UBA Delivers Stellar Performance In Half-Year 2017, Grows Profit by 66%

The Pan African financial institution, United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc has announced its audited half year financial results ended June 30, 2017showing remarkable performance across major metrics.

UBA grew its gross earnings for the period by 34.5 percent to N222.7 billion, as against N165.6 billion reported in June 2016. This impressive performance, which reflects the strong momentum of UBA’s business and its increasing share of customers’ wallet, was driven by the 44.3 per cent and 16.0 per cent growth in interest income and non-funded income respectively. The Group’s operating income stood at N161.8 billion, compared to N116.2 billion recorded in the corresponding period of 2016, representing a 39.2 percent growth. 

Notwithstanding the impact of Naira devaluation and double digit inflation in Nigeria and a number of other African countries where UBA operates, the Group managed through its cost lines to deliver a sterling Profit Before tax (PBT) ofN57.5 billion, representing a significant growth of 65.5 percent over N34.8 billion recorded in the corresponding period of June 2016.

In same vein, the Group recorded an unprecedented Profit After Tax (PAT) of N42.3 billion, translating to a 56.2 percent growth over the N27.1 billion recorded in the half-year of 2016. This profitability further reflects the earnings capacity of the Group and its capability to progressively deliver superior returns to shareholders.

While the Group closed the half year with Total Assets of N3.69 trillion, a growth of 5.3 percent, it prudently grew gross loans to N1.6 trillion, a 4 percent growth when compared to the Group loan book as at 31 December 2016.

Reflecting a strong capacity for internal capital generation, the Group’s Shareholders’ Fund grew by 8 percent to N483.1 billion, whilst it delivered an annualized 18.2% return on average equity (RoAE) and an Interim Dividend of N0.20 per Share.

Commenting on the result, Kennedy Uzoka, the Group Managing Director/CEO, said that “the results again demonstrate the strong momentum of the Bank, as we deliver continuous improvement across our businesses and key performance metrics.” 

He further stated that the Bank’s “unwavering focus on customer service excellence is translating to strong operational and financial efficiency gains.  We have achieved better pricing on assets and liabilities, leading to continued improvement in the net interest margin to 7.3%. Leveraging our service-focused strategy and treasury management, we grew non-interest income by 17% year-on-year, reinforcing our transaction-banking-led approach towards deepening financial inclusion in Sub-Saharan Africa.”

According to him, UBA has made considerable progress in its retail banking penetration, gaining market share in deposits, at a time when a sizeable percentage of households are challenged due to inflationary pressures on disposable income. The Bank grew its retail savings and current account deposits by 23% and 5% YTD respectively.

Also speaking on UBA’s financial performance and position, the Group CFO, Ugo Nwaghodoh said that the Bank had “a strong start in the year, despite protracted recession in Nigeria, our largest market. Our profit after tax of N42 billion translates to 18.2% return on average equity, broadly in line with our 2017FY guidance.”

He further said that the Bank’s African subsidiaries (ex-Nigeria) contributed 32% of the Group’s earnings, leveraging on digital offerings to gain market share across the different markets.  “We maintain our discipline of banking only quality and profitable assets, a conservative stance which reflects on our asset quality. Notwithstanding consistent liquidity mop-up by the CBN, we maintained an average balance sheet liquidity ratio of 42%. Further reinforcing the Bank’s capacity is the strong BASEL II capital adequacy ratio of 20%, which underpins our ability to grow, as the macro risks decline, he said”

United Bank for Africa Plc is a leading pan-African financial services group, with presence in 19 African countries, as well as the United Kingdom, the United States of America and France.

 UBA was incorporated in Nigeria as a limited liability company after taking over the assets of the British and French Bank Limited who had been operating in Nigeria since 1949. The United Bank for Africa merged with Standard Trust Bank in 2005 and from a single country operation founded in 1949 in Nigeria – Africa’s largest economy – UBA has become one of the leading providers of banking and other financial services on the African continent. The Bank provides services to over14 million customers globally, through one of the most diverse service channels in sub-Saharan Africa, with over 1,000 branches and customer touch points and robust online and mobile banking platforms.

