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CBN Lends Banks N27.6tr in Six Months

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Godwin Emefiele CBN - Investors King
  • CBN Lends Banks N27.6tr in Six Months

Banks borrowed N27.46 trillion from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in six months, according to the apex bank’s half-year report on financial sector performances released yesterday.

The 2017 half-year Financial Markets Activity Report, said loans came in the form of Standing Lending Facility (SLF), including the Intra-day Lending Facilities (ILF). The standing facilities were accessed by the banks to enable them either meet their short-term liquidity needs or place their surpluses. The rates for SDF and SLF remained at nine and 16 per cent, respectively.

The report said the SLF was utilised by the banks in order to enable them square up their positions after inter-bank market trading hours. It said of the total SLF granted in the review period, N20.62 trillion was conversion from unsettled ILF.

The SLF is an overnight CBN credit available on banking days between 2 pm and 3.30 pm, with settlement done on same day value. Funds were sourced mainly from time, savings and foreign currency deposits, as well as accretion to unclassified assets. The funds were used, largely, to extend credit to the private sector and payment of claims on demand deposit.

According to the report, signed by CBN Director, Financial Markets Department, Alvan Ikoku, said the banks continued to access the CBN’s Standing Facilities window to square up their positions either by borrowing from the SLF window or depositing excess reserves at the standing deposit facility (SDF) window of the CBN at the end of each business day.

The report said the SLF was utilised by the banks in order to enable them square up their positions after inter-bank market trading hours. It said the patronage of the facility reflected the liquidity position during the first half of the year, as requests were at its lowest on January 2, 2017 with N83.61 billion and at its highest on April 18, 2017 with N478.54 billion.

“In view of the 122 transaction days within the period, average daily request amounted to N225.14 billion. Consequently, the cumulative interest received on the facilities was N21.13 billion at 16.00 per cent. In comparison with the corresponding period of the previous year, total SLF transactions amounted to N5.07 trillion, out of which N4.87 trillion was conversion from ILF.

It said the average daily request stood at N59.76 billion, while the cumulative interest received on the facilities was N2.92 billion at the applicable rates of 13.00 and 14.00 per cent. The higher level of transactions over the corresponding period in 2016 was occasioned by the tight monetary operations in 2017.

The CBN report said patronage of the SDF reflected the liquidity unease in the system as less funds were deposited compared with the corresponding period of the preceding year.

“The reduced patronage was due to tighter monetary operations through increased Open Market Operation (OMO) auctions. The foreign exchange interventions, in addition, moderated the cash balances in the banking system. The restriction of N7.50 billion maximum remunerable SDF per bank remained applicable.

The total request for SDF in the review period was N5.1 trillion, indicating a daily average volume of N45.54 billion as against a total SDF of N12.69 trillion and daily average of N102.42 billion in the corresponding period of 2016.

Further analysis of the transactions indicated that the highest amount of SDF was N121.50 billion on February 2, while the lowest was N0.30 billion on March 20.

Consequently, the interest paid on SDF amounted to N1.99 billion at the rate of 9.00 per cent in the first half of 2017, as against N2.84 billion at 4.00 per cent from January 1 to March 21 and 7.00 per cent from March 22 to June 30, 2016.

It said the total value of transactions in the funds market stood at N864.93 billion in the first half of 2017, as against N513.11 billion in the corresponding period of 2016. The high level of activity in the review period was attributable to liquidity squeeze occasioned by tight monetary operations.

Further analysis of the transactions indicated that open-buy-back (OBB) accounted for 89.42 per cent at N773.42 billion, while the unsecured recorded 10.58 per cent at N91.51 billion.

In the preceding year, OBB accounted for less at N203.54 billion or 39.67 per cent compared to the unsecured segment which recorded N309.57 billion or 60.33 per cent. The shift in patronage in favour of OBB in the review period was attributable largely to greater risk aversion by market participants.

Is the CEO/Founder of Investors King Limited. A proven foreign exchange research analyst and a published author on Yahoo Finance, Businessinsider, Nasdaq, Entrepreneur.com, Investorplace, and many more. He has over two decades of experience in global financial markets.

