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Zenith Bank Posts Double-Digit Growth in Q3 2022

Despite headwinds, Zenith Bank has announced a remarkable double-digit growth across its operating units in the third quarter (Q3) of 2022.

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Zenith Bank - Investors King

Despite headwinds, Zenith Bank has announced a remarkable double-digit growth across its operating units in the third quarter (Q3) of 2022.

Gross earnings grew by 20% to N620.6 billion in the period from N518.7 billion reported in Q3 of 2021, the bank’s unaudited financial statement obtained by Investors King has shown.

According to the unaudited financial statement accessed via the Nigerian Exchange (NGX), growth in the quarter was largely driven by interest and non-interest income.

Interest income grew by 27% from N308.8 billion in Q3 2021 to N390.8 billion in Q3 2022, driven majorly by growth in risk assets and an improvement in pricing. This also strengthened Earnings Per Share (EPS) by 9% to N5.55.

This double-digit growth in the topline also aided the bottom line, as the Group also recorded a 13% year-on-year (YoY) increase in profit before tax from N179.8 billion in Q3 2021 to N202.5 billion in Q3 2022.

Profit after tax equally grew by 9% to N174.3 billion in the same period, up from N160.6 billion recorded in Q3 2021.

Growth in non-interest income was enabled by the Group’s retail strategy, with continued substantial customer acquisition driving transactions, deposit growth and growth in electronic banking income.

Due to inflationary pressure and the rising cost of doing business, operating costs grew by 17%. However, this was below the growth in gross earnings (20%), thereby facilitating the double-digit growth in the bottom line.

The continuing elevated yield environment affected the cost of funding which increased from 1.4% to 1.7% in the current period. This affected the net interest margin (NIM), which dropped due to the immediate implementation of higher yields on interest-bearing liabilities. However, the NIM is expected to see a correction in subsequent quarters as the assets side is repriced correspondingly.

Total assets grew by 20% from N9.45 trillion to N11.34 trillion in 2022, mainly driven by growth in customers’ deposits. Customer deposits grew by 24% from N6.47 trillion in December 2021 to N8.04 trillion in September 2022 due to the market’s confidence in the brand.

Loans and advances also grew by 16% from N3.5 trillion in December 2021 to N4.06 trillion in September 2022, boosting the Group’s interest income and displaying the Group’s appetite for high-yielding risk assets creation. As a result of this growth, the capital adequacy ratio reduced from 21% to 19.1%, while the liquidity ratio reduced from 71.6% to 68.9%. Both prudential ratios remain very strong and are still well above regulatory thresholds.

In the year’s final quarter, management is determined to sustain the strong performance trajectory while adapting to changes in the regulatory environment and focusing on creative initiatives to mitigate inflationary trends, foreign exchange pressures and the growing competitive environment.

Zenith Bank’s track record of excellent performance has continued to earn the brand numerous awards, including being recognised as Number One Bank in Nigeria by Tier-1 Capital, for the 13th consecutive year, in the 2022 Top 1000 World Banks Ranking published by The Banker Magazine; Best Bank in Nigeria, for three consecutive years from 2020 to 2022, in the Global Finance World’s Best Banks Awards; Best Commercial Bank, Nigeria 2021 and 2022 in the World Finance Banking Awards; Best Corporate Governance Bank, Nigeria in the World Finance Corporate Governance Awards 2022; Best in Corporate Governance’ Financial Services’ Africa, for three consecutive years from 2020 to 2022, by the Ethical Boardroom; Best Commercial Bank, Nigeria and Best Innovation In Retail Banking, Nigeria in the International Banker 2022 Banking Awards. Also, the Bank emerged as the Most Valuable Banking Brand in Nigeria in the Banker Magazine Top 500 Banking Brands 2020 and 2021, Bank of the Year (Nigeria) in The Banker’s Bank of the Year Awards 2020 and Retail Bank of the year at the BusinessDay Banks and Other Financial Institutions (BOFI) Awards 2020 and 2021.

Similarly, Zenith Bank was honoured as Bank of the Decade (People’s Choice) at the ThisDay Awards 2020 and emerged winner in four categories at the Sustainability, Enterprise, and Responsibility (SERAS) Awards 2021, carting home the awards for “Best Company in Reporting and Transparency”, “Best Company in Infrastructure Development”, “Best Company in Gender Equality and Women Empowerment”, and the coveted “Most Responsible Organisation in Africa.

 

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

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Banking Sector

Tinubu Aide Urges CBN Governor to Consider Political Impact of Economic Reforms

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Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)

Tunde Rahman, a senior aide to Nigerian President Bola Tinubu, has said Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor Olayemi Cardoso must start factoring in the political effects of CBN’s decisions.

