Pan-African financial institution, United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc, has continued to make waves and positive impact in the local and global financial industry earning more laurels and accolades.
Last weekend, UBA carted away two key industry awards emerging the Winner of the 2017 Sectoral Leadership Awards – Financial Services (Banking) organised by the PEARL Awards; as well as the Bank CEO of the Year 2017 which was organised by New Telegraph newspapers.
UBA triumphed over Guaranty Trust Bank Plc (first runner-up) and Zenith Bank Plc (second-run) to win the PEARL sectoral leadership award as a result of the bank’s outstanding operational and stock market performance in the 2016 year of assessment. The bank emerged winner based on verifiable facts and figures.
It has indeed been a fruitful year for UBA as the 2016 financial year end result showed that the bank emerged largest in both profitability and assets size in Nigeria, controlling an estimated 10% market share in deposits. Also, its subsidiaries in the rest of Africa accounted for a notable 31% of the total earnings of the Group over the same period. Earlier in the year, the bank had successfully raised $500 million through a debut Eurobond, which was 240 per cent oversubscribed.
All these contributed to a scramble for UBA’s share, which in turn increased the bank’s share price currently standing at about N9.90, representing a rise of over 165 per cent or N6.16 per share compared to N3.74 per share recorded in 2016. According to the organisers of the Pearl awards, it is this performance as well as other indicators that led to the bank’s selection for the coveted awards.
The PEARL Awards Nigeria, endorsed by the Securities and Exchange Commission is one of Nigeria’s foremost award recognition bodies, focused on rewarding corporate excellence in local institutions and promoting healthy competitiveness amongst quoted companies through growth, diversification and innovation; ultimately leading to improved performance on the Nigerian Stock Exchange.
In the same vein, the Group Managing Director/CEO, UBA Plc, Mr. Kennedy Uzoka, who was recognised for his various achievements since he took on the leadership role at UBA was selected as the Bank CEO of the Year 2017, by New Telegraph Newspapers.
In his remarks on the award, Uzoka, while expressing his delight at the nomination, added that it remained a humbling experience for him to be selected for the honourable award. He also stated that the award is a call for him to do even more to ensure that UBA’s customers are prioritised in the bank’s activities.
He said, “I want to express my delight with this recognition. It goes to show that the effort that myself and my team have put in throughout the year has been totally worth it. I also congratulate all my colleagues because this recognition is not just for Kennedy but for the entire staff of UBA’.
Zenith Bank To Intensify Presence In Retail Segment —- Amangbo
Managing Director/Chief Executive, Zenith Bank Plc, Mr. Peter Amangbo, said that the bank is pursuing a retail strategy focussed on increased lending to small businesses, households and individuals at affordable interest rate.
He disclosed this yesterday in an exclusive interview with Vanguard Newspaper.
Noting that the sluggish loan growth in the banking industry in 2018 might persist this year due to the slow pace of economic recovery, Amangbo said that Zenith Bank has decided to focus on the retail segment to grow its loan book this year.
He stated: “We just talked about the loan volume going down in the industry but we are now looking at other areas. If the big ones are not taking loans you won’t fold your hands because those deposits that you are holding, the deposits can even sink a bank. If you take deposit and you don’t know where to deploy it, you can die in liquidity, that is what we normally say, you sink in that liquidity.
“So we are looking for other outlets. We are developing our retail end of the market and we are being very aggressive about that. We believe that is an area with a lot of potential.
We are looking at individuals, households, small businesses. We are reaching out to them with credit facilities, whether to pay school fees or to meet some obligations pending payment of their salaries or whether to develop their small businesses, we are reaching out; and about two weeks back, we had an event tagged, “Style by Zenith Bank.”
“The whole objective is to galvanise the economy to let them know that we are well positioned to serve small businesses and to serve households and individuals and even the students; that we are actually there for everybody. That is actually the stage we are moving to.
“We are not that perception that we are elitist; no, we are there for everybody, we have different offerings for everybody. So those that don’t even have security, we have ways of handling some of those things too.”
Referring to the difficulties most banks face in loan performance in the retail segment, Amangbo stated: “We try to be much more efficient in terms of how we do our business in that segment. If you are able to bring down your cost of funds, it is much easier to pass it on to our customers in terms of cost of lending to them.
And we believe if you are going to lend to the retail segment, households, small businesses and you are looking at those high rates, then you are inviting a bad loan.
