Archives August 2019

SEC to Engage Stakeholders on Reduction of Unclaimed Dividends

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is to engage relevant stakeholders as part of efforts to reduce unclaimed dividends in the nation’s capital market.

The acting Director General of SEC, Ms. Mary Uduk, who stated this in Lagos, said the engagements would concern electronic-Dividend(e-dividend) registration and multiple accounts regularisation in a bid to reduce the unclaimed dividends.

According to her, as part of the engagement, brokers and registrars are required to make available to the Committee on Multiple Subscription Account, on a periodic basis, the number of regularised accounts.

Uduk said specific areas of engagement are ensuring that complete investor data are transferred among operators such as brokers, registrars and Central Securities Clearing System (CSCS), discouraging unclaimed dividends from building up from securities of newly-listed companies.

“Another thing we need to do is developing the modalities for validating register of members, where the registrars are furnished with incomplete information such as missing account numbers. We believe the capital market of our dreams can only be achieved through the collaboration of all stakeholders,” she said.

Following the expiration of free e-dividend mandate registration period offered to investors, the SEC boss also unveiled plans to partner the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to ensure that e-dividend charges are included in the guideline for bank charges.

According to Uduk, “SEC has been underwriting the e-dividend charges of N1.50 kobo but since we stopped, we have received a lot of complaints from investors due to the e-dividend charges. But after extensive discussions with the capital market committee, the commission intends to partner with the apex bank to issue charges on E-DMMS transactions. The CBN has a published charge for the banks. This means that any transactions carried out by any bank, there is an established charge.”

She explained that since the e-dividend registration charge is not part of the charges from the CBN, investors are having issues with banks where they are charged for some transactions that are not listed as bank charges, which they do not know.

Meanwhile, the account regularization is yielding the desired fruits as 3.5 billion shares had so been regularized. The regularisation was extended to December 31, 2019.

“Through this exercise, some Nigerian investors in Diaspora have been able to consolidate their shareholding accounts. Similarly, several local investors with numerous accounts have also been able to consolidate their investments. We therefore enjoin the general public to take advantage of this initiative to regularise their shareholding accounts before the December 31, 2019 deadline,” SEC had said.

Source:© Copyright Thisday

Stock Market Pares Losses, Recovers 3.2% on Bargain Hunting

It was a positive performance at the equities market last week as the market pared losses of the previous weeks to gain  3.25 per cent, following bargain hunting in bellwether stocks.

Having declined to an unprecedented record low, the market recovered as investors moved in to take advantage of low valuations in a week that President Muhammadu Buhari swore-in the ministers that would help to drive fiscal policies.

Specifically, the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) All-Share Index (ASI) that 1.40 per cent the previous week, appreciated by 3.25 per cent to close at 27,800.17, while market capitalisation added N83 billion to close at N13.5 trillion.

The market recorded gains in four out of the five trading days of the week. Although gains by bellwether such as Dangote Cement Plc, Nestle Nigeria Plc contributed to the positive performance, some analysts said the constitution of the federal government cabinet also contributed.

However, commenting on the allocation of portfolio to the various ministers, analyst at Afrinvest Research raised some doubts in the key ministries.

For instance, they said in the oil and gas industry where progress has been negligible for decades, President Buhari retained the position of minister of petroleum resources.

“In our opinion, the President lacks the agility and the skill set to transform the sector based on his performance in the same position for the past two years, hence momentum in the sector is expected to remain weak. We expect slow progress towards passing and implementing the reforms need to attract investment into the industry,” they stated.

Afrinvest, noted that in the Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning, the re-appointment of Zainab Ahmed, provides clarity on the direction of fiscal policies.

“Accordingly, we expect a sustained drive to boost tax collection to narrow the federal government’s widening fiscal deficit. But as we do not expect strong improvements in the short-term, we expect continued funding of deficits in the cheaper Eurobond market.

“The easy monetary policy in advanced markets makes this strategy even more compelling in the near term, but we note that currency risk lurks. In our view, this ministry remains one to watch as the federal government’s fiscal challenges would partially dictate the pace of improvement in the economy.

“The concern is whether the federal government would take necessary actions such as reining in spending and removing subsidies to free up more resources. In this regard, adopting the strategies employed during the first term of President Buhari would yield little progress,” they added.

Speaking on the Works & Housing and Transport Ministries, where Babatunde Fashola and Rotimi Amaechi respectively, retained their jobs, they stated they were, “optimistic of the continuity of current priority projects and faster completion times.”

