The dust generated by Securities and Exchange Commission’s directive ordering a forensic audit of Oando Plc accounts is yet to settle. The company maintains that there is no basis for a forensic audit of the company by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)
Oando said it will continue in its legal battle with SEC on the regulator’s alleged findings and sanctions following an investigation into the oil marketing firm, which began in May 2017.
It noted that it had gone to the Court of Appeal to challenge SEC’s technical suspension of its shares and a forensic audit into its affairs.
The company said in addition to the legal action, it had written several petitions to various arms of the government expressing concern at the way SEC, under the leadership of the suspended Director-General, Mounir Gwarzo, managed the investigation
“The SEC claims that the actions it has taken are based on specific ‘findings’ it has made against the company. Yet, in a totally self-contradictory manner, SEC wants to embark on a forensic audit of the company to confirm the veracity or otherwise of its findings. This begs the question as to how definite findings (in its own words) could have been made when SEC itself admits that its investigation has not been concluded.”
It also alleged that the investigation was biased, did not follow due process and lacked fairness.
“Despite our objections to the forensic audit, the company would like to reiterate that we recognize and respect the authority of the commission, and in the spirit of cooperation, transparency and full disclosure, the company will comply with the directives of the commission while reserving our legal rights in this matter.”
Oando, however welcomed the appointment of Dr. Abdul Zubair as the acting director-general of SEC, describing it as “an opportunity for the regulator to act independently and for a new and enduring relationship to be established.”
It would be recalled that SEC had ordered a forensic audit into the activities of Oando Plc following series of petitions from its Shareholders. This has led to series of legal battle between the Oil marketing Company and SEC.
A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos had earlier struck out a suit filed by Oando Plc seeking to restrain the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) from conducting a forensic audit on the affairs of the company, and imposing a technical suspension on the company’s shares.
The judge also advised Oando to take its case to the Investment and Securities Tribunal (IST), as the laws setting up the tribunal exclude any other body from hearing a dispute between a company and a capital market operator.This judgement has however been appealed by Oando.
FCMB Group records impressive half year results as Profit Before Tax rose by 26% to N11.1 billion
The Group recorded an increase in gross revenue by 9% to N98.2 billion.
FCMB Group Plc has again proved its resilience and capability to deliver outstanding performance and returns to customers and shareholders going by the half year results of the financial institution released recently. For the six months ended June 30, 2020, the Group’s profit before tax (PBT) rose by 26% to N11.1 billion compared to N8.8 billion in the corresponding period in 2019. Profit after tax increased by 29% Year-on-Year to N9.7 billion. This translates to a return on average equity (RoAE) of 9.4% and earnings per share of 49 kobo, a Year-on-Year improvement of 16% and 29%, respectively.
FCMB Group is a holding company divided along three business groups; Commercial and Retail Banking (First City Monument Bank Limited, Credit Direct Limited, FCMB (UK) Limited and FCMB Microfinance Bank Limited); Corporate & Investment Banking (the Corporate Banking Division of the Bank, FCMB Capital Markets Limited and CSL Stockbrokers Limited) as well as Asset & Wealth Management (FCMB Pensions Limited, FCMB Asset Management Limited and FCMB Trustees Limited).
The half year results also showed that the Group recorded an increase in gross revenue by 9% to N98.2 billion as against N89.8 billion for the same period last year. Net interest income equally rose by 17% for the first half of 2020 to N45.4 billion from N38.7 billion posted in the first half of 2019, while non-interest income stood at N17.5 billion, an increase of 14% compared to N15.3 billion within the six months period last year.
Moreover, the financial institution intensified the tempo of its strong commitment and support to the growth of businesses and the Nigerian economy in general. For example, loans and advances grew by 29% Year-on-Year and 4% Quarter-on-Quarter to N794.6 billion. Customer deposits went up by 28% Year-on-Year and 11% Quarter-on-Quarter to ₦1.1 trillion in June 2020, implying a significant increase in confidence in the institution. Total assets surged upward by 31% Year-on-Year and 4% Quarter-on-Quarter to ₦1.97 trillion as at June 2020. The Group’s capital adequacy ratio stood at 17.3%, which is above the minimum requirement set by the Central Bank of Nigeria. Liquidity ratio was 32.2%. Customer base across the Group grew by 29% Year-on-Year from 5.9 million to 7.7 million.
The subsidiaries of FCMB Group, who are market leaders in their respective segments, also performed satisfactorily within the six months period. The Commercial and Retail Banking arm (comprising First City Monument Bank Limited, FCMB UK, Credit Direct Limited and FCMB Microfinance Bank) reported a 42.9% Year-on-Year increase in PBT. This was due to an increase in net interest income, fixed income instruments, trading income and foreign exchange income. PBT also improved by 4.1% Quarter-on-Quarter due to an increase in fixed income instruments, trading income and FX Income, as well as a decrease in expenses due to operational efficiency.
