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UBA Hinges Future Performance on Cost Efficiency, Improved Asset Quality

Gbemileke Ajayi

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Pan African financial institution, United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc has assured its local and international investors that it’s prudent focus on improved asset quality as well as the continuous adoption of strict cost efficient measures will help the bank achieve its objectives and priorities for the 2019 financial year and beyond.

This the bank has said will culminate into an institution with even stronger indices laced with the capacity to churn out strong double-digit growth in annuity-based trade services, enhanced offerings and improved customer service.

Already, the bank has instituted a number of enhanced risk management and control framework which have in no small measure contributed to its financial performances and overall balance sheet growth over the years.

The Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Kennedy Uzoka, who noted this in a submission while presenting the bank’s 2018 full year results during an international investor/ analysts conference call on Thursday, explained that UBA’s well diversified asset book supported by stable funding structure, placed it in a premium position to perform remarkably despite the falling economic indices in its operating environment.

He said, “In spite of slow recovery in economic activities in Nigeria (our single largest market), the Group’s total assets has grown by 19.7%, driven largely by a strong deposit growth of 23%, as the drive for retail deposits continue to yield desired results. Leveraging on enhanced customer service, the Group grew retail deposits by 48%, thus strengthening the funding base and providing the foundation for lower cost of funds in 2019.

“Notably, the growth in balance sheet also partly reflects the impact of exchange rate difference between the reporting dates (2017: N331/USD vs. 2018: N359/USD), as 37% of loans and 27% of overall balance sheet is FCY-denominated. The Group maintained its appetite for a well-diversified balance sheet, with over 60% in liquid, low risk instruments.”

Uzoka explained to the investors that the bank recorded impressive growths achieved across major financial lines, recording a 48 percent year-on-year growth in retail deposits and improved CASA ratio to 77 percent.

In its results for the year end December 2018, UBA gross earnings grew by 7.0 percent to N494.0 billion, compared to N461.6 billion recorded in the corresponding period of 2017. The Bank’s total assets also grew significantly by 19.7 percent to an unprecedented N4.9 trillion for the year under review

Throwing more light on the financials, he stated that gross earnings grew by 7% year-on-year, despite regulation and market conditions undermined the non-interest income line. Interest income, which contributed 73% of gross earnings, grew by 11%, driven by strong interest income on treasuries, reflecting the low-risk appetite and treasury-led strategy adopted during the year. He noted that the lower non-interest income was occasioned by market condition and regulatory impact on FX trading income, adding that growing volume on FX trading is compensating for lower margin on this business, thus reinforcing our positive growth expectation on this income line in 2019.

While speaking on the strength of the financial institution in the coming years, especially on the back of it’s African and non-African subsidiaries, Uzoka said the bank’s recent foray into key markets and economies remain a milestone that will catapult the institution in the coming years.

He said, “UBA is a unique pan-African franchise with diversified risk and earnings across fast growing African economies with sound governance, risk management and compliance culture which can be seen from our adherence to international best practice. Our robust digital banking platform through which we are leveraging technology to serve over 15 million customers in a cost efficient approach that has helped to deepen African banking penetration.

“We have the strong financial capacity backed by high capitalization (BASEL II capital ratio well above requirement) and strong liquidity, and we have worked hard towards connecting Africa and the world through our presence in key African markets and major global financial centres such as New York, London and Paris.”

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Zenith Bank Gear Up For ‘Style By Zenith’ 2.0

Gbemileke Ajayi

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Participate in the largest lifestyle event of 2019. Style By Zenith 2.0 promises to be 3 days of fun, bargain price yuletide, shopping, games, masterclasses, music performance by top Nigerian artistes and lots more.

Date: November 29th, 2019 to 1st December 2019.

Venue: Eko Energy City Grounds (next to Eko Atlantic) along Ahmadu Bello Way, Victoria Island, Lagos.

Time: 8.00 am Daily.

Visit www.zenithbank.com/style to register and find out more.

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UBA Commits To Creating Superior Value For Customers, Launches Self-Printing Debit Card Machine At Flag Off Of Trade Fair

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Pan African financial institution, United Bank for Africa (UBA) have announced that it is committed to continued investment in cutting edge technology for efficient and improved service delivery to its customers and by extension the business community.

The Chief Executive Officer, UBA Africa, Victor Osadolor, made the disclosure during a well-attended flag-off ceremony of the 2019 Lagos International Trade Fair (LITF), in which UBA is the headline sponsor. The event, which held at the Tafawa Balewa Square, had in attendance distinguished guests, including the Deputy Governor, of Lagos State, Mr. Obafemi Hamzat; President, Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Babatunde Paul Ruwase; Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment, Hajia Mariam Katagum; Commissioner for Commerce, Industry and Cooperatives, Lagos State, Lola Akande amongst others, Special Adviser to Lagos State Governor on Commerce, Industry, and cooperatives, Ajayi Oladele, among others.

