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CBN Mops up N391bn Through TB Sales

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FG Borrows
  • CBN Mops up N391bn Through TB Sales

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) sold about N391 billion treasury bills on Friday, lifting the interbank lending rate up to 12 percent.

The central bank sold N82 billion in 181-day treasury bills at 18 per cent and N309 billion at 18.6 percent, mopping up liquidity from the money market and pushing up the cost of borrowing among commercial lenders.

“We have some major placers quoting about 20 per cent for overnight placement, but most takers are not willing to borrow at that rate,” one dealer told Reuters, adding that the rate eventually settled around between 10 percent and 12 percent.

Markets had opened on Thursday with a surplus liquidity of about N467 billion due to an injection of matured treasury bills until the central bank later debited banks for the purchases of N302.4 billion in primary market treasury bills.

Traders said the central bank on Friday further moved to reduce liquidity with the sale of open market operations bills, which fetched returns above the inflation rate.

The government had raised N302.4 billion at Wednesday’s treasury bills auction, more than the N242 billion planned due to strong demand for the one-year debt, while payment for the purchased was debited from commercial lenders’ accounts on Friday.

The naira traded flat at both official interbank window, but parallel market traders quoting the naira at N500 to the dollar. Commercial lenders quoted the currency at 305.25 a dollar, about the level it has traded since August.

Forwards Auction

The CBN last week sold $660 million in three- and five- month currency forwards at an auction aimed at clearing a backlog of dollar demand. The central bank had at the preceding Wednesday asked commercial lenders to bid in a special currency auction targeted at clearing backlog of dollar obligations of manufacturing, airlines, agriculture and petroleum sector. The results of the auction were announced last Tuesday while payment for the dollar sales was due last Wednesday. This was the first major dollar sales to the key sector by the central bank this year in a bid to spur growth and revive the economy which slipped into recession last year due to currency crisis necessitated by drop in global oil prices.

$1 Billion Eurobond

The federal government last week met investors for its first Eurobond sale in more than three years as Africa’s most populous nation battles an economic contraction and the worst dollar squeeze in almost a decade. This was just as Standard & Poor’s (S&P), a global financial services and ratings company assigned the proposed $1 billion Eurobonds a ‘B’ issue ratings. The agency stated this in a note on the debt issue. Officials last Friday commenced roadshows in London and the U.S. before the proposed issue of 15-year bonds, the country’s longest-maturity dollar notes yet, according to a person familiar with the matter, who is not authorised to speak publicly told Bloomberg. Finance Minister Kemi Adeosun and the central bank’s Deputy Governor Sarah Alade led the meetings, to be organised by Citigroup Inc. and Standard Chartered Plc. The delegation also included Udo Udoma, the budget minister, and Abraham Nwankwo, head of the Debt Management Office. The dates for the roadshow are: London: February 3, Los Angeles: February 6, Boston: February 7 and New York: February 8.

Four Skye Bank’s EDs Resign

Skye Bank Plc on Friday announced the voluntary resignation of four of its Executive Directors from the services of the bank. The directors who resigned were Mr. Idris Yakubu, Mrs. Markie Idowu, Mrs. Abimbola Izu and Mr. Bayo Sanni. The Directors had served in Executive Management capacity for nearly two years and had been part of the new Board of the Bank, which came into being following the intervention of the Central Bank of Nigeria on July 4 2016.

In a notification to the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) the Group Managing Director of the bank, Mr. Tokunbo Abiru thanked the Executive Directors for their service to the comercial bank, noting that they had contributed immensely to the successful leadership transition which commenced last year. The bank has also announced that “the new development does not in any way affect the smooth running of the bank as it continues to deliver services to its customers across the country. The portfolios of the directors have been assigned to some General Managers to ensure a seamless transition.”

Manufacturing Index Declines in January

The Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) stood at 48.2 index points in January 2017, indicating a decline in the manufacturing sector during the review period. The index averaged 45.2 in the last twelve months, and had grown in December 2016 after recording declines for 11 consecutive months. The PMI is an indicator of the economic health of the manufacturing sector. The January 2017 PMI report released last week by the central bank showed that 10 of the 16 sub-sectors surveyed recorded decline in the review month in the following order: primary metal; transportation equipment; paper products; electrical equipment; fabricated metal products; printing & related support activities; cement; furniture & related products; plastics & rubber products; and chemical & pharmaceutical products. The remaining six sub-sectors were expected to expand in the order: petroleum & coal products; appliances & components; nonmetallic mineral products; food, beverage & tobacco products; textile, apparel, leather & footwear; and computer & electronic products.

