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Union Bank Grows Profit Before Tax by 2% to N15.9 billion in Nine Months

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Union bank - Investors King

Union Bank of Nigeria Plc, one of the oldest banks in Nigeria, grew profit before tax by 2 percent to N15.9 billion in the nine months ended September 2020, up from N15.5 billion posted in the first nine months of 2019.

In the unaudited financial statements of the bank, gross earnings rose by 6 percent from N111.9 billion in the corresponding period to N118.8 billion in 2020. Largely driven by the increase in earning assets.

Interest income expanded by 1 percent to N85.4 billion from N84.9 billion in the nine months ended September 2019.

Net interest income before impairment rose by 15 percent from N36.4 billion achieved in the first nine months of 2019 to N41.7 billion in the period under review.

Non-interest income appreciated by 23 percent to N33.4 billion from N27.1 billion filed in the corresponding period of 2019.

Union Bank’s net operating income stood at N69.3 billion in the period under review, representing a 1 percent growth from N68.7 billion filed in the same period of 2019.

Operating expense was largely flat at N53.4 billion, slightly higher than the N53.2 billion posted in the corresponding period of 2019 despite currency depreciation, inflationary pressures and unplanned Covid-19 related expenses.

Gross loans rose 14 percent to N678.0 billion from N595.3 billion achieved in Dec 2019. This reflects the banks growing credit facility to the real sector of the economy.

Similarly, customer deposits expanded by 28 percent to N1.1 trillion from N886.3 billion in Dec 2019. The bank attributed the improvement to gains on investments in customer-led products and digital channels which resulted in the acquisition of over 600,000 new-to-bank customers and deepening of wallet share of existing customers.

Speaking on the performance, Emeka Emuwa, CEO said: “Notwithstanding the realities of a tougher operating environment arising from the ripple effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Bank delivered a 6% growth in gross earnings from ₦111.9 billion in 9M 2019 to ₦118.8 billion in 9M 2020. In addition, net interest income before impairment rose by 15% to ₦41.7 billion, while non-interest income grew by 23% to ₦33.4 billion.

“We reached a major milestone as our customer deposits crossed the ₦1 trillion mark this quarter, growing by 28% to ₦1.1 trillion compared to ₦886.3 billion at the end of 2019. This reflects increasing customer loyalty and our intense retail drive. Our customer acquisition strategy has been reinforced by the versatility of our digital platforms and channels which continue to drive customer satisfaction.

“We grew our loan book by 14% to ₦678.0 billion from ₦595.3 billion in December 2019 as we cautiously extended credit to the real sector. We will continue to explore bankable lending opportunities in the Nigerian economy guided by our robust risk management practices.

“The civil unrest which erupted in October and led to significant destruction of property and small businesses across the country, will have real impact on business and the operating environment; and even as restrictions have eased, Covid-19 also remains a present threat in our day to day operations.

“Heading into the final stretch in 2020, our overarching commitment is to the health and wellbeing of our employees and the safety of our customers. Showing up for our communities is also at the core of who we are and therefore we will work with our partners and through our corporate citizenship initiatives to support individuals, businesses and our communities where we operate as we begin to rebuild and heal as a country.”

Also commenting was the Chief Financial Officer, Joe Mbulu, who said: “Union Bank’s nine-month results reflect the strength and resilience of the business. Our Profit Before Tax (PBT) grew by 2% to N15.9 billion, from N15.5 billion in the previous period.

“Our operating expenses were relatively flat year-on-year at ₦53.4 billion, compared to ₦53.2 billion in 9M 2019 despite inflationary pressures on cost and higher regulatory costs. This reflects continuing focus on cost management.

“Our asset quality continues to improve with Non-Performing Loans (NPLs) down to 3.6% from 5.8% as at December 2019, supported by ongoing efforts to diversify our loan book to include viable businesses and households. Our Capital Adequacy Ratio remains robust at 19.5%, well above the regulatory threshold.

“With the $40 million (USD) financing secured from the International Finance Corporation for on-lending to trade finance customers, we are continuing to expand our funding engagements with DFIs to support our strategic business initiatives.

For the rest of the year, we remain focused on our business priorities in the face of the Covid-19 challenge and will continue to leverage increasing customer loyalty, stronger digital platforms and channels as well as solid risk management structure to deliver on our objectives.”

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

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Banking Sector

Ecobank Reports $401 Million Before Tax in Nine Months to September 2022

Revenue grew by 7% from $1.26 billion in recorded the same period of 2021 to $1.35 billion in the period under review.

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Ecobank - Investors King

Ecobank Group on Thursday reported a 7% increase in revenue for the nine months ended September 2022, the leading financial institution announced in its audited financial statement.

Revenue grew by 7% from $1.26 billion in recorded the same period of 2021 to $1.35 billion in the period under review.

The bank’s operating profit expanded by 12% to $593 million, up from $528 million filed in the corresponding period of 2021, Investors King reports.

Profit before tax rose to $401 million, a 14% increase from $352 million achieved in 2021. Profit paid to shareholders grew by 7% from $182 million to $196 million.

