Pan African financial institution, United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc held its first-ever virtual Annual General Meeting by proxy since it began operations 71 years ago, by Proxy on Wednesday, April 29, 2020.
The meeting which had in attendance shareholders, management, and staff members and representatives of key regulatory bodies, was held virtually via an Online Meetings Platform in line with Guidelines issued by the Corporate Affairs Commission.
Shareholders at the meeting commended the Board of Directors and Management of UBA for the proactive role that the Bank has been playing in helping to lessen the negative effects of the Coronavirus pandemic across the African continent.
UBA Shareholder and President of Association for the Advancement of the Rights of Nigeria Shareholders, Dr Umar Farouk, who spoke at the meeting, applauded the Bank for the contribution of N5bn (USD14 million)to the fight against Covid19, adding that the move was unprecedented and will certainly go a long way to support governments as they work hard to tame the scourge. He also hailed the 20% increase in dividends that the Bank proposed to pay to shareholders.
He said, “I am also happy that you fulfilled the promise you made at the AGM last year to pay dividends in Naira and not kobo, by paying N1 per 50 kobo shares to shareholders in this difficult economy. We have seen the first quarter results, and we are happy about the performance of our subsidiaries across Africa.”
Also speaking, the President of Pacesetters Shareholders Association of Nigeria, Alex Adio stated how impressed he was at how the Bank’s indices were looking up, despite challenging times. “This shows that we are making good use of the technology we have invested in, over the years. UBA has done very well and we commend the management and staff and hope that you will keep the flag flying,” he said.
On his part, the National Coordinator Emeritus, Independent Shareholders Association of Nigeria (ISAN), Sir Sunny Nwosu, who lauded the initiative of the Bank to conduct the meeting virtually, advised the Bank on steps to ensure that more activities are carried out by customers without the need to visit the banking halls.
“I know UBA is a bank that is interested in the welfare of both its staff and customers, which is why I would like to be assured that measures towards improving electronic banking are fully activated, so that customers who will not want to come out to banking halls, can make use of ATMs and PoS, without issues. Also, we want to be assured on the level of our exposures to the oil and gas sectors especially in view of the challenges that the oil sector is faced with” Nwosu said.
Speaking on how UBA has reacted effectively during the pandemic, the GMD Kennedy Uzoka said, “As you know, UBA is a learning organization, we are not a Nigerian bank, but a pan-African Bank operating in 20 African countries and also in the UK, the USA, and France. We are governed by different regulations and standards. When we learnt about this pandemic, we immediately activated our business continuity plan. All the investments we have made over the years in the area of technology will begin to yield now, because already we have continued to meet the needs of customers in terms of digital patronage, owing to the growing traffic we have been receiving in the past few weeks. We are well prepared for all situations,” Uzoka assured.
While expressing hope that a vaccine is found for the coronavirus, Uzoka disclosed that UBA will continually do business in a way to ensure that customers do not have to physically be in the bank. “We are set to take our business to the customers wherever they are and however they want it,” he said.
UBA Group Chairman, Tony O. Elumelu who chaired the meeting expressed the bank’s appreciation to all the health workers who have been at the forefront of fighting the deadly pandemic and also commended the Federal and State governments in Nigeria and the various governments across Africa. He acknowledged the Central Bank of Nigeria(CBN) for their cumulative efforts in mobilizing the private sector to provide support, medical care, and palliatives to reduce the effect of the scourge on citizens.
Elumelu said, “I want to thank the UBA Board of Directors who have been responsive in this time of crisis, as the bank donated $14m to assist governments to fight the COVID-19 Pandemic in Nigeria and Africa. As I have always said, our commitment to improving lives in Africa is a long-term one which we do not take lightly, as we support governments in Africa to curb this pandemic and help to sustain employment across the continent.”
He commended the Executive Management of the bank as well as all the members of staff as he assured shareholders, that despite the pandemic, UBA, turned in an impressive performance in its just-released first-quarter results and he also noted that the bank is on course to remain on top of the situation has put in place effective measures to ensure that shareholders do not suffer losses on their investments. He stated that the bank’s exposure to oil and gas was well within the proper ratio.
United Bank for Africa Plc is a leading Pan-African financial institution, offering banking services to more than eighteen (18) million customers, across 1,000 business offices and customer touchpoints in 20 African countries. With a presence in New York, London and Paris, UBA is connecting people and businesses across Africa through retail, commercial and corporate banking, innovative cross-border payments and remittances, trade finance and ancillary banking services
FBN Holdings Grows Profit By 32% To N68bn In Nine Months
FBN Holdings Plc has reported a growth of 31.7 percent in its profit after tax (PAT) for the nine months ended September 30, 2020, raising the hope of investors for a robust dividend at the end of the financial year.
The financial group posted a PAT of N68.256 billion, up from N51.747 billion in the corresponding period of 2019.
Details of the results showed that FBN Holdings recorded gross earnings of 325.279 billion, up from N324.152 billion, while net interest income stood at N192.737 billion compared with N203.53billion in 2019. Fee and commission income rose from N62.434 billion to N72.988 billion. Impairment charges rose from N28.46 billion to N46.675 billion.
Profit before tax improved from N54.469 billion to N63.280 billion, while PAT grew faster from N51.747 billion to N68.156 billion. Loans and advances expanded by 10.3 percent from N2.607 trillion to N2.869 trillion, while customers’ deposits rose from N4.019 trillion to N4.630 trillion. FBN Holdings ended the period with total assets of N7.243 trillion, up from N6.204 trillion.