Transactions Settlement

The CBN last week warned that any authorised dealer that defaults in the settlement of any auction or 2-way quote with the CBN in the financial market would be duly punished. The punishment includes suspension from all auctions as well as from its discount window. The central bank stated this in a circular to all authorised dealers titled: “Amendment of S4 Business Rules and Guidelines,” dated February 1, 2017, that was signed by its Director, Financial Markets Departments, Dr. Alvan Ikoku. Specifically, the amendment was with reference to Section 10.1 of the S4 Business Rules and Guidelines. The directive was with immediate effect.

It stated: “Any auction of 2-way quote with the CBN must be settled. If it is on queue, it shall be given highest priority and when it fails to settle, the system shall generate an automatic Intra-day Liquidity Facility (ILF) backed by collateral to settle the transaction. Where there are no securities, the allotment shall be cancelled and the defaulter suspended from all auctions for eight weeks from the date of default.

“ILF shall be bought back or converted to Standing Lending Facilities (SLF) by the participant by the close of business day, failing which it shall be automatically converted to SLF at the prevailing SLF rate plus 500 basis points.

“If any SLF is not repurchased by the participant bank by the next business day, such participants shall not be eligible to access the discount window until such outstanding obligation is settled in accordance with Section 27 of the Guidelines for the Conduct of Repurchase Transactions under the CBN Standing Facilities.”

Governance and Equitable Growth

A new World Bank policy report last week urged developing countries and international development agencies to rethink their approach to governance, as a key to overcoming challenges related to security, growth, and equity.

The 2017 World Development Report titled: “Governance and the Law,” explored how unequal distribution of power in a society interferes with policies’ effectiveness. Power asymmetries helped explain, for example, why model anti-corruption laws and agencies often fail to curb corruption, why decentralisation does not always improve municipal services; or why well-crafted fiscal policies may not reduce volatility and generate long-term savings.

The report noted that when policies and technical solutions fail to achieve intended outcomes, institutions often take the blame. However, it found that countries and donors need to think more broadly to improve governance so that policies succeed. It defined better governance as the process through which state and non-state groups interact to design and implement policies, working within a set of formal and informal rules that are shaped by power.

“As demand for effective service delivery, good infrastructure, and fair institutions continues to rise, it is vital that governments use scarce resources as efficiently and transparently as possible,” World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim said.

Diaspora Bond

The federal government last week asked Goldman Sachs and Stanbic IBTC Bank to advise it on the planned sale of a debut “diaspora bond” targeted at Nigerians living abroad. Africa’s biggest economy first announced plans to sell bonds targeting Nigerian nationals abroad in 2013 to raise about $300 million. Goldman Sachs and Stanbic were due to manage the sale at the time, but the government did not appoint any bookrunners ahead of the election in 2015 that brought President Muhammadu Buhari to power. United Bank for Africa last Monday said the lender had been appointed as one of the bookrunners on the diaspora bond deal. First Bank and Standard Bank were also appointed, a local newspaper reported, quoting the debt office. Nigeria is the world’s fifth-biggest destination for international remittances after China, India, the Philippines and Mexico, with five million Nigerians living abroad sending money back to relatives, according to Western Union. Remittances make up the second-largest source of foreign exchange receipts in Nigeria, after oil revenues.

Is the CEO/Founder of Investors King Limited. A proven foreign exchange research analyst and a published author on Yahoo Finance, Businessinsider, Nasdaq, Entrepreneur.com, Investorplace, and many more. He has over two decades of experience in global financial markets.

Banking Sector

Zenith Bank Achieves Historic Milestones in 2023 With Stellar Triple-Digit Topline And Bottom-Line Growth

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Zenith Bank - Investors King

Zenith Bank Plc has announced its audited results for the year ended December 31, 2023, achieving a remarkable triple-digit growth of 125% in gross earnings from NGN945.6 billion reported in 2022 to NGN2.132 trillion in 2023.

According to the audited financial results for the 2023 financial year presented to the Nigerian Exchange (NGX), this impressive triple-digit growth in gross earnings resulted in a Year-on-Year (YoY) increase of 180% in Profit Before Tax (PBT) from NGN284.7 billion in 2022 to NGN796 billion in 2023.

Profit After Tax (PAT) also recorded triple-digit growth of 202% from NGN223.9 billion to NGN676.9 billion in the period ended December 31, 2023.

