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Fidelity Bank Collaborates With SMEDAN, Seeks to Enhance SMEs Access to Fund

Fidelity Bank has partnered with the Small And Medium Enterprises Development Agency (SMEDAN) to bridge the funding gap in small businesses in Nigeria

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Nigerian commercial bank, Fidelity Bank has partnered with the Small And Medium Enterprises Development Agency (SMEDAN) to bridge the funding gap in small businesses in Nigeria.

At a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signing ceremony recently held in Lagos, the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Fidelity bank Mrs. Nneka Onyeali-Ikpe who was represented by Executive Director, Lagos and South-West Dr. Ken Opara, disclosed that the partnership with SMEDAN reinforces the fact that the bank is a leading supporter of SMEs in Nigeria.

Her words, “For us at Fidelity Bank, supporting SMEs is in our DNA and for more than two decades, we have been creating multiple platforms to help them thrive.

“These include the numerous products we have pioneered, our collaboration with the Lagos Business School to host the Export Management Programme, the Fidelity SME Academy, and our weekly SME Forum radio program successful business owners and SMEDAN share tips on running thriving ventures with listeners.

“This partnership is therefore another step in our journey of helping entrepreneurs grow and compete favorably in any market they operate and we are very happy to have SMEDAN join us.”

Also, the Director-General/Chief Executive Officer of SMEDAN, Olawale Fasanya expressed gratitude to Fidelity Bank for facilitating the partnership, emphasizing that the MOU was particularly significant not just to the Agency but to the MSMEs ecosystem.

He said, “Fidelity Bank is one of the few commercial banks in Nigeria that have shown immense interest in providing support to the large MSME community. I am very aware of some of your products purposely designed to serve the MSMEs.

“This explains why the Agency is very excited entering into this relationship that we believe will help change the narratives of the sub-sector”.

Knowing that SMEs are the backbone of any economy, the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) has on several occasions launched different initiatives for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the country to help boost sales and enhance capacity building.

On the other hand, Fidelity Bank has continued to play a pivotal role in the development of SMEs in the country by offering numerous support through partnerships with different firms and agencies.

It should be recalled that in June 2022, Investors King reported that Fidelity bank partnered with impactHER a non-profit organization, to empower 1,052 female entrepreneurs with sales skills in Nigeria.

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Banking Sector

UBA America Strengthens Commercial Diplomacy, Hosts Diplomats, Others at World Bank Summit

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UBA America, the United States subsidiary of United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc hosted diplomats, government officials and business leaders to a networking reception in partnership with the esteemed Business Council for International Understanding (BCIU) and the U.S. Department of States in Washington DC on Monday .

The event which was held on the sidelines of the ongoing IMF World Bank Spring Meetings was organised by the BCIU and US Department of State to enhance collaboration and fortify commercial diplomacy among nations, institutions and individuals.

Speaking during the event, UBA’s Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Oliver Alawuba, noted that the bank’s co-hosting of the event via its American subsidiary, underscores its commitment towards cultivating robust relationships within the development communities in the United States.

He said, “As a distinguished member of BCIU, a non-profit organisation providing customised commercial diplomacy services, UBA Group and UBA America share BCIU’s vision of actively pursuing strategic opportunities, contributing to global economic cooperation, deepening of economic diplomacy, facilitating ideas, forging partnerships, and adding value for all stakeholders.”.

“Our resolve to co-host this Networking Reception symbolises our dedication to fostering inclusive economic growth and partnership across borders. By leveraging platforms like this, we can collectively address shared challenges and seize opportunities for sustainable development,” he stated further.

BCIU is a non-profit Association comprising of policy experts, strategic advisors, and trade educators, and offers bespoke commercial diplomacy services to the world’s governments and leading organisations, from Fortune 100 companies to global investors and multilateral institutions.

Only last year, the CEO UBA America, Sola Yomi-Ajayi, was appointed to the Board of BCIU, where she collaborates with fellow board members to ensure the organisation operates in alignment with its by-laws and New York 501(c)3 non-profit legislation.

Yomi-Ajayi has been committed to nurturing long-term organisational growth and sustainability, thereby reinforcing the bond between UBA America, BCIU, and the broader international community.

UBA America is the United States subsidiary of United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc, one of Africa’s leading financial institutions with presence in 20 African countries, as well as in the United Kingdom, France, and the United Arab Emirates. UBA America serves as a vital link between Africa and the global financial markets, offering a range of banking services tailored to meet the needs of individuals, businesses, and institutions.

As the only sub-Saharan African bank with an operational banking license in the U.S., UBA America is uniquely positioned to provide corporate banking services to North American institutions doing business with or in Africa.

UBA America delivers treasury, trade finance, and correspondent banking solutions to sovereign and central banks, financial institutions, SMEs, foundations, and multilateral and development organizations. Leveraging its knowledge, capacity, and unique position as part of an international banking group, the Bank seeks to provide exceptional value to our customers around the world.

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Banking Sector

Ecobank Pays Off $500 Million Eurobond

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Ecobank Transnational Incorporated (ETI) has announced the successful repayment of its $500 million Eurobond.

The Eurobond, issued in April 2019 with a coupon rate of 9.5%, matured on April 18, 2024, and was listed on the London Stock Exchange.

The repayment, totaling $524 million inclusive of principal and interest, underscores Ecobank’s commitment to financial prudence and investor confidence.

The bond garnered substantial support from a diverse group of global investors, including development banks, FMO, and Proparco, serving as anchor investors.

Mr. Ayo Adepoju, Ecobank’s Group CFO, emphasized the significance of the inaugural bond in broadening the institution’s investor base and enhancing its visibility in global capital markets.

Despite challenges in the operating environment, such as disruptions in the global supply chain and financial markets, Ecobank has demonstrated resilience through robust liquidity, a solid balance sheet, and effective leadership.

This repayment marks Ecobank’s commitment to fulfilling its financial obligations and maintaining strong relationships with investors.

While this Eurobond repayment closes a significant chapter, it also reflects Ecobank’s ongoing efforts to navigate challenges and sustain its position as a leading financial institution in Africa.

As Ecobank clears this debt, it reinforces its reputation for financial stability and prudent management, setting a positive trajectory for future growth and continued success in the dynamic global financial landscape.

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Banking Sector

UBA Announces Final Dividend of N2.30 per Share for FY 2023, Totaling N95.8 Billion

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UBA (United Bank for Africa) shareholders are set to receive dividends as the bank announces a final dividend of N2.30 per share for the fiscal year 2023.

This translated to a total payout of N95.8 billion, more than the N37.6 billion paid out in 2022.

Despite the robust increase in dividend payments, UBA’s dividend payout to profit after tax (PAT) ratio experienced a decline of 6.3 percentage points, dropping from 22.1% in 2022 to 15.8% in 2023.

Shareholders will receive the dividends based on their shareholdings as of the close of business on Friday, May 10, 2024. The payment is scheduled for May 24, 2024.

UBA urges shareholders who have not completed the e-dividend registration process to obtain the E-Dividend Mandate Form to ensure a smooth disbursement process.

The bank’s unclaimed dividends increased to N14.9 billion in 2023, an 18% increase from the previous year.

The bank reported a profit after tax of N607.7 billion, representing a 257% increase from the N170.3 billion recorded in 2022. This increase in profitability includes a net FX revaluation gain of N26.6 billion.

However, it’s worth noting that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) directive prohibits banks from utilizing FX revaluation gains for dividends payment or operational expenses.

Shareholders are advised to complete the e-dividend registration process or contact the registrar, Africa Prudential Plc, for assistance regarding outstanding dividend warrants or share certificates.

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