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Nigerian Banks Loss N372B in Equities

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Banking stocks suffered the most among 25 top losers in the equities’ market as share price decline left investors with a net capital loss of N372 billion.

There were 10 banking stocks among the top 25 that lost 30 per cent and above in the past eight months. Some of the top losers recorded as much as 60.1 per cent in equities price reduction.

Conversely, only one banking stock made the few top gainers’ within the period. Altogether, there are 15 banking stocks quoted on the Nigerian stock market.

Three other banking stocks recorded various gains, while a bank dropped by 12.3 per cent.

Investors in banking stocks have suffered the highest losses with nearly three-quarters of quoted banking stocks running with double-digit losses. Losses in the banking sector generally significantly outweighed the overall market’s average loss, according to data review by The Nation.

The benchmark indices for the Nigerian stock market indicated eight-month average decline of 3.64 per cent, equivalent to a loss of N372 billion. Aggregate market value of all quoted companies on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) closed August at N9.479 trillion as against its year’s opening value of N9.851 trillion. The All Share Index (ASI), which tracks prices at the Exchange, dropped to 27,599.03 points by the month-end as against its year’s opening index of 28,642.25 points.

Banking stocks were deep in the red with the troubled Skye Bank leading the top 25 losers with year-to-date loss of 60.13 per cent. The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) had sacked the board and management of Skye Bank over corporate governance issues. Diamond Bank followed with a loss of 54.35 per cent. Other top losers in the banking sector included Ecobank Transnational Incorporate, -31.3 per cent; Fidelity Bank, -40.67 per cent; Sterling Bank, -49.18 per cent; Union Bank of Nigeria, -39.13 per cent; Unity Bank, -30.36 per cent; Wema Bank, -34.0 per cent; FBN Holdings, -40.53 per cent and FCMB Group, which market value had dropped by 39.64 per cent. Stanbic IBTC Holdings meanwhile dropped by 12.3 per cent within the period.

While consolidation, steep price declines and emergence of highly capitalised non-bank stocks such as Dangote Cement had reduced the hitherto overwhelming dominance of the market by banking stocks, banking stocks still account for some 25 per cent of the total market value of the Nigerian equities market.

Head, financial advisory group, GTI Capital Group, Mr. Kehinde Hassan, said the negative performance of the banking sector was weighing heavily on the overall market performance.

He noted that the unstable policy environment and the knee-jerk approach of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to regulatory decisions have compounded the tough operating environment for banks, many of which had warned of lower earnings due to the headwinds.

Only Guaranty Trust Bank (GTB) ranked within the top gainers’ list with 8-month gain of 45.76 per cent. United Bank for Africa (UBA) meanwhile posted a heartwarming return of 28.7 per cent. Access Bank followed with 14 per cent while Zenith Bank, against all expectations, trailed with a modest gain of 6.05 per cent.

Other top losers for the period included Livestock Feeds, -33.1 per cent; UACN Property Development Company, -42.5 per cent; Honeywell Flour Mills, -35.12 per cent; Vitafoam Nigeria, -43.99 per cent; AIICO, -30.77 per cent; Union Homes and Savings, -39.24; Fidson Healthcare, -32 per cent; GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Nigeria, -45.88 per cent; Berger Paints, -31.1 per cent; Cement Company of Northern Nigeria, -35.8 per cent; Lafarge Africa, -40.1 per cent; Portland Paints and Products Nigeria, -53.2 per cent; Forte Oil, -47 per cent; Tourist Company of Nigeria, -43.1 per cent and Caverton Offshore Support Group, which lost 40.9 per cent.

Nigerian equities have writhed under sustained losses in the past 32 months. Aggregate market value of all quoted equities on the NSE closed 2015 at N9.851 trillion as against its opening value of N11.478 trillion for the year, representing a loss of N1.627 trillion. The ASI indicated a negative full-year average return of -17.36 per cent. The ASI closed 2015 at 28,642.25 points as against its opening index of 34,657.15 points.