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Finance

Nigeria’s Public Debt Hits ₦121.67 Trillion as Borrowings Surge – DMO

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The Debt Management Office (DMO) of Nigeria has announced that the country’s total public debt has risen to ₦121.67 trillion ($91.46 billion) as of March 31, 2024.

This represents an increase of ₦24.33 trillion from the ₦97.34 trillion ($108.23 billion) recorded at the end of December 2023.

The surge in debt is attributed to both domestic and external borrowings by the Federal Government, the 36 state governments, and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

The DMO’s report reveals that Nigeria’s domestic debt now stands at ₦65.65 trillion ($46.29 billion), while the external debt is ₦56.02 trillion ($42.12 billion).

The DMO noted that the rapid increase in public debt is largely due to new borrowing to partially finance the 2024 Budget deficit and the securitization of a portion of the ₦7.3 trillion Ways and Means Advances at the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

“The increase was from new borrowing to part-finance the 2024 Budget deficit and securitization of a portion of the ₦7.3 trillion Ways and Means Advances at the Central Bank of Nigeria,” the DMO stated.

Despite the rising debt, the DMO remains optimistic about future debt sustainability, contingent on improvements in government revenue.

“Whilst borrowing, as provided in the 2024 Appropriation Act, will continue, we expect improvements in the Government’s Revenue to enhance debt sustainability,” the DMO added.

The increase in debt comes at a time when President Bola Tinubu is preparing to present the 2024 Supplementary Budget to the National Assembly.

This follows the President’s approval of the ₦28.7 trillion 2024 Appropriation Bill on January 1, 2024, which was ₦1.2 trillion higher than the budget originally proposed in November 2023.

The 2024 budget, dubbed the “Budget of Renewed Hope,” set ambitious targets, including pegging the oil price at $77.96 per barrel and estimating daily oil production at 1.78 million barrels.

However, the naira has faced severe depreciation, plunging to nearly ₦2,000/$1 in February, before stabilizing around ₦1,500/$1.

Economic analysts warn that the escalating debt and currency depreciation could pose significant challenges to Nigeria’s economic stability.

The government’s ability to manage its borrowing and stimulate revenue generation will be critical in navigating these fiscal pressures.

As Nigeria grapples with these economic realities, the focus remains on finding sustainable solutions to manage the growing debt burden while fostering economic growth and stability.

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Banking Sector

Federal High Court Sets Date for Contempt Hearing in GTB vs. AFEX Loan Case

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The Federal High Court in Lagos has scheduled June 27, 2024, for the next hearing in the ongoing contempt suit filed by Guaranty Trust Bank Plc (GTB) against directors of AFEX Exchange Commodities Limited.

The case revolves around a disputed N17.81 billion loan obtained under the Central Bank of Nigeria’s Anchor Borrowers’ Programme.

Presiding over the court, Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke set the date following a session where arguments were presented by the plaintiff’s lead counsel, Mr. Ade Adedeji (SAN), and the respondent’s counsel, Prof. Olawoyin (SAN).

The core issue pertains to the alleged disobedience of a court order by the directors of AFEX Exchange Commodities Limited.

GTB, through its counsel Ajibola Aribisala (SAN), has accused AFEX and its directors—Ayodele Balogun, Jendayi Fraaser, Justin Topilow, Mobolaji Adeoye, and Koonal Ghandi—of contempt for failing to comply with a court directive.

The bank alleges that these directors did not appear in court as mandated, which led to the initiation of contempt proceedings.

During the latest session, Adedeji emphasized the necessity for the directors to appear in person, stating, “My lord, the parties in contempt are not in court. The contemnors cannot sit in the comfort of their homes and send a lawyer to court in contempt proceedings. The law is trite that they must appear before the court.”

In response, Olawoyin argued that he had only recently been briefed on the matter and was not fully aware of the prior developments.

He noted that some of the individuals listed as directors were no longer with the company, adding that one current director, Mr. Akinyinka, was present in court, while another was on pilgrimage.

