FCMB Group Plc has again proved its resilience and capability to deliver outstanding performance and returns to customers and shareholders going by the half year results of the financial institution released recently. For the six months ended June 30, 2020, the Group’s profit before tax (PBT) rose by 26% to N11.1 billion compared to N8.8 billion in the corresponding period in 2019. Profit after tax increased by 29% Year-on-Year to N9.7 billion. This translates to a return on average equity (RoAE) of 9.4% and earnings per share of 49 kobo, a Year-on-Year improvement of 16% and 29%, respectively.
FCMB Group is a holding company divided along three business groups; Commercial and Retail Banking (First City Monument Bank Limited, Credit Direct Limited, FCMB (UK) Limited and FCMB Microfinance Bank Limited); Corporate & Investment Banking (the Corporate Banking Division of the Bank, FCMB Capital Markets Limited and CSL Stockbrokers Limited) as well as Asset & Wealth Management (FCMB Pensions Limited, FCMB Asset Management Limited and FCMB Trustees Limited).
The half year results also showed that the Group recorded an increase in gross revenue by 9% to N98.2 billion as against N89.8 billion for the same period last year. Net interest income equally rose by 17% for the first half of 2020 to N45.4 billion from N38.7 billion posted in the first half of 2019, while non-interest income stood at N17.5 billion, an increase of 14% compared to N15.3 billion within the six months period last year.
Moreover, the financial institution intensified the tempo of its strong commitment and support to the growth of businesses and the Nigerian economy in general. For example, loans and advances grew by 29% Year-on-Year and 4% Quarter-on-Quarter to N794.6 billion. Customer deposits went up by 28% Year-on-Year and 11% Quarter-on-Quarter to ₦1.1 trillion in June 2020, implying a significant increase in confidence in the institution. Total assets surged upward by 31% Year-on-Year and 4% Quarter-on-Quarter to ₦1.97 trillion as at June 2020. The Group’s capital adequacy ratio stood at 17.3%, which is above the minimum requirement set by the Central Bank of Nigeria. Liquidity ratio was 32.2%. Customer base across the Group grew by 29% Year-on-Year from 5.9 million to 7.7 million.
The subsidiaries of FCMB Group, who are market leaders in their respective segments, also performed satisfactorily within the six months period. The Commercial and Retail Banking arm (comprising First City Monument Bank Limited, FCMB UK, Credit Direct Limited and FCMB Microfinance Bank) reported a 42.9% Year-on-Year increase in PBT. This was due to an increase in net interest income, fixed income instruments, trading income and foreign exchange income. PBT also improved by 4.1% Quarter-on-Quarter due to an increase in fixed income instruments, trading income and FX Income, as well as a decrease in expenses due to operational efficiency.
Corporate & Investment Banking (comprising the Corporate Banking Division of the Bank, FCMB Capital Markets Limited and CSL Stockbrokers Limited) saw its performance improve Quarter-on-Quarter. This was driven by an increase in net interest income and non-interest income. CSL Stockbrokers returned to strong and sustainable profitability, moving from a PBT of N18 million in half year 2019 to N201million in half year 2020, representing a 1034% Year-Year growth.
Investment Management (comprising FCMB Pensions Limited, FCMB Asset Management Limited and FCMB Trustees Limited) grew its Assets Under Management (AUM) by 7% Quarter-on-Quarter and 28% Year-on-Year to N455 billion. The growth in AUM reflects the increasing effectiveness of product sales strategy, which leverages the FCMB Group’s distribution strength and digital innovation. The Group’s Pensions business contributed 75% of half year 2020 AUM, compared with 83% within the same period in 2019. Other business lines accounted for 53% of the N99 billion Year-on-Year growth in AUM.
Analysts are of the opinion that with this impressive performance despite the challenging operating environment, FCMB Group is on a stronger pedestal to sustain its leading position in the financial industry and the Nigerian economy.
