa by African Investor (2016).

Source:© Copyright Thisday Online

Union Bank Posts Slight Rise in Half-year Profit

Union Bank of Nigeria Plc reported a marginal increase in profit for the half year ended June 30, 2017.
According to the results, the financial institution ended the H1 with profit before tax of N9.5 billion, showing a minimal growth of seven per cent compared with N8.9 billion in 2016. Profit after tax also rose slightly by five per cent from N8.8 billion to N9.2 billion.
The results also showed that the bank recorded gross earnings of N73.7 billion, showing a growth of 23 per cent from N60 billion in the corresponding period of 2016. Interest income was boosted by naira devaluation-fueled foreign currency loan book to hit N58.3 billion, up from N44.3 billion.

Net interest income rose 19 per cent to N26.3 billion, from N22.2 billion, while non-interest revenue fell marginally by two per cent from N15.7 billion to N15.4 billion. Customer deposits rose 15 per cent due to growing confidence in the bank to hit N759 billion as at June 30, up from N658 billion as December 31, 2016. Impairment charge fell by 39 per cent from N8.8 billion to N5.4 billion.
In his comments on the results, Chief Executive Officer of Union Bank of Nigeria, Mr. Emeka Emuwa said: “As our centenary celebrations continue and with the launch of ourN50 billion rights issue in the second half of the year, 2017 will remain a very busy year for the bank. With our clear focus on enhancing the operational efficiency of the franchise, gross earnings grew by 23 per cent in the first half of the year to N73.7 billion, from N60.1 billion in H1 2016. In a challenged economy, the group delivered PBT of N9.5 billion, a six growth over the corresponding period in 2016.”
According to him, in the second half of the year, their focus will centre on the rights issue launch, adding “we will remain nimble to take advantage of emerging opportunities and while improving on service delivery to our customers.”

Also speaking on the results, Chief Financial Officer of the bank, Oyinkan Adewale, said: “Improved foreign exchange availability enabled us to bring our foreign currency loan book down to 44 per cent of total loans, from 50 per cent at the end of 2016. 18 per cent customer deposit growth in the Nigerian bank allowed us to bring Loans to Deposit Ratio down to 65 per cent from 82 per cent at the end of 2016. Sustaining low cost deposit generation momentum, we were able to improve our low-cost deposit base to 69per cent of total deposits, from 65 per cent at the end of 2016.”

Source:© Copyright Thisday Online

CBN to Sell Treasury Bills worth N229bn

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) will this week conduct its bi-weekly treasury bills auction with total offer of N229.1 billion to offset maturing bills of the same amount.
In addition, the central bank is expected to float open market operations (OMO) auctions to keep financial system liquidity tight.
Afrinvest West Africa Limited stated in a report at the weekend that despite repeated OMO auctions, money market rates eased last week against the backdrop of an OMO repayment and improved system liquidity. The CBN conducted OMO auctions on all trading sessions but for Monday.

Despite this, system liquidity during the week remained in the positive region save for Wednesday which had a negative balance of N53 billion. Money market rates – Open Buy Back (OBB) and overnight (OVN) – were at first elevated at the start of the week (relative to preceding Friday’s close of 14 per cent and 14.9 per cent respectively). But both rates closed at five per cent and 5.8 per cent respectively.
Despite the MPC’s decision to retain rates at current levels, performance of the secondary treasury bills market was bearish last week as average yield rose on four of five sessions.

On the other hand, foreign exchange rate at the official market remained pegged within a range of N305.70/$1 – N305.75/$1 during the week, closing at N305.70/$1.
At the parallel market, rate appreciated from last week’s close of N366.00/$1 to touch a 2017 high of N364/$1 on Wednesday before closing the week at N365/$1.
Meanwhile, at the NAFEX segment, a total of $983 million traded during the week with market rate appreciating slightly from N366.45/$1 at the start of the week to close at N366.08/$1 on Friday.
“In the week ahead, we expect the central bank to continue its current administration of the forex market by way of weekly SMIS sales and operation of multiple FX windows. Hence, we expect rates to hover around current levels,” the report added.

Activities in the domestic bonds market remained soft as the market recorded a bearish performance last week with average yield across benchmark bonds rising on four of five trading days.

