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Stakeholders Caution Anti-graft Agency on Freezing of Bank Account

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  • Stakeholders Caution Anti-graft Agency on Freezing of Bank Account

Stakeholders have cautioned the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission on the need to conclude proper investigations of alleged fraud cases against private firms before freezing their bank accounts.

They hinged their arguments on the negative effects these kangaroo court orders do have on the economy and advised the ICPC to be thorough with its investigations before freezing such account.

The ICPC had obtained court orders to freeze bank accounts of some companies which were vacated by court of competent jurisdiction.

For instance, the Federal High Court, Abuja ordered the anti-corruption agency to unfreeze bank accounts and released seized assets belonging to Blaid Construction Limited and its director, Ochuko Momoh.

This is contained in an enrolled order in a suit marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/132/2019 and made available to journalists in Abuja by Ade Adedeji, a counsel for both the firm and Momoh.

The presiding judge, Binta Nyako, also held that the anti-corruption body should release all the seized properties of the plaintiffs to them.

The judge said the ICPC went ahead to carry out those actions despite being aware of the plaintiffs’ suit against it taking such steps.

The ICPC was alleged to have overreached itself by directing banks operated by the plaintiffs to freeze their accounts and seized their assets on claims that it was investigating their businesses.

In a related development, Justice Nnamdi Dimgba of the Federal High Court, Abuja also ordered the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences ICPC, to unfreeze the account belonging to a private firm, Pinnacle Communications Limited domiciled in Zenith bank.

He cautioned anti-corruption agencies against taking actions that could jeopardize thriving of private organisations.

He pointed out that the anti-corruption war was as beneficial to the society as flourishing private enterprises, adding that scuttling the operation of private businesses like Pinnacle Communications Limited sends negative signals to the international communities about Nigeria’s business environment.

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

Flour Mills Posts Strong Half Year Results Despite Headwinds

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flour mills posts 184% increase in PAT

Flour Mills of Nigeria Plc recorded strong performance in the Half Year (H1) ended September 30, 2020.

In the 2020/21 half-year results released on Tuesday through the Nigerian Stock Exchange, the leading integrated food business and agro-allied Group, grew revenue by 31 percent year-on-year from N270.8 billion posted in the half-year of 2019/20 to N355.1 billion in the period under review with second-quarter growth of 47 percent when compared to last year second quarter.

Similarly, the Group’s profit before tax grew by 60 percent year-on-year from N8.6 billion in H1 2019/20 to N14.6 billion in H1 2020/21 with an impressive 160 percent growth from the second quarter.

The strong performance continues across the board as profit before tax was driven by the agro-allied segment, which realised a profit of N6.3 billion when compared to the loss posted in 2019/20 period. The company said it recorded strong improvement in edible oils and fats, protein and fertiliser businesses after its investments over the years started yielding results.

Profit after tax grew by 68 percent from N5.9 billion achieved in H1 2019/20 to N9.9 billion in the period under review.

According to the company, despite economic uncertainties and headwinds, the Group has continued to show sustained growth in key areas with the agro-allied unit leading with a strong result in edible oils and proteins.

Speaking on the performance, Paul Gbededo, the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the company, said “with this result, our business has once again shown its resilience, by following the path of sustainable growth despite the prevailing challenges in both the local and global economy.”

He further stated that “in line with our vision to continue to grow value for our investors, Management will for the remaining part of the financial year continue to concentrate on improving operational effectiveness through accelerated strategies for Group-wide cost optimisation, which will ensure sustainability in the current market climate, while we will continue to invest in growing the business further.”

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US Banks Led the Most Fined Financial Institutions in 2020

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US Banks Are The Most Penalised Financial Institutions in 2020 Financial Year

Banks in the United States were the most fined financial institutions in 2020, according to the latest report from Finbold.

Finbold, a company that specialises in financial data, said three countries accounted for 97.32 percent of the total fines levied on banks in 2020.

The data revealed that United States banks are the most fined at €9.15 billion. This was followed by Australian banks with a combined €770 million, while banks in Israel came third with €762.97 million.

Also, while the fines are likely to increase before the end of the year, the total fines levied against financial institutions globally stood at €11.61 billion as of October 22nd.

Further breakdown showed Swedish banks came fourth with €456.18 million fines while German banks that incurred a combined €169.01 million fines came fifth.

The report showed Goldman Sachs led the most fined bank with €5.26 billion for various violations of regulatory rules.

Wells Fargo came second with €2.53 billion while Westpac Bank in Australia and Hapoalim emerged third and fourth with €770 million and €762.97 million, respectively.

Other heavily fined lenders include Swedbank from Sweden fined €360 million and Germany’s Deutsche with €126.52 million fine in 2020 so far.

Speaking on banks’ fines, Oliver Scott, Chief Editor, Finbold, said “Notably, the tally of bank fines is likely to increase in the coming years as European and Asian regulators catch up with U.S peers who are considered more aggressive. However, banks are looking for means of minimizing fines. Analysts have been of the opinion that the fines could have been avoided if banks leverage technology through the deployment of perfect software.”

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Guinness Nigeria Explains Reason for N12.6 Billion Loss in 2020

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Guinness

Guinness Nigeria Speaks on 2020 Poor Performance

Guinness Nigeria Plc has blamed the challenging business environment amid COVID-19 restrictions that led to the closure of bars, clubs, lounges and restaurants for its 2020 losses.

Mr. Baker Magunda, Managing Director/CEO, Guinness Nigeria, who spoke on the company’s performance in 2020, said the aforementioned represents a major part of the company’s consumption, adding that restriction imposed on gathering impacted the usual demands for celebratory occasions.

He explained that demand was weighed upon by a decline in consumer income, rising unemployment rate due to the shutdown of large corporations, surged in VAT and excise throughout 2020.

According to him, distribution was affected by the ban imposed on inter-state travel despite collaborating with regulatory authorities to minimize the negative impact on the company.

Here is a breakdown of the Guinness Nigeria performance in 2020 Financial Year

Guinness profit plunged by a massive 129.1 percent to -N12.6 billion in the 2020 Financial Year (FY), down from the N5.5 billion profit achieved in 2019 (FY). While the company’s gross profit nosedive by 16.9 percent from N40.13 billion posted in 2019 to N33.33 billion in 2020.

The company decline was broad-based as revenue also declined from N131.5 billion filed in 2019 to N104.4 billion in the 2020 financial year.

Accordingly, administrative cost rose from N9.9 billion in the 2019 financial year to N14.3 billion in 2020. However, the cost of sales moderated by 22 percent from N91.4 billion posted in 2019 to N71.1 billion in 2020.

Finance cost expanded from N2.6 billion in 2019 to N4.5billion in 2020 while finance income declined to N301 million in the year under review, down from N750.9 million in 2019.

Mr. Baker Magunda, said “The last quarter performance of fiscal 2020 was significantly impacted by restrictions due to COVID-19, exacerbating the already challenging economic environment. Closures of on-trade premises (bars, lounges, clubs, and dine-in restaurants), which represents the major part of the consumption occasion for our products and bans on celebratory occasions, impacted sales.

“Demand was also impacted by reduced consumer income, unemployment concerns due to the shutdown of a large number of businesses, and increases of VAT and excise throughout the year.”

Speaking further Magunda said, “Distribution was impacted by the ban of inter-state, and in some cases intra-state travel. Although, Management worked diligently with regulatory authorities to minimize the impact, this hampered our distributors’ ability to restock and have our brands available for purchase.”

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