Over the years, the institution has created tremendous opportunities and added significant value to customers, shareholders and other stakeholders through innovation and its customer-focused approach anchored on its culture of excellence.
For more information about FCMB Group Plc, visit www.fcmbgroup.com
UBA launches new online entertainment platform, ‘RED Radio’ with Wizkid interview
UBA’s RED Radio launches with an exclusive interview with its brand ambassador, Wizkid.
Pan- African financial institution, United Bank for Africa, (UBA Plc), continues to lead in innovation with the launch of its dynamic and creative Online Radio channel – RED Radio.
RED Radio, powered by UBA is a lifestyle web platform that has been set up to inform, educate, entertain and to bring to the fore, the best of Africa. Much like its sister platform, REDTV, RED Radio is expected to showcase the best in lifestyle, entertainment, music, news, comedy and fashion.
Speaking on the launch of RED Radio, Group Chairman of UBA, Tony O. Elumelu applauded the creative initiative, emphasising that UBA as a financial institution is always ready to support creativity and entrepreneurship. The 2020 Time 100 most influential person in the world who has committed USD100 million to empowering young entrepreneurs across Africa said about RED Radio, “Creativity and innovation are a powerful combination and every detail in an art piece is important and meaningful. This applies to growing businesses and budding entrepreneurs. You will encounter challenges, like I did, but each experience is a lesson that brings you closer to your goal. That is the beauty of creativity.”
Continuing, Elumelu remarked, “There are many ways to make something beautiful, to make a sound interesting or to bring a story to life. You can define your expression, and today, as UBA’s RED Radio launches, I wish Bola Atta and her enterprising team many successes through this beautiful medium of expression.”
In appreciation of the support of UBA Group Chairman for the exciting creative initiative, UBA’s Group Head, Corporate Communications, Bola Atta, said ‘just like, REDTV which is Africa’s leading online entertainment network, RED Radio is positioned to fast become the foremost online radio platform in Africa’.
Also expressing his delight, UBA’s Brand Ambassador and star boy, Wizkid, said, “I am never too busy for my UBA family,” as he granted an exclusive interview on one of the station’s flagship shows ‘On the Street’ where he spoke extensively about his upcoming album and what his fans should expect from him in the coming weeks.
RED Radio promises to bring rich and engaging content that will keep its audience coming back constantly for vibrant and robust entertainment. Listeners can tune in to www.itsredio.com 24/7.
SEPLAT activates investigation team on Okpe, Sapele incident
Seplat has commenced an investigation into reports of the presence of hydrocarbons in its water well.
Seplat recently received a complaint from five households at Okpe and Sapele in Delta State, indicating the presence of hydrocarbons in their respective dug shallow water wells. An emergency response was immediately activated and an investigation team comprising the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), the National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA), and Delta State Ministry of Environment conducted a joint investigation visit, alongside the Seplat emergency response team.
Seplat has prioritized the safety of the residents of the affected area by providing potable water and secured the water wells from access. We will continue to support the investigation and provide palliative support to the households in line with the company’s firm commitment to its robust Health, Safety and Environment culture in all areas of its operations.
Seplat has carried out checks of other water boreholes in the same vicinity and have drilled additional test boreholes. None of them has any signs of hydrocarbon in the water. No oil leaks or seepage has been traced back to the Seplat operated facilities.
We wish to thank the affected households for their co-operation and peaceful approach and to reassure them and the communities that we are expediently investigating the root cause of the incident.
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Seplat is a leading indigenous energy company in the prolific Niger Delta area of Nigeria. Seplat has built strong partnerships with its vital local communities, promoting trust and confidence amongst its various stakeholders, ultimately resulting in a stable operating environment that facilitates the creation of shared value.
We are ready to see AfCFTA succeed and invest in Key Infrastructure Projects – Abdul Samad Rabiu
BUA Group boss expressed optimism in the implementation of AfCFTA as he meets with the AfCFTA Secretary-General in Lagos.