 UBA was the first Nigerian bank to make an Initial Public Offering, following its listing on the NSE in1970. It was also the first Nigerian bank to issue Global Depository Receipts. The shares of UBA are publicly traded on the Nigerian Stock Exchange and the Bank has a well-diversified shareholder base, which includes foreign and local institutional investors, as well as individual shareholders.

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Lagosity To Become Number One Online Business Directory In Nigeria

There are uncountable service providers in Lagos, Nigeria’s commercial nerve centre. These service providers range from the skilled and unskilled. And getting professionals from both types of labour can be quite painstaking. This is because there are so many quacks masking as professionals.

You do not need to worry anymore about where to get verified service providers because Lagosity has debuted to provide a platform where you can request for any services you so desire.

According to Co-Founder, Timothy Odedina ”Although there are quite a number of hubs and online directories where you can also get on-demand service providers, Lagosity is unique because you can find or discover uncountable services. You won’t be wrong if you describe it as an online business and information directory to search and order services in Lagos.

Launched this year, businesses, organisations, and individuals in Lagos can take advantage of the free classified ads section called Lagos List Marketplace to promote their goods and services, Ads, deals, offers post announcements and jobs, making all these information easily accessible to users.

Furthermore, Lagosity will make it easy for residents of Lagos, visitors and new residents, as well as people from any part of the world, to find businesses, government institutions, recreation centres, news, gist, offers, jobs, deals, and all other information about Lagos.

You can get information on service providers including food, baby clothing & accessories, business services, events and conferences, health and beauty, hotels, Legal, real estate, shopping and much more by simply visiting the website and searching for whichever service you want he said.

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Dangote To Commit $450million Into Agriculture In Niger Sate

Aliko Dangote, world’s richest black man and President of Dangote Industries Limited; says it will commit $450million (about N165billion) into farming business in Niger State.

The planned investment according to Dangote is part of his contributions to help diversify Nigeria’s economy and boost the economy of Niger State,

He said on Monday at the ongoing 2017 Niger State Investment Summit in Minna that the Dangote Group would invest $450 million in agriculture in Niger State over the next three years.

The funds would be used to establish a large scale rice processing mill to process over 200, 000 metric tonnes of paddy rice.

Also,  a state-of-the-art fully integrated sugar refining industry would also be established.

“Our company is also establishing a state of the art fully integrated sugar industry involving the development of over 30,000 hectares of sugar cane plantation and the production of about 500, 000 metric tonnes of refined sugar.

“We are very excited about these investments and look forward to kick starting this mutually beneficial partnership with the government and good people of Niger State,” he said.

Dangote, who was represented by Alhaji Mansur Ahmed, disclosed that the company also planned to invest over $1 billion (about N367billion) in agricultural production and processing of selected commodities like sugar, rice and tomatoes across the country.

The Commissioner for Investment, Commerce and Industry, Mrs Ramatu Yardua said the aim of the summit was to market the state as an investment destination in agriculture considering its enormous potential which was largely untapped.

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Western Union Will Give Away 2 New Cars in “Mega” Consumer Promotion

Western Union, a leader in global payments services, has announced the launch of the “Western Union® Mega Promo,” in Nigeria for 2017. Designed specifically for Nigerian consumers who conduct outbound money transfer transactions, Western Union will give away new cars to two lucky winners, in addition to 50 consolation prizes, in the first phase of the promotion which will run from July 24 to August 31, 2017.

The Western Union® Mega Promo,” is an initiative to reward Nigerian customers. To qualify for this promotion individuals must send money overseas via Western Union from July 24, 2017, to August 31, 2017.

“Western Union began its journey in Nigeria over 20 years ago and we appreciate the loyalty and trust of our Nigerian customers. Over the past two decades, we have helped connect Nigerians to their loved ones by moving money for education, healthcare, and regular support, amongst many other reasons. We know this ability to transfer funds securely and conveniently helps individuals and families fulfil their ambitions, dreams and heart’s desires,” said Aida Diarra, Western Union Vice President for Africa.

