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Standard Chartered Profit Before Tax Surges by 175%



  • Standard Chartered Profit Before Tax Surges by 175%

Standard Chartered Plc has grown its profit before tax for the 12-months ended December 2017 by 175 per cent to $3bn.

The United-Kingdom-based lender also grew its operating income by three per cent to $14.3bn despite a four per cent drag from financial markets.

According to data obtained, the net interest income also increased by five per cent while the net interest margin increased slightly to 1.55 per cent.

According to the bank, the significant improvement in profitability and returns was a direct consequence of the many actions taken since 2015.

It said the profit before tax of $3bn was up by 175 per cent and up by 71 per cent excluding principal finance.

Statutory profit before tax of $2.4bn was stated after restructuring and other items and was $2bn higher, the lender stated.

It also noted that over 85 per cent of the four-year $2.9bn gross cost efficiencies target was achieved with a year to go.

Commenting on the result, the Group Chief Executive Officer, Standard Chartered Bank, Bill Winters, stated, “The transformation of the group continued in 2017 with the significant improvement in underlying profits, a strong capital position and emerging clarity on regulatory capital requirements allowing us to resume paying dividends.

“We are encouraged by our start to 2018 and remain focused on realising the Group’s full potential.”

The result showed that regulatory costs rose by 15 per cent, with several large programmes including MiFID II and IFRS 9 being implemented.

The lender noted that further significant progress were made in implementing financial crime prevention capabilities

SCB said, “There’s continuing cooperation and ongoing discussions with the United States and the United Kingdom authorities to resolve historical matters

“After updating prior-year estimates, the UK bank levy was $220m; the estimate for 2018 is around $310m. Asset quality overall has improved with the focus on better quality origination within a more granular risk appetite. Loan impairment of $1.2bn halved as management actions resulted in improvement across all client segments.”

It also noted that profit from associates and joint ventures rose by $185m following better performances in China and Indonesia

The bank said the board had recommended resuming a dividend, given improving financial performance and strong capital, adding that a full-year dividend of 11 cents per ordinary share was proposed for 2017

The bank is planning to increase the dividend per share over time as the group’s performance improves.

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

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Central Bank to Promote Zero Balance Account Opening to Drive Financial Inclusion



Central Bank

Banks Now Accept Zero Balance Account Opening to Deepen Financial Inclusion

In an effort to boost financial inclusion in the country, the Central Bank of Nigeria has said it would start promoting zero balance account opening to encourage and lure the unbanked into the banking system.

The apex bank disclosed this in its report titled ‘Monetary, credit, foreign trade and exchange policy guidelines for fiscal years 2020/2021’.

The report read in part, “As part of its effort towards promoting greater financial inclusion in the country, the bank shall continue to encourage banks to intensify deposit mobilisation during the 2020/2021 fiscal years.

“Accordingly, banks shall allow zero balances for opening new bank accounts and simplify their account opening processes, while adhering to Know-Your-Customer requirements.

“Banks are also encouraged to develop new products that would provide greater access to credit.”

The apex bank said the Shared Agency Network Expansion Facility, launched to deepen provision of financial services in under-served and unserved locations and drive financial inclusion through agent banking, would continue in the 2020/2021 fiscal years.

Banks, mobile money operators and super-agents would also continue to render returns in the prescribed formats and frequency to the CBN.

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Investors Oversubscribed for FGN Bonds by N205.87 Billion in October




FG October Bonds Oversubscribed by N205.87 Billion

The Debt Management Office (DMO) has said investors oversubscribed for the Federal Government’s October bonds by N205.87 billion.

The DMO stated this after concluding the monthly FGN bonds auction on Wednesday.

Two instruments of 12.5 per cent FGN March 2035 re-opening 15-year bond and 9.8 per cent FGN July 2045 re-opening 25-year bond were auctioned.

The two bonds of N15bn each with a total auction figure of N30bn received a subscription of N235.87bn.

The 15-year tenor and 25-year tenor bonds received 99 and 67 bids but recorded 21 and 26 successful bids respectively.

The amounts allotted for each of the bids were N20bn and N25bn respectively.

According to the DMO, successful bids for the 15-year tenor bond and 25-year tenor bonds were allotted at the marginal rates of 4.97 per cent and six per cent respectively.

However, it added, the original coupon rates of 12.5 per cent for the 12.5 per cent FGN March 2035 bond and the 9.8 per cent for the 9.8 per cent FGN July 2045 bonds would be maintained.

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Lafarge Africa Sustains Growth in Third Quarter, Reports N53.3bn Revenue



Lafarge Africa

Lafarge Africa Grows Revenue by 31.4 Percent to N53.3bn Revenue in Q3 2020

Lafarge Africa Plc, a cement manufacturer headquartered in Lagos, sustained its strong growth in the third quarter (Q3) ended September 30, 2020.

In the company’s financial results released on the Nigerian Stock Exchange on Friday, the cement manufacturer’s revenue rose by 31.4 percent from N45.172 billion posted in the third quarter of 2019 to N59.337 billion in the third quarter of 2020.

Similarly, operating profit grew by 7.2 percent from N7.746 billion in the corresponding quarter to N8.302 billion in the quarter under review. This strong performance continues across the board as net income expanded by 2.8 percent to N4.867 billion, up from N4.734 billion posted in the third quarter of 2019.

Lafarge earnings per share rose by 2.8 percent to 30 kobo in the third quarter, again up from the 29 kobo posted in the same period of 2019.

On the outlook for the company going forward, the company said:

 Market demand is expected to remain strong in Q4.
 Naira devaluation and inflation remain a concern in Q4.
 The implementation of our “HEALTH, COST & CASH” initiatives would continue to deliver
improvement in our performance.
 We will maintain a healthy balance sheet.

Speaking on the company’s performance, Khaled El Dokani, CEO, Lafarge Africa Plc, said “Our robust results for the first 9 months reflect the strong recovery of the demand in Q3 and the successful implementation of our “HEALTH, COST & CASH” initiatives. Both have delivered considerable improvement in recurring EBIT, net income and free cash flow, despite the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and Naira devaluation, particularly in Q3.

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