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Business News

Why stakeholders believe more mergers are feasible in banking sector

Industry stakeholders have predicted the emergence of more mergers in the Nigerian banking sector.

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Access Bank and Union Bank, Access Bank, CBN, Creative Industry Financing Initiative, CIFI

In view of the ongoing merging process between Access Bank Plc and Diamond Bank Plc, industry stakeholders have predicted the emergence of more mergers in the Nigerian banking sector.

According to some players in the financial services sector, the merger between the two lenders could most likely trigger more mergers and acquisitions.

While the stakeholders see this as a good development, they are optimistic of more of such happening in the banking industry.

Even the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN) said in its fifth annual economic outlook with the theme, ‘Implications for businesses in Nigeria 2019,’ that more mergers were feasible.

Part of the report on the economic outlook, which was presented by Olufemi Fabamwo, read, “Access Bank and Diamond Bank’s combination is expected to be consummated in 2019. Further opportunities and appetite for such mergers and acquisition in the banking sector may be witnessed.”

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Similarly, the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Heritage Bank, Ifie Sekibo, said there might be more mergers and acquisitions in the economy. He  also added that he would be happy to see that happen, even as more investors continue to enter the country.

“We expect much more investments and I expect that as those investments take place, mergers and acquisitions may actually take place this year; both local and foreign.” -Sekibo

Meanwhile, for the Former President of the Association of National Accountants of Nigeria, Dr Sam Nzekwe, the merger would be most welcomed if it would produce a mega bank.

In his words-

“We are looking at mega banks that would be able to do their financial intermediation when they merge them, that is, borrowing money from the surplus unit and giving it to the deficit unit. That is the purpose of banking.

“If the merger between the two banks is going to bring a mega bank, it is going to be good because we don’t have mega banks in Nigeria and it is difficult to get long term loans. So we need a bank that can do that through a merger.”

What is expected of Diamond Bank’s merging with Access Bank

The ongoing merger process between Access Bank Plc and Diamond Bank Plc, which was announced last year (2018), is programmed to be concluded by 2019 Q1.

The fusion of the two banks is expected to result in the creation of a new and enlarged Access Bank brand, which would officially start operating as one business entity on April 1, 2019.

Part of the expected outcome of the merger, according to the two banks, is that Diamond Bank would benefit from Access Bank’s risk and capital management expertise, while Access Bank would take advantage of Diamond Bank’s retail banking expertise.

Together, the two banks were expected to create one of Nigeria’s leading banks, with 29 million customers, including more than 13 million mobile customers, as well as 3,100 Automated Teller Machines and around 32,000 Point of Sale terminals.

The merger is expected to lead to over 600 branches, while there would be same day clearing of cheques for Diamond and Access customers in both banks.

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Famuyiwa Damilare is a trained journalist. He holds a Higher National Diploma (HND) in Mass Communication at the prestigious Nigerian Institute of Journalism (NIJ).Damilare is an innovative and transformational leader with broad-based expertise in journalism and media practice at large. He has explored his proven ability in the areas of reporting, curating and generating contents, creatively establishing social media engagements, and mobile editing of videos. It is safe to say he’s a multimedia journalist.

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Companies

Nigeria’s border reopening will not impact profitability in 2021 – Flour Mills GMD

Flour Mills Nigeria Plc has stated that the recent reopening of the nation’s land borders will not affect the profitability of the company.

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Mr. Omoboyede Olusanya, the Group Managing Director of Flour Mills Nigeria Plc has disclosed that the recent reopening of the nation’s land borders will not adversely impact the performance and profitability of the company in 2021 and beyond.

He added that FMN will continue to leverage brand loyalty, product standardization and innovation, as well as improved cost efficiency to increase profitability in 2021.

This statement was made by the Olusanya during the company’s 9M’20/21 Investor Webinar which held virtually on January 26, 2020.

According to the statement made by Mr. Olusanya at the virtual meeting, the reopening of the nation’s land border will not affect the company’s sales and revenue, as Flour Mills Nigeria is focused on increasing operational efficiency with accelerated plans for cost optimizations across the group to ensure competitive product offerings and profitability in the new operating environment, occasioned by the border reopening.

He revealed that the company will continue to invest in local content development, production capacity and aggregation to strengthen product innovation and product standardization in a bid to foster brand loyalty.

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In line with this, Flour Mills Nigeria has invested heavily to upscale its Regional Distribution Centers (RDCs), in order to gain direct access to consumer market segments across the country, and expand consumer reach with the road to market initiatives and product offerings across the group, especially in the B2C segment.

Olusanya revealed that the group has successfully opened new regional distribution centers (RDCs) in Kano, Magboro and Abuja targeting the new fast-growing B2C product categories (fats, sugar and garri).

