Two commercial banks in the Nigeria, Diamond Bank Plc and Access Bank Plc have denied reports that the two banks are in merger or acquisition talks.

The banks, in seperate statements on Monday, notified the Nigerian Stock Exchange and the general public that the report circulating in some media is false.

According to Company Secretary of Diamond Bank, Mr Uzoma Uja, the bank was not in discussion with any financial institution at the moment on any form of merger or acquisition.

Uja, who, in the statement noted the attention of Diamond Bank had been drawn to the rumour in the media stating that the bank was purportedly in discussion with Access Bank to acquire the bank said: “We wish to state categorically that the bank is not in discussion with any financial institution at the moment on any form of merger or acquisition.

“We trust that the above clarifies the position of the bank with regards to the rumour on the various media platforms,” Uja said.

The Company Secretary of Access Bank, Mr Sunday Ekwuochi, in his own statement, said the bank had not entered into any such discussion with Diamond Bank or any other institution.

“As a publicly quoted company built on best practice, the bank is fully cognisant of its disclosure obligations in respect of any such corporate action and will always discharge its obligations in the most professional manner.

“Consequently, any statement regarding any such corporate action that is not issued by the bank should be disregarded,” Ekwuochi said.

The Nigerians National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) said it transferred the sum of N128.40billion into the federation account in August.
 
The Corporation disclosed this in its monthly Financial and Operational report released in Abuja on Wednesday.
 
It said that between August 2017 and August 2018, the federation and joint ventures (JV) received the sum of N879.02billion and N651.4billion respectively.
 
The NNPC explained that the Federation Crude Oil and Gas Revenue, Federation Crude Oil and Gas lifting, were classified into Equity Export and Domestic crude.
 
It explained that this crude were lifted and marketed by corporation and the proceeds remitted into the Federation Account.
 
It noted that Equity Export receipts, after adjusting for Joint Venture Cash Calls, were paid directly into the Federation Account domiciled in Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
 
The corporation explained that domestic crude oil of 445,000 bpd was allocated for refining to meet domestic products supply, and payments were effected to the Federation Account by NNPC.
 
This, it said was done after adjusting crude and product losses and pipeline repairs and management costs incurred during the period.
 
On the crude oil and gas export sales, the report noted that sales for the month of August stood at 470 million dollars.
 
According to the report, the sales indicate an upsurge of about 78million dollars in relation to July oil and gas export figures of 391.91million dollars.
 
It further indicated that crude oil export sales contributed 337.62million dollars which represented 71.83 per cent of the dollar transactions compared with 283.43million dollars contribution in the previous month.
 
“Export gas sales during the period amounted to 132.38million dollars.
 
“The August 2017 to August 2018 crude oil and gas transactions involved crude oil and gas export worth 5.26billion dollars,” it said.
 
The report explained that based on the above sales figures, a total export receipt of 450.24million dollars was recorded in August 2018 as receipt against 382.65million dollars in July 2018.
 
“Contribution from crude oil during the period, amounted to 336.43 million dollars, while gas and miscellaneous receipt stood at 101.33million dollars and 12.48million dollars respectively,” the report noted.
 
A further breakdown of the figures showed that out of the export receipts, 142.31million dollars was remitted to the Federation Account.
 
The sum of 307.93million dollars was remitted to fund the JV cost recovery for the month of August, 2018 to guarantee current and future production.
 
“Total export crude oil and gas receipt for the period August 2017 to August 2018 stood at 5.23billion dollars out of which 3.74 billion dollars was transferred to JV Cash Call as first line charge and the balance of 1.49 billion dollars paid into the Federation Account,” it added.
 
(NAN)
 
Nigeria Tier-2 financial institution, Diamond Bank Plc. has denied media reports that it was in talks with new investors to raise fresh capital for the company.
 
It was reported that the funds, which were to be injected by foreign intersperse, were part of the measures to recapitalise the bank as its asset value had been eroded by increased non-performing loans and high operational cost.
 
Recall that the mid-tier bank had on Thursday said the Chairman of its board, Oluseyi Bickerseth, and three other directors resigned “with immediate effect for varied personal reasons.”
 
Although, the lender did not clearly state why they resigned, but it was gathered the four key members of its board were asked to step down to make room for new management for easy capital raising.
 
The management of the bank made this known on Friday in a notice sent to the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE).
 
“Diamond Bank is not in talks with any party, global or otherwise, for any capital injection.
 
