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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.

Is the CEO/Founder of Investors King Limited. A proven foreign exchange research analyst and a published author on Yahoo Finance, Businessinsider, Nasdaq, Entrepreneur.com, Investorplace, and many more. He has over two decades of experience in global financial markets.

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Energy

Presidency Set to Roll Out 2,700 CNG-Powered Vehicles Ahead of Tinubu’s Anniversary

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BOC Gases Nigeria Plc - Investors King

In a significant move toward a greener and more sustainable future for Nigeria’s transportation sector, the Presidency has announced plans to launch approximately 2,700 Compressed Natural Gas (CNG)-powered buses and tricycles before May 29, President Bola Tinubu’s first year in office.

The ambitious initiative, spearheaded by the Special Adviser to the President on Information and Strategy, Mr. Bayo Onanuga, aims to address pressing issues of rising fuel costs, environmental pollution, and the need for more efficient mass transit options across the country.

With the impending rollout, Nigeria is poised to take significant strides towards joining the league of nations that have embraced CNG as a viable alternative fuel source for public transportation.

The move comes as part of the Presidential CNG Initiative, launched by President Tinubu in October 2023, shortly after the removal of petrol subsidy.

The Presidential CNG Initiative, designed to deliver cheaper, safer, and more climate-friendly energy options, has been allocated a substantial budget of N100 billion from the palliative budget.

This funding will support the purchase of 5,500 CNG vehicles, including buses and tricycles, along with 100 electric buses and over 20,000 CNG conversion kits.

Also, the initiative encompasses the development of CNG refilling stations and electric charging stations nationwide, ensuring that the infrastructure is in place to support the transition to cleaner energy sources.

Mr. Onanuga emphasized that all necessary preparations have been made for the delivery of the first set of critical assets for deployment and launch of the CNG initiative ahead of the first anniversary of the Tinubu administration.

Approximately 2,500 tricycles are expected to be ready before May 29, 2024, with plans to deliver 200 units of buses within the same timeframe.

The deployment of CNG buses and tricycles marks a significant milestone in Nigeria’s energy transition journey.

It not only reduces the country’s dependence on traditional fossil fuels but also contributes to mitigating environmental pollution and improving air quality in urban centers.

In addition to the rollout of CNG vehicles, the initiative includes partnerships with the private sector to establish conversion workshops and refueling sites across 18 states before the end of 2024.

These efforts underscore the collaborative approach taken by the government and industry stakeholders to facilitate the adoption of CNG technology and drive sustainable growth in the transportation sector.

As Nigeria prepares to celebrate President Tinubu’s first year in office, the rollout of 2,700 CNG-powered vehicles stands as a testament to the government’s commitment to fostering innovation, promoting environmental stewardship, and improving the lives of its citizens through transformative initiatives in the energy sector.

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Commodities

IPMAN Anticipates Further Drop in Diesel Price to N700/Litre

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The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) is looking forward to another significant drop in the price of diesel, with expectations set on a target of N700 per litre.

This anticipation follows recent reductions initiated by the Dangote refinery, which has already seen the price of diesel decrease from over N1,200 to N1,000 per litre.

Hammed Fashola, the National Vice President of IPMAN, expressed this optimism on Wednesday, highlighting the association’s appreciation for the efforts made by the Dangote refinery to make diesel more affordable for consumers.

In an interview, Fashola reiterated IPMAN’s belief that the price of diesel could continue to decrease, especially with the recent rebound of the naira against the dollar.

Fashola stated the removal of various challenges associated with imported diesel, such as shipment costs, customs duties, and taxes, as significant factors contributing to the potential reduction in price.

With diesel now being produced locally, these obstacles have been eliminated, paving the way for lower costs for consumers.

“We still expect that diesel will still come down more. Because if you look at the dollar rate to the naira now, the currency is doing well against the dollar. The exchange rate now is almost N1,000 on the black market. We still expect that the dollar will come down more,” Fashola stated.

