Wema Bank Plc has transferred its majority equity stake in the 56-year-old Great Nigeria Insurance (GNI) Plc to Insurance Resourcery and Consultancy Services Limited in a deal worth N3.24 billion.
A transaction document obtained by The Nation at the weekend showed that the divestiture was concluded last week with the transfer of Wema Bank’s shares to Insurance Resourcery through a special purpose window of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE).
The report showed that a total of 2.87 billion ordinary shares of 50 kobo each of GNI were crossed in a single deal to Insurance Resourcery at N1.13 per share through the negotiated cross deal window of the Exchange.
The cross deal, which was done through the off-market, negotiated cross deals window, was not subjected to the dynamics of price discovery for the particular period as off-market trade implies that the deal was sealed outside the floor of the NSE.
The negotiated cross deal platform of the Exchange is a special-purpose trading platform that is meant for voluminous transaction. By the cross deal, it implies that the buyer and the seller had been prearranged and the transfer at the stock market was a mere perfection of the agreement between the two. The negotiated cross deal allows the parties to the deal to close the deal at reduced cost.
At N1.13 per share, the transaction cost represents 126 per cent increase on the current market value of GNI, which has stagnated at its nominal value of 50 kobo per share. GNI currently has total paid up capital of 3.827 billion ordinary shares of 50 kobo each with a market capitalisation of N1.91 billion.
A market pundit said the transaction cost further underlined the undervaluation of several stocks at the Exchange, coming after recent audit showed that Conoil’s net asset per share was higher than its market price.
The Nation had reported earlier that authorities at the NSE, where both Wema Bank and GNI are listed, had approved the divestment.
GNI started operations in 1960 and its businesses include general and life insurance.
Following Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)’s banking regulatory regime that required banks to either divest from non-core banking subsidiaries or form a holding company to hold those subsidiaries, Wema Bank had opted to divest from its non-core banking businesses including GNI. The bank had since divested from Wema Insurance Brokers Limited, Wema Registrars Limited, Independent Securities Limited and Whyte Cleon Limited. It also integrated operations of four subsidiaries into its core banking business including Wema Asset Management Limited, Wema Securities and Finance Plc, Wema Homes (Savings and Loans) Limited and Wise Properties Limited. Wema Bank had 100 per cent equity stakes in the trio of Wema Registrars, Wema Insurance Brokers and Whyte Cleon Limited while it had 94.7 per cent stake in Independent Securities and 75 per cent in GNI.
Meanwhile, the new core investor, a relatively unknown firm, will be required to restructure GNI’s issued share capital to dilute the existing concentrated shareholdings of the core investors and allow more investments from the general investing public.
In the latest report on public shareholding status in quoted companies obtained by The Nation, the NSE indicated that GNI and 10 other companies were in violation of the listing requirement, which compels companies quoted on the main board of the NSE to ensure that a minimum of 20 per cent of its issued shares is in the hand of the general investing public.
Companies listed on the Exchange are required to maintain a minimum free float for the set standards under which they are listed in order to ensure that there is an orderly and liquid market in their securities. The free float requirement for companies on the main board is 20 per cent while companies on the second board, otherwise known as Alternative Securities Market (ASEM) are required to have 15 per cent free float.
Ecobank Partners NiDCOM to Mobilise Nigerians Abroad for National Development
In a bid to fulfill it’s objectives and mandate, the Pan African Bank has promised to support Nigerians living and working abroad through it’s partnership with NiDCOM.
The Managing Director, Ecobank Nigeria, Patrick Akinwuntan has stated that the bank is privileged to work closely with the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission, (NiDCOM) and will continue to pursue one of its key mandates of helping to enhance the economic development and integration of Africa through its support to Nigerians living and working abroad.
Speaking at the maiden edition of the Diaspora Quarterly Lecture Series with Ecobank as the sole banking partner which took place on Saturday, 8th May 2021, he noted that Ecobank remains a critical bridge for Nigerians abroad, as it has made huge investments in the necessary platforms to enable them connect with home seamlessly. The event held online and had over 2000 participants from across all the continents in attendance.
“Nigerians in the diaspora play a major role in nation building, their contribution goes a long way to catalyse economic development. For us at Ecobank, we are a pan-African institution positioned to foster the economic growth and integration of our continent, so we are particularly pleased to work closely with the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NiDCOM), ably led by the Chairman/CEO, Hon Abike Dabiri-Erewa”.
