- Diamond Bank Strengthens Growth in Q1 2017
Diamond Bank has transmitted its Q1 2017 financial accounts to the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), showcasing focused and strong determination to continue to strengthen growth in key financial parameters.
The Bank’s performance scorecard for the first three months of the business year as made available to journalists on the floor of the Exchange, reflects strong growth in asset base, customer base, quality service delivery, product development and deployment of cutting-edge technology to drive its operations.
Analysis of the result showed that Interest and similar income grew by 27 per cent to N44.5 billion year on year, while the asset base leapfrogged to N2.07 trillion from N2.049 per cent, representing 1.2 per cent with personal operating cost shrinking by 3 per cent, reflecting management’s prudent resource use.
According to the Chief Executive Officer, Uzoma Dozie, despite the inclement operating environment that clouded the period under review, the gains of the last business year especially in customer acquisition, product development and the deepening of the Bank’s retail strategy, helped in drilling a seamless business foothold and expansion in all market segments.
He said: “Building upon positive momentum in 2016, Diamond Bank commenced 2017 focused on harnessing further benefits from its technology-led retail strategy. In particular, the Bank continued to focus on cost containment, driving operational efficiencies, and the roll-out of technology and innovation to improve customer experiences and access to financial services. The Bank’s strategy to expand reach and service through digital channels has helped customers connect to new markets…”
A look at the unaudited financial statement for business activities ended, March 31, 2017 showed that profit before tax (PAT) mildly declined to N5.6 billion from N6.6 billion in the previous year while the Bank grew its interest income year on year to N44.5 billion, representing an increase of 27 per cent. As a reinforcement of the management’s determination to let go of sundry asset liabilities and consolidate on its business growth trajectory, the Bank prudently set aside NI0.5 billion as impairment charge for the period, represent an increase of 20% year on year. This, according to the Bank, will help stimulate and sustain the strong will to continue to grow, strengthen and maintain its leadership and dominance of the retail market space and firm grip of the micro, small and medium-scale enterprises (MSME) segment.
According to Uzoma, Diamond Bank is solidly committed to growing its corporate and mid-tier market segment in the business year and the years ahead, pointing that the Bank has outlined detailed strategies that are helping to leverage the current business momentum in the economy.
He added: “Since the beginning of 2017, there have been positive developments in the wider economy which we believe will translate to greater productivity in the months ahead. For example, the inflation rate is beginning to recede and there appears to be more foreign exchange available to stimulate trade, though the quantum of unmet demand is still high. Against this economic background, our streams of income remain resilient.”
He stated that Diamond Bank’s focus on digital and mobile banking is gaining further traction, with the year on year increases in mobile revenue and app usage showing tangible results. “It is clear that customers value the ease and convenience of our services across multiple platforms and that this is leading to greater volumes of activity and enhanced relationships. I am confident that by maintaining our focus on the technology-led retail strategy, we will continue to build upon this positive momentum.”
A deeper look at the result show that net operating income rose by 3.7% year on year to N31.7 billion, while Capital Adequacy Ratio crept quarter on quarter to 15.1 per cent from 15 per cent with liquidity ratio standing at 41.7 per cent in excess of the regulatory requirement of 30 per cent, reflecting the Bank’s capacity for optimum customer service delivery. Loans to other banks grew to N105.46 billion from N100.34 billion, representing 5.1 per cent, while loans and advances to customers shrunk by 0.2 per cent to N992.9 billion from N995.3, signifying management’s itch to curtail credit creation risks.
According to the CEO, the continued pursuit of a diversified customer base across all market segments through retail offerings has helped in the mobilization of low cost deposits accounting for over 80 per cent of total deposits, adding that the Bank’s philosophy of “mobile first” has continued to deliver expected results as revenue from mobile banking increased from N270 million in Q1 2016 to N1.2 billion in Q1 2017. Also, the usage of Diamond Mobile Apps continued to surge as the value of quarterly transaction volume jumped to N2.6 billion from N1.1 billion in March 2016. The Bank’s retail customer count stood at over 13 million as at the end of March 2017, reflecting the strength of customer confidence and investor trust on the Bank.
“I am delighted that our focus on digital and mobile banking is gaining further traction, with the year on year increases in mobile revenue and app usage showing tangible results. It is clear that customers value the ease and convenience of our services across multiple platforms and that this is leading to greater volumes of activity and enhanced relationships. I am confident that by maintaining our focus on the technology-led retail strategy, we will continue to build upon this positive momentum,” the CEO stated.
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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