Connect with us

Finance

Bank Customers Shun Cash Deposits Into Domiciliary Accounts

Published

on

Nigerian 1000 Naira notes

Bank customers are shying away from making cash deposits into their domiciliary accounts three days after the Central Bank of Nigeria lifted the ban on foreign currency deposits, our correspondent has learnt.

The CBN had Monday said holders of ordinary domiciliary accounts were allowed to deposit foreign currencies into their accounts, a move that ended a six-month embargo on the banks from receiving cash deposits from the customers.

Bankers at some branches of Guaranty Trust Bank, First City Monument Bank and First Bank of Nigeria in Lagos told our correspondents on Thursday that customers had not been coming to make dollar deposits.

Industry analysts said the lack of certainty about whether customers could transfer or do transactions with the deposits was the major factor discouraging foreign currency deposits by customers, stating that the central bank needed to address that.

The CBN had on August 5, 2015 banned the payment of cash into domiciliary accounts in a bid to stop illicit financial flows in the Nigerian banking system.

A spokesperson of one of the banks, who pleaded anonymity, said, “The directive from the CBN was silent on whether customers can transfer the deposits, and I know there are concerns about that. Possibly, this is one of the things the Bankers’ Committee might want to discuss at its next meeting.

“I am as confused as the rest of the bank customers. I don’t really understand what the central bank is trying to do. A lot of the things they are saying we are not really clear about it. The banking industry is still very confused.”

The Head, Media and External Relations, FirstBank, Mr. Babatunde Lasaki, said, “People have been coming to deposit money into their domiciliary accounts in our bank.”

A currency strategist at Ecobank Nigeria, Mr. Kunle Ezun, said, “One would have thought that with that directive, there would be opportunity for business. But basically, I think it has a mooted effect on the banks because it doesn’t create any business; rather, it creates more burdens on the banks.

“When you deposit your dollar cash with the bank and the bank has no outlet for those dollar cash, then you create more problems for them because they will need to pay premium on those deposits. Meanwhile, those deposits are not being utilised. Today, the CBN is not allowing the banks to do wire transfers.”

The CBN needs to come back to the banks and perhaps provide a clearer view about how they will use the deposits, Ezun said.

“A lot of banks are not too excited about it (the dollar cash deposit) because it is not going to help their business. What it will only end up doing is that it will make the banks to just accumulate dollar cash in their vaults without any outlets for those dollar cash. So, at the end of the day, the banks are just keeping assets that are not earning any income for them,” he added.

The Head of Investment Research, Afrinvest West Africa Limited, Ayodeji Ebo, said, “It won’t be very effective because they also need to address the user end. What I mean by that is that people are not sure of the modality for withdrawal or usage. Most of the banks have not reversed the initial policy regarding the cap that has been placed on debit and credit cards as well as withdrawals.

“You can’t expect me to pay in $1,000 and you are telling me I can only use $300 in a day, or that I can’t use my card. So, we don’t feel that will be very effective because the CBN also needs to address the utilisation or the modality around the usage.”

Punch

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and Investing.com, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.

Finance

Healthcare Startups Raised $111.4bn in Total Funding, a 34% Jump Year-on-Year

Published

on

Startups in the Healthcare Sector Raises $111.4bn in Funding

The coronavirus pandemic put enormous pressure on the healthcare industry, forcing pharmaceutical giants and institutions to roll out clinical trials for a COVID-19 vaccine at breakneck speed. But behind the COVID-19 outbreak as the main healthcare issue in 2020, large health systems and venture capital firms continued investing millions in startups whose products could bring critical healthcare delivery innovation.

According to data presented by Buy Shares, UK, the total amount of funds healthcare startups raised over time hit $111.4bn in September, a 34% jump year-on-year.

Total Funding Amount Surged by 162% in Three Years

In 2015, healthcare startups worldwide raised $5.4bn in funding rounds, with the cumulative value of investments reaching $24.4bn that year, revealed the CrunchBase data. During the next two years, this figure surged by more than 68%, reaching $45.5bn in the fourth quarter of 2017.