Source:© Copyright Thisday Online

Stakeholders Back Demutualisation of Nigerian Stock Exchange

Stakeholders have expressed support for the proposed demutualisation of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), describing it as a crucial step towards boosting liquidity and growth of the economy.

The National Assembly is currently promoting a bill to demutualise the NSE from a company limited by guarantee to a company limited by shares.

Demutualisation refers to the transition from a mutual association of exchange members to a limited liability company which is accountable to shareholders.

The concept typically separates ownership and voting rights from the right of access to trading on an exchange.

At a joint public hearing organised by the Senate and House of Representatives Committees on the Capital Market on a bill for an Act to facilitate the development of Nigeria’s capital market by enabling the conversion and re-registration of the NSE from a company limited by guarantee to a public company limited by shares and for related matters, 2017, stakeholders agreed that the move was long overdue in order to stimulate liquidity in the system among other things.

Leading deliberations on the legislation, the sponsor, Senator Foster Ogola, who is the acting Chairman, Senate Committee on Capital Market, said the NSE plays a critical role in the country’s financial market, arguing that the conversion and re-registration into a public company limited by shares is essential to developing and strengthening the market as well as enhancing the formation of capital for the expansion of the economy.

He said: “It is anticipated that the demutualisation of the NSE will reinforce the continuous growth and development of a dynamic, fair, transparent and efficient capital market and thus significantly contribute to Nigeria’s economic development.”

He said the planned demutualisation was in line with the 2015-2025 Capital Market Master Plan taunted to promote efficiency in the creation and harnessing of capital, as well as creating liquidity in the market, adopting and strengthening corporate governance best practices.

The Chief Executive Officer of NSE, Mr. Oscar Onyema, said the board had voted in favour of the demutualisation agenda during its extraordinary general meeting on March 30, 2017.

He said: “It is of particular importance to the Nigerian capital markets and the wider economy that the exchange be aided to successfully demutualise, as it enables the exchange to serve the capital markets ecosystem and economy more effectively than it has done in the past.”

According to him, the exercise will facilitate the development of the capital market, improve corporate governance and availability of resources from capital investments among other benefits.

Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, represented by Senate Deputy Chief Whip, Senator Francis Alimikhena commended the exchange for its positive contributions to the growth of the economy, adding that it would open more opportunities for the economy.

House Speaker, Hon. Yakubu Dogara, represented by House Minority Leader, Hon. Leo Ogor, said the House was working on retooling the economy and would accept any initiative and ideas that would deepen the economy and create opportunities for growth.

However, Chairman, House Committee on Capital Markets and Institutions, Hon. Yusuf Tajudeen said the hearing was a “further demonstration of the commitment of the National Assembly through the Committees on Capital Market to re-position the NSE towards achieving its role not only as a critical institution but a major contributor to the economic development of Nigeria.”

Source:© Copyright Thisday Online

FBN Holdings Profit Declines to N29.5bn, Assets Hit N4.7trn

FBN Holdings Plc yesterday reported its unaudited results for the half year ended June 30, 2017, showing a profit after tax of N29.5 billion, a decline of 17.8 per cent posted in the corresponding period of 2016.

The financial conglomerate posted gross earnings of N288.8 billion, up 7.8 per cent from N267 billion in 2016. Net interest income rose by 30.2 per cent from N126 billion to N164 billion, while impairment charges fell by 2.6 per cent from N69.9 billion to N62.4 billion.

However, profit before tax fell by 22.4 per cent to N45.9 billion from N35.6 billion, while PAT stood at N29.5 billion, as against N35.9billon in 2016.
A further analysis of the results showed that total assets of N4.9 trillion, grew by 3.0 per cent to hit N4.9 trillion, from N4.7 trillion as at December 31, 2016.

Customer deposits was N3.0 trillion, down 3.5 per cent as against N3.1 trillion in December 31, 2016, just as customer loans and advances ended at N2.0 trillion, down 4.1 per cent from N2.1 trillion as at December.

In terms key ratios, net-interest margin improved to 8.5 per cent in 2017, from 7.2 per cent in 2016. Non-performing ration stood at 22 per cent, an improvement on the 22.8 per cent in June 2016 and 24.4 per cent in December 2016.

