- CBN to Make Forex Available for PTA, School Fees, Others
The Central Bank of Nigeria on Monday modified its foreign exchange policy with the reduction of the tenor of its forward sales from the current maximum cycle of 180 days to 60 days from the date of transaction.
For business and personal travel allowances, the CBN said it would ease the difficulties encountered by Nigerians in obtaining forex for these types of transactions.
To achieve this, it said in a statement issued by its Acting Director of Communications, Mr. Isaac Okoroafor, that it would provide direct additional funding to banks to meet the needs of Nigerians for personal and business travels, medical needs and school fees, effective immediately.
The CBN said it expected such retail transactions to be settled at a rate not exceeding 20 per cent above the interbank market rate.
It said, “Having cleared the historic backlog of matured letters of credit at the inception of the current flexible exchange rate system, the CBN will immediately begin to provide foreign exchange to all commercial banks to meet the needs of both personal travel allowances and business travel allowances for onward sale to customers.
“All banks will receive amounts commensurate with their demand per week, which will be sold to customers who meet usual basic documentary requirements.
“Similarly, the CBN will meet the needs of parents, guardians and sponsors who are seeking to make payments of school and educational fees for their children and wards. Such payments must be made by commercial banks directly to the institution specified by the customer.”
The CBN added that it would ensure that the process was smooth, noting that customers in need of forex would get the foreign exchange they genuinely demanded.
It said the decision was part of efforts to further increase the availability of foreign exchange to all end-users.
In a bid to ease the burden of travellers and ensure that transactions are settled at much more competitive exchange rates, the CBN directed all banks to open forex retail outlets at major airports across the country as soon as logistics permit.
The statement read in part, “In order to further increase the availability of foreign exchange to all end-users, the CBN has decided to significantly reduce the tenor of its forward sales from the current maximum cycle of 180 days to no more than 60 days from the date of transaction.
“In order to further ease the burden of travellers and ensure that transactions are settled at much more competitive exchange rates, the CBN hereby directs all banks to open FX retail outlets at major airports as soon as logistics permit.”
In a bid to increase the efficiency of the forex market and maintain its confidence, the CBN said it would immediately begin the implementation of an articulated programme to clear all the unfilled orders in the interbank forex market.
“Given our plan to meet all unfilled orders, and while provision of forex to the manufacturing sector would remain the CBN’s strong priority, we will no longer impose allocation/utilisation rules on commercial banks,” it added.
The statement noted that the CBN would implement an effective intervention programme to support the inter-bank market to ensure adequate liquidity necessary to deliver an efficient forex market.
The apex bank also advised the Financial Market Dealers Exchange to activate its forex order-book systems as soon as possible and also accelerate the on-boarding of forex clients on the forex relationship systems to ensure total transparency of the market.
The statement added, “Given the CBN’s objective to continuously and vigorously pursue a transparent, liquid and efficient foreign exchange market, the bank reiterates it would neither tolerate unscrupulous actions nor hesitate to bring serious sanctions on offenders, be they banks or their staff.
“The bank, therefore, encourages market participants to assist in ensuring that these new measures engender the preservation of our external reserves, stability of our financial system, and growth of our economy to the benefit of all Nigerians.”
Unity Bank Posts N2.09 Billion Profit Despite N4 Billion Revaluation Loss in 2020
Unity Bank Plc, one of Nigeria’s leading financial institutions, grew profit after tax to N2.09 billion in the financial year ended December 31, 2020.
The lender profit before tax stood at N2.22 billion in the year under review while assets rose by astonishing 67.90 percent from N293.05 billion in 2019 to N492.02 billion in 2020.
In the audited financial statements released on Monday, Unity Bank grew its gross loan portfolio by 92.9 percent from N106.9 billion recorded in December 2019 to N206.2 billion in December 2020.
The almost 100 percent jumped in credit provision highlighted the bank’s strategy at deepening support for farmers, improving food security and enhancing new job creation for thousands of youths and entrepreneurs.