In his piece, titled “Navigating the Dilemma: Political Considerations in Economic Reforms,” sheds light on the complexities facing Cardoso as he seeks to stabilize Nigeria’s economy.

Rahman’s commentary shared through the Presidency’s official channels, acknowledged the challenges Cardoso confronts, particularly regarding the country’s currency devaluation and the contentious plan to relocate CBN staff from Abuja.

While Rahman refrained from direct criticism of Cardoso’s policies since his appointment by Tinubu, he underscored the necessity for the CBN governor to strike a delicate balance between economic imperatives and political sensitivities.

The upcoming meeting of the monetary policy committee presents a pivotal juncture for Cardoso, where discussions are expected to revolve around potential interest rate hikes to counter inflation and bolster the national currency.

Rahman’s insights underscore the high stakes involved in these decisions, especially given the public outcry over soaring living costs and inflation rates nearing three-decade highs.

Cardoso’s commitment to orthodox central banking, following a period marked by blurred monetary and fiscal policy lines, reflects his determination to navigate Nigeria’s economic landscape with prudence.

Nonetheless, Rahman’s op-ed serves as a reminder of the intricate interplay between economic reforms and political realities, urging Cardoso to exercise flexibility in policymaking, especially in matters with broader political implications.

As Nigeria grapples with economic challenges, the spotlight remains firmly fixed on Cardoso and the CBN’s response to the nation’s evolving financial landscape.

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Banking Sector

CBN’s New Foreign Currency Gateway Bank Raises Concerns Over Nigerian Banks’ Liquidity: Fitch Ratings

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Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)’s announcement of a new Foreign Currency Gateway Bank has stirred concerns over the liquidity of Nigerian banks, according to recent commentary from credit rating agency Fitch Ratings.

The proposed bank, designed to centralize correspondent banking activities, has prompted Fitch to issue cautionary remarks regarding its potential impact on the banking sector’s foreign currency (FC) liquidity.

Governor of the CBN, Dr. Olayemi Cardoso, unveiled plans for the Foreign Currency Gateway Bank to streamline and centralize correspondent banking functions, currently dominated by two major banks.

The initiative is part of the CBN’s efforts to address Nigeria’s persistent forex crisis.

Fitch Ratings expressed apprehension, highlighting the potential negative effects on the banking sector’s FC liquidity.

The agency noted that the centralization of correspondent banking activities, coupled with recent measures by the CBN, might exacerbate liquidity challenges for Nigerian banks.

Furthermore, Fitch cautioned that the recent devaluation of the naira, coupled with the CBN’s circular prohibiting banks from holding net long foreign currency positions, could further strain FC liquidity.

The prohibition on net long FC positions may leave banks more vulnerable to naira depreciation, potentially affecting their capital positions.

The CBN’s move to harmonize different segments of the foreign currency market last June led to significant naira devaluation, with the local currency closing at 899/$ at the official market by the end of last year.

As of February 13, the naira experienced a second devaluation, reaching 1,516/$, marking a 40% devaluation.

While the shift away from a managed exchange rate regime aims to attract capital inflows and mitigate forex shortages, it poses short-term risks such as heightened inflation and potential strains on loan quality and capital adequacy within the banking sector, as highlighted by Fitch Ratings.

As discussions continue, stakeholders closely monitor the implications of the proposed Foreign Currency Gateway Bank on Nigeria’s financial landscape.

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Banking Sector

CBN Mandates Automated Transaction Monitoring to Combat Fraud in Nigeria

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Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has introduced new regulations mandating banks to implement automated transaction monitoring systems to combat the growing threat of fraud in the country’s financial sector.

Under the CBN’s latest ‘Consumer Protection Regulations’ draft, banks are required to adopt advanced measures to protect customers’ assets and prevent fraudulent activities.

These measures include multi-variant customer identification, multifactor authentication mechanisms for transactions, automated transaction monitoring, alert functions, and behavioral monitoring.

The move comes amid a significant rise in fraud cases across Nigeria, with the first half of 2023 witnessing 24,232 reported fraud cases totaling N12.33 billion.

The banking industry has seen 110 executives and junior staff members dismissed due to fraud-related offenses amounting to N82 billion over the past two years.

According to the CBN, sensitizing customers on fraud threats or scams and providing secure and simple user interfaces for digital financial services are crucial steps to minimize the risk of fraudulent activities.

The regulations emphasize the importance of continuous efforts to enhance cybersecurity and protect consumers in an increasingly digital financial landscape.

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