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UBA, Stanbic IBTC’s Impairment Charges Hit N47.5bn

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  • UBA, Stanbic IBTC’s Impairment Charges Hit N47.5bn

United Bank for Africa Plc and Stanbic IBTC Holdings Plc have set aside N47.48 billion to cover bad loans in their 2016 financial results. The provision showed a jump of 138 per cent compared to N19.9 billion they set aside in 2015.

Access Bank Plc, Guaranty Trust Bank (GTBank) Plc and Zenith Bank Plc, had reported a total loss provisions N119.59 billion, indicating an increase of 183 per cent from N42.297 billion in 2015.

However, when UBA and Stanbic IBTC released their audited results last week, they followed the same trend of rising impairment charges as a result of the economic headwinds that had affected some of their debtors.

A breakdown of the impairment charges showed that UBA made the higher provision of N27.68 billion, which is a significant jump from N5.06 billion in 2015. That of Stanbic IBTC rose from N14.9 billion to N19.8 billion.

Despite the huge impairment charges, both financial institutions ended the year with higher profit after tax (PAT). For instance, Stanbic IBTC Holdings grew its PAT by 51 per cent to N28.52 billion, from N18.891 billion in 2015.

UBA’s PAT rose by 22 per cent from N60 billion to N72 billion in 2016. Based on the performance, the Board of Directors of UBA proposed a final dividend of 55 kobo,, bringing the total dividend to 75 kobo per share for the year. The bank had earlier paid an interim dividend of 20 kobo.

Commenting on the results, the Group Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of UBA, Kennedy Uzoka expressed satisfaction at the resilience of the bank, despite the macroeconomic challenges in a number of countries where it operates.

He said: “Given the operating environment in 2016, I am very pleased with our profitability – an impressive 32 per cent growth in profit before tax to N91 billion – whilst we have also focused keenly on operational efficiencies, illustrated by the reduction in our Cost-to-Income Ratio.”

Speaking on the bank’s outlook for the 2017 financial year, Uzoka said: “As we implement our Customer First Philosophy, we are approaching 2017 with real optimism, especially with the outlook remaining positive in many of our markets, where we benefit from our increasingly diverse revenue streams. We reiterate our pledge to delivering excellent service to our customers, and remain committed to creating superior and sustainable return for our shareholders.”

Speaking in the same vein, Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of UBA Group, Ugo Nwaghodoh said, 2016 performance reflected the strong potential and resilience of the bank’s business.

“We grew top and bottom lines by 22 per cent and 32 per cent respectively, despite the stagflation in Nigeria, our core market. Reflecting improved balance sheet management and better value extraction, our net interest margin (NIM) improved to 6.7 per cent,” he said.

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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Merger and Acquisition

United Kingdom Ordered Meta, Formerly Facebook, to Sell Giphy

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The United Kingdom’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has instructed Meta – formerly known as Facebook – to sell Giphy, the American search engine that allows users search for and share short looping videos which are without sound, that are similar to animated GIF files.

The CMA stated that the merger deal could possibly be harmful to social media users and advertisers in the UK. It also found that the deal would further boost Meta’s already strong market power, as it would limit other platforms’ ability to use Giphy GIFs, which will, in turn, drive more traffic to sites owned by Facebook (WhatsApp, Instagram and Facebook).

According to the CMA, Meta’s sites dominated social media usage time up to around 73 percent, and could eventually outperform social media rivals like TikTok, Twitter and Snapchat by leveraging Giphy. The Authority then added that before the merger, Giphy had launched ”innovative advertising services” which brands like Dunkin’ Donuts and Pepsi which it could possibly have brought to the United Kingdom.

The CMA also stated that at the time the merger was made, Giphy’s advertising services were terminated by Facebook. That move removed a vital part of potential opposition in the market. The CMA was concerned by this move, calling it particularly concerning considering that Facebook is in control of about half of the £7 billion display advertising market in the UK.

