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Finance

COVID-19 Plunges Wema Bank Profit by 35.45 Percent in Nine Months

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Wema Bank Plc, one of the leading indigenous banks, announced a 35.45 percent decline in profit after tax in the nine months ended September 30, 2020.

In the unaudited financial statements released on Wednesday, the lender’s gross revenue declined by 10.79 percent to N57.83 billion in the period under review, down from N64.83 billion posted in the corresponding period of 2019.

Profit after tax declined by 35.45 percent from N4.09 billion recorded in the same period of 2019 to N2.64 billion in the first nine months of 2020.

Speaking on the performance, Mr. Ademola Adebise, the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Wema Bank said: “We are pleased that our performance has improved significantly on the back of increased economic activities across the country; we recorded a better 3rd quarter compared to the 2nd quarter though average numbers still slightly below their 2019 peak volumes. For the 9months ended September 30, 2020, the Bank recorded gross earnings of N57.83billion and Profit Before Tax (PBT) of N3.06billion.

“Customer Deposit closed at N701.84billion, representing a 21.58% year-to-date (YTD) growth. Despite the tough regulatory regime on cash reserve ratio (CRR), Wema Bank continues to support various sectors of the economy as witnessed in the 24.39% growth in loans to N359.8billion.

Commenting on the impact of COVID-19 on the bank’s overall performance, he said the bank played an important role in supporting local, state and federal efforts in providing relief to those impacted directly and indirectly. Also, he said the lender support customers through suspension of loan repayment for SMEs, customized loan extension and moratorium.

“To help in the rebuilding and healing process from the effect of the recent #EndSARS protest, Wema Bank has reached out to all its customers to not only empathize but work with them to create tailored solutions to enable them get their business back on track.

“The pace of Digital adoption and automation has accelerated across the country and indeed the globe in the light of the COVID-19 Pandemic and we are pleased as a Bank to have been ahead of the curve with ALAT, Nigeria’s First Fully Digital Bank. In the last quarter, we upgraded to ALAT 4.0 with a whole new personalized experience, thus allowing our customers to do much more with ALAT. Our focus for the next three years is to continue to transit ALAT and the larger Bank to becoming the “Dominant digital banking platform” in Nigeria and we are confident that we can achieve this feat.”

The bank MD explained that “during the last quarter, the Bank further strengthened its governance structures with changes on the Board. The Bank appointed Mr. Oluwole Ajimisinmi as an Executive Director and also appointed an Independent Non-Executive Director – Mrs Ibiye Ekong.

“2020 has been one of the most challenging years in recent history but the Bank remains resilient and has committed to keep delivering value added services to its customers and stakeholders as it has done over the last 75 years. The Bank expects to close the year in line with targets and expectations.”

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.

Finance

Nirsal: CBN Reopens Application for N50 Billion COVID-19 Loan for Households and Small Businesses

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The Central Bank of Nigeria has started receiving fresh applications for N50 billion COVID-19 loan for small businesses and households affected by the pandemic.

The CBN through Nirsal Microfinance Bank announced it has reopened its portal for households and Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) affected by COVID-19 to access up to N25 million.

Bashir Ahmad, the Personal Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on New Media, disclosed this on March 10, 2021 via his Twitter handle.

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Finance

Sub Saharan Africa Mergers and Acquisition Transactions Totalled US$ 6.1 Billion in Q1 2021

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Refinitiv today released the investment banking analysis for the Sub-Saharan African for the first quarter of 2021. According to the report, an estimated US$99.3 million worth of investment banking fees were generated in Sub-Saharan Africa during the first quarter of 2021, down 39% from the same period in 2020 and the lowest first quarter total since 2014. 

While debt capital markets underwriting fees doubled to US$47.1 million, the highest first quarter total since our records began in 1980, fees from equity capital markets underwriting, M&A advisory and syndicated lending all declined from the first quarter of 2020.  Equity fees declined 42% to US$21.8 million, while syndicated lending fees declined 74% to US$15.0 million. 

Advisory fees earned in the region from completed M&A transactions reached US$15.5 million, down 65% from last year to the lowest first quarter total since 2005. Seventy-two percent of all Sub-Saharan African fees were generated in South Africa during the first quarter of 2021, and 39% were earned from deals in the financial sector. B Riley Financial Inc. earned the most investment banking fees in the region during the first quarter of 2021, a total of US$19.8 million or a 20% share of the total fee pool.