Commenting on the results, the Group Managing Director, FBN Holdings, Mr. Urum Kalu said: “FBN Holdings has again demonstrated its strong revenue generating capacity in the current economic environment reporting gross earnings of N288.8 billion – up 7.8 per cent.

In line with our strategic focus on improving asset quality; cost optimisation; and, enhancing revenue generation, we are beginning to see improvement across a number of metrics associated with these initiatives.”

He added: “Our focus on enhancing the quality of our loan book is reflected in a decline in non-performing loans, a reduction in our impairment charge following improvement in the asset quality outlook, and we will continue to prioritise this area through the rest of this year. Similarly, consistent improvement in the efficiency ratio is testament to the efficacy of our cost optimisation initiatives, though these results have been partly offset by the currency devaluation and high inflationary environment.

Overall, we have seen strong growth trajectory in our Merchant Banking & Asset Management and the Insurance Group. These businesses complement our Commercial Banking franchise and represent new frontiers for our Group, firmly supporting our aspiration of becoming a leading financial services institution in Middle Africa. We remain committed to maximising returns to our shareholders as well as creating sustainable value.”

Source:© Copyright Thisday Online

Equities Market Gains N810bn to Hit N11.945tn on 13-day Rally

The Nigerian equities gained N810 billion in capitalisation following a bull run for 13 trading days. The renewed demand for equities on the Nigerian bourse lifted the market capitalisation from N11.133trillion on July 5, to N11.945 trillion on Monday, July 24, 2017.

Although the return of more foreign portfolio investors due to the introduction of a new foreign exchange window by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in April had influenced the return of the bulls to the market, expectations that companies would release improved corporate results for the first half (H1) of the year helped to sustain the momentum.

The development made the market to appreciate for 13 consecutive trading days, leading to a gain of N810 billion or 7.3 per cent. The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) All-Share Index rose by same margin from 32,302.32 to close at 34,652.52. The market appreciated every trading day from July 6 to Monday, July 24.

Market analysts said investors have been taking position ahead of H1 corporate announcements. The results so far released showed improved performance compared to the previous year.
For instance, Unilever Nigeria posted a revenue of N45.105 billion in H1 of 2017, up 39 per cent from N32.278 billion in the corresponding period of 2016. Cost of sales was up at N32.197 billion in 2017. Sales and distribution expenses also went up from N1.502 billion to N1.942 billion in 2016.

However, marketing and administrative expenses reduced from N6.689 billion to N5.571 billion. Unilever ended the period with profit before tax (PBT) of N5.044 billion, compared with N1.487 billion in 2016, showing a growth of 239 per cent, while profit after tax (PAT) stood at N3.676 billion, up by 236 per cent from N1.093 billion in 2016.

Lafarge Africa posted N154.8 billion, indicating an increase of 44.2 per cent from N107.3 billion in 2016. Cost of sale grew by 19.7 per cent from N92.2 billion to N110 billion, while sales and marketing expenses followed same uptrend to hit N2.12 billion, from N1.98 billion. Administrative expenses rose from N10.23 billion to N16.3 billion.

Technical fees soared by 202 per cent from N1.584 billion in 2016 to N4.798 billion in 2017. But the company ended the H1 with PBT of N18.2 billion, compared a loss of N30.2 billion in 2016, while PAT stood at N19.7 billion.
Also, Transnational Corporation of Nigeria Plc, which released its results on Monday, recorded PAT of N4.164 billion recorded in H1 of 2017, compared with a loss of N12.191 billion posted in the corresponding period of 2016.

Specifically, Transcorp Plc recorded revenue of N32.174 billion in 2017, up from N24.779 billion in 2016. Cost of sale stood at N19.3 billion, as against N13.3 billion in 2016, while administrative expenses rose to N5.663 billion, compared with N5.265 billion in 2016. Net finance cost fell from N17.268 billion in 2016 to N4.988 billion in 2017. Consequently, Transcorp ended H1 2017 with PAT of N4.164 billion, a recovery from a loss of N12.191 billion in 2016.

Source:© Copyright Thisday Online

Trustfund Adopts Cost Reduction Strategy, Declares 25k Dividend

Leading pension fund administrator (PFA), Trustfund Pensions Limited has adopted a cost reduction strategy designed to boost revenue to consolidate on the company’s corporate governance goal.

