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Financial Services

More banks, insurance firms declare closed periods ahead of H1 results release

Insiders are prohibited from trading a company’s stock during a closed period.

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Closed Period, Investors' demand for Nigerian stocks climb, as portfolio investment gains N223.4 billion

Access Bank Plc, NPF Microfinance Bank Plc, Regency Assurance Plc, FBN Holdings Plc, AXA Mansard Insurance Plc, and Consolidated Hallmark Insurance Plc are among the latest financial services firms that have declared closed periods and announced board meetings, ahead of the release of their half-year 2020 earnings reports.

In a statement issued to the Nigerian Stock Exchange on July 13, 2020, Access Bank Plc informed its stakeholders that its closed period will commence today and last until twenty-four hours after the company’s audited interim financial statements for half-year 2020 has been released.

The tier-1 bank also announced that its directors will meet later this month (July 30th to be precise), to consider the financial statements as well as a proposed interim dividend payment to shareholders.

READ ALSO: AXA Mansard to downsize business, awaits shareholders’ nod 

NPF Microfinance Bank Plc also notified stakeholders that its closed period began on July 13 and will last until twenty-four hours after the release of its Q2 2020 financial statement. In the meantime, the company’s directors will meet on July 28th to deliberate on the results ahead of release.

Specta

Board members of Regency Assurance Plc will meet on July 28 to consider the company’s Q2 2020 financial statements. The closed period started yesterday and will end one day after the Q2 report has been released.

As for FBN Holdings Plc, closed period started today July 14, 2020, even as the board members are scheduled to meet on July 29.

AXA Mansard Insurance Plc also notified the Nigerian Stock Exchange that its directors will also meet on July 29 to consider the company’s Q2 2020 unaudited financial statements. The company also sent a separate notice informing stakeholders about the commencement of its closed period starting from today July 14.

READ MORE: Bank loans not main funding option for Nigerian MSMEs -PwC

Lastly, Consolidated Hallmark Insurance Plc’s board will meet on the 29th of July to deliberate on some issues, including the company’s Q2 financial result. The company’s closed period started yesterday.

As Nairametrics explained in an earlier report,  the board members of companies listed on the NSE typically meet to consider/approve financial statements before the release of such statements. In view of half-year 2020 results releases, most directors are scheduled to meet this month.

READ MORE: Veritas Kapital Assurance Plc declares closed period, as directors meet July 23rd

Meanwhile, between the time a company’s board of directors meet over their financial statements and the actual release of said financial statements, there is what is called “a closed period”. During this closed period, all persons with insider knowledge of the company’s affairs are prohibited from trading in the company’s stock.

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Emmanuel is a professional writer and business journalist, with interests covering Banking & Finance, Mergers and Acquisitions, Corporate Profiles, Brand Communication, Fintech, and MSMEs.He initially joined Nairametrics as an all-round Business Analyst, but later began focusing on and covering the financial services sector. He has also held various leadership roles, including Senior Editor, QAQC Lead, and Deputy Managing Editor.Emmanuel holds an M.Sc in International Relations from the University of Ibadan, graduating with Distinction. He also graduated with a Second Class Honours (Upper Division) from the Department of Philosophy & Logic, University of Ibadan.If you have a scoop for him, you may contact him via his email- [email protected] You may also contact him through various social media platforms, preferably LinkedIn and Twitter.

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Financial Services

Union Bank Nigeria Plc issues disclaimer against purported sale of owner’s stake

Union Bank has rejected claims that its majority shareholder, Atlas Mara is considering selling its 50% stake.

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Union Bank's statement

The Union Bank of Nigeria Plc has today issued a disclaimer against an unsubstantiated publication by one of Nigeria’s leading online news site, that its principal owner is considering selling its 50% stake in the firm.

The disclaimer was signed by the bank’s secretary, Somuyiwa Sonubi and sent to the Nigerian Stock Exchange, as seen by Nairametrics.

Recall that a few days ago, some online news website had reported that Union Bank’s principal owner, Atlas Mara is considering selling its stake in the firm, after receiving bids from local banks. The report has it that Atlas Mara engaged the services of a financial advisor, Rothschild & Co to consider the deal.

In a bid to shed more light on the issue and allay the fears of stakeholders, Union Bank dismissed the claims, describing it as a mere ‘rumour and speculation’. It went further to advise relevant stakeholders which comprises of the members of the public, its customers, NSE and other regulatory bodies to disregard the speculation in its entirety.

