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Banking Sector

Zenith Bank Halts International Spending on Naira Cards

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Zenith Bank - Investors King

Like United Bank for Africa, Zenith Bank has also halted international Automated Teller Machine (ATM) cash withdrawals and POS transactions on all Naira cards, the bank disclosed in a statement forwarded to all customers on Wednesday.

For web transactions, the leading lender reviewed downward its monthly limit from US$100 to US$20, attributing the decision to the current economic realities of Nigeria.

The announcement was made during a record-high oil price, the only viable means by which the Nigerian nation generates foreign exchange necessary to service its import-dependent 200 million nation.

However, Africa’s largest economy and the continent’s largest exporter, is not expected to profit from the surge in global oil prices. This is because of Nigeria’s economic structure and lack of refineries. Hence, why Nigeria imports finished petroleum products from overseas.

The Federal Government has to subsidize imported fuel so that majority of Nigerians without constant electricity, transporters and other fuel users can afford it.

Sadly, this increase in crude oil prices means, the landing cost per litre will increase. Therefore, Nigeria’s profit from crude oil will be used to pay for subsidy, or Nigerians battling with a 33.33% unemployment rate, high inflation, low new job creation and weak wage growth will not be able to afford it.

A few weeks ago, it was the United Bank for Africa Plc that halted international spending on Naira cards while the Central Bank of Nigeria launched a N65 per dollar rebate scheme to lure exporters to Investors and Exporters forex window.  On Tuesday, the First Inland Revenue Service announced a one-month concession to allow companies with dollar tax liabilities to pay in Naira due to forex scarcity. All these point to one thing, there is no forex.

As stated in my UBA article, “Given that the announcement was made on the day Russia attacked Ukraine and bolstered global risk to the highest level in recent years, UBA may be responding to possible forex challenges that lie ahead, especially with Nigeria’s inability to capitalise on the current rise in global oil prices due to her weak oil production infrastructures.”

Zenith Bank, however, concluded with “If you have higher international spending requirements, simply visit any of our branches and request for a foreign currency debit or prepaid card, which are available in US Dollar, Pounds and Euro variants.”

 

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

Buhari Expresses Confidence in Banking Institutions to Tackle Economic Challenges

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President Muhammadu Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari has expressed his confidence in the West African Banking Association (WABA) to tackle economic challenges in the West African region.

The president expressed his trust while receiving a team from WABA, led by its President, Thierno Seydou Nourou Sy, at the State House in Abuja.

The president stated that the sub-region needs to come to an agreement on low access to financial services and recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to him, the association, founded in 1981, brings together over 250 commercial banks and 15 institutions from across West Africa, and for many centuries, African countries have traded with one another without a formalized and structured system. He, however, noted that over time, global trade had become more complex and organized.

The president expressed optimism that the launch of the African Continental Free Trade Area will mark a watershed moment in the way African countries do business.

“More importantly, we will turn the page in ensuring that we deepen and expand our industrial capabilities by making sure we export less of what we have been endowed with in the primary or raw form, and convert larger portions of these resources into finished materials.

“That will allow us to benefit from the revenue earned from the added value of exporting a finished product,” he said.

“Our ability to overcome the current phase of our development lies in our resolve to work jointly via our regional and sub-regional organizations where we can all reach a common understanding to fight against a common enemy.

“This is one of the reasons I am delighted with the strides ECOWAS has been making towards unanimity and forging alliances with a goal to resolve issues that confront the sub-region.

“I believe that this is also the approach that is being followed in the West African Bankers’ Association and the West African Monetary Union,’’ he added.

While commenting on WABA’s ongoing attempts to synchronize monetary and fiscal policy, the president pushed the organization to find common ground despite the particular macroeconomic challenges that each member-state faces.

He pledged that Nigeria would always be ready to support efforts that are geared towards improving the lives of all its citizens “as long as they do not place us at a disadvantage.”

The WABA President praised Nigeria’s leadership role in the African economy, while also praising President Buhari’s leadership.

“That’s why we are here for counsel and guidance for the financial sector in West Africa,” he said. He further urged the president to be an advocate for the greater inclusion of WABA in the ECOWAS structure.

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Banking Sector

Demola Sogunle Increases Stake in Stanbic IBTC Holdings

Sogunle purchased 1,000,000 shares of Stanbic IBTC Holdings Plc at N34.50 a unit

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Demola Sogunle

The Chief Executive of Stanbic IBTC Holdings Plc has increased his stake in the leading financial institution as a show of confidence in the bank’s future.

On Monday, Sogunle purchased 1,000,000 shares of Stanbic IBTC Holdings Plc at N34.50 a unit from the trading floor of the Nigerian Exchange Limited (NGX).