“The key risk for these ministries is that capital releases may fall short of budget allocation as capital spending becomes increasingly discretionary in the face of weak revenue mobilisation and increasing recurrent expenditure,” they added.

According to Afrinvest, the Ministry for Industry, Trade and Investment is another important ministry under its watch.

“Foreign direct investment (FDI) into the country has dipped consistently from the peak of $8.9 billion in 2011 to $2.0 billion in 2018. Relative to the size of the economy, FDI has deteriorated from the peak of 3.2 per cent in 2009 to 0.5 per cent in 2018. There is a need to sustain business environment reforms, loosen regulations and promote liberalization of sectors to encourage the investment needed to boost growth significantly.

“We only saw progress in business environment reforms in the past four years, but regulation became tighter and the FG consolidated its hold on important sectors such as power and oil & gas,” they explained.

Market turnover

In terms of market turnover, investors traded a total turnover of 2.337 billion shares worth N19.712 billion in 18,379 deals last week, which is a jump of 2.2 per cent compared with 726.607 million shares valued at N10.459 billion that exchanged hands in 12,915 deals the preceding week.

However, the Financial Services industry remained the most traded, leading the activity chat with 1.815 billion shares valued at N10.441 billion traded in 10,701 deals. The sector thus contributed 77.7 per cent and 52.9 per cent to the total equity turnover volume and value respectively. The Conglomerates industry followed with 197.802 million shares worth N286.209 million in 1,066 deals, while the third place was Industrial Goods industry that recorded a turnover of 100.366 million shares worth N2.176 billion in 788 deals.

Trading in the top three equities namely, Sovereign Trust Insurance Plc, Transnational Corporation of Nigeria Plc and Zenith Bank Plc accounted for 1.244 billion shares worth N3.348 billion in 2,907 deals. They contributed 53.2 per cent and 16.9 per cent to the total equity turnover volume and value respectively.

With regard to the Exchange Traded Products, a total of 3,943 units valued at N1.684 million were traded last week in 16 deals compared with a total of 1,292 units valued at N15, 283.55 transacted the previous  week in seven deals.

In the bond market, investors traded a total of 1,673 units of Federal Government Bonds valued at N1.674 million were traded  in 31 deals compared with a total of 4,009 units valued at N4.111 million transacted  two weeks in 16 deals

Top price gainers and losers

Meanwhile, 40 equities appreciated in price during the week, higher than 15 equities in the previous week, while 25 equities depreciated in price, lower than 34 equities in the previous week.

The price gainers’ chat was led by Ecobank Transnational Incorporated with 33.3 per cent, trailed by Oando Plc with 20.9 per cent. Fidelity Bank Plc chalked up 20 per cent just as UAC of Nigeria Plc garnered 18.8 per cent. Law Union & Rock Insurance Plc went up by 18.2 per cent, just as C & I Leasing Plc and Honeywell Flour Mills Plc gained 17.7 per cent and 14.5 per cent respectively. United Capital Plc and Transcorp Plc appreciated by 13.1 per cent in that order, while Chams Plc  closed 13.0 per cent higher.

Conversely, Okomu Oil Palm Plc led the price losers with 18.0 per cent, trailed by NCR(Nigeria) Plc with a decline of 14.6 per cent. LASACO Assurance Plc shed 12.1 per cent, while Continental Reinsurance Plc depreciated by 10.3 per cent. Tripple Gee & Company Plc ended the week 10 per cent lower.

MRS Oil Nigeria Plc lost 9.8 per cent, just as Cadbury Nigeria Plc and Mutual Benefits Assurance Plc gained 9.7 per cent and 9.0 per cent in that order. Unity Bank Plc and Linkage Assurance Plc shed 8.7 per cent and 7.6 per cent respectively.

Source:© Copyright Thisday 

FMDQ Exchange takes off with trading in all securities – signals paradigm shiftBy

FMDQ Securities Exchange Plc on Monday formally launched its new status and corporate identity as a full fledge securities exchange with registration to trade in all securities including fixed income, equities, derivatives, commodities and foreign exchange.

Formerly known as FMDQ OTC Securities Exchange, the transition of FMDQ from an over-the-counter (OTC) platform to a full-blown securities exchange represents a paradigm shift in the Nigerian capital market. It ends the unwritten mono-stock exchange policy and opens up the capital market to intense competition.

Nigeria’s apex capital market regulator, Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)  approved the amendment of the registration of FMDQ OTC Plc from ‘an OTC Market’ to a fullfledged ‘securities exchange’ in March 2019.