“Rewarding our consumers is important to Western Union, and a part of what we do. We recently concluded our Western Union Easter Promotion which was highly successful. This time around, we have stepped it up several notches by giving away new cars and other high-value prizes,” she added.

Customers who use their My WUSM loyalty card when placing their outbound transactions will also have triple the opportunity of winning prizes during the Western Union Mega Promo.

Western Union bridges geographical gaps through its offering of diverse options to send and receive money with reliability, convenience and speed. From a single agent location with the First Bank of Nigeria in the heart of Lagos in 1996, Western Union has expanded its walk-in retail agent location count to more than 5,100, as of June 30, 2017, with a presence in every one of Nigeria’s 36 states.

The company’s channel diversification focus also allows Nigerians to receive money into 2.2 million mobile wallets and into more than 50 million bank accounts. More than 20 Nigerian majority-owned businesses form the foundation of an agent network that connects Nigerians to their loved ones around the world.

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Skye Bank Unveils SkyeXperience, A New Digital Solution

…to grow customer enrolment by over 2 million in 17 months

—offers customers seamless Omni-channel experience

It was a historic moment over the weekend for Nigeria’s financial services industry as Skye Bank Plc, one of Nigeria’s largest retail banks, unveiled a new digital banking solution called Skyexperience.

The solution which is developed in collaboration with Oracle Corporation, the world’s leading computer technology company has been described by financial technology experts as a game-changing innovation that is poised to put industry competitors in the digital catch-up mode.

Skyexperience is a robust platform designed to deliver Omni-channel user experience across multiple devices as well as boost its digital competitiveness objective which is projected to grow Skye Bank’s e-payment enabled customer base to over 2 million by end of 2018.

Earlier in his welcome address, the Chairman of Skye Bank, Mr. Mohammad Ahmad described the launch of Skyexperience as “a timely intervention in the banking industry and a modest contribution towards the economic development of Nigeria, especially in the area of financial technology and digital evolution”.

The Chairman also thanked the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for leading the way to the future through its e-payment System Vision (PSV 2020).  The vision is expected to ensure that majority of Nigerians irrespective of their social status embrace e-channels as a primary and convenient means of their daily transactions.

In his keynote address, the Bank’s Group Managing Director/CEO, Mr Tokunbo Abiru said the development was a display of the bank’s commitment to its valued customers who have continued to not only do business with the bank, but also challenged it on how best to serve them. In the words of the GMD, “As a pledge of commitment to a new service charter with our customers, we have decided to render to you this digital banking solution, which we have called Skyexperience denoting such positive values as: experience, excellence, excitement and experiential.”

In a statement released by the Senior Vice President, Oracle Financial Services Chet Kamat heralding the launch of Skyexperiance, he states, “In a dynamic digital landscape, banks need to compete for customer attention by continuous innovation. Oracle and Skye Bank have been associated with each other for over a decade. Oracle’s solution, Oracle Banking Digital Experience, built on open standards architecture helps drive a digital-first proposition, accelerating Skye Bank’s digital journey and delivering greater flexibility, and mobility to their customers.”

The Chief Information Officer (CIO), Skye Bank Mr Richard Amafonye described Skyexperience as “a new and unique Omni-channel digital banking solution, which is a response to shifts in customer behaviour and preferences. It is one of the results of our long standing work with Oracle on our strategic technology re-platforming initiative”.

Jost Hoppermann, a UK based Technology Consultant and former Director of Architecture, DG Bank – the 3rd largest Bank in Germany, in one of his presentations on innovative banking software, listed among others, the differentiators of Omni-channel banking solutions to include: customer experience and business capabilities delivery, noting that solutions with multiple differentiators are best suited to help banks win, serve, and retain customers.

Payments through electronic channels are fast gaining traction in Nigeria. This is evident in the statistics of volume and value of transactions that have been done through the channels in recent times.

According to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), the total value of electronic payment transactions in the banking system stood at N65 trillion in 2016, whilst the total volume of electronic payment transactions was put at 910,186,115 transactions in the same period.

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) notes that attaining the e-Payment System Vision 2020 (PSV 2020) would be the catalyst to revolutionize the payment system in Nigeria.

