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FG to Borrow N105bn via Local Bonds

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The Federal Government is planning to borrow N105bn ($345m) in local currency — denominated bonds at an auction on October 12, the Debt Management Office has said.

The DMO said on Tuesday that it would raise N35bn each from debt maturing in 2021, 2026 and 2036, using the Dutch auction system.

All the bonds are re-openings of previously issued debt.

The Federal Government had last week announced plans to raise between N250bn and N340bn in local currency-denominated bonds in the fourth quarter of this year.

The government has estimated that it will borrow around N900bn from the local debt market this year to fund a budget deficit projected at N2.2tn, which has been aggravated by an economic slump as low oil prices slashed government revenues and weakened the naira.

The FG is also planning a $1bn Eurobond issue.

The Central Bank of Nigeria is also planning to borrow N129.67bn ($403.01m) in short-dated Treasury bills at an auction on Wednesday (today).

The CBN said it would raise N28bn in three-month paper, N33.49bn in six-month bills and N68.18bn in one-year bills.

According to a public notice by the lender, payment for the purchases will be made on Thursday.

The Federal Government issues Treasury bills to raise cash to fund the budget deficit, manage banking system liquidity and curb rising inflation.

According to the traders, banks have been resorting to the central bank’s standing lending facility to cover their positions.

The naira closed at 476 against the dollar on Tuesday, marginally down from 475 recorded on Monday.

The naira had fallen to an all-time low of 490 against the dollar at the parallel market early on Friday before recovering to 475 amid the lingering dollar shortage.

At the official market, the naira spot rate closed at 420.31 against the greenback, FMDQ data showed.

The CBN had borrowed N140.88bn ($448m) via short-dated Treasury bills at an auction last Wednesday, attracting lower yields across the board, except on the three-month debt that was flat.

The CBN said it was planning to borrow N1.77bn via Treasury bills in the last three months of the year.

In its fourth quarter Treasury bill issue programme, the apex bank said it would raise about N815.37bn, comprising 91 days, 182 days and 364 days’ debt instruments.

In addition to the above, the central bank is also planning to raise about N952.05bn as rollover in the three categories of the instruments.

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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Banking Sector

Ecobank Posts $352 Million Pre-tax Profit in Nine Months Ended September 2021

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Ecobank - Investors King

Ecobank Group, one of Africa’s leading financial institutions, posted strong revenue growth in the nine months ended September 2021. Net revenue grew by 4 percent or $52 million to $1.3 billion on the back of funded income, cash management, trade finance, mobile and online payments.

The lender disclosed in its audited financial statement obtained by Investors King on Monday.

Return on assets and tangible equity also improved by 1.3 percent and 17.9 percent, respectively, compared with 1.0 percent and 14.1 percent recorded in the nine months ended September 2020.

Strong revenue growth was recorded in the bank’s payments business, rising by 34 percent to $140 million or 11 percent of the Group’s total revenue.  Ecobank Group grew profit before tax to $352 million in the period under review.

Profit available to ETI shareholders grew by $215 million year-on-year to $182 million from -$32 million recorded in the corresponding period of 2020. Customer deposits increased by $1.5 billion or 9 percent year on year to $18.9 billion, attributed to client relationships, partnerships, and increasing consumption of our digital platforms.

Customer loans increased by $334 million or 4 percent year on year to $8.9 billion. While the bank’s Non-Performing Loan (NPL) ratio reduced further to 6.9 percent from 7.6 percent in the fourth quarter of 2020 and 9.9 percent in the third (3Q) 20.

Book value per share up 8 percent year-on-year to 6.04 cents, and tangible book value per share (TBVPS) up 11 percent to 5.52 cents.

Commenting on the company’s performance, Ade Ayeyemi, Ecobank Group CEO, said: “We reported strong results, reflecting the continued diligence of Ecobankers in putting our customers first and ensuring that we meet their respective needs. For the nine months period up to September 2021, we earned $352 million in pre-tax profit, a 41% increase compared to the prior year and revenues of $1.3 billion, a 4% growth. Hence return on tangible equity increased to 17.9%, and we grew the per-share value of our shareholders’ equity by 11% to 5.52 US dollar cents.

