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Nigeria @59: Rise, fall & rise of Nigerian stock market 

When it was established as the LSE in 1960, a lot of people had doubts that the NSE could compete with other developing nation’s exchanges.

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stock, shares, Equity Market down by 0.6% on Monday, Quoted Companies post N4.2 trillion combined profits since 2015, Stockbrokers in Lagos are shifting focus to commodities as stocks underperform, Stock Market gains N204 billion, as effects of OMO restriction kicks in , Penalties: NSE makes over N143.6 million from banks, real sector in 2019 , These companies could soon be delisted from the Nigerian Stock Exchange , C&I Leasing, Oando, UBA, two others top gainers chart on Wednesday, 2020 Nigerian Equities Outlook: Breaking the Jinx?, LASACO, AIICO lead gainers on Wednesday, as bourse dips 0.91% , MTN, Zenith, GTBank lead actively traded stocks on Thursday , Equities: Bearish trades cost the Stock Market N403.02 billion in one week, Blue chips outperform, as All-Share Index up by 9.2% since OMO ban 

When it was established as the Lagos Stock Exchange (LSE) in 1960, a lot of people had doubts that the Nigerian Stock Exchange could compete with other developing nation’s exchanges but providence had another plan for the Exchange.

Though it was conceptualised as a limited by guarantee not-for-profit organisation, the growth witnessed in the bourse with its impact on the nation’s economy has proved that it has been thriving on the goodwill, reputation and integrity of its leadership.

Members and leaders

The membership and leadership list of the NSE has always included “the movers and shakers” of the economy. Some of them are doyens of accounting. The only surviving initial signatory to the founding memorandum of the Exchange is Mr Akintola William, its first President. Others are Late Chief Adeola Odutola, Alhaji Aminu Dantata, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, Alhaji Abdul Rasaq (SAN), Chief Ernest Shonekan, the late Chief Jerome Udoji, Chief Chris Ogunbanjo, Chief Bayo Kuku, Dr Lateef Adegbite, the late Dr Chris Abebe and Mr Gamaliel Onosode, among others.

There are also Mr Isaiah Balat, Alhaji Isyaku Umar, Mr Oba Otudeko, Otunba Adekunle Ojora, Mr Pascal Dozie, Mr Paul Ogwuma, Chief Phillip Asiodu, Rear Admiral Alison Madueke, Senator Udo Udoma, and Senator David Dafinone.

Some of the state investment companies are also institutional members of the NSE, allowing the input of the states into the operations of the bourse. They are Adamawa Securities Limited, Kaduna Investment Company, Kano State Investment and Properties Limited, Katsina State Investment and Property Development Company Limited, Kwara State Investment Corporation, New Nigerian Development Company Limited, Niger State Development Company Limited, Sokoto Investment Company Limited and Yobe Investment Company Limited, among others.

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[READ MORE: NSE Announces Call for Entries for its Inaugural Hackathon]

Nigeria @59: Rise, fall & rise of Nigerian stock market 

Change in the status quo

The NSE appeared firmly on the path of a radical change in ownership and other related structures with the renewed plan to demutualise the bourse. Later, SEC inaugurated a technical committee on the demutualisation. Former Chairman, SEC, Senator Udo Udoma, who inaugurated the technical committee headed by a commercial lawyer, Mr Asue Ighodalo. said the core mandate of the committee was to review and advise on the processes of demutualisation of the NSE in line with international best practices.

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Demutualisation is the process of changing a member-owned stock exchange, otherwise known as mutual exchange, to a corporate entity owned by shareholders.

Former Director-General of SEC, Arunma Oteh, said given the outcome of demutualisation around the globe, the Commission believed demutualisation was critical for the growth of the Nigerian capital market.

Shareholders vs Operators

Shareholders under the aegis of Independent Shareholders Association of Nigeria (ISAN) and Progressive Shareholders Association of Nigeria (PSAN) fought against the involvement of SEC in the management and council of NSE, a move they believed undermined the independence of the bourse.

However, several operators and market pundits have thrown their weights behind the effort to jumpstart the demutualisation process, noting that NSE is a strategic national asset, whose ownership change must be well-guided in the overall national interest.