The key value proposition of Skyexperience is that its Omni-channel capability helps to simplify service delivery and personalize customer experience. It enables enhanced security of transaction and empowers customer self-service. Using the Skyexperience, customers can now perform such transactions as: setting up standing transfer instructions to family members, transferring money to distant relations or business partners, opening of new accounts and requesting for and stopping of debit cards. They can also conveniently view and monitor all their accounts activities simultaneously.

Customers of the bank who attended the unveiling ceremony noted that Skyexperience will further support Skye Bank’s branch footprint across the country, as customers especially SMEs can now make hassle-free transactions across distant locations.

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For the First Time Since 2014, Nigeria Stock Exchange Hits N13trn Mark

For the first in 3 years, market capitalisation on the Nigerian Stock Exchange appreciated by N164 billion or 1.27 percent to close at N13.097 trillion against N12.933 trillion it closed at on Monday.

The last time market capitalisation hovered around N13 trillion was in September 2014 when the average market cap was N13.5 trillion.

The all share index (ASI) also improved by 474.12 points to close at 37,999.50 compared with 37,525.38 points posted on Monday.

The stock exchange market has been on a gaining streak for weeks since the announcement of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) monetary policy committee decision, hitting an all year high of N12.08 trillion at that time.

NAN reports that Nestle topped the gainers’ table with a gain of N94.93 to close at N1,154. 93, following investors’ reactions to its half year earnings released recently in the market.

Nigerian Breweries followed with a gain of N9.05 to close at N190.05 and Guinness gained N7.38 to close at N79.38 per share.

7UP increased by N3.30 to close at N98, while Okomu Oil Palm appreciated by N2.72 to close at N72.72 per share.

On the other hand, Presco posted the highest loss to lead the losers’ chart, dropping by N3.73 to close at N70.78 per share.

Conoil trailed with a loss of N1.82 to close N34.58 and Total was down by N1.50 to close at N260 per share.

Dangote Cement dipped 79k to close at N240, while Zenith International Bank declined by 60k to close at N24.50 per share.

However, the volume of shares traded closed lower as investors bought and sold 218.22 million shares valued at N5.07 billion exchanged in 5,336 deals.

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PayU Nigeria Introduces Convenient Payment Solution For Recurring Bills

PayU Nigeria introduces PayU Subscription, a convenient payment method which allows merchants to safely and securely collect payments from consumers who have recurring bills or subscription payments in a seamless way.

Country Manager of PayU Nigeria, Ms Juliet Nwanguma said: “PayU Subscription is an innovative product for businesses who are looking to offer subscription and recurring bill payments to their customers.”

It provides customers with a simple, safe and secure alternative to regular direct debit payments. Using tokenisation as the underlying technology, PayU offers a card based recurring payment method for the payment of any recurring bills or subscriptions. Customers who want to setup recurring or subscription payment is inconvenienced as they are required to physically go to their bank and complete a direct debit order form. With PayU Subscription, all of this is avoided.  Merchants only need their customers to choose the recurring payment option as well as the period i.e. weekly, monthly, quarterly or annually.

Nwanguma said: “PayU Subscription allows merchants to improve customer satisfaction by offering a more convenient way for their customers to pay for their subscriptions and other recurring bills.

Ultimately, PayU Subscription helps merchants boost collections and revenue in a quick, convenient and simple way.”

Explaining further, she said: “PayU Subscription is highly beneficial to merchants and businesses in all sectors who want to boost and simplify their payment collections for subscription-related payments such as utility bills, monthly residential bills and various subscription services such as magazine subscriptions, insurance policies, membership dues, music distribution and digital downloads and more.”

Through the introduction of innovative products like PayU Subscription, PayU continues to be an innovative leader in the payments industry and helping to define the future of Fintech and digital payments in the Nigerian market.

With a presence in 16 markets globally and over 250 payment options, PayU is dedicated to providing safe, secure, online payments for your business.

