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Access Bank to establish subsidiary in Cameroon

Access Bank is set to establish a subsidiary in Cameroon, three months after acquiring a bank in Kenya. The Nigerian lender said it had finalised its expansion move to the Central Africa state, as it had received approval from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).#ACCESSBANK,#CAMEROON,#CBN

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Access Bank has notified the Nigerian Stock Exchange of its intention to establish a subsidiary in Cameroon, three months after acquiring a bank in Kenya. The Nigerian lender said it had finalised its expansion move to the Central Africa state, as it had received approval from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

In a statement issued to the NSE and obtained by Nairametrics, Access Bank stated that the company obtained a ‘No Objection’ to its expansion plan, meaning its expansion would now be determined by the regulatory body in Cameroon.

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Access Bank Plc to list bond on NSE

The company said, “It has obtained the Central Bank of Nigeria’s ‘No Objection’ to its proposed expansion into the Republic of Cameroon through the setting up of a banking subsidiary. The proposed expansion which is subject to the approvals of the regulatory authorities in the Republic of Cameroon is in pursuance of the Bank’s strategic objective to become Africa’s Gateway to the World. We are currently awaiting the regulatory approvals and will provide the market with updates in due course.”

Access Bank’s expansion plan: Launched in 2019, the bank’s operation has been taken out of the shores of Nigeria to other African countries. Its expansion has, however, been mostly driven by the inorganic growth method – the use of mergers and acquisitions to grow the customer base and revenue.

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It merged with Diamond Bank to grow its revenue and customer base in Nigeria and penetrate the retail market. The merger reflected on Access Bank’s unaudited financial statements for the period ended September 30, 2019, which clearly showed positive figures across most financial indicators. The lender recorded a profit of N90.73 billion for the nine-month period of 2019, compared to N62.91 billion recorded at the end of the nine-month period for 2018.

[READ MORE: Access Bank dispels rumour about its CEO being arrested)

This represents a 42.22% increase in profit. This consolidation has made Access Bank the biggest bank in Nigeria and Africa based on consumer-size.

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Now, with the plan to establish a subsidiary in Cameroon, this move will expand the Nigerian lender’s footprint across Africa.

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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: fakoyejo.olalekan@nairametrics.com.

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Nigeria’s tier-1 banks earn N18.4 billion from account maintenance charges in Q1 2020

Banks’ earnings from account maintenance charges, though low when compared to other revenue streams, still make up a significant portion of their non-interest income.

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Account Maintenance Charges

Nigeria’s tier-1 banks — comprised of First Bank, UBA, GTBank, Access Bank, and Zenith Bank (FUGAZ) — generated a total of N18.4 billion from bank maintenance charges in Q1 2020. The sum is 17.12% more than N15.6 billion that was generated by the five banks during the comparable period in 2019.

This is according to recent checks by Nairametrics Research, a breakdown of which revealed that Zenith Bank generated the most income from account maintenance fees, followed by Access Bank and then, GTBank.

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See the breakdown below.

  • Zenith Bank Plc: N5.7 billion
  • Access Bank Plc: N3.9 billion
  • Guaranty Trust Bank Plc: N3.3 billion
  • First Bank Plc: N3.1 billion
  • United Bank for Africa Plc: N2.3 billion

What you should know about account maintenance charges

Banks’ earnings from account maintenance charges, though low when compared to other revenue streams, still make up a significant portion of their non-interest income.

According to the latest directive by the Central Bank of Nigeria on bank charges, Nigerian banks are allowed to charge their customers a “negotiable” N1 per mille. What this means is that banks can charge N1 per N1000 debit transactions on current accounts. Banks’ account maintenance charges come in the form of COT (i.e., Commission on Turnover) which is a charge levied on customer withdrawals by their banks. In Nigeria, these charges are mainly applicable to current accounts.

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“Current Account Maintenance Fee (CAMF): Applicable to current accounts ONLY in respect of customer-induced debit transactions to third parties and debit transfers/lodgments to the customer’s account in another bank. Note that CAMF is not applicable to Savings Accounts,” said part of the CBN directive.

(READ THIS: You must know these terms if you want to own a bank account in Nigeria)

Customers don’t like account maintenance charges

Interestingly, a lot of Nigerian bank customers are not keen on bank maintenance charges. After all, nobody likes to get debit alerts, especially so when such is coming from their banks. Perhaps, the main reason some customers dislike bank maintenance charges is because they tend to be higher than the interest capitalised entitled to such customers. Professor Ayobami Ojebode of the Department of  Communications and Language Arts, University of Ibadan, recently complained about this, saying:

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“Dear bank, I see o! Don’t think I don’t see you! You credit me N50 interest on my savings and debit N150 for account maintenance & card fee etc! Come here, what do you really think you are doing?”

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Oil & Gas: DPR announces 2020 marginal field licensing round

While we see the need for these asset sales to generate much-needed revenue for the Federal Government, we are concerned that a bidding process under the current environment will be fraught with difficulties.