Rise, fall and Rise of NSE

Shortly after the former Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria, Prof. Charles Soludo, introduced the 2005 banking recapitalisation exercise, the market witnessed a dramatic turnaround as it capitalisation increased to about N13 trillion.

But following what was described as the worst crisis to hit the Nigerian stock market in the first half of 2008, investors’ wealth was reduced by a significant two-third of the market total value from about N13 trillion to a little over N4 trillion.

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The meltdown in stock prices, the worst recorded in the history of the 59-year-old market earned it the highest declines posting amongst other African Exchanges in the first quarter of 2009. The huge bad loans granted by banks to operators in the market brought the value of stocks to all-time low.

The NSE’s All Share Index, the barometer for the movement of the market, fell by 37% in the early part of the year, the steepest quarterly decline in more than a decade and the worst of 89 benchmark indexes tracked by Bloomberg.

Nigeria @59: Rise, fall & rise of Nigerian stock market 

The market major indicators – the All-Share Index crashed to an all-time low 21, 715.82 basis points by the end of January 2009, from its opening of 29,176.80, reflecting a remarkable 44, 655.38 or 67.28% decline from the pre-crisis Index of 66,371.20. Similarly, the total market capitalisation of all listed equities declined significantly by over N7 trillion to N4.857 trillion from N12.623 trillion, representing 61.52% decrease.

But as at the end trading on September 30, 2019, the market rebounded. The ASI stood at 27.630.56 and the market capitalisation ended the day at N13.45 trillion.

“To all of our esteemed stakeholders, including our Exchange members (Ordinary and Dealing), the investor community, our issuers, the SEC and government policymakers who continue to drive value in our market, we appreciate each and every one of you. Let me use this opportunity to assure you that we will not relent in our efforts to continue to provide you with a reliable and adaptable exchange hub to save and access capital in Nigeria,” Chief Executive Officer, NSE, Oscar Onyema told Nairametrics.

[READ ALSO: Nigerian banks top list of NSE companies with highest employees]

About NSE

The Nigerian Stock Exchange services the largest economy in Africa and is championing the development of Africa’s financial markets.  The NSE, a registered company limited by guarantee, was founded in 1960 and it is licensed under the Investments and Securities Act (ISA) and is regulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) of Nigeria. The Exchange offers listing and trading services, licensing services, market data solutions, ancillary technology services and more.

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The Nigerian Stock Exchange is committed to adopting the highest levels of international standards. To support this commitment, The NSE b​elong​s to a number of international and regional organisations that promote the development and integration of global best practices across its operations. It is a member of the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO), the World Federation of Exchanges (WFE), Sustainable Stock Exchanges (SSE) Initiative, the SIIA’s Financial Information Services Division (FISD) and the Intermarket Surveillance Group (ISG). The Exchange is a founding member and executive committee member of the African Securities Exchanges Association (ASEA).

The NSE continues to evolve in order to meet the needs of its valued customers and to achieve the highest level of competitiveness.  It is an open, professional and vibrant exchange, connecting Nigeria, Africa and the world.

 

Abiola has spent about 14 years in journalism. His career has covered some top local print media like TELL Magazine, Broad Street Journal, The Point Newspaper. The Bloomberg MEI alumni has interviewed some of the most influential figures of the IMF, G-20 Summit, Pre-G20 Central Bank Governors and Finance Ministers, Critical Communication World Conference. The multiple award winner is variously trained in business and markets journalism at Lagos Business School, and Pan-Atlantic University. You may contact him via email - [email protected]

2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Ajoke

    October 1, 2019 at 10:11 am

    Nice

  2. Stanley

    October 1, 2019 at 4:24 pm

    The Nigerian stock exchange has come a long way. However, the current performance of the market is not unrelated to the very shallow nature of the Nigerian economy, hence the need to deepen the economy by encouraging more real productivity and reducing reliance on imported alternatives.

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Blurb

Strong performance from Stanbic IBTC, despite weak retail banking position

Will Stanbic IBTC be able to generate profit from its personal banking division by full year? 

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Stanbic IBTC made a profit after tax of N45.2billion, growing its profit by 24.7% when compared with this period last year.