He added that the FMN Group among other strategic investments made, has invested in trucks to support the RDCs, animal feeds and starch value chains; as well as sales force automation platforms to ensure high-quality processes and services.

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He concluded that the activities of the company will be complemented by the efforts of the nation’s border security, as these agents would ensure that the borders do not become porous, and would help to curtail markets from being proliferated by imported items.

What you should know

  • Recall that Nairametrics reported that Flour Mills Nigeria Plc declared a profit of N5.65 billion in the third quarter ended, 31st December 2020.
  • The report revealed that the profit which Flour Mills made in the third quarter of its accounting year 2020/2021 rose by a whopping 150.36% when compared to the profit it made in the corresponding period of 2019.
  • It is important to note that the impressive performance of the company was driven by the agro-allied segment. The Agro-Allied segment benefited immensely from the August 2019 border closure, as the profit from this segment improved by 15,268%.

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Coronavirus

South African President appeals to wealthy countries not to hoard COVID-19 vaccines

South African President, Cyril Ramaphosa has called on the world’s wealthiest countries to stop “hoarding” vaccines.

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South Africa High commission in Nigeria shuts its offices, South Africa announces 21-day lockdown following spike in Coronavirus cases

The South African President, Cyril Ramaphosa has urged the world’s wealthiest countries to stop “hoarding” vaccines and called for an end to “vaccine nationalism.”

He made this call at the World Economic Forum’s virtual Davos Agenda event, where he clearly cautioned that some countries had ordered more supplies of vaccines than they needed, and that this was counterproductive to the global recovery effort.

According to him,

  • “Ending the pandemic worldwide will require greater collaboration on the rollout of vaccines, ensuring that no country is left behind in this effort”
  • “The rich countries of the world went out and acquired large doses of vaccines from the developers and manufacturers of these vaccines, and some countries have even gone beyond and acquired up to four times what their populations need”
  • “That was aimed at hoarding these vaccines and now this is being done to the exclusion of other countries in the world that most need this”

What they are saying

According to Africa CDC Director, John Nkengasong, the African continent is quite facing a “very aggressive second wave” of the pandemic, with mortality increasing on average 18% across the 55 African member states last week.

“We as a continent must recognize that vaccines will not be here when we want them, but as such we need to really focus on the public health measures that we know work”

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He however praised the progress of the African Vaccine Acquisition Task (AVAT) Team, which he said was created when AU nations realized “how the world’s richest countries are behaving.”

What you should know

  • South Africa is the country, worst hit by Covid-19 on the continent.
  • As at date, the country had recorded more than 1.4 million cases with 41,117 deaths.
  • The African Vaccine Acquisition Task (AVAT) Team has secured a provisional 270 million doses for AU member states directly, in addition to the 600 million expected from the World Health Organization’s COVAX initiative.

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Coronavirus

IMF optimistic about global economy but warns new Covid variants could affect recovery

IMF is quite optimistic about the fortune of the global economy but expressed fear that the new Covid variant could derail economic recovery.

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IMF

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has expressed optimism about the global economy but warns that the new COVID 19 variant could affect the global economic growth, according to its latest World Economic Outlook.

According to the report, “the institution now expects the global economy to grow 5.5% this year — a 0.3 percentage point increase from October’s forecasts. It sees global GDP (gross domestic product) expanding by 4.2% in 2022”.

According to its Chief Economist, Gita Gopinath:

  • “Much now depends on the outcome of this race between a mutating virus and vaccines to end the pandemic, and on the ability of policies to provide effective support until that happens.
  • “There remains tremendous uncertainty and prospects vary greatly across countries.
  • China returned to its pre-pandemic projected level in the fourth quarter of 2020, ahead of all large economies. The United States is projected to surpass its pre-Covid levels this year, well ahead of the euro area.
  • “Policy actions should ensure effective support until the recovery is firmly underway, with an emphasis on advancing key imperatives of raising potential output, ensuring participatory growth that benefits all, and accelerating the transition to lower carbon dependence.”

What you should know

  • There has been a surge in the number of reported cases of the new variant Covid-19 infections and deaths over the past few months.
  • The new variant has been described as being more infectious and potentially deadlier than the original strain.
  • The IMF had cut its GDP forecasts for the euro zone this year by 1%.
  • It is being projected that the 19-member region, which has been severely hit by the pandemic, would grow by 4.2% this year.
  • Germany, France, Italy and Spain — the four largest economies in the euro zone — also saw their growth expectations cut for 2021.
  • Economic activity in the region slowed in the final quarter of 2020 and this is expected to continue into the first part of 2021. The IMF does not expect the euro area economy to return to end-of-2019 levels before the end of 2022.
  • IMF revised its GDP forecast upward by 2% points on the back of a strong momentum in the second part of 2020 and additional fiscal support, with GDP expected to grow to 5.1% this year.

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