During the bank’s earnings call on Monday, Mr. Kolawole Ebenezer, the Executive Director and Chief Financial Officer, Unity Bank Plc, explained that the bank has been able to cut down on its Non-performing loan to near-zero percent by adopting a strategy that allows the lender to focus on farmers and at the same time implement strategy that mitigates security challenges.
Unity Bank grew its net operating income by 9.71 percent to N25.46 billion in 2020, up from N23.21 billion in the corresponding period of 2019. Similarly, net interest income rose by 7.60 percent to N17.75 billion in 2020 from N16.49 billion in 2019 while earnings per share stood at 17.85 kobo.
In spite of COVID-19 disruption, Unity Bank grew customers’ deposit portfolio by 38.4 percent to N356.62 billion, up from N257.69 billion filed in 2019. This indicates market acceptance of the bank’s product offerings and series of technological integration launched during the year under review to ease banking challenges, especially as the world struggles with the COVID-19 pandemic.
Bismarck J. Rewane, the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Financial Derivatives Company Limited, who spoke during the earnings call on Monday, said Unity Bank is operating like a tier I bank despite its obvious limitations and highlighted the broad-based growth the bank has recorded in recent years.
The economic think tank further explained that if the bank’s N4 billion revaluation loss is added to profit after tax declared, the bank would have declared N6 billion. This does not include the adjustments made by the Central Bank of Nigeria to the interest rate charged on agric loans that eroded interest income on loans by over 30 percent.
Nasdaq Set To Launch Options Trading For Coinbase Global
Less than a week after the largest crypto exchange in the U.S. Coinbase was listed, Nasdaq is set to start trading options for Coinbase Global.
According to Reuters, a representative for Coinbase stated that the COIN.O options will start trading on Nasdaq on Tuesday, April 20.
The launch of equity options will offer a new way for investors to bet on the fortunes of Coinbase. Equity options represent the right, but not the obligation, to buy or sell a stock at a certain price, known as the strike price, on or before an expiration date.
The news follows Coinbase’s direct listing, which saw the firm’s stock fluctuate between a valuation of $429.54 and $310 on its first day of trading.
It was reported that the Chief Executive Officer of Coinbase, Brian Armstrong sold less than 2% of his holdings which worth about $292 million in shares on COIN’s first day of trading. According to filings made with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Armstrong sold 749,999 shares in three batches at prices ranging from $381 to $410.40 per share for total proceeds of $291.8 million.
It was also reported that insiders dumped nearly $5 billion in COIN stock shortly after it was listed. Filings on the Coinbase Investor Relations website showed a total of 12,965,079 shares were sold by insiders, worth over $4.6 billion at COIN’s $344 share price at close on Friday.
Yahoo Finance reported the stock has slumped 22.5% from a high of $429.54 on April 14 to a current after-hours trading price of $332.75 where it appears to have settled after Monday’s trading session.
On April 20, Coinbase Pro announced that will add support for new trading pairs for Basic Attention Token (BAT), Cardano (ADA), Decentraland (MANA), and USDC from April 20. The four assets will be paired with three fiat currencies (USD, EUR, GBP), BTC, and ETH, with limited trading functionality to be made available while market liquidity is assessed at launch.
Unity Bank Grows Asset by 67.90% to N492.02 Billion, As Gross Earnings Hit N42.71 Billion in FY 2020
Unity Bank Plc grew its assets base to N492.02billion representing a significant increase of 67.90% from the N293.05 billion of total assets value recorded in 2019. This is even as the agric-focused lender declared gross earnings of N42.71 billion within the period under review.
A review of the Bank’s audited results for full-year ended 31 December 2020, released to the Nigerian Stock Exchange, showed that the Bank improved its bottom line marginally as Profit After Tax, PAT stood at N2.09 billion. Profit Before Tax, PBT closed at N2.22 billion, in a year that was defined by the unmitigated impact of global pandemic characterized by disruptions in business activities and the general downturn that resulted in revenue/returns dip in major leading sectors globally.