Statistics show that 2018 delivered a $19.2bn of investments into healthcare startups, while the cumulative funding value rose to $64.7bn. In 2019, the total value of raised funds jumped by $24.7bn to $89.4bn, the most significant increase year-on-year.

The Crunchbase data revealed the first quarter of 2020 delivered $7.1bn worth investments into healthcare startups, a 51% increase year-on-year. Between April and June, the cumulative value of funding rose to $103.7bn and continued growing. Statistics show the total funding amount healthcare startups raised over time surged by 162% in the last three years.

Analyzed by geography, North America represents the leading region with $72.4bn of investments in healthcare startups. The US companies raised more than 97% of that amount, with California and San Francisco as the leading hubs. Asian startups hit $25.5bn in total funding, ranking as the second-leading region globally. European healthcare startups follow with $12.8bn worth funding rounds.

Three Largest Funding Rounds in 2020 Worth Over $2bn

The CrunchBase data also revealed the three largest healthcare startup funding rounds this year hit over $2bn value.

Last month, JD Health, the healthcare unit of Chinese e-commerce giant JD.com, raised more than $830 million from Hillhouse Capital in Series B funding, the largest investment in 2020. The company announced it would use this capital to further strengthen its pharmacy supply chain capabilities and explore additional healthcare services opportunities in the broader healthcare sector.

In July, Seattle-based biotech startup Sana Biotechnology raised $700 million in initial financing that will be used to advance the company’s discovery and development programs that deliver engineered cells as a treatment for different types of diseases.

Statistics show that Lyell Immunopharma`s $493 million worth Series C funding round represents the third-largest healthcare startup investment in 2020. Last year, the San Francisco-based company joined forces with GlaxoSmithKline plc to develop new technologies to improve cell therapies for cancer patients.

Continue Reading

Finance

FinCEN Leaks: Tone Down The Rhetoric and Focus on Improving Banking Checks

Published

on

First Bank

Banks Must do More To Prevent Financial Crime

The FinCEN leaks underscore that banks must do much more to prevent financial crime, but also that a clear distinction must be made between legal and illegal financial practices.

This is the message from Nigel Green, the CEO and founder of deVere Group, one of the world’s largest independent financial advisory and fintech organisations, as more than 2,500 documents from the U.S. Financial Crimes Enforcement Network raise concerns about what banks’ clients might be doing.

Mr Green says: “These documents show how some of the world’s biggest banks have seemingly turned a blind eye to criminals moving dirty money around the world through their systems.

“For me, this highlights once again that these major financial institutions need to do much more and with vigour to help prevent high-level financial crime, which is a serious global problem.

“It brings up the issues of independent verification and conflict of interest within banks. Should a bank with a financial interest be allowed to make the decision on moving such large figures?

“A bizarre anomaly is that it appears that smaller amounts are often questioned, but larger figures often appear not to be.”

He continues: “Whilst banks must, evidently, do much more in this area, it is also important to make clear the distinctions between legal and illegal financial practices.

“A failure to do so muddies the waters and makes combatting financial crimes harder.

“For instance, some high-profile individuals have been accused of wrongdoing when their actions and decisions were legal at the time.

“The notion that they are ‘getting away’ with investments that were perfectly legal when they were made is, frankly, ludicrous and wholly unhelpful.

“Knowing this, some have accused these individuals of being ‘immoral’. However, the law is not supposed to be a moral issue.

“It might very well be the case that the laws need to be overhauled, but until that point, the witch-hunt must be called-off.”

The deVere concludes: “Let’s tone down the rhetoric and focus on the serious issues of stamping out financial crime by implementing more robust checks and balances inside the banking system.”

