Monday, 02 March 2020
Guaranty Trust Bank PLC (GTB) has declared it recorded a 6.6% expansion in its after-tax profit for Full Year 2019.
 
This it was able to achieve in spite of the marginal increase in its revenue in the period under review compared to the figure it posted at FY2018.
 
The comprehensive account of the lender’s performance is contained in GTB’s December 2019 Audited Group Financial Statements, released by the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) today.
 
Revenue rose from N434.699 billion at FY2018 to N435.307 billion at FY2019, signalling a 0.14% increase.
 
GTB’s Net Interest Income appreciated by 4%, leaping from N222.434 billion at FY2018 to N231.363 billion in the corresponding period of 2019.
 
Net Fee and Commission Income climbed to N59.444 billion in the period under review from N50.470 billion at FY2018, translating to a 17.8% growth.
 
The Profit Before Income Tax (PBIT) of GTB advanced to N231.708 billion at FY 019 from N215.587 billion at FY2018, representing a 7.5% increase.
 
Profit for the Year leapt by 6.6%, moving from N184.711 billion at FY2018 to N196.849 billion at FY2019.
 
GTB’s Earnings Per Share (EPS) similarly responded to the positive drift, rising by 6.4% from N6.54 at FY2018 to N6.96 at FY2019.
 
Its Total Assets enlarged by 14.3% from N3.287 trillion at FY2018 to N3.759 trillion at FY2019.
 
Total Equity rose from N576.277 billion at FY2018 to N687.337 billion in the review period, translating to a growth of 19.3%.
 
The board of GTB is proposing a final dividend of N2.50 per share subject to shareholders’ approval.
 
GTB opened trade on the floor of the NSE today at N26.40 per share.
 
It is noteworthy that the new dividend declaration brings to N2.80 the total dividend payout by the bank for FY2019 to N2.80 considering that it had earlier paid an interim dividend of N0.30 per share last year.
 
With outstanding shares of 29,431,179,224, its market capitalisation stands at over N700.462 billion as of today.
 
Its dividend yield is 12.31% while its Price to Earnings (PE) ratio is 3.30.
 
Earnings Per Share is the profit that each unit of a company’s ordinary shares  yields  during a particular period. It is simply calculated by dividing the Profit After Tax by the company’s total outstanding shares.  Increase in a company’s EPS often reflects an improvement in its bottom-line while a fall, on the other hand, indicates a declining profit.
Published in Bank & Finance

The Nigerian Senate President, Sen. Ahmad Ibrahim Lawan, has applauded Governor Udom Emmanuel on his approach to governance and national development, describing him as the face of the new Nigerian politician. Senator Lawan gave the commendation while speaking at the 60th birthday anniversary celebration and thanksgiving service of Senator Akon Eyakenyi, representative of Akwa Ibom South senatorial district at Destiny International Mission, Uyo, on Sunday. He described Governor Emmanuel as a very decent person, a tolerant leader and a purpose driven administrator who would work across party lines to achieve development objectives. He said the governor is one of Nigeria’s leaders to look up to as he fits into the country’s desired new political dispensation. “I want to say something about his Excellency, the Governor [Udom Emmanuel]. As a politician, he is a decent man, very decent; as a practicing politician, he is a very tolerant leader. “Here is one elected leader who believes we should all work together to deliver service to Nigerians. Your Excellency I commend you”. Senator Lawan stated that politics of the new Nigeria, which the 9th Senate stands for, is defined to a large extent, by how to reach a desired destination in service delivery, devoid of partisanship and rancour. “Governor Emmanuel represents such a new dispensation”. He said, pointing out that the large turnout of senators at the event, irrespective of party affiliations, is a testimony to the sense of comradeship among the Akwa Ibom contingent in the Senate. He thanked the people of Akwa Ibom state for sustaining the qualitative leadership. In his remarks, Governor Emmanuel thanked the Senate President for leading distinguished senators to celebrate with their colleague, Senator Akon Eyakeyin. He acknowledged the wide acceptance of the Senate leadership, headed by Dr. Ahmad Lawan and described the 9th assembly as one of the most peaceful in the history of Nigeria’s democracy.

Published in World
The Dangote Group on Saturday said its $2 billion Granulated Urea Fertiliser plant, the biggest in the world, located at Ibeju Lekki, Lagos would begin operation in May.

Aliko Dangote, President of Dangote Group, said this when he led the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr Godwin Emefiele, on a tour of the Dangote Refinery, Petrochemicals and Fertiliser projects.

Dangote said a pre-testing of the fertiliser plant had already begun, adding that the project would be the largest fertiliser plant in the world with its three million tonnes per annum capacity.

