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Access Bank has taken a haircut on its loan to Etisalat Nigeria

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Access Bank CEO, Herbert Wigwe

In a recent  interview with Arise TV, MD of Access Bank, Herbert Wigwe discussed several issues ranging from why banks are reluctant to take provisions on loans to the power sector and the provisions the bank (as well as other members of the consortium)  had  made its loan to Etisalat Nigeria.

On Etisalat Nigeria

The consortium of banks has taken an impairment on the loan lent to the company. They also made provisions for loans to companies that do business with the firm. Access Bank’s exposure to Etisalat Nigeria amounts to N11 billion, with the bank making a provision of 30%.

Wigwe also hinted that the bank may take up Etisalat of the UAE for walking away from the loans.

“With respect to their parent, I think as a starting point, nobody walks into a system and takes so many loans and wakes up to say, ‘Oh I have gone.’ It doesn’t add up. So we still have recourse to them.

Access Bank recently released its HY 2017 results. Gross earnings increased from N174 billion in 2016 to N246 billion in 2017. The bank declared an interim dividend of 25 kobo. Access bank is currently trading at N9.93 as at 11.13am in today’s trading session on the Nigerian Stock Exchange.

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Etisalat Nigeria had in July last month defaulted on a $1.2 billion loan, it took from a consortium of banks.  The firm blamed its default on the sudden devaluation of the Naira against the  dollar last year. An attempt  by the banks to take over the telco, was blocked by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC).

Christopher B. Pemu has a degree in Political Science from the University of Lagos. He joined Nairametrics in 2014 as News Editor and later as Managing Editor. He currently serves as the General Manager of Nairametrics. He takes pleasure in traveling, enjoys world politics and in sport, he loves watching football and tennis.

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Companies

Heineken scoops more Nigerian Breweries shares in insider disclosure

The company has about 8 billion shares outstanding with Heineken as the majority shareholder.

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Nigerian Breweries major shareholder, Heineken disclosed it purchased 274,542 units at an average price N35.76 per unit.

Insider disclosures are reported on the Nigerian Stock Exchange as a regulatory requirement especially when it informs a major shareholder or director of a company purchasing shares in the company they own.

In a related development, its chairman Chief Kolawole Babalola Jamodu also purchased 10,000 units at N37 per unit.

Nigeria Breweries closed at N36 per share on Friday trading at a price to earnings of 34x. The company has about 8 billion shares outstanding with Heineken as the majority shareholder.

What this means: Insider purchases are often an indication of how shareholders perceive the company’s valuation. It can also mean a lot of things from a possible capital raise to a strengthening of their existing holdings.

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Nigerian Breweries has struggled for growth over the last few years as consumers continue to experience a change to taste and preference for alcohol.

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Business

Airtel is partnering Standard Chartered Bank as it expands its fintech business

The partnership will enable Airtel to provide increased access to mobile money services to customers.

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Raghunath Mandava, Airtel Africa

Airtel Africa Plc is expanding its fintech business. Earlier this morning, the company announced that it had just entered into partnership with Standard Chartered Bank.

Details of the partnership

The aim of the partnership is to enable the telecoms operator to deepen its financial inclusion drive across its key markets.

A corporate disclosure that was signed by the Company Secretary, Simon O’Hara, as seen by Nairametrics, noted that the partnership will enable Airtel to provide increased access to mobile money services to customers.

Standard Chartered and Airtel Africa will work together to co-create new, innovative products aimed at enhancing the accessibility of financial services and, ultimately, better serve people across Africa. In line with this, Airtel Money’s customers will be able to make real-time online deposits and withdrawals from Standard Chartered bank accounts, receive international money transfers directly to their wallets, and access savings products amongst other services,” the statement by the company said.

READ MORE: Data War: MTN gains 8.18 million subscribers, as Airtel edges Glo, 9mobile in 2019

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New products for Airtel Money customers

The statement further noted the following:

  • The partnership will enable Airtel to expand the range and debt if its fintech business arm –Airtel Money.
  • New products and services will be launched at targeted primarily at Airtel’s 19 million customer base.
  • The ultimate aim is to encourage the adoption of mobile money whilst engendering the financial inclusion goal of the CBN.