Osadolor used the occasion to launch another first of its kind in Nigeria’s financial sector, from UBA, called self-printing debit card machine, targeted at encouraging increased use of debit cards which also offers more options to pay.

The new self-printing debit card machine will allow for seamless business transactions with great value to customers and businesses.

He stated that that there is no gainsaying that the world is tilting into a knowledge-based economy, adding that businesses that would survive in the 21st century must invest in technology to remain competitive.

He also commended the federal government’s efforts at improving the nation’s investment climate, saying this is the reason the country is currently ranked fifteen places upwards in the global ease of doing business index.

He also added that the bank would continue to support initiatives aimed at boosting trade in the country.

On delivery of its brand promise, he said, “We are creating superior value for all our customers because we believe they are key to our everyday operations.”

He further said, the bank’s small and medium scale enterprise banking unit has been actively supporting small businesses with

industry-specific loans that ensure maximum impact.

According to Osadolor, UBA also keys into government intervention funds to expand access to credit facilities at competitive interest rates, while providing services such as advisory and technological infrastructure that help to reduce the cost of doing business.

“Most of our customers have enjoyed free advisory services that have helped them navigate the very difficult business terrain. We also have businesses, latching on to our technological assets to improve their services as well as foster growth”

Osadolor restated UBA’s commitment to continue investing heavily in technology to remain a pillar to millions of businesses that have not only chosen to bank with UBA but have also partnered the bank for growth.

“We are consistently supporting our SMEs. We have a huge amount of funds allocated to SMEs. UBA is committed to supporting entrepreneurship. We are the major promoter of the Fair. The new self-printing debit card machine will go along way in allowing for seamless business transactions with attendant value to businesses.

He stated that: “At UBA, we are committed to being role models for African businesses by creating superior value for all the stakeholders. Therefore we have over the years recorded increased growth”.

Earlier, the Governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, represented by the Deputy Governor, Lagos State, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat, said the State’s commitment to promoting and connecting businesses across transnational borders, remains strong and unshaken.

“We shall leave no stone unturned to ensure that Lagos State truly becomes a 21st-century economy which actively supports the growth of the local economy through improved ease of doing business initiatives, innovative incentives and interventions as well as quality service delivery to a well-motivated public,” he said.

On his part, the President of LCCI, Mr. Babatunde Ruwase said the theme of this year’s fair underscores the importance of robust business interaction to generate wealth and create value for the advancement of the Nigerian economy and the welfare of the citizens.

Ruwase said, “Creating a platform to promote trade and bilateral relations is of utmost importance to the LCCI.

“In UBA, we have chosen a suitable partner with extensive reach on the continent with the capacity to engineer a seamless financial transaction required for an international trade fair of this magnitude,” he said.

Speaking further on the partnership with UBA, he said: “The LCCI and UBA have partnered to give exciting services to visitors and exhibitors at the fair.

UBA is a foremost Pan African financial institution operating in 20 African countries, including the United Kingdom, the USA, and France, thus offering unique services to the delight of visitors and exhibitors during the fair. This tells you that, we are more than committed to ensuring the business environment is beneficial for all investors.

“As a policy advocacy group, our programmes and activities are geared towards facilitating the realization of the economic and social objectives of the government and making Nigeria an attractive destination for investment.

“Our economic and investment policies must be friendly to make Nigeria a major investment hub in Africa. ”

He said Nigeria needs the right policies as well as a strong commitment to infrastructure development that will help revive investors’ confidence in its economy.

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Why Governor Fayemi, El-Rufai And Emir Sanusi Are Attending WEF In South Africa Despite FG’s Boycott —- Min. Of Foreign Affairs

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The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, on Thursday, said that governors already attending the World Economic Forum (WEF) in South Africa is not an affront to the decision of the Federal Government of Nigeria.

According to him, those governors and other individuals were already in South Africa before a decision was reached for Vice President Yemi Osinbajo to boycott the WEF due to xenophobic attacks in South Africa.

The Kano Emirate Council had shared the photographs of Fayemi, alongside the Kaduna State Governor Nasir El-Rufai; and the Emir of Kano, Muhammad Sanusi, at Africa in the World conference holding in Stellenbosch, South Africa.

Briefing State House correspondents in Abuja, he also pointed out that the WEF is an international function, which was not organized by South Africa.

“The forum started a long time ago and the governors were already there before our decision was taken”, he said.

According to him, Nigeria only stated a position that its top officials would not be in Capetown to register its protest against the xenophobic attacks.

Some of the Nigerian governors who have gone ahead to attend the World Economic Forum included the Chairman of the Nigerian Governors Forum, and Ekiti State Governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi, and Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State.

Other Nigerians participating at the forum include a former Minister of Education, Obiageli Ezekwesili.

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