MTN Group Ltd said the COVID-19 pandemic has helped to accelerate the adoption of mobile financial services across Africa. The Johannesburg-based telco, which is the parent company of MTN Nigeria, recently launched its MOMO service which is focused mainly on reaching a lot of the unbanked populace in Nigeria and elsewhere.
A statement made available by the company, as seen by Nairametrics, noted that cashless transfers have been among the best methods for curtailing the spread of the virus. This explains why a lot of people in Africa now rely on it.
MTN Group’s executive director in charge of mobile money services, Serigne Dioum, was quoted to have said:
“As many countries adopted partial or total lockdowns, we witnessed an evolution in the type and volume of Mobile Money transactions. We saw a significant increase in MoMo Pay merchant and bill payments despite an initial decline in Mobile Money agent transactions due to the restrictions. However, we have already started to see a gradual increase as restrictions have been eased.
“These changes, triggered by COVID-19, have enabled the acceleration and scaling of cashless and digital economies. They support our ambition to transition to an end-to-end platform, creating a digital marketplace and connecting consumers to businesses, and businesses to businesses.
“We see this as a significant opportunity to change the outlook for affordable, inclusive, understandable and comprehensive financial services in Africa and the Middle East.”
Partly due to this development, Africa has witnessed the fastest growth rate for mobile money use in the world, the statement by MTN said.
It should be noted that before the advent of mobile financial services, many Nigerians (and Africans) were unbanked. No thanks to their lack of education, limited financial resources, and rural living environments, many people were inadvertently excluded from accessing financial services such as access to credit facilities. However, the story is different today due to the activities of fintechs and other mobile financial services providers such as MTN.
The MTN MOMO service was launched in Nigeria back in August 2019, with the hopes of replicating the same success Safaricom’s M-Pesa has recorded in Kenya.
African Development Bank to launch African Economic Outlook 2020 Supplement
The African Economic Outlook 2020 Supplement would be launched on Tuesday, July 7 through a live Zoom event.
The African Development Bank (AfDB) announced on Tuesday that it will launch its African Economic Outlook 2020 Supplement on Tuesday, July 7 through a live Zoom event holding from 13:30 to 15:00 (Nigerian time).
The coronavirus pandemic has severely affected the economic outlook of African economies and made disruptions to the earlier reported growth projections like the AfDB’s 2020 African Economic Outlook reported in January.
“The supplement revises the growth projections and outlook for Africa for 2020 and 2021 and highlights the impact of Covid-19 on Africa’s socioeconomic landscape. It recommends workable policy responses to safely reopen economies and accelerate growth recovery,” the bank said.
AfDB says that the supplement will be the first-ever published in the Bank’s 19-year history of the African Economic Outlook.
Download the Nairametrics News App
It will be presented by Dr. Hanan Morsy, AfDB’s Director of Macroeconomic Policy, forecasting and research, and a panel made up of private sector practitioners and senior policymakers will discuss it.
The African Economic Outlook is the Bank’s flagship tool for policy dialogue, economic intelligence, and operational effectiveness, widely read by policymakers, investors, academics and many others.
Fidelity Bank announces closed period ahead of H2 financial statements release
Fidelity Bank Plc is expected to release its half-year 2020 financial statement on or before August 29, 2020.
Fidelity Bank Plc announced earlier today (Wednesday, July 1st, 2020) that it has commenced the preparation of its half-year 2020 financial statements.
A statement sent by the bank to the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), said the financial statements would be sent to the Central Bank of Nigeria for approval, once the audit process is completed. All things being equal, Fidelity Bank’s H2 2020 financial statements will be made available to the public by August 29 this year.
In the meantime, the tier-2 bank said it shall observe a close period from today until twenty-four hours after the H2 financial statement is eventually released. The implication of this closed period is that all persons with insider knowledge of the company’s affairs shall be prohibited from trading the company’s shares. Part of the statement by the company said:
“Upon completion of the audit, the Audited Financial Statements shall be presented to the Central Bank of Nigeria for approval and thereafter, published in compliance with the provisions of the Nigerian Stock Exchange Rule Book and other relevant statutes and/or regulations. The Bank expects to publish its Audited Financial Statements for the Half Year ended June 30, 2020, on or before August 29, 2020.
“In addition, the trading window for dealings on the Bank’s shares shall be closed to all insiders from July 1, 2020, until 24 hours after the release of the Bank’s audited Financial Statements for the Half Year ended June 30, 2020.”
Recall that Fidelity Bank Plc released its Q1 financial statement back in April this year which showed gross earnings at N51.1 billion compared to N48.4 billion in Q1 2019. Overall, both Profit before tax and profit after tax declined by 1% y/y to N6.6 billion and N5.9 billion respectively. Annualised RoAE however moderated to 9.8% in Q1 2020 compared to 12.0% in Q1 2019 and 13.3% in FY 2019.
Fidelity Bank’s stock closed trading earlier today on the NSE at a share price of N1.70, dropping by -2.30% from a previous close of N1.74. Year to date, the stock has shed about -8%.
Focus on some key resolutions reached during Ecobank Transnational’s 32nd AGM
Note that this was the first time Ecobank Transnational Incorporated would be holding its AGM by proxies.
Ecobank Transnational Incorporated (ETI) held its 32nd Annual General Meeting (AGM) and an Extraordinary General Meeting on Tuesday, June 30, 2020. Attendance during these meetings was mainly by proxies, as part of the company’s adherence to COVID-19 preventive measures.
A statement released by ETI to the Nigerian Stock Exchange, as seen by Nairametrics, noted that a number of resolutions were reached during the meetings. For one, the company’s shareholders gave ratification to the co-option of the following new directors:
- Mr Deepak Malik, a representative of Arise B.V,
- Ms Zanele Monnakgotla, representing Public Investment Corporation, and
- Dr George Agyekum Donkor, representing Ecowas Bank for Investment & Development
ETI’s shareholders also approved the resolution to renew/retain the services of professional services firms — Deloitte & Touche (Nigeria) and Grant Thornton (Côte d’Ivoire) — as the banking group’s joint auditors.
Meanwhile, as ETI proceeded to hold an Extraordinary General Meeting right after the AGM, more resolutions were reached. Shareholders approved the cancelation of a 2016 resolution on the consolidation of the company’s shares.
Nairametrics understands that in 2016, during an Extraordinary General Meeting after ETI’s 28th AGM, the company’s shareholders had reached a resolution which directed“that the nominal value of the ordinary shares of the company be increased from two point five (2.5) US cents per share to fifty (50) US cents per share, by consolidating every twenty (20) ordinary shares held into one (1) new ordinary share each and issuing in replacement thereof new ordinary shares of fifty (50) US cents each.” Apparently, this earlier resolution on share consolidation was canceled yesterday after four years.
Finally, ETI’s shareholders, yesterday, voted in favour of amending the company’s articles of association and including a provision for electronic general meetings. Note that yesterday was the first time Ecobank Transnational Incorporated would be holding its AGM by proxies.
In its latest earnings report for Q1 2020, the banking group reported interest income of $340.1 million, marking a 5% increase when compared to $322.5 million in Q1 2019. On the other hand, ETI’s profit after tax for the period declined by 20% to $67.5 million, down from $84.5 million in Q1 2019.
The company’s stock is currently trading at a share price of N4.95 on the Nigerian Stock Exchange. Year to date, the stock has declined by more than 22%.