The increase in gross earnings is primarily due to growth in interest and non-interest income. Interest income increased by 112% from NGN540 billion in 2022 to NGN1.1 trillion in 2023. Non-interest income grew by 141% from NGN381 billion to NGN918.9 billion in the same period.

The increase in interest income is attributed to the growth in the size of risk assets and their effective repricing, alongside the rise in the yield of other interest-bearing instruments over the year. Growth in non-interest income was driven by significant trading gains and an increase in gains from the revaluation of foreign currencies.

The cost of funds grew from 1.9% in 2022 to 3.0% in 2023 due to the high interest rate environment while interest expense increased by 135% from NGN173.5 billion in 2022 to NGN408.5 billion in 2023. Notwithstanding the 32% growth in operating expenses in 2023, the Group’s cost-to-income ratio improved significantly from 54.4% in 2022 to 36.1% in 2023 due to improved top-line performance.

Return on Average Equity (ROAE) increased by 118% from 16.8% in 2022 to 36.6% in 2023, underpinned by improved gross earnings, as the Group sought to deliver better shareholder returns. Return on Average Assets (ROAA) also grew by 95% from 2.1% to 4.1% in the same period.

The Group has continued to deepen its market leadership in key corporate and retail deposit segments as customer deposits increased by 69% from NGN9.0 trillion to NGN15.2 trillion in 2023.

Its retail drive continues to yield dividends as retail deposits now constitute 46% of total deposits (compared to 44% in 2022) and grew by 77% from NGN3.97 trillion in 2022 to NGN7.04 trillion in 2023, also reinforcing increased customer confidence in the Zenith brand.

Total assets increased by 66% from NGN12.3 trillion in 2022 to NGN20.4 trillion in 2023, largely due to growth in total deposits and the revaluation of foreign currency deposits.

Gross loans grew by 71% from NGN4.1 trillion in 2022 to NGN7.1 trillion in 2023 due to the revaluation of foreign currency loans and the growth in local currency risk assets.

As a result of the disciplined and diligent approach to risk assets creation and management, the loan growth did not significantly impact the Non-Performing Loans (NPL) ratio, which increased marginally from 4.3% to 4.4% despite the heightened risk environment and challenging operating environment, an attestation to the Group’s resilience despite headwinds and a challenging macroeconomic environment.

Also, the prudential ratios remain within regulatory thresholds, with the Capital Adequacy Ratio (CAR) and liquidity ratio at 21.7% and 71.0%, respectively, at the close of 2023.

As a demonstration of its commitment to shareholders, the bank has announced a proposed final dividend payout of NGN3.50 per share, bringing the total dividend to NGN4.00 per share.

In 2024, the Group will complete the transition to a holding company structure, which is anticipated to position it advantageously for exploring emerging opportunities in the Fintech space while bolstering its digital and retail banking initiatives.

Furthermore, the Group is undertaking urgent necessary actions to meet the new minimum NGN500 billion equity capital requirement to maintain its international authorisation within the timeframe stipulated by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

This will strengthen its presence in key markets to continue positioning for sustainable growth and value addition for stakeholders.

Zenith Bank’s track record of excellent performance has continued to earn the brand numerous awards, including being recognised as Best Bank in Nigeria, for the fourth time in five years, from 2020 to 2022 and in 2024, in the Global Finance World’s Best Banks Awards; the Best Bank for Digital Solutions in Nigeria in the Euromoney Awards 2023, being listed in the World Finance Top 100 Global Companies in 2023; being recognised as the Number One Bank in Nigeria by Tier-1 Capital, for the 14th consecutive year, in the 2023 Top 1000 World Banks Ranking published by The Banker Magazine; Best Commercial Bank, Nigeria, for three consecutive years from 2021 to 2023, in the World Finance Banking Awards; Best Corporate Governance Bank, Nigeria in the World Finance Corporate Governance Awards 2022 and 2023; Bank of the Year (Nigeria) in The Banker’s Bank of the Year Awards 2020 and 2022; Best in Corporate Governance’ Financial Services’ Africa, for four successive years from 2020 to 2023, by the Ethical Boardroom; Most Sustainable Bank, Nigeria in the International Banker 2023 Banking Awards; Best Commercial Bank, Nigeria and Best Innovation in Retail Banking, Nigeria in the International Banker 2022 Banking Awards.

