- CBN Orders Banks to Stop Dollar Loans
Bank customers who do not earn foreign exchange (forex) will henceforth not be able to secure dollar-denominated loans, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has said.
CBN Director, Banking Supervision, Mrs. Tokunbo Martins, broke the news yesterday at the CBN-Financial Institutions Training Centre (FITC) continuous education programme for Directors of Banks and Other Financial Institutions, held in Lagos.
She said the policy shift followed the continuous depreciation of the naira and subsequent rise in foreign currency exposures of banks in naira terms.
She said the currency depreciation, which intensified following the introduction of the flexible exchange regime, had increased the loan repayment obligation of borrowers and threatened their capacities to meet contracted loan repayments.
“Banks may, therefore, need to restrict extending foreign currency denominated loans to customers that do not earn foreign exchange,” she said.
Speaking on the theme: Current Regulatory Requirements and their Implications, Mrs Martins said the CBN introduced the flexible forex policy to address the challenges experienced in the forex market.
“The objective of the new regime is to enhance efficiency and facilitate a liquid and transparent Foreign Exchange Market. It is pertinent to note that, although the regime is flexible, CBN intervention in the inter-bank market is allowed, and can be direct or through dynamic secondary market mechanisms,” she said.
“One of the fallouts of the flexible exchange rate regime is increase in volatility in forex market, resulting in heightened exposure of banks to foreign exchange risk. Consequently, banks may need to tighten their controls and monitor their foreign currency positions more closely,” she stated.
Speaking on Treasury Single Account (TSA) implementation, Mrs Martins said the TSA regime precipitated some unintended consequences, affecting the operations of banks, especially regarding deposit depletion, asset quality, decrease in revenues and liquidity stress.
According to her, the aggregate deposit transferred to the CBN from the inception of the TSA regime to March 2016 was N2.67 trillion. This sum, which represents 15.14 per cent of the total deposits of commercial banks of N17.63 trillion as at April 30, constitutes the volume of deposits “lost” by banks as a fallout of the implementation of the TSA regime.
“This loss impacted banks differently in line with the proportion of their balance sheet that was sustained with Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) deposits. Due to its large size and low cost, Federal Government of Nigeria deposits were a huge source of revenue for banks. Although specific data on revenue attributable to FGN deposits is not available, a good proxy is the yield on Treasury Bills, which is currently around 14 per cent,” she said.
Mrs Martins said assuming the entire government deposits were invested by the banks in Treasury Bills, at the current yield of 14 per cent, it would generate interest income of about N374 billion for the banks. This figure, she said, provides an indication of revenue that is no longer available to commercial banks due to introduction of TSA.
Mrs Martins said that based on the large quantum of revenue earned from government deposits, majority of commercial banks had created teams with responsibility for mobilising public sector funds.
“These teams, which were large and significant, were in some cases directly supervised by top management staff. The introduction of the TSA regime and resultant depletion in government deposits and related revenue has made these teams unprofitable and their existence untenable. Therefore, most banks had scaled back or disbanded the teams and, in extreme cases, released staff deployed to the teams,” she said.
The CBN director said the TSA regime impacted the liquidity level in the banking system due to the attendant remittance of cash, which constitutes a major portion of banks’ liquid assets to the apex bank.
“Furthermore, as part of risk management, banks with large government deposits mitigated their positions by investing the liability in T-bills and FGN bonds. These banks had to liquidate these investments in order to comply with the TSA regime, thereby further reducing their stock of liquid assets,” she said.
Mrs Martins explained that with the introduction of the TSA regime, easy and risk free revenue that was hitherto available to banks via investment of FGN deposits in Treasury Bills and Government Bonds had been restricted.
“Therefore, banks must become innovative in generating revenue to support their operations and provide returns to their shareholders. This development also presents an opportunity for banks to return to their traditional role of savings aggregation and financial inter-mediation. Banks should thus strive to increase the size of their loan books in order to increase their interest and fees income,” Mrs Martins said.
Peter Obaseki Retires as Chief Operating Officer of FCMB Group Plc
The Board of Directors of FCMB Group Plc has announced the retirement of Mr. Peter Obaseki, the Chief Operating Officer of the financial institution, with effect from March 1, 2021. He was also an Executive Director of the Group.
His retirement was approved at a meeting of the Board of the Group on February 26, 2021. This has also been announced in a statement to the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) by the financial institution.