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Nigeria’s Creditworthiness Stabilized, Says Report

UBS Wealth Management’s Chief Investment Office (CIO) has launched a new report on Africa’s sovereign credit prospects, an important benchmark used to evaluate the risk of investing in a country. The report concludes that after years of deterioration, the credit outlook of many African sovereign issuers is stabilizing or improving.

Africa’s sovereigns have been hit by a range of issues in recent years, including the end of the commodity super cycle, depreciating exchange rates and mounting public debt ratios. Energy exporters, such as Nigeria, were particularly affected.

Nigeria, Africa’s largest economy, has seen several credit rating downgrades in recent quarters, but the recent recovery in energy prices and the potential for further moderate upside should bode well for the sovereign’s creditworthiness.

According to the report’s findings, macroeconomic prospects in the region are beginning to improve. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) forecasts real GDP growth to almost double this year in Sub-Saharan Africa, reaching 2.6 percent, while fiscal and current account deficits are expected to have peaked at 4.5 percent and 4 percent last year, respectively.

Key drivers supporting the outlook include rising global growth and trade, a modest recovery in energy and base metal prices, more competitive exchange rates for African currencies, and structural reforms in a range of countries.

Ali Janoudi, Head of Central and Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa, France and Belgium International at UBS Wealth Management, said: “The modest energy price recovery over the past 18 months has supported the growth potential of many African economies, but especially Nigeria.

The more optimistic outlook for sub-Saharan Africa should also affect Nigeria’s economy going forward as the region embarks on a new phase of development.”

Michael Bolliger, Head of Emerging Market Asset Allocation at UBS Wealth Management’s CIO, said:  “We expect Nigeria, Africa’s largest economy, to recover from recession this year although it is unlikely that growth rates will return to previous highs. A determining factor for the country’s growth outlook will be a successful continuation of the Naira’s exchange rate liberalization.”

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GTBank Celebrates 10th Anniversary Of Listing On The London Stock Exchange

Foremost African financial institution, Guaranty Trust Bank plc, marks its listing on the London Stock Exchange whereby the Bank became the first Nigerian bank to list on the London Stock Exchange (LSE), the first to dual list on an international exchange and the first Nigerian company to raise international capital using listed Global Depositary Receipts. To mark the 10th anniversary of this pioneering feat, the MD/ CEO of GTBank, Mr Segun Agbaje led the Market Open Ceremony at the LSE on Friday, July 28, 2017, accompanied by senior representatives of the Bank and other institutional partners including JP Morgan, Morgan Stanley and Banwo and Ighodalo.

The London Stock Exchange is a diversified international exchange that offers international business, and investors, unrivalled access to Europe’s capital markets. In July 2007, GTBank embarked on a concurrent international and domestic equity offering by way of Global Depositary Receipts to raise funding for general corporate purposes.  At the completion of this unprecedented offering, the Bank raised approximately US$825 million and became the first Nigerian company to obtain a full listing on the Main Market of the London Stock Exchange. Since its listing on the LSE, GTBank embarked on a decade of unparalleled growth, leading the financial industry in profitability and products and service delivery.

Commenting on the anniversary, Mr Agbaje, said, “Listing on the London Stock Exchange, one of the most illustrious exchanges in the world, was a pioneering feat which remains fresh in our minds. We are very grateful to all our investors and partners for the integral role they played and their confidence in the Brand. Ten years on, we remain committed to maximizing shareholders’ value and delivering superior and sustainable return; guided by our founding values of hard work, discipline and integrity.”

Guaranty Trust Bank plc [GTB] offers a wide range of financial services and products throughout Nigeria, with strong footprints in West and East Africa, as well as the United Kingdom. In recognition of its leading role in Africa’s banking industry, world class corporate governance standards and excellent service delivery, GTBank has been recognized as the Best Bank in Nigeria by Euromoney (2016), the African Bank of the Year by the African Banker Magazine (2016) the Best Bank in Africa for Corporate Governance (2015) and the Most Innovative Bank in Africa by African Investor (2016).

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Amazon Founder Jeff Bezos Is World’s Richest Person

The founder of Amazon.com, Jeff Bezos has been announced as the world’s richest person, surpassing Bill Gates, Bloomberg reported.