The impressive results recorded despite the COVID-19 pandemic did not come as surprise to some stakeholders as the Group Managing Director of FBN Holdings Plc, Mr. UK Eke, had said necessary steps had been put in place to ensure the bank mitigate the impact of the pandemic.
According to him, FBN Holdings continued to assess the impact not only on its income in the immediate but also medium-to-long-term impact on its customers and their ability to meet obligations.
“And in line with the commitment to supporting our customers and providing leadership in the financial services industry, we will continue to provide unfettered access to financial services to our customers and address their needs. We are working in line with the guidance of the regulators including the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in providing access to funding as we seek to kick-start the economy and drive growth,” he said.
He assured stakeholders that overall, “the impact on our business has been broadly in line with our expectations, and our resilience, breadth of offerings, and investment in alternative channels have ensured that the Group is able to cushion the effect and thrive.”
Eke had also said the shares of FBN Holdings had been undervalued because the valuation does not reflect the growing fundamentals as evidenced by the return on equity which has continued to improve quarter-on-quarter.
“More fundamentally, the Group has begun to reap the dividend of its investment in technology that has enhanced the earning capacity of the business and expanded our market reach,” Eke said.
Naira Sinks To N620 Against Pound, As Euro Rises To N565
The naira tumbled to 620 against the British pound sterling at the parallel market on Thursday, even as the euro rose to N565.
The naira fell by 2.1 percent against the pound from 607 on Wednesday, and by 1.4 percent against the euro from 560.
The local currency was, however, stable against the dollar at the parallel market as it traded at 478/$1. It dropped from 475/$1 on Tuesday to 478/$1 on Wednesday.
In the Investors’ and Exporters’ forex window, the naira firmed to 385.50 against the greenback on Thursday from 386 on Wednesday as daily turnover rose to $205.84m from $32.88m on Wednesday, according to data obtained from FMDQ Group.
The Central Bank of Nigeria has kept the official exchange rate at N379/$1 since August when the naira was devalued for the second time this year from 360 per dollar. It was first devalued to 360 in March from 306.
The nation’s forex reserves stood at $35.54bn as of November 17, down from $35.69bn on October 28, according to the CBN.
The Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Cowry Asset Management Limited, Mr. Johnson Chukwu, had told our correspondent on Monday that forex demand pressures were coming from end-users and those whose obligations had matured and in need of forex to meet the obligations.
“There is a lot of unmet demand,” Chukwu had said, adding that pressure was mounting even as the CBN continued to intervene in the market.
GTBank Releases Q3 2020 Unaudited Results, Reports Profit Before Tax Of ₦167.4 Billion
Guaranty Trust Bank plc has released its unaudited financial results for the period ended September 30, 2020, to the Nigerian and London Stock Exchanges.
The 3rd Quarter result shows improved performance across key financial metrics, reaffirming the Bank’s capability to navigate the current economic challenges occasioned by the impact of COVID 19 on World economies.
The performance reflects its position as one of the leading and best managed financial institutions in Africa.
The Group reported Profit before tax of ₦167.4billion, representing a decrease of 1.9% over ₦170.7billion recorded in the corresponding period of September 2019 and an improvement on the 5.2% dip posted in H1-2020 relative to H1-2019.
Loan and Deposit book however grew by 4.5% and 25.1% from ₦1.502trillion and ₦2.640trillion recorded as of December 2019 to ₦1.569trillion and ₦3.303trillion in September 2020 respectively.
Guaranty Trust Bank’s Balance sheet remained well structured, diversified, and resilient with Total assets and Shareholders’ Funds closing at ₦4.574trillion and ₦755.5billion respectively. Full Impact Capital Adequacy Ratio (CAR) remained very strong, closing at 23.9%, while Asset quality was sustained as NPL ratio and Cost of Risk (COR) closed at 6.5% and 0.6% in September 2020 from 6.5% and 0.3% in December 2019 respectively.
Commenting on the financial results, the Managing Director/CEO of Guaranty Trust Bank plc, Mr. Segun Agbaje, said; “Our 3rd Quarter result is a reflection of how we have appropriately positioned our balance sheet to cope with current economic realities and the challenging business environment. It is also a testament to the enduring loyalty of our customers, the hard work and dedication of our staff, and the unwavering support we continue to enjoy from all our stakeholders in our drive to deliver best-in-class financial services and superior and sustainable returns.”
He further stated that; “As an organization, we will continue to build on our commitment to enriching lives by leveraging our digital-first customer-centric strategy to improve customer experience and maintain a high standard in service delivery, and going beyond banking to create and drive innovative financial solutions that add value to our customers in all aspects of their lives.”
Over all, Guaranty Trust Bank plc continues to be the best in the Nigerian banking industry in terms of all financial ratios i.e. Post-Tax Return on Equity (ROAE) of 26.3%, Post-Tax Return on Assets (ROAA) of 4.6%, and Cost to Income ratio of 40.2%.
Renowned for its forward-thinking approach to financial services and customer engagement, GTBank was recently ranked Africa’s Most Admired Finance Brand in the 10th-anniversary rankings of Brand Africa 100: Africa’s Best Brands, the pre-eminent survey and ranking of the Top 100 admired brands in Africa.
The Bank was also awarded the Best Bank in Nigeria by Euromoney Magazine for a record-extending tenth time and the Euromoney Excellence in Leadership Africa Award for its swift reaction in responding to the Covid-19 crisis and for addressing the impact of the pandemic on its customers and communities.
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