FMDQ then secured necessary approvals for a name change to ‘FMDQ Securities Exchange Plc (FMDQ Exchange) with immediate effect, thereby aligning its name to its upgraded status in the capital market. Furthermore, in June 2019, the Exchange received SEC’s registration of its wholly owned central securities depository subsidiary – FMDQ Depository Limited, which is positioned to provide collateral caching, custodian and settlement services with excellent operational capabilities tailored to provide value to its stakeholders.

FMDQ Depository Limited completes the value chain of pertinent market infrastructure in the Nigerian financial markets, particularly the posttrade spectrum, following the operationalisation of FMDQ Clear Limited.

FMDQ noted Monday that the implications of its new status are far-reaching as the careful implementation of the FMDQ Entities – FMDQ Exchange, FMDQ Clear and FMDQ Depository – have not only created robust linkages between hitherto fragmented spheres of the markets, but also presented the market with an efficient, innovative and integrated financial market infrastructure (FMI) group for the seamless execution, clearing and settlement of financial markets transactions.

Having set the pace in the fixed income, currency and derivatives markets, FMDQ Exchange, as a full-fledged securities exchange, will position itself to cover new markets equities and commodities – in the near- to mid-term.

Managing Director, FMDQ Securities Exchange Plc (FMDQ Exchange), Mr. Bola Onadele. Koko said the development of the Exchange over the last five years was reflective of the progressive and dedicated strategic leadership provided by its board of directors, as well as the company’s ever-intensifying commitment to proactively deliver value to its stakeholders.

According to him, having successfully consolidated past gains and taken on new frontiers through the operationalisation of a budding integrated FMI Group across the full value chain of the securities market – execute, clear and settle – the Group is poised to enhance efficiencies in FMDQ’s markets to the benefit of market participants.

He noted that it was in view of the resolute affirmation of the FMDQ entities to influence and promote sustainable development in the Nigerian financial market, one which is in alignment with global standards, that a new identity was unveiled on Monday.

“As it commences its second lustrum, FMDQ as a one-stop FMI Group with a platform to execute, clear and settle transactions in the Nigerian financial markets, remains committed to collaboratively deliver innovative and forwardthinking solutions to the market,” Onadele.Koko said.

The erstwhile OTC Exchange commenced operations in November 2013, following its launch as an OTC market, primarily to organise the interbank market with focus on the fixed income, currency and derivative markets, and as a self-regulatory organisation, providing a world-class governance structure for the markets within its purview.

In view of this, FMDQ Exchange set out to transform the markets, in line with its audacious agenda to make the markets globally competitive, operationally excellent, liquid and diverse; commonly known by market participants as FMDQ’s GOLD Agenda.

Source:© Copyright  The Nation

NAHCO’ five-year plan’ll deliver greater returns

The board and management of Nigerian Aviation Handling Company (NAHCO) Plc at the weekend assured shareholders that ongoing implementation of a strategic five-year growth plan will lead to a more agile and profitable company.

At the Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Kano, directors of NAHCO laid out strategic growth objectives, key implementation drives, challenges and transformational initiatives being taken to sustain the company as the leading ground handling company with sustainable returns to shareholders.

The first AGM by the new board and management of the company, directors of the company outlined that they have launched a new five-year strategy and transformation plan that covers between this year and 2023, which is expected to drive growth, service improvement, improved profitability and also ensure that NAHCO maintains its leadership position, despite increasing competition in the ground handling business.

The assurance came as shareholders approved the distribution of N406 million as cash dividend for the 2018 business year, representing a dividend per share of 25 kobo.

Nigerian Aviation Handling Company (NAHCO) Plc Chairman, Dr Seinde Fadeni, said the new board and management have reset the company’s group structure and operations and have started implementing key initiatives to address cost structure, realign products and interface with customers and other stakeholders with a view to ensuring optimal performance in the years ahead.

He said the company has started modernisation of its warehouses in order to position itself for global changes in cargo handling and management noting that NAHCO is currently investing in warehouse refurbishment, facility and equipment upgrade to ensure leadership in all areas of air cargo within the West and Central African region.

He pointed out that while increased costs of operations and administrative expenses impacted the company’s performance in 2018, the new management has been addressing these cost centres to ensure improved efficiency and competitive returns.

“It is my belief that our company will grow more rapidly in the coming years in light of the measures and innovations being implemented,” Fadeni said.

According to him, the company’s five-year strategic plan was anchored on five strategic pillars of operational excellence, digital transformation, people and culture transformation, organic and inorganic growth and diversification. These pillars would be driven by three main enablers including adequate funding and capitalisation, financial grip and enhanced risk management.