The feat is remarkable; given that majority of financial institutions responded as expected to the economic downturn triggered by inflationary pressures, oil price instability, and lack of notable business activities, necessitated by the corona-virus pandemic that has characterised the 2020 business calendar year.

These other organizations reflected positions worse off than their escapades in 2019. In cases where improvements in bottom-line were seen, it was only marginal. 

READ: STANBIC IBTC posts Profit After Tax of N45.2 billion in H1 2020

Stanbic IBTC was not exempted from these economic trials, their immensely diversified business portfolio boosted their numbers on multiple fronts. Robust presence in Asset Management paid off, as commissions and fees represented a massive 62% of general fees and commission income. It’s Corporate and Investment division continues to produce astoundingly, contributing the highest and growing profit after tax of 49.2%. 

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This focused and efficiently monitored diversification, is turning Stanbic IBTC into world-beaters, reflecting in the expansion of its gross earnings by 7.8%, from N117.4billion in HY’2019 to N126.6billion so far this year.

This position could have appeared even better; had STANBIC been able to demonstrate in its personal and business banking segment, the same excellence, noticeable in its other business segments (Wealth, Corporate and  Investment).  

READ: Jaiz Bank: First shared-profit bank in Nigeria approaches 10 years

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It’s Personal banking (generally regarded as Retail banking), encompasses the provision of banking and financial services to individual customers and SME’s (Small and Medium scale enterprises), mortgage lending, leases, card products, transactional and lending activities such as telephone banking, ATM’s, etc. The segment suffered this year, closing with a loss of N3.2billion, despite being responsible for over 58.4% of general staff costs. This poor position was sponsored by a reduction in income levels, especially non-interest income from fees and commission.

Unsurprisingly, given CBN’s policy at the start of the year to implement a much-reduced transfer fee rate, an increase in Non-performing loans is another causal factor for its loss this half-year. STANBIC cannot afford to bask in the euphoria of the massive successes of its Wealth and Corporate segment, at the expense of Retail banking.

READ: Zenith Bank blows past Access Bank as customer deposits cross N4 trillion

Retail banking is fundamental to any bank looking to be a force, or preserve its going-concern status in this critically competitive economic environment. It has been the subject of immense research in the last decade, with many banks devising strategies to acquire a large chunk of the market share in this business segment. The banking landscape is evolving amidst growing competition, such that a bank that generally does well in its retail banking segmentis perceived as strong by the public. This has an underrated capacity to effortlessly attract more customers. Banks need to revisit the drawing board and re-embrace their sacred purpose of serving the basic and pure needs of their individual customers. 

Michael Lafferty, Chairman of the Lafferty Group, whilst describing Retail banking said, Retail banking is the foundation on which global banks are built,” It is a vast retail and consumer banking market, pointing out that the world’s biggest banks built their financial empire from the mass market. 

READ: Foreign investment inflow into banking sector falls by 95% in Q2 2020

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Stanbic IBTC must be conscious in its quest to provide universal banking and find a balance in product and service offerings across its business segment. 

A summary of the performance parameters in its financial statementshows growth in gross earnings, from N117.4billion to N126.6billionand improvement in earnings per share from 342kobo to 419kobo. 

Attention now shifts to the impact of the bank’s new super app, supposedly a one-stop-shop for its diverse offerings, including banking, investing, pensions, trading, and insurance, and how it affects the bottom line in subsequent quarters.  

Explore the Nairametrics Research Website for Economic and Financial Data

Lastly, will Stanbic IBTC be able to generate profit from its personal banking division by full year We await their H2’2020 results. 

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Is Zenith Bank thriving on the strength of sound financial indices?

Zenith Bank posts N103.8bn profit in half-year financial result.

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Zenith Bank reaffirms market dominance and leadership with Q3 2019 results, Zenith Bank Plc, Access Bank Plc and United Bank for Africa Plc, Zenith Bank reports 7.9% profit increase for full-year 2019

Sound financial indices have made Zenith Bank one of the largest banks in the Nigerian banking Industry. It was recognized as the Most Valuable Banking Brand in Nigeria 2019, in the Global Banker magazine Top 500 Banking brands; and Best Commercial Bank in Nigeria 2019, by the World Finance.