“We are committed to ensuring that every Nigerian living abroad is able to remit home seamlessly and affordably, access viable investment opportunities and as the financial institution of choice for Nigerians abroad, we have deployed the necessary resources to actualise this.” He stated.
The Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, who was also present, reiterated the readiness of the government to collaborate with Nigerians in the diaspora, highlighting the new processes put in place to facilitate passport issuance, noting that all backlog of passport applications would be cleared by the end of May 2021.
Also speaking, the Hon. Minister of State, Foreign Affairs Amb. Zubairu Dada said harnessing the human capital and material resources of Nigerians in the diaspora towards the socio-economic, cultural, and political development of Nigeria can no longer be ignored. He pointed out that the Nigerian diaspora community is well educated, resourceful, skilled, and exposed to global best practices.
The NiDCOM Chairman/CEO, Hon. Abike Dabiri- Erewa explained that the Diaspora Quarterly Lecture Series is projected to be a major aspect of national discourse, where Nigerians abroad can be kept abreast of the government’s policies, programmes and projects.
Increase in Price Boosts Revenue of Dangote Sugar by 41.5 Percent in Q1 2021
Revenue of Dangote Sugar Refinery Plc rose by 41.5 percent to N67.394 billion in the first quarter (Q1) of 2021 from N47.643 billion recorded in the same quarter of 2020.
According to the leading sugar manufacturer, the increase in revenue was a result of the increase in the price of sugar in the first quarter. The company claimed price adjustment was necessary to mitigate the negative effect of inflation and depreciation on the company.
Volumes only rose by 5.7 percent during the quarter despite a 41.5 percent increase in revenue, meaning the increase in price was the main sales catalyst.
In the company’s unaudited financial statements, gross profit grew from N12.721 billion in Q1 2020 to N18.044 billion in Q1 2021.
Similarly, operating profit stood at N15.884 billion, up from N10.747 billion posted in Q1 2020.
Finance cost more than double from N1.353 billion in Q1 2020 to N3.412 billion in Q1 2021.
Dangote Sugar’s profit before tax rose from N9.509 billion recorded in the corresponding quarter to N11.949 billion in the quarter under review.
The company paid N3.646 billion in income tax, slightly higher than N3.137 paid in the same quarter of 2020.
Profit for the period grew from N6.372 billion in Q1 2020 to N8.302 billion in Q1 2021.
Commenting on the company’s performance, Dangote Sugar said “EBITDA increased by 34.7% to N17.02 billion (2020: N12.64 billion) on account of increased earnings. Group profit after taxation for the period increased by 30.3% to N8.30 billion (2020: N6.37 billion) reflecting management’s unrelenting drive to deliver consistent shareholder value.”
On price increase, the company hinged it on series of devaluation carried out in 2020 by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), escalating inflation, port congestion and rising in price of global sugar. Dangote Sugar said its imported raw sugar from Brazil under Federal Government’s backward integration plan.
“We have continued to witness high cost of raw materials, energy costs and other input costs due to rising inflation and FX rate fluctuation. Further cost escalation is anticipated in the year as inflationary pressure mounts,” the company said.
FBN Holdings Suffers 39 Percent Drop in Profit to N15.6 Billion in Q1 2021
FBN Holdings Plc profit after tax declined by 39 percent from N23.140 billion recorded in the first quarter (Q1) of 2020 to N15.6 billion in the first quarter of 2021.
In the leading financial institution’s unaudited financial statements released through the Nigerian Exchange Limited, gross earnings declined by 14.5 percent to N137 billion in the period under review, down from N160 billion filed in the previous quarter.
Similarly, net interest income declined from N60.253 billion achieved in Q1 2020 to N52.793 billion.
Net interest income after impairment charge for losses also dipped from N50.547 billion in Q1 2020 to N39.619 billion in Q1 20201. While net fee and commission income rose from N20.773 billion in Q1 2020 to N28.427 billion in Q1 2021.
Profit before tax declined by 34 percent to N18.906 billion in the quarter under review, down from N28.680 billion posted in the corresponding quarter of 2020.
FBN Holdings paid N3.285 billion in income tax in the first quarter of 2020.
Therefore, profit for the period stood at N15.621 billion. While Net Assets contracted from N765.2 billion to N764.8 billion.
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