In line with this strategy, it posted a drop in its cost-to-income ratio from 83 per cent in December 2015 to 78 per cent as at December 31, 2016.
The company Chairman, Mr. Ismaila Mohammed Agaka, who made the disclosure at its 9th annual general meeting (AGM) in Abuja, stated that despite the rough economic dynamics, the company performed well.

He described Trustfund’s operating results for 2016 as encouraging when juxtaposed with the 2015 figures, noting that the company posted N4.971 billion revenues, N3.892 billion expenses and a profit after tax of N1.249 billion.

Addressing the shareholders, he said: “These results are encouraging when compared with total revenues of N4.662 billion, expenses of N3.850 billion and profit after tax of N1.018 billion for the year ended 31st December 2015.”
Based on the performance, a 25 kobo per share dividend was approved for shareholders whose names are contained in the company’s register of members as at close of business on December 31, 2016.

On the future of the company, Agaka said: “Distinguished shareholders, our company has over the years grown consistently evidenced by the healthy key financial indicators. We intend to sustain the momentum with a forward-looking board, sound management and resilient workforce.”
In an interview with THISDAY on the sidelines of the AGM, Agbaka expressed confidence in the company’s future, adding with a stringent corporate governance structure, an entrenched resolve on cutting the ratio of cost in favour of income, the future was looking very bright for Tertfund.

Also, in an interview, the President of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade Ayuba Wabba said the labour centre was pleased with the performance of Tertfund.
He assured that the NLC would continue to encourage workers to repose their confidence in Tertfund.
The NLC is one of the shareholders of Tertfund with more than 5 per cent of the issued capital of the company.

Source:© Copyright Thisday Online

N6bn capital raising’ll boost productivity –Fidson

Fidson Healthcare Plc says its N6bn capital raising recently approved by shareholders will aid the expansion of its production capacity.

Shareholders have approved the capital raise at the firm’s 18th Annual General Meeting held in Lagos for the purpose of enhancing business operation.

The company’s audited accounts for the year ended December 31, 2016, was also presented to shareholders.

The meeting also led to the re-election of Mr. Felix Ohiwerei and other directors who are due for re-election, and election of members of the Audit Committee in accordance with Section 359 (4) (5) of the Companies and Allied Matters Acts, CAP C20 LFN 2004.

Ohiwerei was thereby re-elected as chairman of the company, while Mrs.Oluwafunmilola Ayebae and Mr. Emmanuel Imoagene were both re-elected into the company’s board.

Ohiwerei, at the meeting, discussed the industry’s microeconomic environment and highlighted the company’s growth performance and operating result for the last financial year as well as future outlook.

He said the economic decline which started towards the end of 2015 and became apparent in 2016 when the economy was declared to be in recession, affected businesses in the country.

However, the firm’s turnover for the year ended December 31, 2014 was N9.7bn, representing an increase of 5.24 per cent when compared with N9.2bn recorded in 2013. Gross profit stood at N5.4bn compared with N5.1bn made in the year before, showing an increase of 6.5 per cent.

Its operating profit also increased by 4.65 per cent from N1.3bn in 2013 to N1.4bn in 2014. Profit after tax was N631m, against N154m recorded in 2013.

He noted that the significant increase in profit was due to the impact of impairment on investment in associate company on 2013 profit. Net asset had grown by 10 per cent from N5.2bn in 2013 to N5.7bn in 2014.

Ohiwerei further emphasised that with the biotech plant reaching its final stage of completion and expected to be operational soon, the board was confident of the continued growth and success of the company.

Source:© Copyright Punch Online

Unilever, Advisers Sign Pact on N58.9bn Rights Issue

Financial advisers, other parties to the N58.851 billion Rights Issue of Unilever Nigeria Plc and directors of the company have held a signing ceremony for a successful issue. This followed the receipt of clearance documents from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) in respect of the Rights Issue.

Unilever Nigeria wants to raise N58.851 billion by way of rights to existing shareholders on the basis of 14 new shares for every 27 shares held by shareholders at an issue price of N30 per share.