Facebook had acquired Giphy for a reported fee of $400 million, with an aim of integrating the service into Instagram. After a month, the CMA started an investigation into the merger and decided in August that Facebook could hinder social media rivals such as TikTok and Snapchat from tapping into Giphy’s GIFs.

Meta had initially stated that the CMA did not have jurisdiction because Giphy was not operational in the United Kingdom, adding later that Giphy’s paid services were not display advertising by the definition of the CMA.

In October, Meta was fined $70 million by the CMA for breaking some rules related to the deal by failing to report necessary information and changing its chief compliance officer on two different occasions without receiving permission.

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Brands

Burger King Expands to Nigeria

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Burger King, an American multinational chain of hamburger fast food restaurants, has opened its very first restaurant in Nigeria to deepen its growing brand, support new job creation and enhance economic productivity in Africa’s largest economy.

The United States Mission in Nigeria has praised the improving commercial ties between Nigeria and the United States as American franchises and branches set up shops in Nigeria. This has in turn created more jobs as well as investment opportunities in the country.

This was said by the US Mission Commercial Counselor, Jennifer Woods during her speech at the opening of the Burger King outlet in Nigeria. Woods underlined the impact which new businesses have on a country’s economy, especially with a popular franchise like Burger King opening in a developing market like Nigeria.

She said that being Africa’s largest economy and a large youth population with a strong connection to the world, American brands must look at Nigeria as a highly critical market. She went ahead to state that while the companies will benefit from the expansion into the country, Nigeria itself will also benefit largely from their presence in the country.

Woods also described the addition of another American-owned franchise (one that emphasizes a culture of excellence) will help to provide job opportunities as the business expands to new parts across the country. She praised the high level of interest by consumers and the passion which they have for the iconic American rapid service restaurant since it began its operations in early November.

The Speaker of the Nigerian House of Representatives, Honourable Femi Gbajabiamila congratulated Burger King and all its local partners on the intriguing business deal, explaining it as another signal of the benefits of a close business relationship between the United States and Nigeria. He also stated that Burger King is expected to open hundreds of outlets across the country.

Burger King entered into an alliance with local firm, Allied Food & Confectionary Services Limited in order to bring the American brand into the Nigerian market. The Group Managing Director of Allied Food & Confectionary Services Limited, Antoine Zammarieh has prior experience bringing United States rapid service restaurants to Nigeria.

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Company News

Panasonic Confirms Data Breach after Hacker Attack

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Japanese tech giant Panasonic has affirmed that the company has been a victim of a data breach after some hackers were able to access the company’s internal network.

In a press release dated November 26, the company stated that its private network was illicitly accessed by a “third party” on November 11, and also stated that some data which was on a company file server had been retrieved during the breach.

However, a spokesperson for Panasonic, Dannea DeLisser stated that the data breach started on June 22, and ended on November 3. She also said that the very first unauthorized access was detected on November 11.

The company which is based in Osaka, Japan provided additional details about the breach. In the press release, the company said that although it is conducting its own investigation into the breach, it is also working with a third-party organization to investigate the data leak. The third party organization is also looking into whether or not the breach included personal information of customers or sensitive information which concerns social infrastructure.

Immediately the unauthorized access was discovered by the company, the incident was reported to the appropriate authorities who went ahead to set up some security countermeasures, which also contained steps to avert external access to the network. The company closed the statement by apologizing for concerns and inconveniences caused by the data breach.

This type of incident is not completely new to Panasonic, as just under a year ago Panasonic India faced a ransomware attack in which hackers leaked about 4 gigabytes of data, including email addresses and financial details.

The data breach also comes at a period when Japanese technology companies are facing waves of cyberattacks. NEC and Mitsubishi Electric were victims of hackers in 2020, and Olympus was also made to suspend operations in Europe, Africa and the Middle East after being a victim of a ransomware attack.

The trend of cyberattacks in Japan is likely to reduce public faith in the company, especially since it has been hacked twice since last year.

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