Corroborating the stand maintained by the bank, Atlas Mara also rejected the report. It clarified the issue of contracting external advisers, noting that it was in line with the Board’s decision to explore a wide range of strategic options.

Specta

An excerpt of the disclaimer issued by the firm reads: “While it is the Company’s practice to refrain from comment on market rumours or speculation, we believe it is important to note that Atlas Mara has not received any offers from any local Nigerian bank or other bank wishing to acquire the Company’s stake in Union Bank of Nigeria (“UBN”). As previously announced to the market in 2019, the Board of the Company has been exploring a wide range of strategic options with the assistance of external advisers. That process is still underway and the Company’s strategic objectives have not changed.’’

What you should know

  • Atlas Mara is currently the biggest shareholder in Union Bank of Nigeria, with a stake of 49.97% (approximately 50%).
  • Union Bank Nigeria Plc share price closed trading today, January 27, 2021 at N5.7, down by 3.39%. It also has a market capitalization of about N165.99 billion.
  • Based on the current market capitalization, the stake of Atlas Mara translates to approximately N82.9 billion.

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Debt Securities

Ecobank Nigeria secures N50 billion 10-Year subordinated loan

Ecobank Nigeria has secured a N50 billion, 10-year bilateral subordinated loan.

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Ecobank Nigeria

Ecobank Nigeria, a subsidiary of Ecobank Transnational Incorporated (‘’ETI’’) has announced that it has secured a N50 billion, 10-year bilateral subordinated loan.

This is according to a disclosure signed by the Group Head, Adenike Laoye and sent to the Nigerian Stock Exchange, as seen by Nairametrics.

The bilateral funding will enable the bank to maintain stable liquidity and improve its balance sheet, especially the capital adequacy ratio by an estimated circa 300 basis points.

What they are saying

The disclosure from the bank read thus:

“Ecobank Transnational Incorporated (“ETI”), the parent of the Ecobank Group, announces that one of its significant subsidiaries, Ecobank Nigeria, secured N50 billion, 10-Year bilateral subordinated loan.

Specta

“The bilateral funding provides stable medium-term liquidity to the balance sheet of Ecobank Nigeria and positively improved its balance sheet ratios, especially the capital adequacy ratio by circa 300 basis points. The transaction proceeds would be deployed to support Micro, Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (“MSMEs”) and Small Corporates.”

What you should know

Ecobank Transnational Inc. had earlier recorded 11% rise in its interest income to N139.6 billion for Q3 2020, as captured by Nairametrics.

  • Subordinated loans have lower priority than other debt instruments in case of liquidation. They are only repayable after other debts have been paid.
  • This debt can either be secured or unsecured and it typically has a lower credit rating and higher yield than other senior debt.

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Financial Services

Niger Insurance Plc gets shareholders nod to restructure business

Niger Insurance Plc has announced plans to restructure its insurance business into distinct but mutually dependent business entities.

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Edwin Igbiti

Niger Insurance Plc has obtained shareholders’ approval to restructure its insurance business into general, life and business insurance, with each segment to be structured as a separate legal entity.

This is part of the resolutions passed at the 50th Annual General Meeting of Niger Insurance Plc., held on 20th of January, 2021 at Peninsula Hotel in Lekki, Lagos.

The decision to restructure the company is in a bid to make it more efficient and profitable to stakeholders, especially as efforts are geared towards overturning a loss of about 1,1723.2% Year-on-Year, earlier made by the company in its last reported financial statement, Q2, 2020, as reported by Nairametrics.

Other key decisions reached at the 50th AGM include;

  • The re-appointment of Mr Ebi Enaholo and Mrs. Olufemi Owopetu as Directors of the company.
  • Acceptance of the presented financial statement for the year ended December 31, 2019 and the report of the audit committee, directors and auditors.
  • Directors were authorized to fix the remuneration of the auditors.
  • Directors were authorized to appoint external auditors to replace retiring auditors of the company.
  • The appointment of four individuals as members of the audit committee.
  • A decision to restructure the company’s business capital was also reached.

In case you missed it: The shareholders of Niger Insurance Plc in the 49th Annual General Meeting approved the decision by the company’s board to raise additional capital to the tune of N15 billion, in a bid to meet the revised recapitalization targets for general and life insurance companies.

Specta

What you should know: The House of Representatives had in December 2020 directed NAICOM to suspend the mandatory deadline for the first phase of 50%-60% of the minimum paid-up share capital for insurance and reinsurance firms.

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