- Global Rankings as Affirmation of Nigerian Banks
With the ranking of five Nigerian banks, especially FirstBank, which has been named the number 1 Banking Brand in Nigeria for the sixth year in a row, Raheem Akingbolu reckons that Nigerian banks have indeed become global brands.
Like all breakaway brands, First Bank, GTBank, Access Bank and Zenth Bank, have consistently formed emotional connections with the banking audience. These brands owners understand the roles the brands play in the lives of consumers and make sure their banks’ attributes match up with the target banking public. For instance, for over 100 years, promoters of First Bank, like handlers of other global brands like Coca Cola and Pepsi, think of new ways to keep the brand top-of-the brand.
Few weeks ago, First Bank of Nigeria Limited was again named as the most valuable banking brand in Nigeria in The Top 500 Banking Brands of The Banker magazine of the Financial Times and Brand Finance, London, United Kingdom for the sixth consecutive time. In many quarters, observers see the feat as an evidence of the global status of the brand. In a country, where the mortality rate of businesses is high, First Bank has existed for over 10 decades.
In a statement issued recently by the Country Representative – Nigeria of The Banker magazine, Mr. Kunle Ogedengbe, First Bank leads four other Nigerian banks in the global ranking. With $301 million brand value, First Bank ranked 357 leads Guaranty Trust Bank ranked 395 with a brand value of $258 million, Zenith Bank ranked 414 with a brand value of $247 million, Access Bank ranked 476 with a brand value of $182 million and the United Bank for Africa with a brand value of $172 million ranked 487 in the world.
Beyond the figures, another major strength of the bank is its continued drive to lead innovative drive in the banking products, services and initiatives as well as strive to maintain the highest standards of performance expected of a global brand that we are. This was confirmed less than a year ago when the bank was officially recognised as the first financial institution in the country to achieve a transaction volume of 100 million transactions in a month by Interswitch Transnational -Africa’s leading integrated payment and transaction processing company.
According to the Interswitch, this milestone feat was achieved in the month of December 2015 and represented the total transactions processed by FirstBank’s Front End Processor running on the Interswitch transaction switching platform which seamlessly links all financial institutions in Nigeria to facilitate better and quicker transactions across all platforms.
In the breakdown of the latest ranking exercise, the top ten banking brands ranking in the world are shared by four countries: China and United States of America with four each while United Kingdom and Spain have one each.
The remaining eight banks in the top ten are China Construction Bank, Chase (JP Morgan & Co of the USA), Bank of China, Bank of America, Agricultural Bank of China, Citibank (USA), HSBC (UK), and Satander (Spain) noted Macknight.
In the top 50 countries in the world, only four African countries made the list. These are South Africa (26), Nigeria (42), Egypt (46) and Morocco (47).
According to the February 2017 edition of the magazine, First Bank is however the only Nigerian bank in the top 10 banking brands in Africa along with nine others banks from South Africa, Egypt and Morocco.
As for the methodology of the ranking, “Brand Finance employs a discounted cashflow technique to discount estimated future royalties at an appropriate rate to arrive at a net present value of a bank’s trademark and associated intellectual property – its brand value”, noted Brian Caplen, the editor of The Banker.
Caplen stressed that the process involves five steps of obtaining brand-specific financial and revenue data; modeling the market to identify market demand and the position of individual banks in the context of all other market competitors; establish the royalty rate for each bank; calculate the discounted rate specific to each bank, taking account of its size, geographical presence, reputation, gearing and brand rating; and discount future royalty stream (explicit forecast and perpetuity periods) to a net present value – the brand value.
He noted that the approach is used for two reasons: it is favoured by the tax authorities and the courts because it calculates brand values by reference to documented third-party transactions and it can be done based on publicly available financial information.
Globally, deputy editor of the magazine, Joy Macknight stated that Industrial and Commercial Bank of China is number one with a brand value of $47,832 million followed by Well Fargo of the United States of America with a brand value of $41,618 million.
From any area one chooses to look at the award, it is a clear indication that FirstBank has continued to lead the pack and consistently outperform others despite economic headwinds. This is indicative of the creativeness of the FirstBank Team.
Imports of the recognition
Reacting to the award, the Head of Marketing & Corporate Communications and General Manager at First Bank of Nigeria Ltd, Mrs. Folake Ani–Mumuney said the management was extremely excited to have been named the Most Valuable Bank Brand in Nigeria six consecutive times. While appreciating the contribution of the brand’s patrons to the success story, she pointed out that amidst the economic turbulence of 2016, it was still an eventful year for the bank as it hit a number of milestones.
“In 2016, FirstBank clinched the “Best Retail Bank in Nigeria” award by The Asian Banker for the fifth consecutive time; we were recognised by Interswitch as the first financial institution in the country to achieve sustained transaction volumes of 100 million transactions twice in one year; our mobile banking platform –FirstMobile – recorded a milestone in its user numbers with the attainment of 1million active users and also reached N1.3trillion transactions mark in its short period of launch.