“These results also demonstrate the hard work invested in driving efficiency in all our businesses in line with our deliberate focus on driving down our cost-toserve, sustain improvement in the quality of our credit portfolio, and strengthen liquidity and capital buffers. As a result, our cost-to-income ratio has been declining consistently quarter on quarter, currently 58.3%. In addition, the stock of nonperforming loans as a percentage of loans outstanding is now at 6.9% compared to 9.9% a year ago. At the same time, we are proactively building loan reserves, currently at 91.2% of nonperforming loans, close to our near-term target of 100%.

“We have boosted the firm’s liquidity profile, thanks to growing customer deposits fueled by an acceleration in digital channel adoption, partnerships with Fintechs, Telcos, and businesses in the Payments Ecosystem,” Ayeyemi added.

“During the quarter, Arise B.V., a major institutional shareholder of ETI made a $75 million Additional Tier 1 (AT1) investment in the firm. Adding onto the $350 million Tier 2 Sustainability Note ETI successfully issued to investors in June. The AT1 further improves our Tier 1 capital and double leverage ratio and demonstrates stakeholder confidence in our strategy and business prospects,” Ayeyemi continued.

“Finally, we continue to invest in new digital and mobile capabilities to enhance customer experience, alongside the investments we are making in our people, processes, and controls, to ensure the continued resilience of our business and service delivery to our clients. I am deeply grateful to all our customers and the Ecobank team for the remarkable job.” Ayeyemi concluded.

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Banking Sector

Zenith Bank GMD, Onyeagwu Emerges “CEO of the Year” as Zenith Bank Wins ‘Most Responsible Organisation in Africa’ at SERAS CSR Africa Awards 2021

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Ebenezer Onyeagwu - Investors King

Zenith Bank’s Group Managing Director/CEO, Mr. Ebenezer Onyeagwu, has emerged CEO of the Year for a second consecutive year at the Sustainability, Enterprise and Responsibility (SERAS) CSR Africa Awards held at the weekend in Lagos.

According to the judges, he was selected for a number of reasons, including engendering a culture that promotes the continued investment in social initiatives in support of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Under his leadership, the Zenith Bank’s social investments totalled NGN3.285 billion in 2020, representing nearly 2% of the Bank’s profit after tax.

The judges found him worthy for his commitment to promoting sustainability and responsible business practices in Nigeria, by his frontal leadership of sustainability in Zenith Bank, thereby enabling best industry practices in the banking sector, and for his passion for reducing carbon emissions in the Bank’s operations.

Zenith Bank Plc also emerged winner in four other categories at the SERAS CSR Africa Awards, carting home the awards for “Best Company in Reporting and Transparency”, “Best Company in Infrastructure Development”, “Best Company in Gender Equality and Women Empowerment”, and the coveted “Most Responsible Organisation in Africa”.

Zenith Bank was adjudged the Most Responsible Organisation in Africa, winning the overall best sustainability award, for its continued commitment to the tenets of Sustainability and Corporate Social Responsibility, within its immediate community and in the society at large.

The Bank also emerged as the winner in the category for Reporting and Transparency for its consistency in disclosing and communicating its sustainability journey and progress annually vis-a-vis environmental, social, and governance (ESG) goals, in line with the guidelines and protocols set by the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), Nigeria Sustainable Banking Principles (NSBP), NigerianExchange (NGX), United Nations Global Compact (UNGC), and United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI). The Bank also ensures the assurance of its sustainability report by reputable independent third parties. In 2021, the Bank’s 2020 sustainability report was assured by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) and disseminated through the Bank’s website for the public and sent to all relevant stakeholders, including the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC).

In the infrastructure development category, the Bank was voted winner for its nation-building initiatives and investments, including supporting efforts towards establishing basic services and functional security, governance, and economic and infrastructure systems, especially in Nigeria. As a testament to this and in demonstration of its commitment to the development (often referred to as reform, restructuring and rebuilding) of the Nigeria Police Force for the preservation of law and order, protection of life and property, and law enforcement in Nigeria, the Bank supported the Lagos State Security Trust Fund with N500,000,000.00 for the provision of security-enhancing facilities and infrastructure. This is in addition to contributions to other state security trust funds.