Gross loans and advances to customers increased 5% from $9.469 billion to $9.917 billion. Similarly, deposits from customers increased by declined by 2% to

Commenting on the bank’s performance, Ade Ayeyemi, CEO, Ecobank Group, said: “We continued to deliver on our strategic priorities and are on track to meet full-year targets despite the complex operating environment. Group-wide return on tangible equity reached a record 21%, and profit before tax increased by 14%, or 48% at constant currency (i.e., excluding currency movements).

“These results reflect the resilience, strong brand and diversification of our pan-African franchise. We saw decent client activity in consumer and wholesale payments, trade finance and foreign currency markets. Additionally,
despite inflationary pressures, we maintained a tight lid on costs, thereby improving our cost-to-income ratio to 56.3% from 58.3% in the previous year.

“The dampened economic outlook necessitated maintaining a sound balance sheet with adequate levels of liquidity and capital. As a result, our total capital adequacy ratio at 14.4% is well above our internal and minimum regulatory limits. Also, we hold sufficient gross impairment reserves that fully cover our non-performing loans. Moreover, we have fully repaid the five-year $400 million convertible debt we issued in September and October of 2017.

“Ecobankers have worked extremely hard to serve our customers’ financial needs, and I am proud of them. As always, we will passionately work towards realising our vision and remaining the bank that Africa and friends of Africa trust.”

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Finance

POS Operators Kicked Against CBN Withdrawal Policy

Nigeria does not have the infrastructure to run a cashless society given the size of cash transactions done daily.

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POS Business in Nigeria

Point of Sale (POS) operators in Nigeria under the umbrella of the Association of Mobile Money and Bank Agents in Nigeria (AMMBAN) have kicked against the new CBN policy which pegs withdrawal on POS to N20,000 daily. 

Investors King earlier reported that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) plans to limit daily withdrawals for both POS and ATMs to N20,000 daily and N100,000 per week.

The policy which was announced in a circular sent to commercial banks yesterday also restricted cash withdrawals from over-the-counter, Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) to N100,000 and N500,000 per week for individuals and corporate organisations, respectively.

Similarly, the memo directed commercial banks to load only N200 and lower denominations into their ATMs

While commenting on the new policy, AMMBAN President, Olojo Victor stated that the new policy is capable of sending members of the association out of business. 

“They want to send us out of business. We are against this. It is counter-productive. It does not represent what the CBN initially stood for in terms of financial inclusion. This is not driving us forward” Olojo lamented. 

He wondered how an average Nigerian will be able to cope with the new policy, stating that not many Nigerians can transact without the use of cash. 

“We don’t have the technological infrastructure to support this policy. Nigerians have not been sensitised.

“There is no alternative and you are taking out cash. You are running a cash-dominant economy as we speak.

“Cash still remains king whether we like it or not. Go to the average market we still have more cash transactions than PoS and suddenly you want to seal cash without bringing alternatives and education and sensitising Nigerians on how the alternatives work.

“This will not fly. It is not suitable. It is a good idea but not at the right time,” he concluded. 

Meanwhile, the president of the Bank Customers Association of Nigeria, BCAN, Dr. Uju Ogubunka, commended the CBN on the policy.

He, however, noted that the policy would be difficult to implement owing to some issues such as broadband connection and sensitisation among others. 

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Finance

Nigeria’s External Debt Rose From $18.3bn in 2010 to $103bn in 2022; Says World Bank

Nigeria spent $9.6 billion on debt servicing in 12 years

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The World Bank stated yesterday that Nigeria’s external debt increased from $18.3 billion in 2010 to $103 billion in 2022. The bank added that the country spent $9.6 billion on debt servicing in 12 years. 

According to the “International Debt Report” released by the bank, Nigeria’s foreign debts rose astronomically by 305 per cent during the 12 years.

The report added that external debt stood at $76.21 billion in 2021 but rose quickly to $103 billion by the first half of 2022 (H2 2022).

Furthermore, cumulative annual interest payments on external debts rose sharply by 2,819 per cent to $1.73 billion in 2021 from $59.3 million in 2010.  

Investors King understands that the implementation of Nigeria’s budget heavily relies on external borrowings.  

An example is the construction of railway tracks which are heavily funded by the Chinese loan while the country’s 2023 budget proposal also has a deficit of about N10 billion which will be significantly sourced from international creditors.

Experts have warned that Nigeria’s rising debt could hamper the nation’s overall development, especially if the debts are not tied to projects with economic value.

Meanwhile, the report added further that principal repayment on the external debt gulped $30.66 billion during the 12 years period with annual principal repayment rising by 469 percent to $6.77 million in 2021 from $1.189 million in 2010. 

In the executive summary, the report noted that Nigeria and other developing countries are at risk of serious debt-related issues. The report cautioned that rising interest rates coupled with the recent sluggish economic movement may force a number of developing countries into a debt crisis. 

Speaking on the report, World Bank Country Director for Nigeria, Shubham Chaudhuri stated that Nigeria’s economy does not reflect the huge level of debt stock, adding that multilateral institution is worried that the cost of servicing debt could exceed the nation’s revenue.  

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