He said it would make Nigeria the only Urea exporting country in Sub-Saharan Africa, adding that the fertiliser and petrochemicals plants were capable of generating $2.5 billion annually.

According to him, the amount is almost 10 per cent of what Nigeria is getting from home remittances, which is one of the highest in the world.

Dangote also disclosed that the refinery project, which was 48 per cent completed, would make Nigeria the largest exporter of petroleum products in Africa.

”One of the reasons the CBN is supporting us is that by the time we become operational, we will not only be creating jobs, but we will reduce the outflow of foreign exchange; not only in petroleum products, but in petrochemicals and fertilisers.

“We will be one of the highest foreign exchange generating companies going forward.

“I must really confess that without the government’s support, there is no way we could have done what we have done so far.

“I think we must thank President Muhammadu Buhari for his policies. I thank the CBN governor and management for bringing down interest rates to encourage more entrepreneurs to go into mega projects like this.

“We should not wait for foreign investors to come and develop our economy.

“It will never happen. So we have to do it ourselves and the only way to do it is to take advantage of the low interest rates, and the banks being forced to loan money out.”

Emefiele, commended the Dangote Group for its commitment toward bringing the project on stream as planned and expressed satisfaction with the facilities on site.

“The reason that I am here today is to see what is going on on site.

“This time that the economy is going through its own challenges, there is need for us to diversify the Nigerian economy from oil to other areas where we have abundant resources. ”

Emefiele said the fertiliser plant would stop importation of fertilisers, as about 25 per cent of its products would be used for domestic consumption to boost agriculture in the country.

According to him, the plant will also generate a minimum of $750 million through export annually.

“The 650,000BPD-capacity refinery, when operational, will not only satisfy local consumption but will also position Nigeria as a major exporter of petroleum products.

“Nigeria is so central, and this refinery will serve almost the whole of Africa, which will lead to cheap cost of freight.

“This project is so strategically positioned that it will even make the final price of petroleum within Nigeria and even outside Nigeria to be lower than those imported outside the African continent.

“We need to encourage other Nigerians and we will keep saying this, Nigerians must stand tall and be ready to come out and support their country,” the CBN governor said.

He disclosed that apart from the low interest rate regime, the government was also putting other policies in place to rejuvenate industries and create employment opportunities for the citizenry.

“This is the time for other Nigerians who have been making money in services to come out and join Dangote to help us grow the economy because government alone cannot grow the economy

“We will want to support any Nigerian or foreigner who finds Nigeria as a good investment destination. Whatever we need to do to help you, we will do it.

“That is why we are forcing the banks today that they must do what is right by lending to credible persons and act as catalyst to our economic development,” Emefiele said.

Published in Business
Monday, 02 March 2020 10:19

US confirms second coronavirus death

Health officials in US State of Washington said late Sunday that a nursing home resident had died after contracting coronavirus, while New York’s governor confirmed his state’s first positive case.
 
The coronavirus, which emerged in China late last year, has decimated global markets as it quickly moves around the world. It appeared poised for a spike in the United States, in part because of more testing to confirm cases.
 
Florida late Sunday declared a public health emergency as it confirmed its first two cases.
 
Trump administration officials worked Sunday to soothe nerves and calm fears that a global recession was looming, arguing that the public and media were over-reacting and saying that stocks would bounce back because the American economy was fundamentally strong.
 
The total number of confirmed cases in the United States is more than 75.
 
Globally there have been more than 87,000 cases and nearly 3,000 deaths in 60 countries, according to the World Health Organization.
 
In the United States, a cluster of cases is centered on a nursing home near Seattle.
 
The Seattle and King County public health department confirmed late Sunday that a man in his 70s who was a resident of the LifeCare long-term care facility in Kirkland and had coronavirus had died the day before.
 
On Saturday, the department had reported the first death of a coronavirus patient in the United States, a man in his 50s who was living in Kirkland – the same city where the nursing home is located. Six of the 10 confirmed coronavirus cases in Washington state have been residents or workers at LifeCare.
 
State officials said an additional 27 residents of the nursing home and 25 staff members were reporting symptoms of the virus, which can be similar to that of the common flu.
 
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo confirmed on Twitter his state’s first coronavirus case, a woman in her 30s who caught the virus during a recent trip to Iran and was now in home quarantine.
 
Cuomo did not say where the woman lived, but the New York Times reported she was in the Manhattan borough of New York City, citing state officials.
 
“The patient has respiratory symptoms, but is not in serious condition and has been in a controlled situation since arriving in New York,” Cuomo said.
 