Speaking at the signing ceremony, the ManagingDirector of Unilever Nigeria, Mr. Yaw Nsarkoh said: “Through this Rights Issue, we will be able to reinforce our financial flexibility to support our growth initiative and also give shareholders an opportunity to consolidate their shareholding position. The proceeds of the Rights Issue will be used to repay our outstanding foreign currency denominated liabilities, purchase additional raw materials required for our products and to meet other working capital requirements in other to build long term value for all stakeholders.”

Also, the Chairman, Unilever Nigeria, His Royal Majesty Nnaemeka Achebe, the Obi of Onitsha commented: “The Rights Issue reiterates our confidence in Unilever Nigeria’s robust future and commitment to building a more enduring business in the Nigerian market. We acknowledge with deep appreciation the unwavering support we have received from our stakeholders and shareholders even in trying times which has enabled us deliver positive result. We implore you to participate in the Rights Issues as you will be re-confirming your support for the Company.”

According to him, Unilever Nigeria remains committed to purpose driven growth underpinned by the ‘Unilever Sustainable Living Plan’ which is the blueprint for achieving their vision to make sustainable living commonplace and grow its business.

On his part, the Chief Executive of Stanbic IBTC Capital Limited, Funso Akere, commended the management of Unilever Nigeria for the commitment they have shown towards executing the rights issue and for giving Stanbic IBTC Capital a free hand to guide the process. Stanbic IBTC Capital Limited is acting as the issuing house for the rights issue.

Unilever last week reported a revenue of N45.105 billion for the half year ended June 30, 2017, showing an increase of 39 per cent from N32.278 billion in the corresponding period of 2016. Profit after tax rose by 236 per cent from N1.093 billion to N3.676 billion in 2017.

Source:© Copyright Thisday Online

H1: Transactions in Fixed Income, Currently Market Hit N67.4tn

The fixed income and currency over-the-counter (OTC) market enjoyed high patronage in June as the value of transactions rose by 32.89 per cent from the previous month’s level.

Specifically, turnover recorded in the market in June stood at N12.62 trillion, up from N9.49 trillion recorded in May. This implies that between January and June, the market, which is facilitated by FMDQ OTC Securities Exchange, has recorded a turnover of N67.37 trillion.

A breakdown of the N12.62 trillion traded in June, showed that the Treasury Bills (T.bills) segment continued to dominate, accounting for 43.22 per cent (40.73 per cent in May) while FGN bonds recorded 6.22 per cent (5.23 per cent in May) of total turnover in June. Turnover in the Fixed Income market in the month under review settled at N6.24trn, transactions in the T.bills market accounted for 87.41 per cent of the fixed income market, from 88.67 per cent the previous month. Outstanding T.bills at the end of the month stood at N8.51 trillion, a decrease of 3.98 per cent N8.87 trillion in May whilst FGN bonds’ outstanding value increased by 1.44 per cent to close at N7.03 trillion in the period under review.

Transactions in the FX market settled at $8.52 billion in June, an increase of 29.87 per cent when compared with the $6.65 billion recorded in May.

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) sold a total of $1.476 billion through various interventions conducted during the period under review. The apex bank also maintained its marginal rate for the Secondary Market Intervention Sales (SMIS) –Wholesale Forwards intervention at $/3N320; and $/N357 .

In the same period, Money Market and Foreign Exchange market activities accounted for 28.91 per cent and 21.60 per cent of total turnover respectively.

The value of transactions in the FX Market increased by 29.87 per cent ($1.96 billion), as the supply of FX into the market by the CBN also increased by 50.15 per cent to settle at $1.476 billion in the month under review.

The twelfth Naira-settled OTC FX Futures contract NGUS June 21 2017, with a total open contract worth $657.67 million, matured and settled within the reporting month.

According to the FMDQ OTC, this also marked the first time the settlement amount was paid in favour of the contract seller, the CBN, as the Nigerian Autonomous Foreign Exchange Fixing (NAFEX) on the settlement date closed lower the contract rate.

“Liquidity flows via I&E FX Window continued to improve as total volumes traded for the month settled at $1.81 billion, an increase of 37.73 per cent from the previous month,” it said.

The Managing Director/CEO of FMDQ, Mr. Bola Onadele. Koko, last week said that apart from facilitating currency trading, the OTC Exchange was working hard, in collaboration with other key stakeholders, to facilitate the development of a sustainable finance strategy for the country.

Source:© Copyright Thisday Online