Friday, 06 March 2020
While panic-inducing headlines about the spread of the coronavirus continue to dominate global news, a devastatingly catchy hand-washing public service announcement sung by Vietnamese singers Erik and Min has gone viral, amassing more than 4.7 million views on YouTube as of Friday.

Titled ‘Ghen Co Vy’ or Washing hand song, the track is actually a collaboration between lyricist Khac Hung, singers Erik and Min, and Vietnam’s Health Ministry, providing both practical tips and light-hearted relief during a time of global crisis.

The track is a reworking of the trio’s 2017 hit ‘Ghen’ (Jealous), which amassed 117 million views online.

It features an animated video showing gloved hands flicking away the virus while the Vietnamese-language lyrics Wash our hands. Rub, rub, rub, rub, evenly Push back the Corona, Corona, appear beneath.

Erik, whose real name is Phan Trung Thanh, says the song will not stay limited to Vietnamese.

“We will introduce Ghen Co Vy in English in one or two days, we have already finished recording it,’’ he told dpa.

YouTube user tom cherry left a comment to the video, which read Corona Virus will die when it hears this song. It got 2,600 likes.

The viral video also sparked a TikTok dance challenge, with Vietnamese dancer Quang Dang blending contemporary dance moves with hand washing techniques.

Both the original video and the Tiktok dance featured on U.S satirical news show Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, helping the video to go viral.

“Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, That’s a genuine club banger right there,’’ Oliver screamed in delight during the Sunday show.

Published in World
Nigerian Senate on Thursday approved $22.7 billion as external borrowing plan for Nigeria out of the $22.8 billion requested by President Muhammadu Buhari.
 
This followed the adoption of the report of the Committee on Local and Foreign Debts on the Federal Government’s Borrowing Plan at plenary.
 
Presenting the report, Chairman of the Committee, Sen.Clifford Ordia (PDP-Edo) noted that senate had earlier considered the request for the external borrowing plan on Dec.17, 2019.
 
He said the request was thereafter referred to the committee for further legislative input.
 
He said that the request by Buhari was in consonance with the provisions of Debt Management Office (DMO) Establishment Act, 2003 and Fiscal Responsibility Commission (FRC) Act 2007.
 
He said the Acts enjoined the president to seek and obtain approval from National Assembly in respect to external borrowing.
 
According to him, government Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) were invited by the committee to defend their various requests in the loan.
 
Ordia said the committee was informed that based on the explanation of the Minister of Finance, and the DMO, the borrowing plan would be sustainable.
 
He said the committee noted that the proposed projects tied to the loan in the Ministries of Power, Transportation, FCT, Works Housing, Agriculture would have multiplier effect on stimulating economic growth.
 
This, he said would be done through job creation, stimulation of commercial activities and increase in manufacturing activities.
 
He listed some of the sources of the loan to include: World Bank, Africa Development Bank (AfDB), Islamic Development Bank and China Exim Bank.
 
He said that China Exim Bank would provide the highest loan of over 17 billion dollars to Nigeria.
 
Sen. Ifeanyi Ubah (YPP-Anambra) drew the attention of the senate to the poor infrastructure in the South East adding that there was need for an improved infrastructure in the area, especially the completion of second Niger Bridge and railway lines along the its corridors.
 
Following the consideration of the committee’s report, the senate approved the federal government external borrowing plan for 2016-2018.
 
President of Senate, Ahmad Lawan thanked the committee and senators for their inputs in the report.
 
He said the senate through its oversight functions would ensure that every amount earmarked for projects in the loan being sought for would be strictly utilised for the purpose.
Published in World
Standard Bank of South Africa Limited (“SBSA”) has issued its first ever green bond, via private placement with IFC, a development finance institution focused on the private sector, part of the World Bank Group.

It is a 10-year facility with the express purposes of raising capital for use in on-lending by Standard Bank Group’s (SBG) Sustainable Finance Business Unit and achieving longer tenor financing.

The USD200 million, London Stock Exchange-listed green bond is Africa’s largest green bond and South Africa’s first offshore green bond issuance. The capital raised as a result will be used to finance eligible green assets (renewable energy, energy efficiency, water efficiency and green buildings) aligned to SBG’s Sustainable Bond Framework.