He explained that the company’s strategy for growth entails maximising parent company and subsidiary companies’ opportunities and capacity utilisation while taking advantage of market trends and the group’s dominant market position.

“We are restructuring our strategic business units (SBU) and subsidiary companies in such a way that from now on, every member of the NAHCO Group contributes more to the overall profitability of the group. We have set a revenue target that is ambitious but achievable. We expect to grow our revenues by a factor of four times 2018 figure and achieve this over the next five years. We have resolved to maximise the revenue opportunities inherent in the synergies of our group,” Fadeni said.

He pointed out that the company is developing sustainable business plans for two of its subsidiaries-NAHCO Free Zone (NFZ) and Mainland Cargo Options (MCO) while exploring best strategy to ensure long –term viability of NAHCO Energy Power and Infrastructure (EPI).

“The company’s outlook for 2019 is positive, with the unwavering commitment of the board, management and staff, we are fully committed to perform better and deliver more value to you, our esteemed shareholders. We will continue to implement the strategic direction we have set for the transformation of NAHCO,” Fadeni said.

Fadeni noted that one of the critical elements of the company’s growth strategy is the asset renewal strategy and policy for all its plant machinery and equipment including ground support equipment (GSE) and cargo management equipment, which will help to improve service delivery and efficiency while reducing maintenance costs.

He said the company has commenced purchase of necessary machinery and equipment from international OEMS and reputable vendors with some of the equipment already received and commissioned into service.

According to him, the company has also commenced the upgrade of its infrastructure, facilities and equipment starting from the Lagos Warehouse Complex. Early 2019, it added a cold room facility to its Kano warehouse. It has also committed material investment and upgrades to its strategic business units in Abuja and Lagos.

“We have started on a good note in 2019, as we move into our 40th year of commercial operations with the acquisition of new and modern equipment and a new business strategy for growth. We are on a clear path of positive transformation. This is our new NAHCO, more profitable, more agile; the new board is committed to this transformation which will reposition the company for growth, carry out the necessary people transformation and culture change, achieve operational excellence and increased profitability,” Fadeni said.

Nigerian Aviation Handling Company (NAHCO) Plc Group Managing Director, Mrs Olatokunbo Fagbemi, said the new management has continued to make steady progress in driving the company’s new vision “to be the leading service provider, continuously innovating and reshaping our chosen markets”. Fagbemi assumed office in December 2018.

She explained that the “New NAHCO” is being built on core values of safety, integrity, innovation, reliability, respect and empathy noting that the “New NAHCO” is to ensure there is regular communication, transparency in decision making and sincerity in governance.

“We are building a culture of safety, security, innovation, integrity and ownership. Our “New NAHCO” is building a cohesive management team and an efficient workforce. Our “New NAHCO” is harnessing the strengths and opportunities of the group structure to drive growth and profit. Our “New NAHCO” is focused on retaining existing customers and on-boarding new customers. Our “New NAHCO” is focused on strong balance sheet, profit and loss and enhanced free cashflow. Our “New NAHCO” is focused on consistently delivering value to all stakeholders,” Fagbemi said.

She noted that NAHCO has continued to maintain internationally acceptable and recognised standards of its operations as the company earlier this year accomplished the feat of acquiring IATA Safety Audit for Ground Operations (ISAGO) certification in three major airports of Lagos, Abuja and Kano, making NAHCO the only ground handler in Nigeria to achieve this.

She added that the company also has achieved the Third Country EU Regulated Agent (RA3) revalidation of its operations in the major airports of Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt and Kano by the European Union.

“NAHCO has come out successful in all the airlines audits we have done this year. We have also received commendation for the new measures we have put in place to ensure stricter security and compliance to international standards at our facilities. In addition, our staff have received commendations from several airlines,” Fagbemi said.

She assured that in the coming months, the company will increasingly become an efficient organisation that is fit and able to deliver services at optimum prices to the delight of its stakeholders.

According to her, NAHCO is working with full understanding of the market place to create a win-win strategy with its suppliers and service providers to ensure that the costing and pricing is optimal and sustainable.

As the International Air Transport Association (IATA) pushes for more modern processes in anticipation of projected double in the size of the air cargo industry over the next two decades, Fagbemi said NAHCO is positioning for the global implementation of the e-Air Waybill (e-AWB) with a view to be able to provide ecargo service to all its customers and partners within the next 24 months.

She assured that the company is proactive and resilient enough to thrive despite domestic and global challenges, urging shareholders to support the company as it implements its growth plan and transformation agenda.