Continue Reading

Finance

Alibaba Group’s Revenue Surged to $22.7bn in Q2 2020, Still Four Times Less Than Amazon

Published

on

Alibaba single day

Alibaba Revenue Rose to $22.7bn in the Second Quarter 2020

While many Chinese companies have faced severe challenges and losses caused by the coronavirus outbreak, Alibaba Group is emerging as one of the country’s biggest corporate winners of the COVID-19 crisis. The multinational tech giant gained the opportunity to expand its business during the first half of 2020, as demand for its services and online marketplace traffic surged amid the coronavirus lockdown.

According to data presented by StockApps.com, the Alibaba Group’s revenue jumped to $22.7bn in the second quarter of 2020, still four times less than its leading competitor Amazon.

Alibaba Quarterly Revenue Jumped 34% YoY, Amazon’s 40%

Alibaba Group emerged as China’s leading eCommerce company after the 2003 SARS outbreak. Since then, it has become a significant hirer and a lender, providing more than 100,000 jobs and offering billions of dollars in loans to SMEs.

One of the group’s most profitable marketplaces is Taobao, responsible for more than 80% of its sales. Unlike Amazon, Alibaba isn’t involved in direct sales and doesn’t own warehouses; it simply helps branded manufacturers and small businesses to reach consumers. Although both tech giants have established a strong presence in their domestic markets, there is intense competition between them in expanding to the new markets.

Alibaba’s revenue amounted to $11.9bn in the second quarter of 2018, while its US competitor reported $52.8bn, four times more than that. During the next twelve months, Alibaba`s revenues surged by 41% to almost $17bn in the second quarter of 2020. Amazon’s revenue rose by nearly 20% to $63.4bn in the same quarter. After a strong performance in the third and fourth quarter of 2019, the revenue of both companies slightly dropped in the first quarter of 2020. However, the second quarter of the year delivered the highest results, so far.

Alibaba Group’s revenue jumped to $22.7bn; an 34% increased year-over-year. The company’s Q2 Results also revealed the number of their annual active consumers on the China retail marketplaces surged by 16 million in three months, reaching a total of 742 million. Mobile MAUs on China retail marketplaces jumped to 874 million in June, an increase of 28 million compared to the first quarter. Adjusted EBITDA grew by 30% in a year to $7.2bn, while quarterly net income rose to more than $6.5bn.

In August, Amazon also announced its excellent second-quarter results, which revealed double-digit revenue growth year-over-year driven by a surge in sales amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The US tech giant’s revenue spiked 40% year-over-year to $88.9bn, up from $81.5bn expected. Net income surged by 100% to $5.2 bn, while earnings per share hit $10.30, a significant increase compared to $5.22 in the second quarter of 2019. The company reported its North American sales rose by 43% to $55.4bn, while international sales grew 38% to $22.7bn.

Combined Market Cap of Two Tech Giants Soared by 81% YoY

Besides their revenues and profits booming amid the coronavirus outbreak, both Alibaba Group and Amazon witnessed significant growth in their market capitalization since the beginning of the year.

In December 2019, the market cap of the Chinese tech giant amounted to $570.9bn, revealed the Yahoo Finance data. After a 10% drop in March, this figure rose to $581.2bn in June. Statistics show the Alibaba Group’s market cap continued growing in the third quarter, rising by $181.2bn after fantastic Q2 2020 results. In September, it surged to $762.4bn, a 75% jump year-over-year.

In 2020, Amazon officially became the fourth tech company to join the $1 trillion club, besides Apple, Microsoft, and Alphabet. Statistics show the company’s market cap amounted to $920.2bn in December last year. By the end of the first half of 2020, it rose to $1.38trn and continued growing ever since. Statistics show the combined value of Amazon’s stocks surged by $210bn after the US tech giant announced its last quarterly results and hit $1.59trn in September, an 80% increase year-over-year.

The combined market capitalization of the two competitors hit $2.35trn this month, almost 58% jump since the beginning of the year.

Continue Reading

Trending