Japan Credit Rating Agency (JCR) has affirmed the African Development Bank’s long-term rating at AAA with a stable outlook.
The agency commended the African Development Bank for its strong member-country support, as evidenced by the seven general capital increases it has carried out to date. The report reflected on the institution’s financial structure, risk management and funding, noting that JCR monitors whether multilateral development banks are financially viable enough to sustain their business in terms of financial structure, profitability and risk management.
Although the Bank’s equity investment remained limited in volume, its risks have been growing due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. The Bank responded rapidly to cushion the impact of the pandemic on its member countries by establishing a Covid-19 Response Facility.
The report notes that the Bank’s “treasury investment is aimed to ensure ample liquidity and efficient management of assets, the Bank manages it in a conservative manner, limiting its investment to counterparties that have high credit standings.”
Benefiting from its high credit standing, JCR said the Bank has been raising funds from international capital markets on favorable terms.
“The Bank met almost all of its conservative internal regulations with respect to lending, equity participation, risk capital utilization, borrowing and liquidity at the end of 2020. The Bank’s risk capital utilization ratio has been close to the upper limit defined by its internal regulations due mainly to the increased risks related to its loan and investment exposures.”
However, JCR holds that the Bank will continue to comply with the regulations “as it has taken remedy measures including the special temporary callable capital increase in March 2021, the optimization of its asset portfolio, and as progress is being made in the payment of the capital increase.”
While noting that the continued impact of the Covid-19 pandemic could weaken the quality of the Bank’s assets mainly with its non-sovereign loans, JCR said that “any increased credit cost can be mostly absorbed by earnings and that its impact on the Bank’s financial base will be limited.”
The agency also discounted the possibility of the current ratings coming under downward pressure if the majority of the member countries fail to pay for the latest capital increase, or when the Bank’s non-sovereign loans expand in volume and their asset quality deteriorates significantly in the long term.
“JCR holds that such possibility is slim,” the report noted.
Bajabulile “Swazi” Tshabalala, Vice President for Finance and Chief Finance Officer of the African Development Bank, said: “Japan Credit Rating Agency’s ratings is proof of our prudent risk management policies, our solid financial performance and the robust support we enjoy from our members.”
The African Development Bank currently holds triple A ratings from Fitch, Moody’s and Standard and Poor’s.
Zenith Bank Signs MOU With CFA Institute to Develop Finance and Investment Professionals
Zenith Bank Plc has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Institute to promote efforts and activities that support the formation, training, and updating of human capital in finance and investment for the overall development of the Nigerian financial services sector.
The MoU, was signed by the Group Managing Director/CEO of Zenith Bank Plc, Dr. Ebenezer Onyeagwu; the President/CEO of the CFA Institute, Margaret Franklin; and the President of CFA Society Nigeria, Ibukun Oyedeji on Tuesday, November 28, 2023.
Speaking at the MoU signing ceremony, the Group Managing Director/CEO of Zenith Bank Plc, Dr. Ebenezer Onyeagwu commended the CFA Institute and the CFA Society, Nigeria for their laudable programmes in developing finance and investment professionals in Nigeria.
According to him, your Women in Investment Management Initiative, CFA Institute Research Challenge, CFA Society Nigeria Ethics Challenge and University Affiliation Program are very laudable, and Zenith Bank will continue to partner with the CFA Institute and the CFA Society Nigeria to ensure that young finance and investment professionals get the needed support for their career development.
In his words, “As a good corporate citizen, Zenith Bank remains committed to furthering the economic, cultural and social development of the society. As such, we continue to support projects and initiatives that have long-term social and economic benefits for our various publics and stakeholders. Partnering with the CFA Institute and the CFA Society Nigeria is therefore a demonstration of our commitment to building professional excellence in the finance services industry in Nigeria”.
At the CFA Institute Africa Investment Conference, during the ‘Journey to the Top: A Discourse with CEOs’ segment, Dr. Onyeagwu inspired future finance and investment professionals to uphold the highest standards of integrity.