“While previous communication from the bank has highlighted a need to shore up the bank’s capital adequacy ratio (CAR), the preferred option is an internal capital management programme,” the bank said in a statement on Friday.
 
Meanwhile, the announcement appeared not to have gone down well with its shareholders as the bank’s shares closed at N1.44 per share on Friday after it fell by 3.36 percent, the biggest drop in over six weeks.
 
Ripples Nigeria reports that the stock had been on bullish trend since last Monday to reach N1.49 per share on Thursday, their highest level in four (4) months.
 
Besides, Diamond Bank’s earnings results for nine months ended September 30, 2018 showed a worsening financial state of the company, just as its gross earnings for the review period dropped to N142.5 billion from N143.7 billion a year earlier.
 
A further analysis revealed that the company’s profit before tax fell from N4.8 billion to N3.1 billion, while the post-tax profit declined from N3.9 billion to N1.7 billion in the period under review when compared to the same period in 2017.
 
Owing to this terrible performance, the Diamond Bank’s Earnings Per Share (EPS) dropped by 59 percent to 7 kobo.
 
 
Source: The Ripples
The Nigerian Federal Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) has disbursed a total of N689.71 billion to the federal, state and local governments as revenue allocation for the month of September.
 
The amount, which was distributed in the monthly FAAC meeting in Abuja on Thursday, is N51.13 billion lower than N741.84 shared among the three tiers of government in August despite increase in oil export sales.
 
Finance Minister Zainab Ahmed, who presided the meeting, stressed the need for the governments to save for the rainy day.
 
“In view of the situation of the economy at the moment it is important to restate the need for governments at all levels to maintain transparency and instil a saving culture for the rainy day. We have to save, not only saving for today, but for tomorrow,” the minister said.
 
In a communique by FAAC Technical Sub-Committee at the end of its meeting held on Wednesday and signed by the Accountant-General of the Federation, Ahmed Idris, gross statutory revenue for the month was N569.281 billion, indicating N57.858 billion when compared to N627.139 billion shared in August.
 
Details of the disbursement from the document showed that crude oil export sales increased by 0.17 million barrels, resulting in increased revenue of $8.48 million to the federation.
 
However, the average unit price dropped from $77.10 per barrel to $75.69 per barrel in the review month.
 
The document noted that shutdown of pipelines in the Niger Delta during the month resulted in shut in of production at various pipelines.
 
The details further revealed revenue from Royalties increased significantly while Value Added Tax (VAT), Petroleum Profit Tax (PPT) and Companies Income Tax (CIT) decreased significantly.
 
A breakdown of the figures for the month of September showed that the gross revenue available from the VAT was N79.154 billion as against N114.542 billion distributed in the preceding month, resulting in a decrease of N35.388 billion.
 
According to the document, the federal government received about N277.197 billion, the state and local governments got about N172.810 billion and 130.534 billion respectively, while the nine oil producing states received about N52.596 billion as 13 percent derivation.
 
The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) got about N15.572 billion as cost of collection/transfer.
 
Meanwhile, the report of the committee on the Excess Crude Account (ECA) was stepped down and withdrawn to enable the committee to rework and represent it at the next meeting.
 
 
Source: Vanguard
The shares of Diamond Bank trading on the floor of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) rose to their highest level in four (4) months on Thursday after the bank’s key board members resigned.
 
The stock, which joined the biggest gainers and extended its bullish trend into the fourth trading session today after records of bearishness last week, rose by 7.19 percent to close at N1.49 per share, the highest level since June 25, 2018.
 
The bank announced the resignation of the Chairman of its board, Oluseyi Bickerseth, and three other directors of the bank in a notice sent to NSE and signed by its Secretary and Legal Adviser, Uzoma Uja, on Thursday.
 
The three other directors of the bank include Rotimi Oyekanmi, Mrs. Juliet Anammah and Mrs. Aisha Oyebode.
 
“We wish to notify the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) and the public that the following Non-Executive Directors have resigned from the Board of Diamond Bank Plc with immediate effect.”
 
“The directors are resigning for varied personal reasons, which will include focusing on their priorities. Diamond Bank will update the market with any further development in due course,” the notice read.
 
The financial institution had in July appointed Bickerseth as the Chairman of its Board of Directors. Bickerseth took over from Prof. Chris Ogbechie who retired on March 31, 2018 after completion of his tenure.
 