“We have a team that is seasoned and has a clear view of the strategic direction and what the competitive landscape is now vis a vis what it would be in the next few years. We have committed, dedicated and trained people focused on the customer,” Fagbemi assured.

Audited report and accounts of NAHCO for the year ended December 31, 2018 showed that turnover grew by 24 per cent to N9.83 billion. Gross profit margin increased from 29 per cent in 2017 to 32 per cent last year. With 19 per cent increase in operating costs and 27 per cent increase in administrative expenses, profit before tax dipped by 16 per cent to N503.2 million while profit after tax dropped to N196.8 million last year.

Source:© Copyright  The Nation

Nestlé Nigeria nets N26b profit in 6 months

Nestle Nigeria Plc recorded a well-rounded performance in the first half with increased sales and profitability. All key performance indices trended upward during the six-month period, raising the prospects that Nigeria’s highest-priced quoted company may surpass its previous performance.

Key extracts of the half-year report for the period ended June 30, 2019 showed that sales rose to N141.91 billion in first half 2019 as against N135.3 billion in corresponding first half of 2018. With decline in cost of sales from N79.71 billion to N75.83 billion, gross profit rose from N55.58 billion to N66.08 billion. Operating profit rose from N32.15 billion to N40.43 billion.

Considerable reduction in finance costs, from N1.12 billion to N888.68 million, boosted the bottom-line with net finance income of N2.42 million in first half 2019 as against deficit of N280.67 million in first half 2018. With these, profit before tax rose from N31.87 billion in first half 2018 to N40.44 billion in first half 2019. After taxes, net profit increased to N26.25 billion in first half 2019 compared with N21.46 billion in comparable period of 2018.

The company attributed the growth to consistent investment behind its brands, intensified efforts to communicate with consumers and continuous investment in route to market to deliver better value to consumers.

In a statement signed by Company Secretary, Nestle Nigeria, Bode Ayeku, the board of the company commended its consumers for their trust and continued loyalty as well as the discipline and dedication of its staff for driving sustainable and profitable growth.

Directors of the company noted that amid a challenging economic context, the company remains confident in its capacity to innovate to keep delighting consumers with nutritionally superior products and foster its people’s ability to win.

“In turn, these investments will continue to create shared value for our shareholders and for the people of Nigeria. In line with our purpose which is enhancing quality of life and contributing to a healthier future, we will remain focussed on enabling thriving and resilient communities through local sourcing, expanding the commercialisation of our food and beverages to deliver accessible and affordable nutrition to more people and strengthening our value chain to gain further efficiencies,” the board stated.

Nestle Nigeria distributed N30.52 billion as final dividend for the 2018 business year, bringing total dividend payout for the year to N46.42 billion. The company had in November 2018 paid N15.9 billion as interim dividend.

Shareholders received a final dividend per share of N38.50 in addition to interim dividend per share of N20, bringing total dividend per share for the year to N58.50.

With the dividend payout above the N43.01 billion net profit recorded in 2018, the company explained that the total payout of N46.42 billion included net profit for the year and part of the net profit for the 2019 business year.

According to the company, the final dividend of N38.50 per share comprised of N34.20 from the profit for the 2018 business year and N4.30 from the net profit for the 2019 business year.

Key extracts of the audited report and accounts of Nestle Nigeria for the year ended December 31, 2018 had shown that the company rode on the back of improved operating efficiency and finance cost management to optimise its bottom-line performance in 2018, growing net profit by 27.5 per cent to N43.01 billion.

The report showed that turnover rose to N266.27 billion in 2018 as against N244.15 billion in 2017, representing an increase of 9.06 per cent. Cost of sales increased by 6.33 per cent from N143.28 billion in 2017 to N152.35 billion in 2018. Gross profit thus rose faster by 12.94 per cent to N113.92 billion in 2018 compared with N100.87 billion in 2017.

Marketing and distribution expenses increased to N43.49 billion from N35.16 billion while administrative expenses dropped from N10.02  billion to N9.79 billion.

Operating profit consequently improved from N55.7 billion in 2017 to N60.64 billion in 2018. Finance costs dropped by 82.75 per cent from N15.109 billion to N2.606 billion. Profit after tax grew by 27.53 per cent from N33.72 billion in 2017 to N43.01 billion in 2018. With these, earnings per share rose by 27.52 per cent to N54.26 in 2018 as against N42.55 in 2017. Total assets increased by 10.58 per cent to N162.34 billion in 2018 as against N146.80 billion in 2017. Shareholders’ equity also improved from N44.88 billion to N50.22 billion.

Source:© Copyright  The Nation