According to Bloomberg, shares of the online retailer traded at $1,055.37 at 2:17p.m. in New York, after climbing as high as $1,083.31, which gave Bezos a net worth of $92.3 billion. Gates had a net worth of $90.8 billion as of the Wednesday close.

In afternoon trading, Bezos was ranked second on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, behind the Microsoft Corp. co-founder. Gates, 61, has held the top spot since May 2013.

Investors posit that Amazon Web Services, a fast-growing and profitable business, accounts for about 10 percent of revenue. It however faces increasing competition from Microsoft and Google parent Alphabet Inc.

Bezos, 53, owns about 17 percent of Seattle-based Amazon, which has surged 40 percent this year through Wednesday, helping to add $24.5 billion to his net worth. He started 2017 as the world’s fourth-wealthiest person and has since surpassed Warren Buffett and Inditex SA founder Amancio Ortega, 81, who ranks third with $82.7 billion.




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Transcorp Posts Strong Half-Year Results, Records 134% Growth In Profit

Lagos, Nigeria; July 27, 2017: Transnational Corporation of Nigeria Plc (Transcorp), Nigeria’s foremost conglomerate, has announced financial results for its second quarter ended June 30, 2017, showing significant growth in key financial indicators.

The company recorded N4.2bn as profit after tax (PAT) for the half-year ended 30th of June 2017, translating into 134 per cent growth compared to the loss of N12.19bn recorded in the corresponding period in 2016. The conglomerate achieved the impressive growth in profit from a total comprehensive income of N6.22bn, a 285 percent growth from the loss of N11.50bn recorded in the second quarter of 2016.

While the company’s total assets capped at N264bn for the period under review from N232bn attained as at December 31st,2016, the shareholders fund grew to N93bn, up from N86bn as at December 2016.

The company attributed the improved earnings and profits to increased production in its power business, improvement of the economic climate, which has impacted positively on the operations of its hotel business, among other positive indicators.

Commenting on the result, the President and Chief Executive Officer, Transcorp Plc., Mr. Adim Jibunoh, said the company’s performance highlights a significant recovery from the financial year 2016.

“Our results show continued growth and a substantial step-up in profitability despite the volatile economic environment. It was achieved largely through increased power output following improved gas supply. Our power plant, Ughelli Transcorp Power Company, has consistently ranked as the number one power producer, contributing an average of between 13% -15% of total power exported to the national grid during the 2nd Quarter of 2017,” Jibunoh said.

He noted that Transcorp Plc is on track for strong performance in the third quarter of 2017, as it has already initiated the process of enhancing the available capacity of the power generating plant from 620MW to over 720MW to take advantage of improving gas supply.

“In addition, improvements in general economic activity in Abuja and return to operations of the newly upgraded rooms at the Transcorp Hilton Hotels Abuja will boost occupancy and top line performance for Transcorp Hotels in the 2nd half of 2017. These changes are keeping us responsive to fast changing consumer trends and accelerating our drive to a stronger financial performance in the second half of the year. We see this as a proven way of delivering long-term shareholder value,” he concluded.

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Nigeria Will Be Out Of Recession By End Of Year 2017, Says Emefiele

The Governor of Central Bank, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, has said that the current economic recession will come to an end before the end of the year.

Emefiele, who delivered a lecture entitled: “The Dilemma of Monetary Policy and Exchange Rate Management in a Recession: Potential Options for Nigeria,” at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN), lamented the country’s reliance on importation, which according to him is the key factor to recession.

He also explained that with the interventions of the Federal Government, the CBN and other authorities, “the country will be out of recession before the end of 2017.”

His words: “In January 2017, inflation was 18.8 per cent, it is now down to 16.24 per cent. Last quarter, which was fourth quarter of 2016 growth, was negative 1.72 per cent. First quarter of 2017 growth had improved to negative 1.52 per cent.

“What that means is that we have an improvement in growth by about 1.2 per cent. If we see another 1.2 per cent growth in the second quarter we are out of recession.”

Emefiele who further queried the importation of consumables like apple, cucumber eggs , beef and toothpicks, said that if manufactured in the country can in turn crate massive employment for young people.

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