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N649bn Bad Loans: Banks To Sell Over 1,000 Debtors’ Properties

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Deposit Money Banks have put up for sale over 1,000 properties belonging to several customers, who were unable to service their loans.

This came about eight months after the amount of bad loans in the banking industry rose sharply by 78.8 per cent to N649.63bn at the end of 2015.

Impeccable industry sources revealed that most of the 19 commercial banks in the country had engaged the services of estate surveyors, prominent realtors and lawyers to help them to sell the properties.

The move, according to the sources, was part of efforts by some banks to recover bad loans and shore up their capital base in the face of current economic crisis.

The properties had been used as collateral in obtaining loans by the banks’ customers.

Some of the realtors and lawyers, who spooke on condition of anonymity, confirmed that they had been contacted by the banks to market the properties.

According to documents obtained exclusively by our correspondents, the over 1,000 properties include, multimillion and multibillion-naira mansions, luxury hotels and petroleum tank farms, located in highbrow areas of Lagos, namely Ikoyi, Lekki, Ajah, Ikeja and Apapa.

They also include parcels of lands, detached houses, high rise commercial buildings, terrace houses and warehouses.

Other properties are scattered across the country in states like Enugu, Abia, Kano, Kaduna and Ogun.

Some of the banks include Guaranty Trust Bank Plc, Skye Bank Plc, First City Monument Bank Limited, Zenith Bank Plc, United Bank for Africa Plc, First Bank of Nigeria Limited, Stanbic IBTC and Fidelity Bank Plc.

While some of the properties are being offered for sale at their open market value, many others were offered at their forced sale value, which is the value the properties would sell for when a seller is under duress, and it is usually the two-third of the open market value.

In a bid to avoid litigation that could be instituted by some of the debtors, the banks, had notified the owners before putting them up for sale, making many of the properties to be under consent sale.

One of our correspondents, who visited some of the properties, confirmed that the properties were up for sale while some were still being occupied by their owners.

A comprehensive document released by one of the banks, listed 97 properties, which included a building on one acre of land on a popular street off Adeola Odeku, Victoria Island, Lagos, offered for N2bn.

Another property is a block of flats comprising two and three bedrooms on 1,895square metres on Admiralty Way, Lekki Phase I, offered for N650m; and an industrial complex on 11,000sqm at Mobolaji Johnson Avenue, Oregun/Alausa offered for N4bn asking price.

The list include a tank farm comprising eight storage tanks for petrol totalling 50 million litres capacity and two tanks for kerosene on 11,830sqm offered for N15bn; six blocks of two and three-bedroomed luxury flats on 1,895sqm at a popular street off Admiralty Way, Lekki Phase I, offered for N700m; and plots of land with Certificate of Occupancy on 19,400sqm in Banana Island, Ikoyi, Lagos offered for N6.5bn.

Also, there is a luxury hotel on 3,286.161 square metres of land in Ikoyi, offered for N2.5bn; a purpose-built office complex on four floors, occupying 760sqm in Ikeja, offered for N250m; another luxury hotel comprising 84 rooms with a swimming pool, gym, elevator, hall and other top-notch facilities on 1,664.68sqm in Ikeja, offered for N1.6bn.

A tank farm with storage capacity of 21.5 million litres on 4,203.48sqm at Apapa Port, was offered for sale at N6bn.

Also, on the list are a filling station on one acre of land in Sango Ota, Ogun State, offered for N90m; a purpose-built property on three floors comprising of four numbers of two-bedroomed service flats, with a four-roomed service quarters, a gym and a swimming pool on 1,294 sqm in Osborne, Ikoyi, Lagos, offered for N700m.

There are blocks of office, warehouse and other ancillary blocks on 1623.36sqm in Apapa, Lagos, offered for N500m; a detached house on about 1,000sqm on Glover Road, Ikoyi, offered for N850m; and a guest house with 17 standard rooms on four floors in Lagos Island.

In another list, obtained from a source in one of the banks, there were about 39 properties, including a property on Ahmadu Bello Way, Kaduna and a building on 2,947sqm offered for N250m; a storeyed building on 833.4sqm in Kano State, offered for N150m; a bungalow with some stores on 500sqm in Aba, offered for N8m; and a plot of land in Enugu, with a Deed of Assignment, offered for N50m.

Two wings of five-bedroomed semi-detached houses with boys’ quarters and gate house, all sitting on 3,430sqm in Ikoyi, offered for N1bn and a purpose-built banking and commercial structure on 862.80sqm in Victoria Island, Lagos, offered for N450m were also in the list.

On another list from one of the banks, some of the properties up for sale include a 14-floor building in Victoria Island offered for N13bn; a three-bedroomed semi-detached house in an estate in Abuja, offered for N48m and four-bedroomed terrace mid unit in an estate off the Lekki-Epe Expressway, Lagos, offered for N27m.

The prices placed on the properties, according to the documents, are subject to negotiations, all in a bid to dispose of the properties.

At the 326th meeting of the Bankers’ Committee held recently in Lagos, the Director of Banking Supervision, Central Bank of Nigeria, Mrs. Tokunbo Martins, had shed light on the incidence of the non-performing loans in recent times.

Giving reasons for the NPLs, Martins attributed it to the economic downturn.

