- Fitch Affirms AfDB’s Triple ‘A’ Rating
Fitch Ratings has affirmed the African Development Bank’s (AfDB) Long-Term Issuer Default Rating (IDR) at ‘AAA’ with a Stable Outlook.
The leading global rating agency puts the bank’s Short-Term IDR at ‘F1+’ (best quality grade, indicating a strong capacity to meet its financial commitments).
In a statement, the agency said the ‘AAA’ rating primarily reflects extraordinary support from AfDB’s shareholders,which provides three-notch uplift over the bank’s intrinsic rating.
“AfDB enjoys strong support from its 80 member states, which include 26 non-African countries with high average ratings. Callable capital subscribed by member states rated ‘AAA’, the largest of which are the US, Germany and Canada, accounts for 21 per cent of the total. This fully covered the bank’s net debt at end-2016, underpinning the ‘aaa’ assessment of shareholders’ capacity to support,” the statement said.
The report underscores the strong propensity of member-states to support the bank in case of need as illustrated by previous capital increases and the bank’s important role in the region’s financing.
Fitch maintains a fast growth in AfDB’s lending in the last two years has translated into a rapid increase in its indebtedness, noting that the bank’s management has indicated that if there is no clear evidence of a capital increase within the next two years, it will have no choice but to curb lending growth to preserve the bank’s solvency metrics.
The report added that if no capital increase is approved by 2019, debt will not be covered by callable capital from ‘AAA’ rated countries, adding that this would place substantial pressure on Fitch’s assessment of extraordinary support and, hence on AfDB’s IDR.
Fitch asserts that the relatively high risk profile of borrowers is mitigated by the preferred creditor status (PCS) that the bank enjoys on its sovereign exposures.
Fitch assesses AfDB’s liquidity at ‘aaa’, which reflects excellent coverage of short-term debt by liquid assets (2.9x).
But, Fitch notes that the share of the portfolio invested in securities or bank placements rated ‘AA-’ or above (83 per cent in 2016) is declining, though their quality is still assessed at excellent.
Fitch said management intends to rebalance the treasury assets portfolio to increase the proportion of assets rated ‘AA-’ or above. This would help underpin Fitch’s assessment of the strength of extraordinary support, given the relevance of liquid assets’quality to the net debt calculation.
“The -1 notch adjustment to AfDB’s solvency stemming from our assessment of its business environment reflects the high risk operating environment in which the bank operates,” the report says.
Fidelity Bank Doles Out N39 Million to 15 Lucky Customers
In yet another show of its commitment to reward loyal customers for maintaining a savings habit, leading financial institution, Fidelity Bank PLC has presented cash gifts worth N39million to lucky customers at the closing ceremony of the Fidelity Bank’s Get Alert in Millions (GAIM) Promo.
Held at Fidelity Bank’s head office in Lagos on Thursday, 29 July 2021, the well-attended event was conducted in the presence of relevant regulatory bodies including the National Lottery Regulatory Commission (NLRC), Lagos State Lotteries Board (LSLB), and Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC).
Speaking at the event, the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Fidelity Bank, Mrs. Nneka Onyeali-Ikpe, ably represented by the bank’s Executive Director -Lagos and SouthWest, Dr. Ken Opara, reiterated the bank’s devotion to supporting initiatives that enrich the lives of its loyal customers even in times of economic uncertainties. She said “Encouraging savings and financially empowering our loyal customers have been a long-standing heritage at Fidelity Bank. We are elated at yet another opportunity to dole out up to N39Million to 15 Nigerians even in this time of economic uncertainty”. She further stressed the bank’s intentional drive towards enhancing CBN’s financial inclusion goal. “As a bank, we continuously position ourselves as key drivers for financial inclusion. Beyond encouraging savings, we believe that our GAIM campaign is a suitable initiative to attract the unbanked to the banking side of life”, Nneka added.
At the event, the duo of Mr. Sunday Okechukwu and Mr. Justine Nwaozor, who won the star prize of N10 million each were credited with their winnings. 13 other winners were credited with N3 million, N2 million, and N1 million accordingly; while 18 lucky customers walked home with consolation prizes including TV sets, refrigerators and generators.
Expressing his delight, a star prize winner, Mr. Sunday Okechukwu said, “I am grateful for this reward and most especially, the initiative. It’s common knowledge that having a healthy savings culture is good for one’s financial wellbeing, however, staying true to savings is sometimes difficult given the times we are in. However, with initiatives like this, savings become easier as we stand a chance to win big. I am glad to have won big, so big enough to turn my life and business around. Truly, Fidelity Bank keeps their word”.
Launched in 2019, Fidelity Bank’s GAIM Season 4 promo is a savings initiative of the bank specifically aimed at promoting a savings culture among Nigerians. Through this campaign, a total of N120 million has been seeded to several Fidelity Bank customers.