Stock markets plunged last week, with an index of global stocks setting its largest weekly fall since the 2008 financial crisis, and more than $5 trillion wiped off the value of stocks worldwide.
 
A key energy conference in Houston that brings together oil ministers and energy firms was canceled on Sunday with the organizers of CERAWeek noting that border health checks were becoming more restrictive and companies had begun barring non-essential travel to protect workers.
 
A world economy conference with Pope Francis due to take place in Italy later this month was also canceled.
Published in World
Monday, 02 March 2020 10:19

US confirms second coronavirus death

Health officials in US State of Washington said late Sunday that a nursing home resident had died after contracting coronavirus, while New York’s governor confirmed his state’s first positive case.
 
The coronavirus, which emerged in China late last year, has decimated global markets as it quickly moves around the world. It appeared poised for a spike in the United States, in part because of more testing to confirm cases.
 
Florida late Sunday declared a public health emergency as it confirmed its first two cases.
 
Trump administration officials worked Sunday to soothe nerves and calm fears that a global recession was looming, arguing that the public and media were over-reacting and saying that stocks would bounce back because the American economy was fundamentally strong.
 
The total number of confirmed cases in the United States is more than 75.
 
Globally there have been more than 87,000 cases and nearly 3,000 deaths in 60 countries, according to the World Health Organization.
 
In the United States, a cluster of cases is centered on a nursing home near Seattle.
 
The Seattle and King County public health department confirmed late Sunday that a man in his 70s who was a resident of the LifeCare long-term care facility in Kirkland and had coronavirus had died the day before.
 
On Saturday, the department had reported the first death of a coronavirus patient in the United States, a man in his 50s who was living in Kirkland – the same city where the nursing home is located. Six of the 10 confirmed coronavirus cases in Washington state have been residents or workers at LifeCare.
 
State officials said an additional 27 residents of the nursing home and 25 staff members were reporting symptoms of the virus, which can be similar to that of the common flu.
 
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo confirmed on Twitter his state’s first coronavirus case, a woman in her 30s who caught the virus during a recent trip to Iran and was now in home quarantine.
 
Cuomo did not say where the woman lived, but the New York Times reported she was in the Manhattan borough of New York City, citing state officials.
 
“The patient has respiratory symptoms, but is not in serious condition and has been in a controlled situation since arriving in New York,” Cuomo said.
 
Stock markets plunged last week, with an index of global stocks setting its largest weekly fall since the 2008 financial crisis, and more than $5 trillion wiped off the value of stocks worldwide.
 
A key energy conference in Houston that brings together oil ministers and energy firms was canceled on Sunday with the organizers of CERAWeek noting that border health checks were becoming more restrictive and companies had begun barring non-essential travel to protect workers.
 
A world economy conference with Pope Francis due to take place in Italy later this month was also canceled.
Published in World

African footballers have long been attracted to careers abroad. This is easy to understand considering that many come from backgrounds of poverty and high unemployment rates in countries with repressive governments that mismanage resources.

Rural life also poses challenges to aspiring sports people, such as a lack of playing grounds and other facilities.

These factors tend to hinder football development on the continent.

The European football market offers footballers better conditions and socioeconomic benefits. Foreign leagues provide considerably better earnings than what players earn in their domestic leagues.

The evolution of the European football market picked up in the 1980s, providing a chance for many African players to achieve professional status. Football became a global business product, attracting huge broadcasting rights and corporate sponsorship.

The experience of playing and living abroad in this environment can lead to changes in players’ behaviour. Not only do they have far greater wealth than their peers, they may break old social ties and consider themselves “special”.

I set out to explore these changes to understand why achieving professional status abroad should suddenly affect players’ behaviour in their home communities.

I interviewed professional footballers from Ghana, Senegal, Nigeria, Zambia, Sierra Leone, Cote d'Ivoire, Kenya, Cameroon and Egypt, aged between 18 and 52, who had played in the leagues of countries like England, Germany, Spain, Italy and France. They were asked to describe their football career path from their country of origin to moving abroad and beginning their professional activity. The study captured both current players and those who had left Africa in the 1980s, 1990s and 2000s.

The study found that upward social mobility often led to extreme behavioural and attitude switches. Some of the notable traits from the players studied were arrogance and conspicuous consumption. Some even spoke ill of fellow professionals in lower or developing leagues.

This is important because their home communities expect them to maintain a relationship with the people who supported them during their formative periods. It leads to social disconnection when some are perceived as “ungrateful” and reluctant to give back to society.

All interviewees admitted that fame and wealth, if not properly managed, could have a negative effect on society. On the other hand, they could use their higher social status to change lives in their home countries.