Zenith Bank has successfully bolstered this narrative even further with the release of its Half Year 2020 Financial Report, where it closed with a profit of N103.8 billion.

Growing profit position in these perilous times, speaks remarkably of the suppleness and elasticity of any establishment. A lull in economic activity caused by inflationary pressures, precariousness of the market, and the coronavirus pandemic has forced most Deposit Money Banks (DMBs) to cave in, and reveal achievements worse off than their 2019 results y/y – but not Zenith Bank Plc. The institution has showcased beyond reasonable doubt, that the apparent limitations are incapable of distorting its active growth pattern.

Zenith Bank closed H1 2020, 16.8% better off than it did in 2019 y/y, in terms of profit after tax. Although this massive leap, hugely resulting from tax paid as profit before tax, noted just a 2.2% growth. Further analysis of its HY’2020 results, demonstrates more efficiency, a focused cost of fund optimization, and an aggressiveness in generating income across its business heads and segments. This strategy had begun since 2018, and was shared by the bank when it disclosed planned implementation of an improved core banking system, hoping it would ultimately enhance efficiency while reducing costs.

Zenith Bank has thrived on the strength of its sound business model, corporate governance, conservative risk management, and strategic corporate social investment. The bank has been very forceful in the market, improving massively across all of its income generating segments, despite the plausible and obvious hindrances. This is a testament to its superiority, and sponsors its claim for supremacy.

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The bank made N22billion from foreign exchange revaluation gains and despite evidence to the contrary, it endeavored in operating expenditure (OPEX). OPEX may have grown by 7.7%, but disclosures and note to the accounts shows that in virtually every expense head, costs dropped. The 7.7% was triggered majorly by Information Technology related costs, fuel and maintenance, and an increase in the compulsory banking cost fund, set up for the Asset Management Company of Nigeria (AMCON) by the CBN.

Now, like every hero susceptible to their hubris, Zenith has its own problems, which questions its position at the top. Yes, the bank may have an amazing and constantly improving interest expense to interest income ratio, but it does not possess the finest result in this regard as of yet. HY 2019 interest expense took as much as 33.6% of its income, while HY 2020 dropped to 27.4%. This is good, but still considerably high, if we carry out a peer-to-peer analysis with Guarantee Trust Bank Plc (masters of low-interest expenses), whose ratio stands at 16% for HY 2020.

However, Zenith has sustained the momentum of positioning itself as the crème de la crème in the Nigerian Banking Industry for quite some time. The bank’s pattern of growth and performance, strongly indicates its capabilities to manage its interest expense in subsequent quarters. It will be interesting to see how this pans out by year end.

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In summary, despite economic difficulties this year, with most bank’s bottom-line at a worse position than the corresponding period last year, Zenith posted improved profit yet again. Could this be enough to portray supremacy?

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UBA Plc H1’2020 results, a true reflection of its rightsizing decision? 

UBA’s H1 2020 result is yet another demonstration of the resilience of its business model.

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UBA

The upward review in benefits of some employees and directors this year, coupled with the rising operational costs, constitutes the hot topics from the 2020 semi-annual results released by UBA Plc. 

Widely regarded as the banking sector’s largest employer of labour in Nigeria, the bank in December 2019, embarked on a ‘rightsizing’ exercise, which partly resulted in new hires, as well as promotions, improved remunerations, and benefits for existing employees.

READ: Zenith Bank’s Profit After Tax in H1,2020 rises by 16.8% to N103.8 billion

The Group Head, Media and External Relations, UBA Plc, Nasir Ramon commenting on this said, over 5000 staff of UBA Plc, started the new year with a lot of cheer, as the bank promoted to new grades, coupled with salary upgrades. Beneficiaries of this exercise will receive up to 170% increase in their salaries and benefits, whilst a good number have been moved to higher grade levels.” 

Directors saw their emoluments amplify by 177.7% (Fees and Sitting allowances) as demonstrated in the financial statements of the bank. Rising to N50million in June 2020, from N18million in 2019 y/y. 