Corporate & Investment Banking (comprising the Corporate Banking Division of the Bank, FCMB Capital Markets Limited and CSL Stockbrokers Limited) saw its performance improve Quarter-on-Quarter. This was driven by an increase in net interest income and non-interest income. CSL Stockbrokers returned to strong and sustainable profitability, moving from a PBT of N18 million in half year 2019 to N201million in half year 2020, representing a 1034% Year-Year growth.
Investment Management (comprising FCMB Pensions Limited, FCMB Asset Management Limited and FCMB Trustees Limited) grew its Assets Under Management (AUM) by 7% Quarter-on-Quarter and 28% Year-on-Year to N455 billion. The growth in AUM reflects the increasing effectiveness of product sales strategy, which leverages the FCMB Group’s distribution strength and digital innovation. The Group’s Pensions business contributed 75% of half year 2020 AUM, compared with 83% within the same period in 2019. Other business lines accounted for 53% of the N99 billion Year-on-Year growth in AUM.
Analysts are of the opinion that with this impressive performance despite the challenging operating environment, FCMB Group is on a stronger pedestal to sustain its leading position in the financial industry and the Nigerian economy.
Over the years, the institution has created tremendous opportunities and added significant value to customers, shareholders and other stakeholders through innovation and its customer-focused approach anchored on its culture of excellence.
For more information about FCMB Group Plc, visit www.fcmbgroup.com
Coronavirus presents a tremendous opportunity to attract domestic investment in Nigeria – by Yewande Sadiku
Increased domestic investor activity can also trigger foreign companies expanding or partnering with Nigerian businesses.
On Thursday, 16 July 2020, Yewande Sadiku, the Executive Secretary and Chief Executive Officer of Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC) was a guest on Arise Xchange, the weekly global business report of ARISE TV Networks where she shared her thoughts on how the coronavirus pandemic has affected Nigeria’s
strategy in soliciting foreign investments and renewed focus in local investors focusing on stimulating local businesses.
Commenting on UNCTAD’s forecast which estimates that foreign direct investment flows will decrease by 30-40% in 2020/2021, Sadiku explained that “as the pandemic worsens and economies further contract, our projection remains that those UNCTAD figures will shrink even further”. She added, “Investment announcements which we track and share daily through our newsletter show that $5.06 billion investment announcements were recorded in the first half of 2020 – this is a third of what was recorded within the corresponding period last year”. Nevertheless, the biggest investments for new entrants from the half-year were recorded from Kaduna, Nasarawa and Ekiti states.
Addressing the anchor, Boason Onafeye’s question on the 33 projects announced, the importance of tracking investments, she explained that “in the first half of 2020, NIPC tracked 33 projects across 15 states and the FCT, versus in the first half of 2019 where the Commission tracked 43 projects in 10 states and the FCT. Our meticulous
tracking gives the Commission an understanding of the sectors, sub-national areas that excite investors. Additionally, it enables us to advise the government on policy changes that are required to reverse or thrust policy-making.”
While FDI is expected to slow down because of COVID-19, we are also presented with new optimism for local investments and businesses to take advantage of some unique opportunities presented by COVID. In particular, fintech, e-commerce, food processing is witnessing increased consumer activity. Increased domestic investor
activity can also trigger foreign companies expanding or partnering with Nigerian businesses.
On her outlook for the rest of 2020, she expressed her belief that “many economies will be focused on investment-driven growth and getting their investors to look internally and invest inwards to stimulate local businesses. This will also happen alongside a renewed zeal on impact investment, as investors would not only consider the returns on their investments but the impact their capital will have on the overall health of economies.” She further added that there will be a continuous increase in the domestic manufacturing capacity of essential and critical commodities per
Yewande Sadiku is the Executive Secretary/CEO of Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission, NIPC. She was appointed in September 2016 by His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR with a mandate to encourage, promote and coordinate investment in the Nigerian economy. Sadiku a seasoned investment banker with over two decades’ experience until her appointment, was Executive Director, Corporate and Investment Banking at Stanbic IBTC Plc.
During her period at the bank, she was instrumental in several landmark transactions including, the $535m first dual listing of Seplat petroleum on London and Nigerian Stock Exchanges, raising public and private funding for Access Bank, Dangote Sugar, Flour Mills Nigeria, Zenith Bank, MTN Nigeria, Nigerian Bottling Company, but
to name a few.
Lagos cancels 2018 land use charge
The government reverted to pre-2018 land use charges.
The Lagos State Government has revoked the 2018 land use charge.
This was disclosed by the Lagos Commissioner for Finance, Dr Rabiu Olowo, on Wednesday. According to him, the government reverted to pre-2018 land use charges.
He said, “The penalties for land use charges for 2017, 2018, and 2019 have also been waived, which translates to a loss of revenue amounting to N5.6billion.
“In 2018, there was an increase in the Land Use Charge rate as well as the method of valuation of properties, this shock had a sporadic increase in Land Use Charge payable by property owners. In view of the aforementioned, the current administration decided to review the Land Use Charge law by reversing the rate of Land Use Charge to pre-2018 while upholding the 2018 method of valuation.
“The reform also considered multiple Land Use Charge payment channels and efficient customer service management by setting up a call centre in other to ensure prompt issue resolution.”