“As a bank, we are pleased with the outcome of this initiative so far. Having wound up the fourth season of this campaign, it is exciting to see the number of people whose fortunes have changed. Although GAIM Season 4 is over, we will continue to drive initiatives that will, directly and indirectly impact the lives of our customers and Nigerians at large”, disclosed the Head of Savings and Sales, Fidelity Bank Plc, Mr. Ukpai Ibe.
Over the years, the leading tier two Bank has continued to intensify its efforts and innovate ways towards ensuring customer and stakeholder satisfaction. Through this promo, Fidelity Bank has promoted financial inclusion through digital channels and enriched the lives of its customers.
FCMB Group Posts 22.1 Percent Decline in Profit in H1 2021
FCMB Group Plc, a leading financial institution in Nigeria, recorded a 22.1 percent decline in profit after tax in the first half (H1) of 2021 despite zero COVID-19 restrictions.
The lender gross earnings dipped by 4.02 percent from N98.179 billion achieved in the first half of 2020 to N94.228 billion in the period under review, the bank disclosed in its unaudited financial statements seen by Investors King.
Net interest income also moderated by 5.25 percent from N45.379 billion reported in H1 2020 to N42.998 billion in H1 2021. While net fee and commission income increased to N12.934 billion in the period under review, representing an increase of 33.51 percent from N9.688 billion achieved in the same period of 2020.
Net trading income drop from N3.925 billion in H1 2020 to N2.639 billion in H1 2021, this represents a decline of 32.78 percent.
Other revenue sheds 39.7 percent from N7.555 billion in H1 2020 to N4.552 billion in H1 2021. Profit before minimum tax and income tax decreased by 24.2 percent to N8.911 billion in H1 2021, down from N11.071 billion recorded in H1 2020.
The bank paid N450 million as minimum tax and income tax of N903.797 million to push profit after tax down by 22.1 percent from N9.701 billion in H1 2020 to N7.557 billion in H1 2021.
The lender realised N974.744 million from foreign currency translation differences for foreign operations. This brings the total comprehensive income for the period N8.545 billion.
Earnings per share dipped from N0.49 H1 2020 to N0.38 in H1 2021.
Ecobank Grows Profit After Tax by 29 Percent to N62.6 Billion in H1 2021
Ecobank Transnational Incorporated, a leading lender in Nigeria and across Africa, grew gross earnings by 13 percent to N442.9 billion in the first six months ended June 30, 2021.
The bank disclosed in its unaudited financial statements released through the Nigerian Exchange Limited and seen by Investors King on Monday.
Revenue expanded by 15 percent to N334.9 billion in the period under review while operating profit before impairment charges rose by 33 percent to N138.3 billion.
The bank grew profit before tax to N85.3 billion in the first half of 2021, up by 33 percent when compared to N64.133 billion recorded in the same period of 2020.
Profit after tax increased by 29 percent to N62.6 billion, up from N48.535 billion recorded in the corresponding period of 2020. Total assets expanded by 6 percent to N11.022 trillion with loans and advances rising by 7 percent to N7.861 trillion.
However, total equity was down by 1 percent to N803.2 billion.
Speaking on the bank’s performance, Ade Ayeyemi, Ecobank Group CEO, said: “We saw continued and sustained resilience in our performance, which is indicative of the success of our ‘execution momentum’ drive. As a result, we generated a return on tangible equity of 16.1% versus 15.2% a year ago and increased diluted EPS and tangible book value per share by 19% and 6%, respectively. In addition, profit before tax increased 23% to $210 million.”
“Group revenues rose 7% to $825 million, despite the challenging operating environment with the third wave of coronavirus infections threatening economic recovery. Our diversified pan-African business model continued to rise to the challenge. Revenues grew 13% and 6% in our Commercial and Consumer businesses, while our focus on growing the trade business led to increased trade assets.
The slowly increasing business and spend activity drove a 20% rise in our Payments business’s revenue to $90 million. Deposits growth was strong, with total deposits now over $19 billion, an increase of $1.0 billion in the second quarter and $2.4 billion in a year, driven by our omnichannel strategy. Though loan growth remained
flat, we are focused on providing support to MSMEs for growth,” Ayeyemi added.
“I am proud of the team’s hard work in driving efficiency, which continues to reflect in our cost-to-income ratio of 58.7% ahead of guidance and progressing well toward our medium-term goal of approximately 55%. In addition, credit quality continued to be exceptionally strong. As a result, our NPL ratio of 7.4% is a substantial improvement from the prior year’s 9.8%, as we also build reserves to insulate the balance sheet with an NPL coverage ratio of 86.7% and pushing towards our nearterm target of 90%,” Ayeyemi continued.
“We successfully raised $350 million Tier 2 Sustainability Notes in June, the first-ever by a financial institution in sub-Saharan Africa and first to have a Basel III-compliant 10-year non-call 5 structure outside South Africa in 144A/RegS format. The Bond was 3.6 times oversubscribed, demonstrating strong confidence in the Ecobank Group and our commitment to the sustainability of our communities and their social needs. I am deeply grateful to all stakeholders and must thank our clients for continuing to put their trust in Ecobank for their diverse banking needs.” Ayeyemi concluded.
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