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High Interest Rate’ll Worsen Nigerian Banks’ Woes – Fitch

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Nigerian banks are likely to face more challenges as the nation’s benchmark interest rate continues to rise, global credit rating agency, Fitch Ratings, has said.

The Central bank of Nigeria’s Monetary Policy Committee had on Tuesday increased the interest rate from 12 per cent to 14 per cent in a move to curb inflation and strengthen the naira. The move has been widely criticised by economists.

The CBN’s Monetary Policy Rate (benchmark interest rate), which hovered around six per cent from 2001 to 2011, has risen steeply.

In a statement on Friday, Fitch said, “Rising rates are likely to put additional pressure on banks’ asset quality. Almost all lending is extended at floating rates and banks should be able to reprice their loans quite quickly but borrowers will face more difficulties in servicing their debts.

“Impaired loans are already high in the Nigerian banking sector, where average non-performing loan ratios reached 6.2 per cent at end-March 2016, partly reflecting the impact of currency depreciation on businesses as well as higher oil-related problem loans at some banks.”

Fitch expects loan growth (excluding foreign-exchange translation effects) to slow during the second half of 2016 and into 2017.

Banks have already tightened underwriting standards as economic conditions in the country worsen.

The nation’s Gross Domestic Product contracted by 0.4 per cent year-on-year in the first quarter of 2016 and Fitch forecasts the GDP growth to fall to 1.5 per cent in 2016.

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

FMDQ Approves Valency Agro’s N5.12bn Commercial Paper

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FMDQ Approves Valency Agro’s N5.12bn Commercial Paper

FMDQ Securities Exchange Limited has announced the approval of the quotation of the Valency Agro Nigeria Limited N5.12bn Series 1 Commercial Paper under its N20bn CP Programme on its platform.

The Exchange said in fostering the development of the Nigerian debt capital markets, it had continued to avail its credible and efficient platform as well as tailor its listings and quotations services to suit the needs of issuers and registration members through innovative and uninterrupted service delivery.

It said in a statement on Thursday that the Valency Agro Nigeria CP debut issue came at a time when the Nigerian economy was bedeviled with soaring food prices, amidst compounding challenges of insecurity.

It said the agricultural sector and its attendant transformation agenda had never been more important in driving increased and sustainable production of agricultural products as well as the derived foreign earnings through exports.

The Exchange said the proceeds from the issue of the CP would be applied by Valency Agro towards meeting the mid-term working capital requirements of the various agricultural produce under its portfolio such as cashew, sesame, cocoa and in value addition prior to export.

The Executive Director, Valency Agro Nigeria Limited, Mr Sumit Jain, was quoted as saying, “We are thankful to our investors towards showing their faith in our agenda to grow the agriculture-focused business with a clear aim to maximise value addition and create employment opportunities in Nigeria.

“We would also like to commend the efforts made by FBNQuest Merchant Bank Limited’s team to build the reach and FMDQ for their unconditional support for the industry”.

The Head, Capital Markets, FBNQuest Merchant Bank, Mr Oluseun Olatidoye, said, “FBNQuest Merchant Bank Limited is delighted with the successful debut of the N5.12bn Series 1 CP issued by Valency Agro Nigeria Limited. This reiterates our effort to enable underserved sectors access the debt markets, optimise their capital structure and further deepen the domestic capital markets.

“We are proud of the instrumental role FBNQuest Merchant Bank played in this transaction and appreciate the trust the management of Valency Agro placed in us to assist them. Our clients remain our priority, and we strongly believe their success is our success.”

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Banking Sector

Sterling Bank Approves Audited Financial Statements for 2020

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Board of Sterling Bank Approves 2020 Audited Financial Statements

The Board of Sterling Bank Plc said it has approved the audited financial statements for the year ended 31, December 2020.

The lender said the approval was done at a meeting held on 23rd February 2021.

Details of the financial statements will be released upon approval of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Sterling Bank stated in a statement filed with the Nigerian Stock Exchange on Thursday.

It said “We are pleased to inform our shareholders and other stakeholders that the Board of Sterling Bank Plc at its meeting of 23rd February 2021 approved the audited Financial Statements for the year ended 31st December 2020 subject to the approval of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

“Kindly note that details of the Financial Statements will be communicated to you upon approval of same by the CBN.

“Consequently, the closed period for trading in the shares of the Bank by its insiders which commenced from 8th February, 2021 will continue until 24 hours after the Audited Financial Statements for the year ended 31st December, 2020 are released on the floor of the Nigerian Stock Exchange.”

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Banking Sector

CIBN, NIBSS Introduce e-Payment Certification Programmes

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CIBN, NIBSS Introduce e-Payment Certification Programmes

The Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN) in collaboration with Nigerian Interbank Settlement Systems Plc (NIBSS) have introduced professional certification programmes on electronic payments for financial service providers and institutions.

Both organisations disclosed that the programme was designed to enhance the electronic payment skills and knowledge of financial practitioners in order to equip them with efficient tools and information required to upscale innovation and services.

Speaking to journalists at a media briefing in Lagos, yesterday, the Chief Executive Officer, Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria, Mr. Seye Awojobi, said the initiative is an international programme, well grounded in the local realities of the Nigerian e-payment industry and captures the current dynamics, as well as aspects of digital financial services practices.

“This programme would set the standards for e-payment expertise in Nigeria; foster a category of high performing professionals in the industry and build a resilient, safe and secured payment technology driven platform.

“The curriculum for the programme adequately covers recent methods required, which are in line with global practices.

“The introduction of the scheme cannot be more timely than now considering the COVID-19 pandemic, which created serious disruptions in our professional and personal lives,” he added.

On his part, Chief Executive Officer, Nigerian Inter-Bank Settlement Systems Plc, Premier Oiwoh explained that the introduction of the programme would determine the capacity and work experience criteria required to recognise beginners, intermediate and advanced.

“It would create a growth roadmap for fledging e-payment workers, including the unemployed who has the desire to make a career in the electronic sector.

“Also, it would enable us continue to tackle the issue of insecurity within the financial technology payment and banking space,” he added.

The institutions also noted that in order to maintain a certification credential, the practitioners must earn some recertification credits over a three year span and valid for three years after it has been issued.

The CIBN last week has reintroduced its mentoring scheme. The initiatives aims at up-scaling the leadership capacity and productivity of workers within the financial and banking sector.

Speaking during the virtual forum, Director General, Securities and Exchange Commission, Lamido Yuguda, had explained that mentoring schemes are essential for the sustenance and development of the sector as it is built upon values such as trust and professionalism.

“These values can be taught. But are reinforced when practiced by the senior co-workers and emulated by junior colleagues. Such initiatives enable workers to avoid being distracted by the material, prestigious and monetary incentives the space presents.

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