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United Bank for Africa, a leading pan-African financial institution with operations in 20 African countries has assured the players in the private and public sectors in East Africa’s largest economy that its Kenyan franchise is ready and committed to finance key projects and business transactions capable of galvanising the economic development of the country and upscale the standard of living of its people.

The Group’s Executive Director and newly appointed CEO for East and Southern Africa, Emeke E. Iweriebor said this while addressing a press conference at the Intercontinental Hotel in Nairobi on Thursday.

According to him, with the realignment of the Group’s strategy on the region, UBA with an asset base worth over $12 billion and presence in key financial capitals, London, New York and Paris is capacitated to support its customers and their businesses across the world, especially those from Kenya. “UBA Group has strong confidence in Kenya and East Africa as their economies have great potential for growth and development.  Consequently, we in UBA Group are convinced that it’s imperative that we dedicate resources, manpower and time to our operations in Kenya, and East African and Southern Africa. That is why we created the region, with the regional office, in Nairobi”. Iweriebor said.

Iweriebor while outlining areas of possible interventions by the Bank said that UBA Group and its Kenyan franchise are ready to help the Governments of Kenya in its Big Four Agenda, especially as it concerns infrastructural development, health facilities and housing and increasing the manufacturing base of the country. He also indicated the Bank’s readiness to support SMEs, which according to him is the catalyst to a sustainable economic development and eradication of poverty. “UBA wants to replicate the interventions we have undertaken in some African countries, in provision of financial support to power and energy sectors, road infrastructure, agriculture, small, medium and large enterprises and entrepreneurship,” Iweriebor said.

He added that UBA, leads innovation in banking in Africa and utilizes digital solutions to support financial inclusion and business activities of individual, SMEs and corporates, highlighting that currently more than 80% of the bank’s transactions are processed through digital and electronic channels.

Also speaking at the media event, Managing Director/CEO, UBA Kenya, Isaac Mwige corroborated Iweriebor, saying that UBA Kenya, leveraging on the Group’s pre-eminence financial standings has capabilities to finance transactions in Kenya, saying he is encouraged by the recent engagements with both private and public sectors in Kenya.

“UBA Kenya wants to become more involved in the lives of individuals and businesses of people of Kenya by providing tailor-made products and services that are targeted at all segments of Kenyan economy,” Just recently, UBA Group signed agreements with some international institutions to support Macro and small-scale businesses across Africa, we want to see businesses in Kenya taking advantage of such opportunities,” Isaac said

BUSINESS

NOVA Merchant Bank Rewards Excellence, Promotes One-Third of Workforce

Gbemileke Ajayi

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In fulfillment of its commitment to be the best place to work and its policy of rewarding deserving staff members, NOVA Merchant Bank has promoted about a third of its staff who have demonstrated exceptional performance in their responsibilities.

These promotions come amidst the growth in the Bank’s business as it continues to scale up its operations.

In 2018, despite the tough economic and operating climate, NOVA in its first full financial year of operations, was able to deploy a state of the art and fully digital core banking application and recorded impressive strides in customer acquisition as well as the roll out of some bespoke and innovative products.

Speaking on the recent promotions, the Managing Director/CEO of the Bank, Mr Anya Duroha, while commending the staff for their hardwork said, “The Board and Management remain committed to developing and rewarding the talent of its youthful workforce”.

“The Bank will continue to leverage the innovativeness and dynamism of its young personnel to develop innovative solutions to enable our customers thrive in the marketplace. NOVA’s ’s strategies rely heavily on the unique talents each staff brings to the table. We do not take this for granted,” he said.

The Chairman of the Board, Mr. Phillips Oduoza while congratulating the newly promoted staff expressed the Board’s satisfaction and complete confidence in the staff and management of the Bank and pledged to continue to support them as they strive to achieve their corporate goals and objectives while realising their personal aspirations.

NOVA is a newly licensed merchant bank focused on providing wholesale and investment banking services. It commenced business in 2017 and has continued to boldly execute its roll out strategies.

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BUSINESS

Zenith Bank To Intensify Presence In Retail Segment —- Amangbo

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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.

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BUSINESS

Union Bank Supports 6,000 Underprivileged Citizens During Festive Season [PHOTOS]

Gbemileke Ajayi

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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.

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