The losses in 2015 worsened the downtrend that had in 2014 marked out Nigerian equities among the worst-performing stocks globally with average full-year decline of 16.14 per cent. Aggregate market value of all quoted equities had closed 2014 at N11.478 trillion as against its opening value of N13.226 trillion for the year, indicating a loss of N1.75 trillion during the year.

Altogether, investors have lost more than N3.75 trillion in the past 32 months as the stock market groaned under political tension, steep decline in crude oil prices, foreign exchange crisis, uncertain policies and other domestic and global macroeconomic concerns.

The second half of 2016 has however seen considerable share price recovery compared with the steep losses in the first half. In the first quarter alone, Nigerian equities had recorded a net loss of N1.15 trillion.

Notwithstanding the negative overall market situation, many stocks have posted substantial returns so far this year. Dangote Flour Mills, which saw the reemergence of Aliko Dangote’s Dangote Industries Limited as the core investor, recorded the highest gain of 240.7 per cent. E-Tranzact followed with a gain of 97.4 per cent. United Capital returned 74.8 per cent while Total Nigeria posted eight-month return of 63.3 per cent. Other top gainers included Presco, 37.2 per cent; AG Leventis, 43.6 per cent; Union Dicon Salt, 39.3 per cent; Neimeth International Pharmaceutical, 32.6 per cent; DN Meyer, 30 per cent; Seplat Petroleum Development Company, 49.4 per cent; Eterna, 33.7 per cent and RAK Unity, a second-tier stock that posted a year-to-date return of 61.3 per cent.

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

Ecobank Profit After Tax Declined by 298 Percent in Q3, 2020

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Ecobank

Ecobank, whose official name is Ecobank Transnational Inc., reported a 298 percent declined in profit after tax for the third quarter ended September 30, 2020.

In the unaudited financial statements released through the Nigerian Stock Exchange, the leading lender’s profit after tax declined from N19.347 billion profit posted in the same quarter of 2019 to -N38.250 billion in the third quarter of 2020. Representing a decline of 298 percent.

Similarly, profit before tax dipped by 182 percent from N36.052 billion filed in the corresponding quarter to -N38.250 billion in the quarter under the review.

However, net interest income rose by 45 percent from N64.563 billion in 2019 to N93.621 billion in 2020. But the 163 percent plunged in other operating income from N77.939 billion in the third quarter of 2019 to -N4.505 billion in the quarter under review weighed on non-interest revenue by 1 percent to N77.229 billion.

Similarly, operating expenses rose by 12 percent to N106.321 billion, up from N94.526 billion. Net monetary loss arising from hyperinflationary economy rose from zero in the third quarter of 2019 to N8.817 billion in Q3 2020 with Goodwill impairment hitting N60.584 billion from zero in the corresponding quarter of 2019.

This, coupled with N8.762 billion tax dragged profit before tax to -N29.635 billion in the third quarter.

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Finance

First Bank, GTBank, UBA, Others Generate N133.92 Billion from Electronic Payment in Nine Months

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Rising investment in financial technologies and the growing adoption of electronic payments have earned 12 Nigerian banks a total sum of N133.92 billion in the first nine months of the year.

Billions spent in ensuring that bank customers have access to their funds and can perform financial transactions 24 hours a day paid off during the COVID-19 lockdown as many customers were able to maintain social distancing by carrying out financial transactions on numerous digital platforms.

Some of the electronic platforms banks generated revenue from in the first nine months were Automated Teller Machine transactions, USSD, online transfer, electronic bills payments, Remita, Point of Sale payments and agency banking, among others.

While some of the twelve banks were Access Bank Plc, First Bank of Nigeria Plc, First City Monument Bank Plc, Fidelity Bank Plc, Guaranty Trust Bank Plc, United Bank for Africa Plc and Sterling Bank Plc.

The other five were Jaiz Bank Plc, Union Bank of Nigeria Plc, Wema Bank Plc, Unity Bank Plc and Stanbic IBTC Plc.

A breakdown of the banks’ unaudited financial statements showed Access Bank’s revenue from electronic payments rose by 105 percent to N38.80 billion in the period under review, up from N18.96 billion posted in the same period of 2019.