Also, the bank emerged as the Most Valuable Banking Brand in Nigeria in the Banker Magazine Top 500 Banking Brands 2020 and 2021; Bank of the Year 2023 and Retail Bank of the Year for three consecutive years from 2020 to 2022, at the BusinessDay Banks and Other Financial Institutions (BAFI) Awards. Similarly, Zenith Bank was named Bank of the Decade (People’s Choice) at the ThisDay Awards 2020, Bank of the Year 2021 by Champion Newspaper, Bank of the Year 2022 by New Telegraph Newspaper, and Most Responsible Organisation in Africa 2021 by SERAS Awards.

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Banking Sector

UBA Reports 256.89% Rise in Profit After Tax, Hits N607.69bn in 2023

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UBA House Marina

United Bank for Africa Plc (UBA) has reported a 256.89% increase in profit after tax to N607.69 billion in the full year ended December 31, 2023 from N170.27 billion achieved in the previous year.

This outstanding performance underscores UBA’s resilience and strategic positioning in navigating the challenging economic landscape while capitalizing on emerging opportunities.

The audited financial results filed with the Nigerian Exchange Limited also revealed improvement across various financial metrics.

UBA’s gross earnings rose by 143% to N2.08 trillion compared to N853.2 billion recorded in 2022.

Similarly, the bank’s profit before tax surged by 277% to N758 billion, a significant leap from N201 billion in the prior year.

One of the most remarkable achievements for UBA was the doubling of its total assets, which crossed the N10 trillion mark to close at N20.65 trillion in December 2023. This exponential growth represents a 90.22% increase from N10.86 trillion in 2022.

UBA’s shareholders also witnessed a significant uptick in their funds, with the group’s shareholders’ funds increasing by 120.2% year-on-year to N2.0 trillion.

The group’s cost-to-income ratio dropped from 59.2% in 2022 to 37.2%, reflecting improved cost management and operational efficiency.

Also, UBA significantly bolstered its loan portfolios by 61.3% to N5.5 trillion, while deposits witnessed a substantial increase of 90.31% to N14.9 trillion, compared to N7.8 trillion recorded in 2022.

In line with its commitment to value creation and rewarding shareholders, UBA’s Chairman, Tony Elumelu, fulfilled the promise made at the last annual general meeting by proposing a final dividend of N2.30 kobo for every ordinary share of 50 kobo for the fiscal year 2023.

The proposed dividend, to be paid from retained earnings totaling N919.872 billion as of December 2023, underscores the bank’s commitment to delivering sustainable returns to its shareholders.

Commenting on the financial performance, UBA’s Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Oliver Alawuba, stated, “I am very pleased with the unprecedented results achieved by our group in 2023.”

“The group’s shareholder’s funds crossed N2 trillion from N922 billion in 2022. The group is well positioned for further business expansion in FY2024 having closed FY2023 with a capital adequacy ratio of 32.6 percent.”

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Banking Sector

FBN Holdings to Seek Shareholders’ Approval for N300bn Capital Raise

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FBN Holdings

FBN Holdings, one of Nigeria’s leading financial holding companies, has announced its intention to seek shareholders’ approval for a N300 billion capital raise.

The decision comes amidst efforts to bolster the company’s financial strength and support its growth objectives in the dynamic banking landscape.

In a notice of its extraordinary general meeting (EGM) filed with the Nigerian Exchange Limited on Monday, FBN Holdings revealed its plans to convene a virtual meeting by the end of the month to deliberate on the proposed capital raise.

Shareholders will consider and vote on the special business item, granting the company authorization to undertake a capital raise of up to N300 billion.

“The capital raise transaction shall be by the issuance of shares via a public offering, private placement, rights issue in the Nigerian or international capital markets, at price(s) to be determined by way of a book building process or any other valuation method or combination of methods,” stated the notice.

The decision to pursue such a significant capital raise aligns with the evolving dynamics of the banking sector.

The Central Bank of Nigeria recently revised upward the capital requirements for commercial, merchant, and non-interest banks, as well as promoters of new banks, in response to domestic and global economic challenges.

According to the apex bank’s directive, commercial banks with international authorization are mandated to increase their capital base to N500 billion, while national banks must achieve a capital floor of N200 billion.

Regional banks, on the other hand, are expected to maintain a capital base of N50 billion. Non-interest banks have also been directed to raise their capital to N20 billion and N10 billion for national and regional authorizations, respectively.

FBN Holdings’ move to seek additional capital follows earlier initiatives in this regard. In October, the company sought approval from the Nigerian Exchange Group to raise N139 billion through a rights issue, signaling its proactive approach to fortifying its financial position and supporting future expansion endeavors.

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