The bank’s management disclosed this in a statement signed by Chidi Okezie, Company Secretary and obtained by Investors King. Listed companies are mandated to disclose all insider dealings in an effort to enforce transparency across the Exchange.

However, understanding insider dealings can help shareholders and potential share investors predict directors’ confidence in the organisation. For instance, Sogunle moves showed he is confident in the future of Stanbic IBTC Holdings, hence additional investment in the bank.

Sogunle presently holds a total of 3.41 million shares valued at N117.57 million in Stanbic IBTC Holdings Plc.

Dr Demola Sogunle Profile

Dr Demola Sogunle previously served as Chief Executive of Stanbic IBTC Bank PLC, Chief Executive of Stanbic IBTC Pension Managers and as the Head of Treasury amongst other roles in the Stanbic IBTC Group.

Dr Sogunle holds a First-Class Honours degree in Agricultural Science and a PhD in Land Resource Evaluation and Management, both from the University of Ibadan, Nigeria. He is an alumnus of Harvard Business School, AMP. He also holds an MBA in Banking and Finance from ESUT Business School, Nigeria and a Treasury Dealership Certificate from the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN). He is a member of the Global Association of Risk Professionals.

Dr Sogunle has a wealth of banking experience spanning over 25 years in credit and marketing, project finance, global markets, risk management and compliance. Prior to his appointment as Deputy Chief Executive of Stanbic IBTC Bank PLC in December 2015, he was the Chief Executive of Stanbic IBTC Pension Managers Limited, a role which he performed with diligence from 2011 – 2015.

He had also served as the Group Head of Risk and Chief Compliance Officer of Stanbic IBTC Bank PLC and prior to this, he served as the Treasurer of Stanbic IBTC Bank PLC, a position he held between February 2000 and November 2007. He is currently the Chief Executive of Stanbic IBTC Holdings PLC.

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Banking Sector

FirstBank Rewards Customers in Its Firstmobile Cash-out Promo

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firstmobile

In collaboration with Interswitch, FirstBank has launched a promo to reward users of the FirstMobile app, its industry-leading mobile banking application. The promo tagged FirstMobile Cash-out Promo will run for 3 months. The promo, which started on Monday, 21st March 2022 will end on Tuesday, 21st June 2022.

Various prizes including, N1,000,000, N40,000, N10,000.00 cash prizes, N40,000 Airtime, LED Televisions, refrigerators, washing machines, air conditioning systems will be won in the course of the three months campaign. A minimum of two bills payment worth N1000 and five airtimes of at least a total of N2000 in a week qualify a customer for any of the prizes. The promo is open to new customers and existing users of the FirstMobile app.

FirstMobile customers who do a minimum of 6 transactions weekly on the FirstMobile app, will be eligible for the respective rewards: N10,000 cash for 200 winners; Gift items (TVs, Refrigerators and AC) for 10 winners; N10,000 airtime for 340 winners.

On the other hand, 500 customers that carry out a minimum of 10 transactions monthly will win N30,000 cash. The Grand Prize of N1,000,000 will be won by 2 lucky customers who carry out a minimum of 20 transactions or a minimum of two bills payment of N1000 plus five airtime transactions of at least a total of N5000 in a week.

Speaking on the campaign, Chuma Ezirim, FirstBank’s Group Executive, e-Business & Retail Products said, “as the leading financial inclusion services provider in Nigeria, we are delighted to partner with Interswitch, an Africa-oriented technology-driven company, to reward our customers for their continuous patronage. Together with Interswitch, we remain committed to ensuring the continued safety of customers’ funds across multiple electronic payment channels irrespective of where our customers may be across the world. FirstMobile remains another obvious step towards leveraging evolving technologies to bring fast and convenient digital banking solutions to our customers”.

FirstMobile is built to reflect FirstBank’s resolve at reinforcing the digitisation of payment systems, whilst putting customers at an edge to conveniently meet their everyday needs at any time, irrespective of where they are. The app provides convenient access to both financial and non-financial transactions by FirstBank account holders via their mobile devices. It is sleek and convenient to use – evident in its easy enrolment process as all FirstBank customers with Verve and Naira Mastercards can begin using the app without having cause to visit a FirstBank branch. It is also poised to offer a more reliable and more convenient overall digital banking experience.

To set up the FirstMobile app, customers with android phones should visit the Google Play store to download and install the FirstMobile app. Customers with Apple devices can download it from the Apple Store. Once installed, customers are required to open the app, tap the register button, and use their FirstBank issued Naira MasterCard or Verve card to activate the app. After details have been inputted, an OTP code will be sent via an SMS to your phone number that is linked to your bank account and you are then required to Input a 5 digits code that will be your login password, select two security questions and answer them, create a personalised 4 digits transaction pin that will help your confirm transactions. Upon the conclusion of these steps above, click Done and start enjoying the app.

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