First Bank’s electronic payment revenue stood at N34.59 billion, representing an increase of 0.5 percent over the N34.42 billion recorded in the corresponding period of 2019.

Similarly, fees and commissions FCMB earned from digital payments in the first nine months amounted to N6.62 billion, a 17 percent contraction from the N7.98 billion earned in the same period of 2019.

Jaiz Bank posted a 24 percent contraction on its electronic payment earnings from N406.65 million in 2019 to N309.55 million in the same period in 2020.

Also, Stanbic IBTC’s electronic earnings dropped by 15 percent from N2.49 billion posted in 2019 to N2.12 billion in 2020.

Fidelity Bank’s e-payments revenue contracted by 34 percent in the first nine months of the year to N1.74 billion, down from N2.63 billion in 2019. While GTBank posted a 26 percent decline in electronic banking income to N8.21 billion in the period under review, below N11.04 billion earned in the same period of 2019.

Union Bank Plc realised N5.34 billion from electronic payments charges in the first three quarters of the year. Meaning, the bank’s electronic payments decline by 5 percent to N5.6 billion.

For Sterling Bank Plc, electronic products earned the bank N4.31 billion in the very first nine months of 2020, again a reduction of 16 percent from N5.11 billion posted in the same period of 2019.

UBA Plc, Unity Bank and Wema Bank Plc generated N26.71 billion, N1.74 billion and N2.02 billion from electronic payment income, respectively.

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Finance

Ghana/Kenya: Eurobonds to Decouple as Fiscal Challenges Come to Fore

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Ghana and Kenya, two of the sub-Saharan African sovereigns with the highest amount of outstanding Eurobonds, could see a widening of their risk premiums over 2021, according to a Senior Credit Analyst at Redd Intelligence, Mark Bohlund.

Faced with fiscal challenges, the two African nations are expected to return to the Eurobond market in the first quarter of 2021, but this time with bigger risk premiums as investors are expected to incorporate a higher likelihood of frontier-market issuers being pushed into debt restructuring.

Mark Bohlund said, “Ghana and Kenya are likely to return to the Eurobond market in 1Q21 but see a widening of their risk premiums over 2021 as investors incorporate a higher likelihood of frontier-market issuers being pushed into debt restructuring.”

With Ghana’s outstanding Eurobonds presently estimated at US$10.3 billion and Kenya’s outstanding Eurobonds put at US$6.1 billion, spreads on Ghana’s Eurobonds will increase over those of Kenya in 2021.

It is likely that spreads on Ghana’s eurobonds over those of Kenya will increase over 2021 as concerns rise over its weak fiscal position and high reliance on commercial overseas financing,” Bohlund stated.

Commenting on the countries’ fiscal positions, Bohlund said both countries are likely to post double-digit fiscal deficits this year, as contracting economies add to already faltering government revenue.

“With interest costs absorbing close to 50% of government revenue, Ghana will struggle to find sufficient cost- savings in other areas to reduce the fiscal deficit substantially in 2021.”

“In contrast to Kenya, Ghana has already cut back its capital expenditure to a bare minimum. The Bank of Ghana stepped up its purchases of government bonds sharply in September and we expect this to continue during 2021.

“In Kenya, part of the solution should be to encourage county governments to raise more revenue, but this will be challenging to implement before the August 2022 elections.

“Having shied away from bi- and multilateral creditors in favor of commercial borrowing, Ghana is likely to struggle to secure sufficient external financing in 2021. This makes increased central bank financing likely and poses downside risks to the cedi.

“Neither Ghana nor Kenya is likely to seek DSSI participation in 1H21 even if they deem that international bond issuance will not be possible.

“We have changed our view and now expect both Ghana and Kenya to issue Eurobonds in 1H21.

“Kenya is likely to continue to draw on funding from the IMF, the World Bank and other multilateral creditors, as well as bilateral financial support from China as the Standard Gauge Railway, continues to bleed funds.”

Bohlund added that the spreads between Ghana and Kenya Eurobonds are likely to widen further as a higher risk of a debt restructuring is priced into Ghanaian assets.

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