MERGERS & ACQUISITIONS

The value of announced M&A transactions with any Sub-Saharan African involvement reached US$6.1 billion during the first three months of 2021, almost level with the value recorded during the same period in 2020, and a five-year low.  The number of deals declined 14% over the same period to the lowest first quarter tally since 2014.

M&A involving a Sub-Saharan African target increased 73% year-on-year to US$4.3 billion during the first quarter of 2021.  Domestic deals increased 67% from last year to US$2.5 billion, while inbound deals, involving an acquiror outside of Sub-Saharan Africa, increased 83% to US$1.8 billion.  Meanwhile, Sub-Saharan African outbound M&A totalled US$721.4 million during the first quarter of 2021, down 66% year-on-year to the lowest first quarter level in six years.

The Zambian Government, through its mining investment arm ZCCM Investment Holdings, acquired the Mopani Copper Mines for US$1.5 billion in January.  The acquisition is the largest deal in the region to be announced so far during 2021.

With advisory work on deals worth a combined U$668.5 million, BofA Securities held the top spot in the financial advisor ranking for deals with any Sub-Saharan African involvement during Q1 2021.

EQUITY CAPITAL MARKETS

Sub-Saharan African equity and equity-related issuance reached just US$18.4 million during the first quarter of 2021, the lowest first quarter total since 1999.  Only Nigeria payments processing firm eTranzact raised new equity funds from its follow-on offering.  There were no initial public offerings. PAC Capital, Meristem Securities and Standard Bank Group share first place in the Sub-Saharan African ECM underwriting league table during the first quarter of 2021.

DEBT CAPITAL MARKETS

Sub-Saharan African debt issuance totalled US$12.1 billion during the first quarter of 2021, up 36% from the value recorded during the same period in 2020 and the highest first quarter total since 2018.  The number of issues declined 6% over the same period.  With Ghana’s government’s Eurobond raising US$2.9 billion and The African Development Bank’s $2.5 billion 5-year Benchmark bond, March 2021 saw more proceeds raised from bond issuance in Sub-Saharan Africa than any other month since May 2018, a total of US$7.4 billion.  Government & Agency issuance accounted for 64% of proceeds raised during the first quarter of 2021. Standard Chartered took the top spot in the Sub-Saharan African bond book runner ranking during the first quarter of 2021, with US$1.4 billion of related proceeds, or an 11.5% market share.

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Banking Sector

Wema Bank‘s Financial Fundamentals Remain Strong, Says CEO

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The Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Wema Bank Plc, Mr. Ademola Adebise, has reassured customers and shareholders that the bank has strong financial fundamentals and reliable performance metrics, riding on the back of seasoned and astute leadership.

Adebise stated this against the insinuations of weak liquidity. Wema Bank Plc posted gross earnings of about N81 billion and profit after tax of N5.1 billion for year ended December 31, 2020. The CEO explained that the strength and viability of financial institutions were not measured on the isolated performance of one outlier year, stating that, “Wema Bank has continually exhibited not just resilience, but admirable viability over the years with a 30.95 per cent increase in earnings recorded in just 2019.

“Then came 2020, and in spite of the difficulties, we succeeded in achieving impressive results in key areas such as net earnings from fees and commissions, while growing the bank’s asset base significantly.

That’s not all, customer credibility in the bank was also accentuated with a massive increase in customer deposits over the previous year. This is an audacious show of confidence from our customers at Wema Bank. These performance metrics amongst others, are testament to our smart balance sheet optimisation approach which will be affirmed by the time the audited and official 2020 Financial Report is released in the coming weeks,” he said.

According to him, the bank’s performance in the 2020 made it one of the best performing financial institutions in the land given the challenging operating environment.

“We won the BusinessDay award for the Best SME Bank of the Year for 2020. A recognition of our unrivalled support for small and medium scale businesses through loans, business advisory, and ease of payments and transactions. Also, the recently published 2020 KPMG Customer Experience Survey, showed Wema Bank making significant growth in the retail category, climbing up ten (10) places from the previous year to 2nd position, with an above industry average of 74.6 per cent Customer Experience score. This achievement is a mark of dedication to excellent customer service and refreshing support for all our customer categories.

The KPMG Customer Experience Survey grades banks over six universal pillars of Personalization, Integrity, Expectations, Resolution, Time & Effort and Empathy, and Wema Bank has showed a mastery of these pillars and have been outstanding at all of them,” he said.

Adebise added that in line with the bank’s sustainability goal of developing digital solutions for societal impact, it successfully organised the second edition of Hackaholics, a radical gathering of developers, web designers and creative thinkers to develop solutions around key themes of education, health, agriculture, fintech, gaming & betting.

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