FirstBank also became the first financial institution in Nigeria to achieve the latest version of ISO quality standards: the Quality Management Systems certification ISO 9001:2015 from the International Standards Organisation (ISO). The certification is proof of the Bank’s demonstrated ability to consistently provide products and services that meet customer needs as well as applicable statutory and regulatory requirements,” she said.
Brent Crude Oil Approaches $70 Per Barrel on Friday
Nigerian Oil Approaches $70 Per Barrel Following OPEC+ Production Cuts Extension
Brent crude oil, against which Nigerian oil is priced, rose to $69 on Friday at 3:55 pm Nigerian time.
Oil price jumped after OPEC and allies, known as OPEC plus, agreed to role-over crude oil production cuts to further reduce global oil supplies and artificially sustain oil price in a move experts said could stoke inflationary pressure.
Brent crude oil rose from $63.86 per barrel on Wednesday to $69 per barrel on Friday as energy investors became more optimistic about the oil outlook.
While certain experts are worried that U.S crude oil production will eventually hurt OPEC strategy once the economy fully opens, few experts are saying production in the world’s largest economy won’t hit pre-pandemic highs.
According to Vicki Hollub, the CEO of Occidental, U.S oil production may not return to pre-pandemic levels given a shift in corporates’ value.
“I do believe that most companies have committed to value growth, rather than production growth,” she said during a CNBC Evolve conversation with Brian Sullivan. “And so I do believe that that’s going to be part of the reason that oil production in the United States does not get back to 13 million barrels a day.”
Hollub believes corporate organisations will focus on optimizing present operations and facilities, rather than seeking growth at all costs. She, however, noted that oil prices rebounded faster than expected, largely due to China, India and United States’ growing consumption.
“The recovery looks more V-shaped than we had originally thought it would be,” she said. Occidental previous projection had oil production recovering to pre-pandemic levels by the middle of 2022. The CEO Now believes demand will return by the end of this year or the first few months of 2022.
“I do believe we’re headed for a much healthier supply and demand environment” she said.
Oil Jumps to $67.70 as OPEC+ Extends Production Cuts
Oil Jumps to $67.70 as OPEC+ Extends Production Cuts
Brent crude oil, against which Nigerian oil is priced, rose to $67.70 per barrel on Thursday following the decision of OPEC and allies, known as OPEC+, to extend production cuts.
OPEC and allies are presently debating whether to restore as much as 1.5 million barrels per day of crude oil in April, according to people with the knowledge of the meeting.
Experts have said OPEC+ continuous production cuts could increase global inflationary pressure with the rising price of could oil. However, Saudi Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman said “I don’t think it will overheat.”
Last year “we suffered alone, we as OPEC+” and now “it’s about being vigilant and being careful,” he said.
Saudi minister added that the additional 1 million barrel-a-day voluntary production cut the kingdom introduced in February was now open-ended. Meaning, OPEC+ will be withholding 7 million barrels a day or 7 percent of global demand from the market– even as fuel consumption recovers in many nations.
Experts have started predicting $75 a barrel by April.
“We expect oil prices to rise toward $70 to $75 a barrel during April,” said Ann-Louise Hittle, vice president of macro oils at consultant Wood Mackenzie Ltd. “The risk is these higher prices will dampen the tentative global recovery. But the Saudi energy minister is adamant OPEC+ must watch for concrete signs of a demand rise before he moves on production.”
Gold Hits Eight-Month Low as Global Optimism Grows Amid Rising Demand for Bitcoin
Gold Struggles Ahead of Economic Recovery as Bitcoin, New Gold, Surges
Global haven asset, gold, declined to the lowest in more than eight months on Tuesday as signs of global economic recovery became glaring with rising bond yields.
The price of the precious metal declined to $1,718 per ounce during London trading on Thursday, down from $2,072 it traded in August as more investors continue to cut down on their holdings of the metal.
The previous metal usually performs poorly with rising yields on other assets like bonds, especially given the fact that gold does not provide streams of interest payments. Investors have been jumping on US bonds ahead of President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion coronavirus stimulus package, expected to stoke stronger US price growth.
“We see the rising bond yields as a sign of economic optimism, which has also prompted gold investors to sell some of their positions,” said Carsten Menke of Julius Baer.
Another analyst from Commerzbank, Carsten Fritsch, said that “gold’s reputation appears to have been tarnished considerably by the heavy losses of recent weeks, as evidenced by the ongoing outflows from gold ETFs”.
Experts at Investors King believed the growing demand for Bitcoin, now called the new gold, and other cryptocurrencies in recent months by institutional investors is hurting gold attractiveness.
In a recent report, analysts at Citigroup have started projecting mainstream acceptance for the unregulated dominant cryptocurrency, Bitcoin.
The price of Bitcoin has rallied by 60 percent to $52,000 this year alone. While Ethereum has risen by over 660 percent in 2021.
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