Zenith Bank was adjudged winner in the category for the Best Company in Promotion of Gender Equality and Women Empowerment for its Z-Woman initiative, which offers credit facilities to women-owned businesses at a single-digit interest rate and for a gender-balanced workforce (Women make up about 50% of employees). During the reporting period, the number of women and women enterprises supported by the Bank, through the Z-Woman initiative, grew by 88.7%, from 391 in 2019 to 738 in 2020.

The Sustainability, Enterprise and Responsibility Awards (SERAS) is an initiative of TruCSR which celebrates and promotes investments by corporate organisations in the society through CSR and sustainability initiatives. It made its debut in 2007, and participation was opened to other countries of Africa in 2016.

The 2021 awards featured 387 projects by 97 organisations across Africa. The SERAS Jury Board consists of global thought and best-practices leaders from around the world such as Maria Sillanpaa (Finland); Nyasha Gwatidzo (Zimbabwe); Adesuwa Onyenokwe (Nigeria); Amjed Achour (Morocco); Charles Ojei (Nigeria); Ellen Gunning (Ireland); Gina Din-Kariuki (Kenya); Indira Kartallozi (England); Lampe Omoyele (Nigeria); Paul Kapelus (South Africa); and Scott Walker (England).

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Banking Sector

Having a FirstBank Salary Account Can Ease Your Money Problems, Find Out How…

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FirstBank Headquarter - Investors King

“There is always a lot to spend money on, and sometimes the bills can’t wait for the salary to be paid” Tope complained when his wife informed him that they had run out of cooking gas and had to refill.

He had just moved to a new location with his family and the bills seemed to be coming at such speed that he could hardly keep up. Barely three weeks in the new apartment, the electricity bill had arrived.  The new apartment was bigger than the last and their two double-seater cushions left too much space vacant in the seating room. They needed to get a couple more pieces of furniture to fill the space. His wife had not stopped reminding him of the car he promised to get, in order to ease mobility for the family.

Everyone has been a Tope at some point in time, and that is why everyone needs a financial partner like FirstBank, Nigeria’s premier and leading financial services brand. FirstBank offers a variety of loan products that can help you ease off the pressure as you work towards meeting pressing and urgent needs, as well as medium-term goals.

FirstAdvance is a digital product tailored for Salary Account holders, who have an urgent cash need and would want to access salary advances from the bank.  If you have held a salary account with FirstBank for up to two months, you can access 50% of your monthly net salary and as much as half a million naira (N500,000).

A physical visit to the bank branch is not required as you can access it via the FirstMobile (FirstBank’s Mobile banking app) and USSD channels. To access the service via USSD, dial *894*11# from the phone number linked with your FirstBank account. This has proved to be the solution for many people while emergencies arise before payday. There is no point in waiting for month-end before you can take on those pressing financial obligations.

FirstCredit is another digital product designed to cater for non-salaried individuals. All that is required is for your account to have been active and transacting in FirstBank for six months or more to access FirstCredit. It provides customers with quick and easy access to loans to fund urgent transactions. You do not need a smartphone or a physical visit to the bank to get this done as well. This credit facility can be accessed using a mobile phone and the USSD banking code, *894*11#. You can access as much as N300,000 to be repaid within 30 days.

No physical documentation or collateral is required, neither do you need a physical visit to the bank to access both loans.  Imagine the confidence that comes with sorting out your bills within minutes and without having to wait till month-end.

Salary accounts should do more than receive your monthly payments from your employer. It should be instrumental in making your day-to-day living easier, and this is what having your salary account with FirstBank can achieve for you. You can get a Personal Loan Against Salary (PLAS) if you have a longer-term project at hand or investments to make. It may be paying school fees for your kids, acquiring assets or renovating your properties, paying rent, taking professional examinations. Customers who qualify can access Up to N50 million based on their net monthly income and rates are competitive while offering long-term and flexible repayments up to 48 months tenor.

Despite all these benefits and ease in access to loans, it literarily costs nothing to open a FirstBank Salary Account.  Zero opening balance, Zero minimum daily operating balance, Zero account maintenance charge, plus you even get your first debit card issued for free.

Truly, it is always “YOU FIRST” from FirstBank.

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