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READ: Access Bank posts Profit Before Tax of N74.31 billion in H1 2020

Now, Deposit Money Banks (DMB’s) might be adjudged to be honorable in all of their objectives, but the truth is they are neither self-sacrificing nor are they expected to be. DMB’s are established for profit, and would incessantly prioritize business good sense over social empathy, for the sake of their owners The import of this is, UBA Plc expects its colossal investments in employees and directors to overwhelmingly reflect in its bottom-line. 

Half-year 2020 results is clearly not in sync with this philosophy, as it reflects a weakened position compared to the corresponding period last year, despite the investments in human capitalProfit before tax dropped by 18.7%, from N70.3billion recorded in HY’2019 to N57.1billion in the current period. Profit after tax waned as well by 21.7% to N44.4billion from N56.7billion in HY’2019. 

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READ: Are tech talents Africa’s ‘new export’?

Interestingly enough, the top-line fared pretty well. Interest income and fee income showed improvements, albeit marginally by 0.3% and 6.7% respectively. This makes it illogical to attribute the entirety of the decline in profit to the recent austerity measures put in place by the CBN, reducing funds transfer fees and card maintenance charges 

The Coronavirus pandemic played a big role too, by widely stunting the economy in the second quarter of 2020, and negatively impacting profit. But even these do not provide substantial and sufficient convictions as to why the Tier-one bank did not hit the profit-bar it set for itself, from its truly emphatic 2019 financial year. Does this mean that UBA Plc got the decision wrong at the start of the year? 

READ: FUGAZ; Nigerian banks considered too big to fail

Six months seem too short a period to immediately class management’s decision to jack up the benefits and emoluments of its internal customers as a failed one. Although, no one anticipated the travails of COVID-19 and its resulting consequences, investments in human capital is widely proven to yield tremendous growth in the long haul. Besides the fact that it has given UBA Plc a solid reputation in the market place, it also makes the company very attractive to the very best of industry talents. Furthermore, employee engagements of this nature, foster brand loyalty which ultimately trickles down to how passionately these personnel undertake their tasks and deliverables. The true bearing of this investment is expected to reflect in due course, in subsequent quarters.  

Commenting on the result, UBA’s Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Mr Kennedy Uzoka said, “Our H1 2020 results is yet another demonstration of the resilience of our business model in an extremely uncertain and tough operating environment. We recorded commendable growth in our underlying business in terms of customer acquisition, transaction volumes, and balance sheet whilst inflation, depressed yield environment and exchange rate volatility impacted our net earnings as anticipated.” 

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READ: GTBank, Access Bank, 11 others pay workers N271.64 billion in H1 2020

Rising cost

In today’s increasingly aggressive marketplace, where consistently generating revenue, is paramount to preserving the longevity and going-concern status of any establishments, costs must also be accorded as much attention and significance. Tightening and managing costs with the aim to improve and generate profit is genius strategy especially in today’s banking industry. The banking industry is under threat from ruthless competitions. Multifarious streams that had hitherto been available for generating income for DMB’s are being severely hindered by the ‘austere’ policies (from the perspective of commercial banks) from the apex bank, making effective cost management a survival mechanism. 

Explore the Nairametrics Research Website for Economic and Financial Data

Employee benefits rose by 20% from N37.2billion in HY’2019 to N44.6billion in HY’2020, while Directors’ emoluments (Fees and Sitting Allowance) as earlier stated, surged by 177% from N18million in 2019 to N50million in 2020 y/y. The total operating expenses increased 22.6% in 2020UBA Plc, unavoidably expended N22.4billion on Banking Sector Resolution cost trust fund, in compliance with the CBN’s requirement to contribute to the cause of the Asset Management Company of Nigeria (AMCON). Security and other payments for core services experienced increase as well compared to the preceding year. 

Avoidable expenses like Penalties and Premises Maintenance Charge, should be extensively reviewed and extinguished wherever possible, to improve bottom line. UBA plc has forked out N565million in penalties so far in 2020representing 6177.7% increase from just N9million in 2019 y/y. This is a prime example of the operational brick walls, UBA Plc must properly address to improve its fortunes in subsequent quarters. 

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