He stressed the importance of making difficult yet high-quality decisions, building robust networks, and dedicating themselves to hard work for career success.
In his words, “as upcoming professionals, the opportunities are immense for you. Africa doesn’t get bigger than Nigeria. There is scarcity of the right kind of people that have the talent, that have the character and the leadership to provide leadership in organizations. Make a decision to be one of those, make a decision to be different. You must be driven by your passion; you must delay gratification. In Zenith what is driving us is the strive for excellence. It is not about who you are and where you come from. We have the best class of talents you can think of anywhere in the world.”
He assured the young finance and investment professionals that Zenith Bank will offer immediate employment opportunity to CFA Charter Holders and those who qualify as Chartered Accountants.
Also speaking on the MoU, the President/CEO, CFA Institute, Margaret Franklin reiterated the Institute’s commitment to the professional development of students and upcoming professionals.
In her words, “there are many things that we do for students, we invest heavily in students and why is that? Because they are our future. The mission of the CFA Institute is to lead the investment industry with the highest standards of ethics, education and professional excellence for the ultimate benefit of society and that starts with our CFA programme”.
She commended Zenith Bank for its continued support to the CFA Society Nigeria and sponsorship of the CFA Institute Research Challenge over the years.
She also commended the bank for being one of the top employers of CFA members in the country. She expressed her admiration of the culture of excellence in Zenith Bank.
Also speaking at the MoU signing ceremony, the President of CFA Society Nigeria, Ibukun Oyedeji commended Zenith Bank for its partnership with CFA Society Nigeria and its commitment to the development of young finance professionals in the country.
The the CFA Institute Africa Investment Conference is being hosted by the CFA Institute and CFA Societies from Ghana, East Africa, South Africa and Mauritius. The conference has representatives from over 20 universities in Nigeria (members of their investment clubs being supported by CFA Society).
FirstBank UK Enhances Fixed-Income Workflow Through Bloomberg Integration
FirstBank UK, the UK subsidiary of First Bank Nigeria Limited, has announced its onboarding on Bloomberg’s Trade Order Management System (TOMS) to enhance its fixed-income workflow.
The integration with TOMS is expected to provide FirstBank UK with access to a comprehensive suite of data and analytics, communications, order, and execution management solutions, streamlining its fixed-income bonds business.
As a niche market-maker for its customers in Africa, FirstBank UK plays a vital role in providing market liquidity in cash bonds, particularly in Nigerian, Angolan, Egyptian, and Ghanaian Eurobonds, to manage risk and optimize its inventory.
Olukorede Adenowo, CEO-designate at FirstBank UK, expressed enthusiasm about the integration, stating, “Bloomberg TOMS provides FirstBank UK with a complete end-to-end trading workflow covering African bonds in most of our home markets. The solution enables us to focus on expanding our footprint in the African Fixed Income landscape and deliver a first-in-kind service to our customers in Africa.”
Bloomberg’s TOMS is renowned for enhancing operational efficiency across enterprises. Lisa Bravo, Global Head of Sell-Side OMS at Bloomberg, commented, “We are pleased to help FirstBank UK enhance operational efficiency across its enterprise with our award-winning sell-side order management solution TOMS.”
FirstBank UK had previously digitized its order management workflow by offering clients access to liquidity on its Eurobond Single-Dealer Platform.
The recent integration with Bloomberg TOMS aims to centralize order handling, aggregated custom analytics, and liquidity tools within a single interface, facilitating real-time access to liquidity for customers.
Robert Hagenaars, Head of Markets at FirstBank UK, highlighted the unique feature of real-time access to liquidity in their markets, providing a distinct advantage for their customers.
This move signifies FirstBank UK’s commitment to leveraging advanced technological solutions to fortify its position in the African Fixed Income market and deliver enhanced services to its clientele.
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