The IPMAN boss highlighted the collective support for Dangote and emphasized the importance of making diesel affordable for all citizens. He expressed gratitude for the recent price cuts initiated by the refinery and reiterated the association’s hopes for further reductions to benefit consumers across Nigeria.

Dangote Refinery, which began selling diesel about two weeks ago, has been instrumental in driving down prices. Initially, diesel was priced at N1,600 per litre, but it has since been reduced to N1,000 per litre.

This reduction has been welcomed by both consumers and industry experts, who see it as a positive step towards economic relief and increased economic activities.

Analysts have also weighed in on the potential benefits of lower diesel prices. Economist Femi Oladele highlighted the potential for reduced production costs, which could lead to lower prices for goods and services.

Also, savings in foreign exchange could bolster the nation’s reserves, contributing to economic stability.

Jonathan Thomas, an analyst at Sankore Investment Limited, emphasized the broader impact of fuel prices on the economy.

Lower diesel prices not only benefit consumers but also impact the total cost of production, thereby influencing the general price level of goods and services.

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Crude Oil

Oil Markets Hold Breath as Iran-Israel Tensions Mount

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Crude Oil - Investors King

Amidst escalating tensions between Iran and Israel, the global oil markets find itself in a precarious position, with traders and investors anxiously watching for potential ramifications on prices and supply dynamics.

The latest developments have cast a shadow of uncertainty over the already volatile energy sector, prompting a flurry of activity and speculation among industry players.

Last week marked a downturn for oil as Brent crude experienced its first back-to-back weekly decline of the year, slipping below $87 a barrel. This decline, coupled with the largest drop since early February, reflects the unease permeating through the market as geopolitical tensions in the Middle East reach a fever pitch.

The catalyst for this downturn stems from a series of events that unfolded in the region.

Iran’s unprecedented drone and missile strike on Israel sent shockwaves through the international community, triggering a swift response from Israeli authorities.

However, conflicting reports emerged regarding the severity of Israel’s retaliation, leaving traders grappling with uncertainty over the potential escalation of hostilities.

In response to the heightened tensions, the US House of Representatives passed new sanctions targeting Iran’s oil sector, signaling a firm stance against the Islamic Republic’s aggressive actions.

With the measure now poised for Senate approval, the specter of further economic pressure on Iran looms large, raising concerns about potential disruptions to global oil supplies.

Warren Patterson, head of commodities strategy for ING Groep NV, who commented on the surprising resilience of oil prices in the face of heightened risk and tension in the Middle East, noted that while the market remains vigilant, it appears unfazed by the current geopolitical climate, choosing instead to adopt a wait-and-see approach regarding the impact of US sanctions on Iranian oil flows.

Despite the prevailing sense of uncertainty, there are signs of bullish sentiment among money managers, who are increasingly positioning themselves to capitalize on any potential spikes in oil prices.

Oil call options, which profit from price increases, are trading at a premium over puts, indicating a belief among investors that the market could tilt in favor of higher prices amidst geopolitical turmoil.

Looking ahead, the focus shifts to a flurry of upcoming events that could further shape the trajectory of oil markets.

Investors eagerly await a slew of economic data from the United States, including key indicators such as the Federal Reserve’s preferred measure of inflation, which will provide valuable insights into the future path of monetary policy.

Additionally, earnings reports from major oil companies, including TotalEnergies SE, Chevron Corp., and Exxon Mobil Corp., are set to be released this week.

These reports will offer a glimpse into the financial health of the industry giants and shed light on their production growth strategies amid a backdrop of geopolitical instability.

As tensions continue to simmer in the Middle East, the oil markets remain on edge, with every development closely scrutinized for its potential impact on prices and global energy security.

In this climate of uncertainty, traders and investors alike brace themselves for the next twist in this geopolitical saga, mindful of the far-reaching implications for the world’s most vital commodity.

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