Chief Executive Officer of Airtel Africa Plc, Raghunath Mandava, commented on the partnership with Standard Chartered Bank saying:

Our relationship with Standard Chartered boosts financial inclusion across the continent, giving millions of people access to valuable banking services. We continue to invest heavily in cashing in and cashing out locations for our customers and increase our distribution. This means that our customers can now send or receive digital payments via Standard Chartered Bank directly to their mobile phones, as well as cash-out their funds at our exclusive kiosks and branches at their convenience. This highlights Airtel Africa’s commitment to providing affordable, innovative, best-in-class solutions to enhance the daily lives of our customers.”

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READ MORE: Airtel partners Western Union to expand its own mobile money service 

This is an interesting development…

A 2019 article by Nairametrics quoted research reports which estimated that about 73.2 million Nigerians (i.e., 41.6% of the adult population) are financially excluded. That’s a lot of people for a country like Nigeria. But the interesting thing is that consistent efforts are being made to collapse the gap.

This effort started off with the primary players in the Nigerian fintech space. Soon, banks caught the buzz and quickly aligned with the mission. Now, telcos like Airtel and if course MTN are also positioning themselves as major players.

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Now, here’s the interesting thing about telcos’ foray into fintech – the fact that they already have the customer base and the technological advantage. These are competitive advantages that could see them replicating the same success that was first recorded in Africa by Kenyan Telco Safari on with its M-Pessa project.

As more players emerge in the Nigerian mobile money/fintech space, there is bound to be competition. However, the good thing is that the market is big enough for all to play. The important thing is about offering the best possible service to customers and ensuring that they are financially included.

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Companies

UACN’s major shareholder sells substantial shares

This is coming a few days after UAC Nigeria Plc announced a deal to divest 51% of its shares in UPDC.

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UACN, UAC Nigeria’s Dividend Payment Might Not Be Worth The Struggle

One of the 3 major shareholders of UAC Nigeria Plc (UACN), Blakeney LLP, has substantially reduced its stakes in the conglomerate with the sale of 80 million additional shares.

This was disclosed in a notification that was sent to the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) by UAC Nigeria Plc. The notification was signed by the Company Secretary/Legal Adviser, Godwin Samuel.

Note that this is coming a few days after UAC Nigeria Plc announced a deal to divest 51% of its shares in UACN Petroleum Development Company (UPDC) to Custodian Investment Plc.

READ MORE: Berger Paints declares dividend of 25k per share, announces 6% increase in revenue

An analysis of this current sales and reduction of its stake shows that Blakeney LLP reduced its shareholding in the conglomerate through a deal on August 5, at a price of N5.75 per share. A further breakdown of the transactions shows that the 80,000,000 units were sold at N5.75 amounting to N460 million in purchase consideration.

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Back Story: It can be recalled that UACN had earlier sent notifications to the NSE announcing sales of 75 million shares by Blakeney between the months of April and June

READ MORE: Covid-19: Guinness Nigeria warns investors its results will be bad

  • In an earlier notification sent to the Nigerian Stock Exchange and other stakeholders in February 2019, UAC of Nigeria Plc announced the emergence of three major shareholders with more than 5% stake in the company. The three major shareholders include Themis Capital Management (8.08%), Stanbic IBTC Nominees Limited (7.27%), Blakeney GP 111 Ltd (7.55%).
  • Nigeria’s oldest conglomerate has gone through some major restructuring in recent times following investments by these core investors and other major shareholders. In September 2019, UACN announced the outright dissolution of its interest and restructuring of UAC Property Development Company (UPDC) with the transfer of its interest directly to the shareholders.
  • Over the years, UACN has transformed from a very large conglomerate with footprints in different sectors of the economy to a leaner organization with interest in Manufacturing, Food & Beverage, Logistics, Agro-allied Industry, Paints and Chemicals.
  • Blakeney Management is one of the oldest and largest institutional investors in Africa and the Middle East. They are based in London and have been managing funds since 1995 for some of the largest institutions in the world.

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