Diamond Bank is faced with serious liquidity challenge as a result of rising non-performing loans and high operational cost.
 
In 2017, the bank recorded its first loss in six years as it embarked on sale of assets to manage its capital.
 
An analysis of its earnings results for the year ended 30 June 2018 showed that the company post-tax earnings fell from N8.02 billion in the period ended June 2017 to N1.80 billion when compared with the corresponding period in 2018.
 
The stock is expected to rise further in the short term on strengthening investors’ confidence ahead of new capital injection.
 
The bank, which was incorporated on December 20, 1990, commenced its operation in 1991 as a private limited liability company, but in 2005, the bank got listed publicly on the NSE.
 
Meanwhile, the NSE key market indicator, the All-Share Index (ASI), rebounded by 44 basis points to 32,545.06 points after yesterday’s negative performance.
 
The positive performance was triggered by bargain hunting in highly capitalised stocks like Nigerian Breweries, Dangote Cement and Nestle Nigeria.
 
In view of this, investors gained N51.6 billion as market capitalisation of all traded equities rose to N11.9 trillion, while the year-to-date return improved to -14.9 percent.
 
 
Source: The Ripples
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has again revoked the operating licenses of nine (9) microfinance banks in Niger State, the National Association of Microfinance Banks (MFBs).
 
The North Central Secretary of the association, Tsado Daniel, who made this known while speaking at the commissioning of the Federal Polytechnic Bida Microfinance Bank, said the banks were part of the 34 MFBs in the state before the CBN’s action.
 
Although, Daniel did not mention the names of the affected MFBs, he simply said “these micro-finance banks lost their licences because they fell short during the regulation exercise carried out by the CBN.’’
 
According to him, the non-adherence to corporate governance contributed to the collapse of the banks, urging the management and staff members of the new and existing banks “to adhere strictly to the rule of the game.”
 
“Banks do not die, people kill them; please do not kill the Federal Polytechnic Bida Microfinance Bank,” Daniel counselled.
 
The CBN had recently declared its plans to revoke operating licenses of 182 financial institutions operating in the country.
 
The declaration came about a week after it revoked Skye Bank’s license over failure of its shareholders to recapitalise the bank.
 
CBN had said the 182 financial institutions in its watchlist, including 154 MFBs, cut across different states of the country.
 
Reacting, a representative of CBN in Minna, Hajia Hajara Mohammed, pointed out that insider abuse was a huge factor that contributed to the failure of MFBs across the country.
 
Mohammed urged beneficiaries of loan facilities from banks to stop diverting the money to marriage ceremonies or other unprofitable ventures.
 
Speaking earlier, the Rector of the polytechnic, Dr. Abubakar Dzukogi, said the MFB will kick off its operations with a capital base of N20 million with the aim of increasing it to N50 million by 2019
 
Dzukogi, who doubles as the Chairman, Board of Directors of the Federal Polytechnic Microfinance Bank, added that the effort would ensure students and staff perform banking transactions in a seamless manner, which according to him, is in line with the cashless policy of the CBN.
 
 
Source: The Ripples

The Nigerian Senate In Wednesday, passed a resolution calling on the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to suspend the excessive ATM card maintenance charges being deducted from customers.

The resolution came as part of a motion on the illicit and excessive bank charges on customers accounts, sponsored by Senator Olugbenga Ashafa (Lagos East, APC).

The Senate also called on commercial banks operating in the country to configure their machines to dispense up to N40,000 per withdrawal pending the outcome of the investigation by the Senate committees tasked with investigating the excessive and illicit bank charges.

Speaking on the Motion, the President of the Senate, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki said: “This is a motion that affects the lives of every Nigerian — irrespective of what part of the country you come from or whatever political affiliation you might have. This is why we are here: to always defend and protect the interests of the Nigerian people.”

The Senate President stated that the Senate must work to ensure that the resolutions on the excessive bank charges goes beyond the debate stage, so that whatever action the Upper Legislative Chamber takes, would come into effect.

“This Senate has done this many times before; when there was a hike in the mobile telecommunication data charges, we intervened and put an end to that. When there were discrepancies and increases in electricity prices, we also took action. We have done this on a number of similar cases. Therefore, on this, I want us to take effective resolutions,” Saraki said.

Other Senators who contributed to the debate, called on banks to review their charges.

“The common man is also a victim,” said Senator Emmanuel Bwacha, “Banks declare profits and you wonder where these profits are coming from — it’s from the sweat of the common man. Let us come up with a law that puts banks on their toes.”