The Chairman of FCMB Group Plc’s Board of Directors, Mr Oladipupo Jadesimi, thanked Mr. Obaseki for his valuable service and excellent support to the Board for many years.
FCMB Group Plc is a holding company divided along three business Groups; Commercial and Retail Banking (First City Monument Bank Limited, Credit Direct Limited, FCMB (UK) Limited and FCMB Microfinance Bank Limited); Investment Banking (FCMB Capital Markets Limited and CSL Stockbrokers Limited); as well as Asset & Wealth Management (FCMB Pensions Limited, FCMB Asset Management Limited and FCMB Trustees Limited).
The Group and its subsidiaries are leaders in their respective segments with strong fundamentals.
For more information about FCMB Group Plc, please visit www.fcmbgroup.com.
COVID-19: CBN Extends Loan Repayment by Another One Year
Central Bank Extends One-Year Moratorium by 12 Months
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has extended the repayment of its discounted interest rate on intervention facility by another one-year following the expiration of the first 12 months moratorium approved on March 1, 2020.
The apex bank stated in a circular titled ‘Re: Regulatory forbearance for the restructuring of credit facilities of other financial institutions impacted by COVID-19’ and released on Wednesday to all financial institutions.
In the circular signed by Kelvin Amugo, the Director, Financial Policy and Regulation Department, CBN, the apex bank said the role-over of the moratorium on the facilities would be considered on a case by case basis.
The circular read, “The Central Bank of Nigeria reduced the interest rates on the CBN intervention facilities from nine per cent to five per cent per annum for one year effective March 1, 2020, as part of measures to mitigate the negative impact of COVID-19 pandemic on the Nigerian economy.
“Credit facilities, availed through participating banks and OFIs, were also granted a one-year moratorium on all principal payments with effect from March 1, 2020.
“Following the expiration of the above timelines, the CBN hereby approves as follows:
“The extension by another 12 months to February 28, 2022 of the discounted interest rate for the CBN intervention facilities.
“The role-over of the moratorium on the above facilities shall be considered on a case by case basis.”
It would be recalled that the apex bank reduced the interest rate on its intervention facility from nine percent to five percent and approved a 12-month moratorium in March 2020 to ease the negative impact of COVID-19 on businesses.
To further deepen economic recovery and stimulate growth, the apex bank has extended the one year-moratorium until February 28, 2022.
MTN Nigeria Generates N1.35 Trillion in Revenue in 2020
MTN Nigeria Grows Revenue by 15.1 Percent from N1.169 Trillion in 2019 to N1.35 Trillion in 2020
Despite the COVID-19 pandemic and challenging business environment, MTN Nigeria realised N1.346 trillion in revenue in the financial year ended December 31, 2020.
The leading telecommunications giant grew revenue by 15.1 percent from N1.169 trillion posted in the same period of 2019.
Operating profit surprisingly jumped by 8.5 percent from N393.225 billion in 2019 to N426.713 billion in 2020.
This, the telecom giant attributed to the surge in finance costs due to increased borrowings from N413 billion in 2019 to N521 billion in 2020.
MTN Nigeria further stated that the increase in finance costs was the reason for the decline in growth of profit before tax to 2.6 percent.
MTN Nigeria grew profit before tax by 2.6 percent to N298.874 billion, up from N291.277 billion filed in the corresponding period of 2019.
The company posted N205.214 billion profit for the year, a 0.9 percent increase from N203.283 billion recorded in the 2019 financial year.
Share capital remained unchanged at N407 million. While Total equity increased by 22.3 percent from N145.857 billion in 2019 to N178.386 billion in 2020.
MTN Nigeria’s market price per share increased by 61.8 percent from N105 to N169.90.
While market capitalisation as at year-end also expanded by 61.8 percent to N3.458 trillion, up from N2.137 trillion.
The number of shares issued and fully paid as at year-end stood at 20.354 million.
MTN Nigeria margins were affected by Naira devaluations and capital expenditure due to the new 4G network coverage roll-out.
“Margins were adversely affected by the effect of naira devaluation and expenses associated with new sites’ roll-out to boost 4G network coverage in FY’20.
“On the former, we note that MTNN expanded the scope of its service agreement with IHS Holding Limited and changed the reference rate for converting USD tower expenses to NAFEX (vs CBN’s official rate previously). Thus, over the full-year period, the company’s operating margin contracted by 1.9 ppts YoY to 31.7%,” CardinalStone stated in its latest report.
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