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Sterling Bank Launches Indirect Bid to Raise N8b Capital

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Sterling Bank
  • Sterling Bank Launches Indirect Bid to Raise N8b Capital

Sterling Bank Plc has secured regulatory approval to raise about N8 billion in new capital as a first step in a large new capital issuance through which the bank seeks to raise a total of N65 billion.

A regulatory document obtained yesterday showed that Sterling Bank would be raising the new capital through an indirect special purpose vehicle known as Sterling Investment Management SPV Plc.

According to the document, Sterling Investment Management SPV will be offering for subscription N7.965 billion in its series 1: seven-year 16.50 per cent fixed rate unsecured bonds due 2023. The maiden issuance is part of the bank’s N65 billion debt issuance programme.

Sources in the know confirmed that the SPV is a tier-11 capital raising programme for Sterling Bank, describing it as a creative way to shield the bank from unnecessary regulatory and market issues while having access to the much-needed capital.

The document indicated that the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) has already approved the debt issuance, paving the way for the bank to conclude the pre-offer opening processes.

Global Credit Ratings (GCR) has accorded a final, public national scale long term rating of BBB (NG) to the N7.97 billion bond; with the outlook accorded as stable. The rating is valid until 31 August 2017.

Managing Director, Sterling Bank Plc, Yemi Adeola, recently said the bank was concluding arrangements to raise tier 2 capital in the second half of this year as improved assets quality and lower cost of fund steadied the performance of the bank in the first half of this year.

He said the bank would in the second half of the year continue to prioritise operating efficiency and ensure moderate loan growth; while continuing to diversify funding sources as our retail banking strategy gains traction.

He added that the bank also remained committed to its plan to conclude its N35 billion tier 2 capital raising.

“As we look to the second half of the year, we remain committed to our plan to conclude our N35 billion tier 2 capital raise, prioritise operating efficiency and ensure moderate loan growth; while continuing to diversify funding sources as our retail banking strategy gains traction. Although, some of the macroeconomic challenges witnessed during the first half of the year will persist, we expect improvements in the Nigerian economy, driven by the implementation of the budget and other fiscal palliatives introduced by the Federal Government,” Adeola assured.

As the Nigerian economy and the banking industry struggled with fiscal and monetary challenges that saw inflation and foreign exchange at their worst in many years, Adeola pointed out that the bank has remained irrepressible as demonstrated by the strength of its core business.

According to him, the bank prioritised improvement in asset quality which was reflected by a 70 basis point decline in the non-performing loans and a 100 basis point reduction in cost of risk. Cost of funds also declined by 120 basis points to 4.7%. This was in spite of the foreign exchange liberalisation policy, the attendant liquidity squeeze and the rising inflation rate which peaked at 16.5 per cent in June 2016.

He pointed out that the bank showed deeper pliability through the re-affirmation of its investment grade ratings at a time when corporate and sovereign ratings were under downward ratings pressure, adding that Sterling Bank has successfully migrated to a world-class CORE banking application, which will enable it to better manage a significant uptick in customer base and ensure the required flexibility to deliver unique services across business segments.

He said the bank has also taken steps to improve staff productivity by introducing a flexible work environment to achieve its goal of building a great workplace and reduce operating expenses.

 

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.

Crude Oil

Oil Dips Below $62 in New York Though Banks Say Rally Can Extend

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Oil

Oil Dips Below $62 in New York Though Banks Say Rally Can Extend

Oil retreated from an earlier rally with investment banks and traders predicting the market can go significantly higher in the months to come.

Futures in New York pared much of an earlier increase to $63 a barrel as the dollar climbed and equities slipped. Bank of America said prices could reach $70 at some point this year, while Socar Trading SA sees global benchmark Brent hitting $80 a barrel before the end of the year as the glut of inventories built up during the Covid-19 pandemic is drained by the summer.

The loss of oil output after the big freeze in the U.S. should help the market firm as much of the world emerges from lockdowns, according to Trafigura Group. Inventory data due later Tuesday from the American Petroleum Institute and more from the Energy Department on Wednesday will shed more light on how the Texas freeze disrupted U.S. oil supply last week.