In contrast to professional footballers who migrate, other kinds of migrant workers often maintain strong connections with people at home. Sometimes they send resources to support projects for the public benefit, such as building schools.

African beginnings

Many African players began their professional journey by playing in street football and inter-street competitions within their communities or nearby communities. Social practice of the sport supported individual players’ social integration and made them visible to football enthusiasts. All the players I interviewed said they had received a lot of support from their communities.

When they left their communities to play abroad, they gained social status and national recognition. Most moved to cities and adopted new attitudes. A player recalled that the “job of football has a way of changing you if you’re not careful without you knowing, unconsciously, you’ll turn out to be a different human being”.

An example is Abedi Pele, a former captain of Ghana and one of the most globally recognised footballers to emerge from Africa. Speaking at a G8 Summit he said:

“We were enjoying football and having fun but to see that such a thing can turn to the most lucrative business in the world is what amazes me, something I started like a joke became the most unique, powerful, influential business in the world that when you speak people listen, when you talk, you inspire millions of people… And you have to also learn to maintain the fame and not to abuse it”.

Former skipper of the Ghanaian national footbal team and attacking midfielder Abedi Pele is regarded as one of the greatest African footballers of all time. Pius Utomi Ekpei/AFP via Getty Images

Apart from fame, my study found that there are other variables that can drive changes in players’ behaviour. Some do not recognise the changes personally. They include belief in one’s own abilities and the likelihood of one’s behaviour leading to a specific outcome. Other variables include self-control and learning from observation. The influence of these variables on behaviour is not unexpected when a person comes from a background of moderate education.

Players in the study said they had to guard against behaviour such as ignoring their former team colleagues, senior players, coaches, friends and the community that supported their professional activities abroad. They said the community saw such behaviour as undesirable since it did not represent their cultural norms and social values. These values include reciprocal behaviour and an attitude of humility, obedience, gratitude and submissiveness.

Abedi Pele noted that

“When you are rich, famous and influential, if you don’t take your time you will think that the world belongs to you or you control it”

A few players in the study identified fame and wealth as an opportunity to support a worthy cause in African communities. One was Stephen Appiah, a school dropout who grew up in Chorkor, a poor fishing community in Accra, Ghana. He built a health-care centre and library and created an annual sports day event for Chorkor. He no longer lives there but his social projects represent his presence there after his success.

Communities expect successful players to be guided by social norms that shaped their early lives – not just by wealth and fame achieved later. But sudden situational changes tend to influence people’s social networks. Many footballers no longer mix with their former friends.

The study suggests that if professional African players maintain their bond with their home communities, they can create opportunities to support local development. They can also serve as role models for young talent keen to have a career abroad.The Conversation

 

Ernest Yeboah Acheampong, Lecturer, Health,Physical Education,Recreation and Sport (HPERS), University of Education

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

Published in Opinion & Analysis

Angolan state oil company Sonangol will begin in April to sell its stakes in several private firms, chair Sebastiao Gaspar Martins said, as part of a government bid to privatise key state assets including parts of Sonangol itself by 2022.

The eleven companies include local bank Banco BAI as well as Sonamet, Sonatip and Sonadit dedicated to metals, maritime services and the maintenance of offshore companies respectively.

Martins, quoted by state news agency Angop late on Thursday, said it was too early to put a value on the stakes.

Angola, Africa’s second biggest oil exporter, is struggling with declining oil output and economic doldrums which have galvanized authorities to streamline a bloated public sector and focus Sonangol, its largest company, on its core business.

Describing Sonangol as an “octopus”, the country’s minister of Mineral Resources and Petroleum, Diamantino Azevedo, has said it would need to shed stakes in everything from hotels to aviation around the world before a 30% share sale in 2022.

An anti-corruption drive has gathered steam since 2017, when President Joao Lourenco ended former Angolan President Jose Eduardo dos Santos’ nearly 40-year grip on politics.

Angola has named billionaire former first daughter Isabel dos Santos as a suspect over alleged mismanagement and misappropriation of funds while she was chairwoman of Sonangol in 2016-2017. Dos Santos has denied any corruption.

The Angolan state will exit full or part ownership of 81 companies this year via public tender, six by auction and three in IPOs, with 12 set to be privatized in 2021 and four in 2022, according to Angop.

Among the last will be Sonangol, along with state-owned diamond giant Endiama.

Martins said Sonangol had slashed its debt at the end of 2019 by more than half to $1.25 billion year-on-year.

President Lourenco sacked Martins’ predecessor Carlos Saturnino as chair of the state energy firm last year amid heavy debt and domestic fuel shortages.

 

* Reuters

Published in Engineering
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