But the CBN spokesperson, Mr. Isaac Okoroafor, while commenting on the incidence of NPLs in banks, said loans were parts of business, adding that they should not be seen as a sign of weakness in the banking sector.

Commenting on the development, industry analyst and Chief Executive Officer, Cowry Asset Management Limited, Mr. Johnson Chukwu, attributed increased cases of NPLs to the current economic recession.

He said, “Increased level of loan default is one of the many negative fallouts of economic depression, which in some instances affect the health of banks.”

Spokespersons for UBA, GTBank and FCMB, could not be reached for comments but the spokesman for First Bank, Mr. Babatunde Lasaki, said the lender might not comment on the matter due to bank-customer confidentiality agreement.

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.

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Gold

Gold Prices Rise as Soft Dollar Supports Safe-haven Appeal

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Gold prices firmed on Monday, propped up by a subdued dollar and slight retreat in the U.S. Treasury yields, with investors gearing up for a week of speeches from U.S. Federal Reserve policymakers for cues on the central bank’s rate hike path.

Spot gold was up 0.5% at $1,759.06 per ounce, as of 0400 GMT, while U.S. gold futures were up 0.4% at $1,759.00.

While the dollar index softened, the benchmark 10-year Treasury yields eased after hitting their highest since early-July. A weaker dollar offered support to gold prices, making bullion cheaper for holders of other currencies.

“Gold is still looking slightly precarious where it is right now, and it’s probably bouncing off key technical level around $1,750,” IG Market analyst Kyle Rodda said.

“Gold remains an yield story and that yield story is very much tied back to the tapering story.”

A slew of Fed officials are due to speak this week including Chairman Jerome Powell, who will testify this week before Congress on the central bank’s policy response to the pandemic.

“There’ll be a lot of questions being put to Fed speakers about what the dot plots implied last week and weather there is higher risk of heightened inflation going forward and that rate hikes could be coming in the first half of 2022,” Rodda added.

A pair of Federal Reserve policymakers said on Friday they felt the U.S. economy is already in good enough shape for the central bank to begin to withdraw support for the economy.

Gold is often considered a hedge against higher inflation, but a Fed rate hike would increase the opportunity cost of holding gold, which pays no interest.

Investors also kept a close watch on developments in debt-laden property giant China Evergrande saga as the firm missed a payment on offshore bonds last week, with further payment due this week.

Holdings of SPDR Gold Trust, the world’s largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, increased 0.1% to 993.52 tonnes on Friday from 992.65 tonnes in the prior session.

Silver rose 0.9% to $22.61 per ounce.

Platinum climbed 1.3% to $994.91, while palladium gained 0.7% to $1,985.32.

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Crude Oil

Brent Crude Oil Near $80 Per Barrel Amid Supply Constraints

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Brent crude oil - Investors King

Oil prices rose for a fifth straight day on Monday with Brent heading for $80 amid supply concerns as parts of the world sees demand pick up with the easing of pandemic conditions.

Brent crude was up $1.14 or 1.5% at $79.23 a barrel by 0208 GMT, having risen a third consecutive week through Friday. U.S. Oil added $1.11 or 1.5% to $75.09, its highest since July, after rising for a fifth straight week last week.

“Supply tightness continues to draw on inventories across all regions,” ANZ Research said in a note.

Rising gas prices as also helping drive oil higher as the liquid becomes relatively cheaper for power generation, ANZ analysts said in the note.

Caught short by the demand rebound, members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and their allies, known as OPEC+, have had difficulty raising output as under-investment or maintenance delays persist from the pandemic.

China’s first public sale of state oil reserves has barely acted to cap gains as PetroChina and Hengli Petrochemical bought four cargoes totalling about 4.43 million barrels.

India’s oil imports hit a three-month peak in August, rebounding from nearly one-year lows reached in July, as refiners in the second-biggest importer of crude stocked up in anticipation of higher demand.

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Crude Oil

Oil Holds Near Highest Since 2018 With Global Markets Tightening

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Crude Oil - Investors King

Oil held steady near the highest close since 2018, with the global energy crunch set to increase demand for crude as stockpiles fall from the U.S. to China.

Futures in London headed for a third weekly gain. Global onshore crude stocks sank by almost 21 million barrels last week, led by China, according to data analytics firm Kayrros, while U.S. inventories are near a three-year low. The surge in natural gas prices is expected to force some consumers to switch to oil, tightening the market further ahead of the northern hemisphere winter.

China on Friday sold oil to Hengli Petrochemical Co. and a unit of PetroChina Co. in the first auction of crude from its strategic reserves said traders with the knowledge of the matter. Grades sold included Oman, Upper Zakum and Forties.

Oil has rallied recently after a period of Covid-induced demand uncertainty, with some of the world’s largest traders and banks predicting prices may climb further amid the energy crisis. Global crude consumption could rise by an additional 370,000 barrels a day if natural gas costs stay high, according to the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries.

“Underpinning the latest bout of price strength is a tightening supply backdrop,” said Stephen Brennock, an analyst at PVM Oil Associates Ltd.

Various underlying oil market gauges are also pointing to a strengthening market. The key spread between Brent futures for December and a year later is near $7, the strongest since 2019. That’s a sign traders are positive about the market outlook.

At the same time, the premium options traders are paying for bearish put options is the smallest since January 2020, another indication that traders are less concerned about a pullback in prices.

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