“So for you to say you are going into retail, you must be sure of your cost of funds, which is what we are very mindful of, and that is why we said that deliberately we must bring down our cost of funds, which is basically what we are doing, so that it makes it much easier for us to lend in the retail space. Because the rate must be affordable, if it is not affordable from day one, you have set out to fail and to have bad loans.”
Zenith Bank has one of the lowest cost of fund in Nigeria banking industry, recording 3.3 per cent as at September 2018.
Union Bank Supports 6,000 Underprivileged Citizens During Festive Season [PHOTOS]
Union Bank, through its UnionCaresinitiative,provided relief for thousands ofthe underprivilegedby donating over 6,000 care bags containing staple food items.
The campaign, now in its third year,is co-funded by Union Bank and its employees. The bags containing nutritional staples included rice, beans, oil, salt and readymade stews. In various parts of the country, the Bank’semployees were seen handing out the bags to people in underserved communities.
The Bank also made financial donations to over 30 orphanages, care homes and NGOs including Wesley Schools for the Blind and Hearing impaired as well as Pacelli School for the Blind and Partially sighted children, all under its UnionCares umbrella.
The Head of Corporate Communication and Marketing at Union Bank, Ogochukwu Ekezie-Ekaidem described the initiative as one of the Bank’s ways of supporting charitable causes and contributing to the wellbeing of the needy, particularly during the festive season.
According to her;
“Union Bank will continue to lead the charge for social responsibility and impact. We are firm believers in supporting the communities within which we operate. This outlook drives the initiatives we organise and support under our Corporate Social Responsibility pillars.
We launched the UnionCares initiative to touch as many lives as possible during the festive season and it is fulfilling to see the level of impact the initiative has had.”
As part of its year end welfare initiatives, Union Bank also distributed care bags to children at the Makoko Christmas party organised recently by Slum2school.
The UnionCares initiative has come to be acknowledged as a viable platform which supports the less privileged. In 2017, the Bank and its employees also donated thousands of care bags to the needy across the country during the festive season.
Union Bank recently received the ‘Peoples’ Choice Award for theMost Outstanding Company in CSR/Sustainability’ at the 2018 Sustainability, Enterprise and Responsibility Awards (SERAs), emphasizing the Bank’s role as a socially conscious organization, actively supporting its host communities.
Diamond Bank Confirms Merger With Access Bank
The board of Diamond Bank Plc on Monday finally announced its merger with Access Bank Plc expected to be completed in first half of 2019.
Both banks recently denied media reports of any merger.
Uzoma Dozie, the bank’s Chief Executive Officer, said in Lagos the board had selected Access Bank as the preferred bidder with respect to a potential merger of both banks.
Dozie said the potential merger of the two banks would create Nigeria and Africa’s largest retail bank by customers.
He added that the transaction to be completed in the first half of 2019 was in the best interest of all stakeholders.
Dozie said the completion of the merger was subject to certain shareholder and regulatory approvals.
He said: “The proposed merger would involve Access Bank acquiring the entire issued share capital of Diamond Bank in exchange for a combination of cash and shares in Access Bank via a Scheme of Merger.
“Based on the agreement reached by the boards of the two financial institutions, Diamond Bank shareholders will receive a consideration of N3.13 per share, comprising N1 per share in cash.”
Dozie also said the transaction would include the allotment of two new Access Bank ordinary shares for every seven Diamond Bank ordinary shares held as at the implementation date.
“The offer represents a premium of 260 per cent to the closing market price of 87k per share of Diamond Bank on the Nigerian Stock Exchange as of December 13, 2018, the date of the final binding offer,” Dozie said.
He said the bank’s shares would be absorbed into Access Bank at the completion of the merger and Diamond Bank would cease to exist under Nigerian law.
“The current listing of Diamond Bank’s shares on the NSE and the listing of Diamond Bank’s global depositary receipts on the London Stock Exchange will be cancelled, upon the merger becoming effective,” he added.
Dozie said the proposed combination with Access Bank would create one of Africa’s leading financial institutions.
“The board of Diamond Bank believes that the proposed combination of the two operations provides an exciting prospect for all stakeholders in both businesses,” he said.
Herbert Wigwe, Access Bank Chief Executive Officer, said: “Access Bank has a strong track record of acquisition and integration and has a clear growth strategy.
“Access Bank and Diamond Bank have complementary operations and similar values, and a merger with Diamond Bank with its leadership in digital and mobile-led retail banking.
“This could accelerate our strategy as a significant corporate and retail bank in Nigeria and a Pan-African financial services champion.”
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