“It won’t be out of place to institute a committee that will call on the CBN to tell us what these charges are about. The Senate by fiat should abolish charges if they can’t be verified,” said Senator Bala Ibn Na’Allah.

“The Senate must take a serious stand on this issue. Nigerians are really suffering. The banking system is not encouraging. I had an issue, took it to the bank and was refunded but how many Nigerians can do this? The issue needs to be addressed,” stated Senator Kabiru Gaya.

“For me, this is a major step that we are taking. This is because I introduced the first ATM machine that came into Nigeria over 25-years ago,” the Senate President, Dr. Saraki told his colleagues, “Now, after 25-years, we should have grown out of these excessive charges and moved on. So, I believe that this is something that we must address to create an environment that protects all Nigerians, because these kind of charges in this economy affects everyone.”

The Senate further directed its Committees on Banking, Insurance and other Financial Institutions and Finance to conduct an investigation into the propriety of ATM card maintenance charges in comparison with international best practices and report back to the Senate.

The Senate also directed the aforementioned committees to invite the Governor of the CBN to appear before it to explain why the official charges as approved by the CBN are skewed in favour of the banking institutions as against the ordinary customers of the banks.

Finally, the Senate called on the Consumer Protection Council to look into the various complaints of excess and unnecessary charges by Nigerian Banks.

Source: The Ripples

The Federal Government of Nigeria has announced the issuance of a second tranche of N100 billion Sukuk Bond to finance road infrastructure across the country.

The approval for the second tranche followed the success and oversubscription of the first tranche, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Metropolitan Skills, Ummahani Amin, said at a two-day training on Sukuk structurisation and management in Abuja.

The training was organised by the Metropolitan Skills Ltd. in partnership with the Ministry of Finance, and Standing Committee for Economic and Commercial Cooperation of the organisation of the Islamic Cooperation (COMCEC).

Recall that the Federal Government had in September 2017 issued the first N100 billion Sukuk Bond as part of capital raising for the construction of about 25 roads in the nation.

Amino said funds realised from the second tranche of the bond would also be channelled into the construction of roads across the six geo-political zones of the country.

He assured that just like the first tranche, this year’s tranche of N100 billion would be successful.

“We are doing the second tranche now because the first one was successful and over subscribed. N100 billion was involved in the first and the second is on the way.

“So we are looking at the same infrastructure, construction of roads across Nigeria and the six geopolitical zones. This has never happened in the history of Nigeria for infrastructure,” Amin said.

 

Source: The Ripples

The Naira, yesterday, depreciated to N363.27 per dollar in the Investors and Exporters (I&E) window even as the volume of dollars traded rose marginally by 257 percent.
 
Data from FMDQ showed that the indicative exchange rate for the window rose to N363.27 per dollar yesterday from N362.97 per dollar on Wednesday, indicating 30 kobo depreciation of the naira.
 
The volume of dollars traded on the window yesterday rose by 257 percent to $401.69 million from $112.66 million traded on Wednesday.
 
However, the naira yesterday was stable at N359 per dollar in the parallel market.
 
 
The Guardian

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) said it will impose N10,000 ($28) fine per item for every failed NIP transaction caused by any financial institution operating in the country.

It said the implementation of the sanction, which would be effective from October 2, 2018, would be monitored using complaints from senders and/or beneficiaries.

The CBN said the sanction would be placed on any Instant (Inter-Bank) Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) service provider that fail to reverse such payment within 24 hours.

Instant (Inter-Bank) service provider are any financial institution licensed by CBN to carry on the business of facilitating electronic funds transfer services in partnership with sending and receiving entities.

The CBN, in its Regulation on Instant (Inter-Bank) EFT Services in Nigeria released during the weekend, said the policy was in furtherance to its mandate for the development of electronic payments system in the country.

Also the financial regulator also said delayed application of inward NIP into beneficiary’s accounts beyond four (4) minutes would also attract another N10,000 ($28) fine per item.

The apex bank however advised any stakeholder to the instant EFT service willing to propose an amendment to the regulation to formally forward such proposal to the office of its Director, Baking and Payments System Department for consideration.

Instant (Inter-Bank) EFT also known has instant EFT or instant payment means a system between two distinct entities when delivery from the sending entity to the receiving entity takes place within one (1) minute.

 

The Ripples.

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