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Finance

Insurance Sector Leads at Stock Market

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  • Insurance Sector Leads at Stock Market

Bargaining hunting in insurance stocks has made the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) Insurance Index to emerge the best performing indicator year-to-date (YtD). The continuing bear run in the stock market caused by exit of foreign investors and low demand by domestic investors had left market indices bleeding YtD.

Apart from the benchmark NSE All-Share Index (NSE ASI) which recorded a YtDdecline of 4.5 per cent as at last Friday, 11 other indices have also recorded negative returns.

However, the only two market of the indices – the NSE Insurance Index and NSE Premium Index – recorded YtDgains.

The NSE Insurance Index lead with 4.2 per cent, while the NSE Premium Index followed with a gain of 3.1 per cent.

The worst YtD decline was by the NSE ASeM Index, which was 25.5 per cent, followed by the NSE Industrial Goods Index with 13.1 per cent.

The NSE Industrial Goods Index declined by 10.2 per cent, while NSE Main Board Index shed 5.8 per cent.

Others that recorded YtD decline were the NSE 30 Index (5.8 per cent); NSE Oil &Gas Index (3.9 per cent); NSE Corporate Governance Index(3.1 per cent);NSE Banking Index(2.8 per cent);NSE Lotus 11 Index (2.3 per cent); and NSE Pension Index (1.2 per cent).

Meanwhile, a further analysis of the NSE Insurance Index showed the growth was propelled by six out of the 15 stocks that constitute the index.

The stocks that lifted the indicator were led by N.E.M Insurance Plc which posteda YtD jump of 77.7 per cent, followed by AXA Mansard Insurance Plc with 37.3 per cent. AIICO Insurance Plc has appreciated 34.6 per cent, while Law Union & Rock Insurance Plc, Linkage Assurance Plc and Continental Reinsurance Plc gained 29.8 per cent, 21.2 per cent, and 20 per cent respectively.

Market operators said the bargain hunting in insurance sector by some discerning investors was expected given the low prices of the most of the stocks.

Since the NSE introduced a new pricing methodology and par value rule on January 29, 2018, the share prices of insurance stocks have suffered significant value erosion.

According to operators, the low prices offer a very good opportunity to invest in some of the stocks that have strong fundamentals and bright future prospects.

In all, 16 of the 26 insurance stocks on the NSE are currently trading below 50 kobo par value since the new pricing methodology was introduced in January.

Although the lower prices offer new entry opportunities in some of stocks, investor apathy for insurance stocks are basically caused by two major factors.

“Investors’ low demand for insurance stocks stemmed mostly from their poor corporate performance, which often makes them to pay low dividends.

“Besides, low awareness about their operations equally discourages investors from the sector,” a stockbroker, Mr. Ayo Oguntayo had said.

According to him, while some insurance companies have strong fundamentals and have put in place strategies to deliver improved returns to shareholders, most potential investors are not aware of such prospects.

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.

Banking Sector

CIT Microfinance Bank Disburses Over N16bn Loans

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CIT Microfinance Bank Disburses Over N16bn Loans

CIT Microfinance Bank Limited says it has disbursed about N16bn loans since it commenced operations as part of its contributions to the financial sector and empowerment of businesses.

The Managing Director of the microfinance bank, Mr Kingsley Eremionkhale, disclosed this during the company’s 10th anniversary in Lagos recently.

He reiterated that the bank was committed to supporting the growth of small and medium-scale enterprises in the country.

“Since inception, we have disbursed loans worth about N16bn. Our operation is not just about profit-making, but we have impacted many lives, empowered many businesses, and done a lot in terms of our core mandate as a microfinance bank.”

While appreciating its customers who had been loyal to it for years, he said it was concerned about their business success.

The managing director said, “We are part of our customers’ businesses. We provide services beyond lending and savings products and we also give financial advisory services.”

He appreciated the customers who had stayed with the financial institution for many years.

The managing director noted that the MfB is a state-licensed bank operating in Lagos, and a subsidiary of Capitalfield Investment Group.

He also attributed the success of the MfB to the board of directors which it said had been supportive, the management team and its workforce in the past 10 years.

While saying that the bank could lay claims to exponential growth, he said the public should expect more from it.

He also said that it was driving its operations through its digital offerings and our e-channels, to improve its services to our customers.

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Finance

FMDQ Approves Valency Agro’s N5.12bn Commercial Paper

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FMDQ Approves Valency Agro’s N5.12bn Commercial Paper

FMDQ Securities Exchange Limited has announced the approval of the quotation of the Valency Agro Nigeria Limited N5.12bn Series 1 Commercial Paper under its N20bn CP Programme on its platform.

The Exchange said in fostering the development of the Nigerian debt capital markets, it had continued to avail its credible and efficient platform as well as tailor its listings and quotations services to suit the needs of issuers and registration members through innovative and uninterrupted service delivery.

It said in a statement on Thursday that the Valency Agro Nigeria CP debut issue came at a time when the Nigerian economy was bedeviled with soaring food prices, amidst compounding challenges of insecurity.

It said the agricultural sector and its attendant transformation agenda had never been more important in driving increased and sustainable production of agricultural products as well as the derived foreign earnings through exports.

The Exchange said the proceeds from the issue of the CP would be applied by Valency Agro towards meeting the mid-term working capital requirements of the various agricultural produce under its portfolio such as cashew, sesame, cocoa and in value addition prior to export.

The Executive Director, Valency Agro Nigeria Limited, Mr Sumit Jain, was quoted as saying, “We are thankful to our investors towards showing their faith in our agenda to grow the agriculture-focused business with a clear aim to maximise value addition and create employment opportunities in Nigeria.

“We would also like to commend the efforts made by FBNQuest Merchant Bank Limited’s team to build the reach and FMDQ for their unconditional support for the industry”.

The Head, Capital Markets, FBNQuest Merchant Bank, Mr Oluseun Olatidoye, said, “FBNQuest Merchant Bank Limited is delighted with the successful debut of the N5.12bn Series 1 CP issued by Valency Agro Nigeria Limited. This reiterates our effort to enable underserved sectors access the debt markets, optimise their capital structure and further deepen the domestic capital markets.

“We are proud of the instrumental role FBNQuest Merchant Bank played in this transaction and appreciate the trust the management of Valency Agro placed in us to assist them. Our clients remain our priority, and we strongly believe their success is our success.”

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Banking Sector

Sterling Bank Approves Audited Financial Statements for 2020

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Sterling Bank

Board of Sterling Bank Approves 2020 Audited Financial Statements

The Board of Sterling Bank Plc said it has approved the audited financial statements for the year ended 31, December 2020.

The lender said the approval was done at a meeting held on 23rd February 2021.

Details of the financial statements will be released upon approval of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Sterling Bank stated in a statement filed with the Nigerian Stock Exchange on Thursday.

It said “We are pleased to inform our shareholders and other stakeholders that the Board of Sterling Bank Plc at its meeting of 23rd February 2021 approved the audited Financial Statements for the year ended 31st December 2020 subject to the approval of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

“Kindly note that details of the Financial Statements will be communicated to you upon approval of same by the CBN.

“Consequently, the closed period for trading in the shares of the Bank by its insiders which commenced from 8th February, 2021 will continue until 24 hours after the Audited Financial Statements for the year ended 31st December, 2020 are released on the floor of the Nigerian Stock Exchange.”

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