The contempt case traces back to a suit marked FHC/L/CS/911/2024, where GTB sought to recover the loan amount through legal measures.

On May 27, Justice Aneke granted an interim Global Standing Instruction (GSI) injunction, which directs over 20 banks to transfer funds credited to AFEX into its account with GTB until the debt is settled.

Also, the court authorized GTB to take possession of AFEX’s 16 warehouses across seven states and sell the commodities stored within, as these were procured using the CBN’s loan facility.

The N17.81 billion loan comprises N15.77 billion in principal and interest outstanding as of April 17, 2024, and an additional N2.04 billion covering recovery costs and incidental expenses.

As the court prepares for the next hearing, the financial and legal communities are closely watching the proceedings.

The outcome will significantly impact not only the involved parties but also set a precedent for handling similar cases in the future.

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Banking Sector

CRC Credit Bureau Celebrates 15 Years with Record 14% Credit Penetration in Nigeria

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CRC Credit Bureau Limited celebrated its 15th anniversary with a record 14% credit penetration rate.

The occasion was marked with the CRC Finance and Credit Conference 2024 held in Lagos, where key industry stakeholders gathered to reflect on the bureau’s journey and discuss future trends in credit risk management.

Founded in January 2010 and licensed by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), CRC Credit Bureau has played a pivotal role in enhancing access to credit across Nigeria.

Dr. Tunde Popoola, the Group Managing Director/CEO of CRC Credit Bureau Limited, highlighted the bureau’s journey, noting that from its inception with a single product, CRC has expanded its offerings to 18 products covering all aspects of the lending value chain.

Speaking at the conference, Dr. Popoola underscored the bureau’s contribution to Nigeria’s financial sector, stating, “CRC Credit Bureau has been instrumental in transforming access to credit in Nigeria over the past 15 years. We started with a vision to simplify credit access through reliable data and have since grown to serve millions of Nigerians.”

The event focused on the theme “Sustainable Financing Options: Innovations in Credit Risk Management,” emphasizing the importance of sustainable finance amid economic challenges.

The conference provided a platform for stakeholders to discuss strategies for mitigating risks and enhancing the efficiency of credit operations in Nigeria.

Reflecting on the current state of credit penetration, Dr. Popoola noted that while Nigeria has made significant progress, the 14% penetration rate still falls below global benchmarks.

He highlighted that CRC Credit Bureau currently holds credit scores for 33 million Nigerians, facilitating over 29.4 million searches in 2023 alone, with an additional 10 million searches conducted in the first quarter of 2024.

Joel Owoade, Chairman of CRC’s Board of Directors, acknowledged the economic headwinds impacting businesses in Nigeria but stressed the importance of sustainable financing to mitigate risks associated with lending.

“As we navigate economic fluctuations, sustainable financing remains crucial to fostering economic stability and growth,” Owoade remarked.

The conference also featured insights from industry experts on leveraging artificial intelligence (AI) in credit risk management and regulatory frameworks to support AI-driven innovations.

Olaniyi Yusuf, Managing Partner of Verraki, highlighted the potential of AI to create jobs and enhance economic productivity, calling for supportive regulatory environments that balance innovation with risk management.

Representatives from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) emphasized the regulator’s efforts to promote sustainable credit practices.

Dr. Adetona Adedeji, Acting Director of the Banking Supervision Department at CBN, outlined initiatives such as the National Collateral Registry and Global Standing Instruction aimed at enhancing credit access while minimizing risks.

As CRC Credit Bureau looks ahead, Dr. Popoola expressed optimism about the future, stating, “We remain committed to driving greater financial inclusion and expanding credit access in Nigeria. Our focus is on leveraging technology and strategic partnerships to deliver innovative solutions that meet the evolving needs of consumers and lenders.”

The celebration of CRC Credit Bureau’s 15th anniversary underscored its pivotal role in Nigeria’s financial sector, marking a milestone in the nation’s journey towards broader financial inclusion and sustainable economic growth.

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