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DPR

The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) on Monday announced the commencement of the 2020 marginal field bid round. This bid round is coming 18 years after the last bid round in 2002 and is open to indigenous oil & gas companies and investors interested in participating in the exploration and production business in Nigeria. Marginal fields are known oil or gas discoveries on an IOC-owned block and where there has been no activity in at least the last 10 years. With the agreement of the IOC, the DPR carves-out a piece of land surrounding the discovery and this becomes a Marginal field. On this occasion, there are 57 marginal fields available for bidding, including 11 fields revoked by the DPR.

The exercise would be conducted electronically and would include expression of interest/registration, pre-qualification, technical and commercial bid submission, and bid evaluation. The process is expected to be completed in six months. The first bid round that was formally organised by the FGN began in 2001 and was concluded in 2003. At the end of the bid round, 24 licenses were awarded to 31 indigenous companies. Another bid round was proposed in 2013 with a lot of preparation and guidelines released. Unfortunately, it never held.

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Flagging off this bid round under the current economic situation points to the government’s urgent need for funds. According to the DPR guidelines, interested bidders will be required to pay a total of US$115,000 and N5m in non-refundable statutory fees comprising an application fee of N2 million per field, Bid Processing Fee of N3million per field, Data Prying fee of $15,000 per field, Data Leasing fee of $25,000 per field, Competent Persons Report of $50,000 and $25,000 for Fields Specific Report.

While we see the need for these asset sales to generate much-needed revenue for the Federal Government, we are concerned that a bidding process under the current environment will be fraught with difficulties. Firstly, the current fluctuations in oil prices may mean that intending investors may base their valuations on pricing models that can become unrealistic in the near term and then are unable to develop such fields acquired. Many local companies have been hard hit by the effects of covid -19 and the ensuing significant decline in oil prices, hence they may not have sufficient cash flows nor be able to raise needed funds from both local and international banks.

In addition, we see regulatory difficulties hampering interest in the fields. For example, the lack of passage of the long awaited Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) remains a significant deter. Furthermore, the recently passed Deep Offshore and Inland Basis Production Sharing Contracts (Amendment) Act (DOA) has made investments in Nigeria oil & gas assets less attractive. These negative regulatory sentiments has led to many IOCs decreasing investments in the Nigerian oil & gas industry. Overall, we think this may result in many of the fields ending up in the hands of individuals with cash but with no industry expertise. Again, with the current economic crunch, many of the fields may be sold significantly below their fair value.

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CSL Stockbrokers Limited, Lagos (CSLS) is a wholly-owned subsidiary of FCMB Group Plc and is regulated by the Securities
and Exchange Commission, Nigeria. CSLS is a member of the Nigerian Stock Exchange.

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Business News

May Output Cut: OPEC+ records 86% compliance as Nigeria beats expectation

Some of the non-OPEC member countries recorded less than impressive compliance rates. Kazakhstan, Brunei, and South Sudan recorded 47%, 22%, and 13% compliance respectively.

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OPEC+ output cut: The oil cartel records 86% compliance as Nigeria beats expectation

As OPEC+ pushes for an extension of the current output cut of 9.7 million barrels beyond June, a new report suggests that the alliance may have achieved a fairly impressive level of compliance in May, the first month of the biggest global effort to curtail oil production.

Energy Intelligence estimates that the alliance achieved an 86% compliance rate (in May) with the production cut of 9.7 million barrels per day that was agreed for both May and June. This contradicts the 74% compliance rate that was earlier reported by a Reuters survey.

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The massive output cut is intended to counter the dramatic slump in global oil prices which was triggered by the coronavirus pandemic and supply glut. The output cut has since helped to move up prices well above the April lows.

Meanwhile, some West African OPEC members fell short of their pledged output cuts, with Angola and Congo recording compliance rates of 54% and 20%, respectively. Gabon’s May output actually exceeded its volumes in October 2018, which was chosen as the baseline month against which the cuts are measured.

(READ MORE: Oil prices hit 2-months high as Bonny light rises to $33.9/barrel over vaccine test optimism)

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However, the compliance by Nigeria for the month of May was better than the expected 83% after its output fell by around 260,000 barrels per day between April and May. This is, however, at variance with 52% compliance that was disclosed by Nigeria’s Minister of State for Petroleum, Timipre Sylva.

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Some of the non-OPEC member countries recorded less than impressive compliance rates. Kazakhstan, Brunei, and South Sudan recorded 47%, 22%, and 13% compliance respectively.

The OPEC+ alliance’s overall compliance rate was lifted by the performances from four of its top five producers, which were close to 100%. Among these heavyweights, only Iraq lagged well behind with a compliance level of less than 50%.

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Russia failed to live up to its obligations under previous OPEC+ deal. But after removing condensate, which is not counted as part of its current quota, its oil output is 8.6 million barrels per day in the month of May; indicating an impressive 96% compliance rate.

Patricia

Compliance is expected to improve in the month of June.

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