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Ecobank’s Emmanuel Ikazoboh reveals why shareholders were not paid dividends

The chairman of Ecobank Transnational Incorporated (@GroupEcobank), Emmanuel Ikazoboh, has addressed the issues that forced the bank not to pay dividends to its shareholders despite posting an impressive financial result in 2018.

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Bonds

The chairman of Ecobank Transnational Incorporated (ETI), Emmanuel Ikazoboh, has addressed the issues that forced the lender not to pay dividends to its shareholders, despite posting an impressive financial result for the year ended 2018.

Factors that denied shareholders dividends: In his speech to some shareholders, Ikazoboh, said Ecobank was compelled not to embark on the payments because of impending regulatory capital requirements and the need to build the holding company’s liquidity buffers.

Ikazoboh made the disclosure while presenting the bank’s 2018 financial report in Lome, Togo, where Ecobank held its 31st annual general meeting (AGM). He emphasised the board made the decision not to pay dividends in the interest of the company.

He promised that Ecobank will be back to paying dividends once the bank has a strong balance sheet and solid capital base.

“We assure you that while this was a hard decision, it was taken in the best interest of the company. We want to make sure we attend to the capital needs of all our subsidiaries before can start paying dividends.” Ikazoboh said.

Ecobank look to consolidate 2018 financial year: Stakeholders of ETI, the parent company of Ecobank subsidiaries, have been assured of continuous growth in the finances of the African lender.

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Ikazoboh promised stakeholders that the banks will consolidate on their achievement between 2017 and 2018 financial year, which recorded significant growth.

ETI had posted a loss in 2016 but bounced back into profit in 2017, while the bank consolidated on the performance after recording N101.9 billion in 2018 from N69.7 billion in 2017; amounting to a 46 percent increase year on year.

How Ecobank maintained positive result: According to Ikazoboh, the discipline in cost management, commitment to risk management and the ongoing clean-up of the bank’s credit portfolio were factors that aided the result.

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While revealing the efficiency or cost-to-income ratio has steadily improved to 61.5 per cent in 2018 despite tepid revenue growth, Ikazoboh said subsidiaries are meeting their capital commitments as well.

“Our capital levels remain adequate. The Group’s Base II/III Capital Adequacy Ratio of 13.6 per cent is above the regulatory limit and each of our subsidiaries is meeting its capital commitments as well.

However, your board believes that in the near-term, to meet our planned growth initiatives, and to ensure that we win in key countries such as Nigeria and Kenya, we will need to boost capital levels through a combination of fresh equity injections and the reinvestments of profits.”

Olalekan is a certified media practitioner from the Nigerian Institute of Journalism (NIJ). In the era of media convergence, Olalekan is a valuable asset, with ability to curate and broadcast news. His zeal to write was developed out of passion to shape people’s thought and opinion; serving as a guideline for their daily lives. Contact for tips: [email protected]

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Appointments

Flour Mills Appoints Former 9Mobile MD as Director and Group Chief Operating Officer

The appointment of Mr Olusanya brings to 14 the total number of members of the Board of Directors.

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Leading Integrated Food and Agribusiness giant, Flour Mills of Nigeria Plc, has announced the appointment of Mr Omoboyede Oyebolanle Olusanya to the Board of Directors of the firm.

The appointment of Olusanya, who recently joined Flour Mills as the Group Chief Operating Officer, took effect from July 29, 2020.

This disclosure was made in a notification which was sent to the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) for the investing public and signed by the company’s Company Secretary/Director, Legal Services, Joseph Umolu.

The notification from the company reads, “Flour Mills of Nigeria Plc, Nigeria’s leading integrated food business and Agro-allied group, owners of the iconic brand, Golden Penny, today announced the appointment of Mr Omoboyede Oyebolanle Olusanya, to the board of Directors effective 29 July 2020.’

The statement notes that Mr Olusanya, who holds a B. Sc. (Hons) in Civil Engineering from the University of Lagos and two Masters degrees in environmental engineering and Computer Science from the University of Liverpool and the University of Manchester respectively had recently joined Flour Mills as the Group Chief Operating Officer in January 2020.

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Before joining Flour Mill, Olusanya had served in similar leadership positions including Chief Business Transformation Officer at Dangote Group, where he spearheaded the transformation of the group, between July 2017 and October 2018. He was the Managing Director/Chief Executive of Emerging Market Telecommunications Service (9Mobile). He is also on the board of Axxela, Starsight and OVH Energy.

In his comment, the Chairman of the Board, Mr John Coumantaros, said, “We are most excited to welcome Mr Olusanya to our Board of Directors. He is a seasoned business leader, whose expertise and vast experience in areas such as Telecommunications, Financial Services, Energy and Manufacturing are mission-critical to our future operations and strategy and will help Flour Mill further its purpose of feeding the nation, every day.”

The appointment of Mr Olusanya brings to 14 the total number of members of the Board of Directors.

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Coronavirus

COVID-19: Russia produces first batch of its newly approved vaccine

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COVID-19: J&J starts vaccine trials on humans after success on monkeys

Russia announced on Saturday, August 15, 2020, that it has produced the first batch of its newly approved vaccine, Sputnik V, hours after the health ministry reported the start of its production.

The disclosure was made in a statement by the Russian Health Ministry and quoted by Russian news agencies.

This is coming some days after the Russian President, Vladimir Putin, announced the registration of the world’s first COVID-19 vaccine in what could be described as a step ahead of other vaccine developments.

The announcement is seen as a propaganda coup for the Russian government against the west amid a global race to develop vaccines against the coronavirus disease.

The announcement of the vaccine registration by Putin was met with caution from scientists and the World Health Organization (WHO), who said that it still needed a rigorous safety review. Some of the scientists fear that with this fast regulatory approval, Russia may be putting national prestige ahead of safety.

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Putin had said the vaccine was safe and that one of his own daughters had been inoculated, although the final stage testing involving over 2,000 people just started this week. Such trials are considered very important before a vaccine can secure regulatory approval.

Russia has said the vaccine which is the first for the coronavirus disease to go into production, will be rolled out by the end of August.

The Gamaleya Research Institute, which developed the vaccine in collaboration with the Russian Defence Ministry, said that Russia would be producing about 5 million doses a month by December or January.

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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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