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Fitch Downgrades Two of Nigeria’s Biggest Banks

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First Bank Nigeria Plc

Fitch Ratings has downgraded two of Nigeria’s biggest banks, citing the recent drawdown of the nation’s sovereign credit rating.

The global credit rating downgraded the United Ban of Africa (UBA) and First Bank of Nigeria.

In the report announcing the current ratings of Nigerian banks, Fitch Ratings said “it has downgraded First Bank of Nigeria Ltd’s (FBN) and United Bank for Africa’s (UBA) Long-Term Foreign Currency Issuer Default Ratings (IDRs) to ‘B’ from ‘B+’.”

Also, the agency downgraded the National Long-Term Rating of FBN Holdings Plc (FBNH), the parent holding company of FBN, to ‘BBB+ (nga)’ from ‘A (nga).”

The agency said while the economic outlook for Nigerian banks remain stable, the recent forex flexibility policy, rising non-performing loans and sustained low crude oil prices remain threats to the financial system.

“The Outlook on the Long-Term Foreign Currency IDR of one of the banks, Guaranty Trust Bank (GTB), has been revised to Stable from Negative due to continuing strong earnings and stronger-than-expected liquidity. Our rating actions follow the downgrade of Nigeria’s sovereign ratings on 23 June 2016.

“The IDRs of UBA, Access Bank (Access) and Wema Bank (Wema) are driven by both their standalone strengths, reflected in their VRs, and by the likelihood of sovereign support, reflected in their SRFs.” Their VRs and SRFs are at the same level. The IDRs of FBN, Diamond Bank (Diamond), Fidelity Bank (Fidelity), Union Bank (Union) and First City Monument Bank (FCMB) are driven by their SRFs.

“Fitch has revised the SRFs to ‘B’ from ‘B+’ for the systemically important banks, FBN, UBA, Zenith and GTB following the downgrade of Nigeria’s sovereign ratings. As a result, both FBN’s and UBA’s IDRs have been downgraded to ‘B’ from ‘B+’. The IDRs of both Zenith and GTB are affirmed at ‘B+’ and are now driven by their respective VRs of ‘b+’.

“The systemically important banks’ SRFs remain a notch below the sovereign rating, reflecting the sovereign’s weak foreign currency position,” the report says.

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and Investing.com, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.

Finance

Stanbic IBTC Obtains Approvals, License to Establish Life Insurance Subsidiary

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stanbic IBTC Insurance

Stanbic IBTC Holdings Plc on Friday announced that it has obtained all required Regulatory Approvals and a license from the National Insurance Commission to establish a wholly-owned Life Insurance subsidiary, Stanbic IBTC Insurance Limited (SIIL).

In a statement signed by Chidi Okezi, Company Secretary, Stanbic IBTC and released on Friday, the bank said “The establishment of this new subsidiary essentially complements the bouquet of product offerings by Stanbic IBTC as it continues its goal of being the leading end-to-end financial solutions provider in Nigeria. In this regard, SIIL will aim to facilitate long term insurance for already financially included individuals and will seek to become the preferred Insurer in the Life Insurance Business.

“Stanbic IBTC Holdings PLC, a member of Standard Bank Group, is a full-service financial services group with a clear focus on three main business pillars – Corporate and Investment Banking, Personal and Business Banking and Wealth Management. The group’s largest shareholder is the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), the world’s largest bank, with a 20.1% shareholding. In addition, Standard Bank Group and ICBC share a strategic partnership that facilitates trade deals between Africa, China and select emerging markets. Standard Bank Group is the largest African financial institution by assets. It is rooted in Africa with strategic representation in 21 countries on the African continent.

“Standard Bank has been in operation for over 158 years and is focused on building first-class, on-the-ground financial services institutions in chosen countries in Africa; and connecting selected emerging markets to Africa by applying sector expertise, particularly in natural resources, power and infrastructure.”

 

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World Bank to Discuss New $1.5 Billion Loan Request From Nigeria

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Zainab Ahmed

The Finance Minister, Budget and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, on Friday said the Federal Government has met all the conditions for a fresh loan of $1.5 billion from the World Bank.

The minister disclosed this on Bloomberg TV.

She said the multilateral financial institution is in the final stage of approving the loan. The minister explained that the loan will be discussed in the bank’s next meeting and possibly be approved in the same meeting.

In June, the Senate approved the borrowing plans but the World Bank pushed back demanding Nigeria fulfill the conditions attached to the $3.4 billion loan received from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in May.

Some of the conditions were to increase revenue generation by upping VAT, the introduction of tariff reflective electricity bill, the removal of subsidy and the unification of the nation’s foreign exchange.

Most of which the Federal Government has done despite protests from most Nigerians who called the new policies anti-people given their current situation.

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Nigeria Realises Over N400 Billion from Company Income Tax in the Third Quarter of 2020

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tax relief

The Federal Government realised N416.01 billion from Company Income Tax (CIT) in the third quarter of the year, according to the latest report from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).

This was 3.48 percent higher than the N402.03 billion generated in the second quarter of the year and represents a decline of 20.13 percent year-on-year from N520.89 billion realised in the third quarter of 2019.

A breakdown of the report showed the professional services sector including the telecoms generated the highest amount of CIT at N55.52 billion during the quarter, while the manufacturing sector followed with N42.03 billion.

The banking and financial institutions realised N24.05 billion while the mining generated the least and closely followed by Textile and Garment Industry and Local Government Councils with N120.93 million, N167.51 million and N321.72 million generated, respectively.

The report added that out of the total amount realised during the quarter under review, a sum of N244.70 billion was generated as CIT locally. The federal government collected N70.34 billion as foreign CIT payment and the remain N100.97 billion was received as CIT from other payments.

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