The IFC's Performance Standards, which are part of the IFC’s Sustainability Framework, have become
globally recognized as a benchmark for environmental and social risk management in the private sector.

Sim Tshabalala, Standard Bank Group Chief Executive, says, “This bond issue reflects SBG’s strategic focus on sustainable finance in line with our Social, Economic and Environmental (“SEE”) value drivers and vision to drive Africa’s growth with minimal adverse impact. Our strategy aims to embed social, economic and environmental considerations into our borrowing, lending and business practices in a way that helps us to continue supporting
our clients, whilst producing value for society at large.”

According to Nigel Beck, Executive Head Sustainable Finance for SBG, “When it comes to financing, clients should be considering green, social and sustainable products as investors increasingly shift their mandates to sustainable businesses. Standard Bank is at the forefront in Africa with an innovative and dedicated sustainable finance business offering that benefits clients, communities, the environment and the corporate governance landscape.”

“The bond showcases the role that capital markets can play in mobilizing climate-smart finance and we hope it will inspire more companies in South Africa to unlock investment for climate-related projects,” says Kevin Njiraini, IFC Regional Director for Southern Africa and Nigeria.

Published in Bank & Finance
Friday, 06 March 2020 13:11

Stanbic IBTC posts N75bn profit in 2019

Stanbic IBTC Holdings PLC, a member of Standard Bank Group, has declared a profit after tax of N75 billion in its full year audited group results for 2019.

This represents an increase over its year end 2018 profit after tax which was N74.4 billion. Profit before tax for the year ended December 31, 2019 was N90.9 billion, representing a 3 per cent increase over 2018 figures which stood at N88.2 billion.

The company’s Non-interest revenue also grew by 6 per cent to N108.8 billion in 2019, from N102.6 billion which it recorded in 2018.Stanbic IBTC Holdings PLC also reported growth in its Total operating income, from N180.8 billion in 2018, to N186.6 billion in 2019, representing a 3 per cent increase.

As at December 31, 2019, the Total assets of the Stanbic IBTC Group stood at N1,876.5 billion. This reflects a 13 per cent increase, when compared to the value of the assets which was N1,663.7 billion as at December 2018.

Speaking on the full year audited group results, Yinka Sanni, Chief Executive, Stanbic IBTC Holdings PLC said: “Our financial results were largely in line with market guidance. We achieved double digit growth in both assets under management (AuM) and loans. Loan-to-deposit ratio was 67.5 per cent, above the regulatory minimum of 65 per cent as at 31 December 2019. Non-performing loans ratio was 3.9 per cent, similar level with prior year and within acceptable limit of 5 per cent.”

Highlighting some of the growth areas in the full year audited group results, he noted: “The Group’s total assets grew by 13 per cent aided by the growth in loans and financial investments portfolio. Our Personal & Business Banking division contributed to profit yet again with a significant improvement in profit after tax year-on-year. Cost of risk was 0.2 per cent compared to the writeback in prior year due to a non-occurrence of a significant recovery, however it is still well below our guidance of 3 per cent. Our sustained focus on cost containment coupled with revenue growth during the year yielded an improvement in cost-to-income ratio of 50.4 per cent from 52.9” per cent in 2018.”

While acknowledging that the regulatory and economic environment could sometimes be challenging, he stated that the company remained resolute in its target to emerge as Nigeria’s leading end-to-end financial solutions provider. He stated: “While we look to 2020 with great optimism, we are fully aware of the challenging macro-economic and regulatory headwinds that we must contend with as we enter a new decade. Nonetheless, our strategic journey towards becoming the leading end-to-end financial solutions provider by 2023 continues as we leverage our universal capabilities whilst focusing on cost management, digitisation and client centricity in accelerating growth in 2020.”

Stanbic IBTC continues to benefit from its adoption of a digital strategy as well as operating a Holdings company structure which enables subsidiaries to cross-sell and also leverage expertise within the Group.

Published in Bank & Finance
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