The lender substantially grew its customers’ deposit portfolio to N356.62 billion, up from N257.69 billion in the corresponding period of 2019, representing a 38.4% growth. This affirms positive market uptake of the Bank’s product offerings, as well as the lender’s growing customer base to its recent aggressive push with agile customer-centric products, which has played a role in deepening financial services penetration, especially to a wider world, an underserved spectrum of the retail market.
Other major highlight of the audited financial statement relates to growth in its net operating income which rose to N25.46 billion from N23.21 billion in the corresponding period of 2019, representing a 9.71% increase. This is even as the net interest income recorded a significant jump, as it rose by 7.60% to N17.75 billion from N16.49 billion in the corresponding period of 2019. Earnings per Share closed at 17.85 Kobo.
The Bank’s gross loans portfolio increased by 92.9% to N206.2 billion in December 2020 from N106.9 billion in December 2019. The Bank’s lending strategy was specially tailored to support the nation’s food agenda. This had the added advantage of improving food security across the country, providing employment to thousands of youths and entrepreneurs, contributing to the conservation of FX stocks and mitigating security challenges by ensuring adequate empowerment of citizens and deepening skills acquisition across the value chain.
Commenting on the result, Unity Bank’s Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Mrs. Tomi Somefun stated that the results showed the resilience of the Bank during unprecedented times of uncertainties and our ability to innovate and focus on key balance sheet items that will enable us to maintain the growth trajectory.
She further opined that: “Consequently, for the year under review, the opportunities to significantly create more quality assets for the business, thought to have a sustainable impact, informed part of choices made and we have seen some encouraging market uptake in this regard, apart from the benefits to the enterprise bottom-line that have also started trickling in. Other key performance indicators especially on the liability side of the business were equally not left out. The Bank deployed new product features and augmentation supported by omni-channel, USSD promotions and other channels to enhance services delivery efficiency, drive income generation capacities and enhance steady balance sheet growth for the year”.
Looking ahead, Somefun stated: “we will latch on targeted strategies to deploy significant investment in technology in order to ride the waves of the COVID-19 pandemic. On the back of this, the Bank focuses on achieving major efficiency gains, deepening its retail footprints and penetrating identified cluster market segments, as bulwarks to tapping into various youth markets platforms, in addition to the mass market would get a further boost”.
While laying an outlook for the future, the Unity Bank’s Chief further stated: “The Bank is also looking to consolidate on the gains from its core business areas and niche in the agribusiness sector. The Bank has solidly financed over one million farmers over the past three years. These farmers cut across several primary crop production such as rice, maize, cotton, wheat, sorghum, etc coupled with their rich value chains, and we hope to continue to expand on this as we play our part in driving the country’s quest for self-sufficiency in food production.”
Analysts are of the view that has made an appreciable impact in the agribusiness and its value chains consistently, the market is excited that the current year performance and different initiatives of the Bank show that the agribusiness is bankable not only as a differential positioning but also for sustainable business performance and profitability.
Finance3 weeks ago
List of Microfinance Banks’ USSD Codes In Nigeria
Education2 weeks ago
COVID-19: 2021 WASSCE May Not Hold in May/June – WAEC
Education2 weeks ago
JAMB Puts 2021 UTME/DE Registration on Hold
Brands2 weeks ago
LG To Close Mobile Phone Business Worldwide
Technology3 weeks ago
FG Extends NIN-SIM Linkage by Four Weeks
Telecommunications4 weeks ago
Nokia, Safaricom Partner to Launch East Africa’s First Commercial 5G Services in Kenya
Government2 weeks ago
Approved Ibom Deep Sea Port, Proposed $1.4B Fertilizer Plant Will Change Akwa Ibom’s Economic Status – Gov. Udom
Economy3 weeks ago
Business Activities Fall as PMI Drops to 57.3– CBN