Oil has surged this year after Saudi Arabia pledged to unilaterally cut 1 million barrels a day in February and March, with Goldman Sachs Group Inc. predicting the rally will accelerate as demand outpaces global supply. Russia and Riyadh, however, will next week once again head into an OPEC+ meeting with differing opinions about adding more crude to the market.

“The freeze in the U.S. has proved supportive as production was cut,” said Hans van Cleef, senior energy economist at ABN Amro. “We still expect that Russia will push for a significant rise in production,” which could soon weigh on prices, he said.

PRICES

  • West Texas Intermediate for April fell 27 cents to $61.43 a barrel at 9:20 a.m. New York time
  • Brent for April settlement fell 8 cents to $65.16

Brent’s prompt timespread firmed in a bullish backwardation structure to the widest in more than a year. The gap rose above $1 a barrel on Tuesday before easing to 87 cents. That compares with 25 cents at the start of the month.

JPMorgan Chase & Co. and oil trader Vitol Group shot down talk of a new oil supercycle, though they said a lack of supply response will keep prices for crude prices firm in the short term.

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Crude Oil

Oil Prices Rise With Storm-hit U.S. Output Set for Slow Return

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Crude oil

Oil Prices Rise With Storm-hit U.S. Output Set for Slow Return

Oil prices rose on Monday as the slow return of U.S. crude output cut by frigid conditions served as a reminder of the tight supply situation, just as demand recovers from the depths of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Brent crude was up $1.38, or 2.2%, at $64.29 per barrel. West Texas Intermediate gained $1.38, or 2.33%, to trade at $60.62 per barrel.

Abnormally cold weather in Texas and the Plains states forced the shutdown of up to 4 million barrels per day (bpd) of crude production along with 21 billion cubic feet of natural gas output, analysts estimated.

Shale oil producers in the region could take at least two weeks to restart the more than 2 million barrels per day (bpd) of crude output affected, sources said, as frozen pipes and power supply interruptions slow their recovery.

“With three-quarters of fracking crews standing down, the likelihood of a fast resumption is low,” ANZ Research said in a note.

For the first time since November, U.S. drilling companies cut the number of oil rigs operating due to the cold and snow enveloping Texas, New Mexico and other energy-producing centres.

OPEC+ oil producers are set to meet on March 4, with sources saying the group is likely to ease curbs on supply after April given a recovery in prices, although any increase in output will likely be modest given lingering uncertainty over the pandemic.

“Saudi Arabia is eager to pursue yet higher prices in order to cover its social break-even expenses at around $80 a barrel while Russia is strongly focused on unwinding current cuts and getting back to normal production,” said SEB chief commodity analyst Bjarne Schieldrop.

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Crude Oil

Crude Oil Rose Above $65 Per Barrel as US Production Drop Due to Texas Weather

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Crude Oil Rose Above $65 Per Barrel as US Production Drop Due to Texas Weather

Oil prices rose to $65.47 per barrel on Thursday as crude oil production dropped in the US due to frigid Texas weather.

The unusual weather has left millions in the dark and forced oil producers to shut down production. According to reports, at least the winter blast has claimed 24 lives.

Brent crude oil gained $2 to $65.47 on Thursday morning before pulling back to $64.62 per barrel around 11:00 am Nigerian time.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude rose 2.3 percent to settle at $61.74 per barrel.

“This has just sent us to the next level,” said Bob Yawger, director of energy futures at Mizuho in New York. “Crude oil WTI will probably max out somewhere pretty close to $65.65, refinery utilization rate will probably slide to somewhere around 76%,” Yawger said.

However, the report that Saudi Arabia plans to increase production in the coming months weighed on crude oil as it can be seen in the chart below.

Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman, Saudi Arabian Energy Minister, warned that it was too early to declare victory against the COVID-19 virus and that oil producers must remain “extremely cautious”.

“We are in a much better place than we were a year ago, but I must warn, once again, against complacency. The uncertainty is very high, and we have to be extremely cautious,” he told an energy industry event.

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