The Executive Chairman/CEO, BUA Group, Abdul Samad Rabiu has expressed excitement and readiness to work towards the implementation and success of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area agreement which when fully operational, will transform the African economy and enhance development across the continent. Abdul Samad Rabiu expressed this while receiving the Secretary General of the AfCFTA, Wamkele Mene and the Acting Director, National Office of Trade Negotiations, Victor Offiong at the BUA HQ in Lagos State.
Rabiu spoke in depth about the current status of regional agreements from the ECOWAS Trade Liberalization Scheme (ETLS) to the East African Community (EAC) Customs Union, dumping, Proliferation of small arms and illicit, Smuggling, the Trans-African highway and Private sector/African Union/government partnerships – noting that these areas were critical to the success of the AfCFTA.
He specifically said due to the poor implementation of regional trade agreements, there is a high level of distrust amongst Africa nations despite their support for AfCFTA. He expressed serious concern over “a situation where people cannot move goods produced in African countries where over 90% value has been added to other African Countries”.
In proffering solutions to the problems, Rabiu said for the AfCFTA integration to be successful, there must be free movement through liberalized air travel, operations, and visa-free regimes across the Africa continent for businesses and individuals. He also emphasized that Private Sector must be invited by the Governments of Africa to discuss the way forward for sustainable investments and partnerships noting that the private sector has a lot to offer the continent saying, “For cross border trade to work, everyone – governments, private sector and DFIs must be willing to collaborate fast to fix infrastructure to spur growth. BUA is interested in being part of these effort and we also urge the secretariat to look into a private-sector led development of the Trans African Highway.”
“I am personally ready to mobilize like-minded businesses across the continent with the resources required (steel, cement, etc.) to do these roads at a concession and guaranteed by sovereign African nations. This can be done by the private sector with support from governments and the DFIs. Why don’t we for example partner with various governments and engage the Special Envoy for Infrastructure in Africa, H.E. Ralia Odinga and take the Mombasa – Lagos Highway into consideration. The Lagos-Mombasa Highway 8 is about 6,259kms or 3880miles and is contiguous with the Dakar – Lagos Route. If these roads are actualized, imagine the number of jobs that will be created as well as the amount of trade that will be facilitated as a result.
“We are more than excited about the possibilities of the Free Trade Agreement for us, Nigeria and the entire continent of Africa – now more than ever. The Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement, if actualized and harnessed properly, will help spur development and trade within Africa like we have never witnessed before”. Rabiu said.
On his part, the Secretary-General AfCFTA, Wamkele Mene said the issues raised by Abdul Samad Rabiu were top priorities of the AfCFTA and added that opportunities will be created for the Africa private sector to boost intra-Africa trade.
“It is also my pleasure to congratulate you on your appointment and on the opening of the AfCFTA secretariat last month in Ghana. I believe the secretariat will further help to facilitate the prompt actualization of the AfCFTA vision.
“As you may already know, BUA is in the business of Foods, Mining, Manufacturing and infrastructure. The Fact that our manufacturing and mining businesses are mostly located in areas that are potentially primed for exports makes the continental free trade area attractive for us here at BUA. For instance, our Cement business in Sokoto, Nigeria is about 1,000kilometres to Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso and less than a 100kms from the border with Niger Republic, and also our upcoming project in Adamawa is situated at a border town in Adamawa – very close to the Cameroonian border. We are already doing some exports and are putting up a third line in sokoto with at least 70% of its output to be dedicated to Niger Republic & Burkina Faso. Based on these, we are therefore well positioned to take advantage of the agreement and this will also help drive the AfCFTA vision.
“However, for the agreement to succeed, we believe a lot needs to be done and addressed. These include: THE STATUS OF CURRENT REGIONAL AGREEMENTS – FOR EXAMPLE, ETLS, EAC Customs Union, MOVEMENT OF PEOPLE WITHIN THE CONTINENT, DUMPING, PROLIFERATION OF SMALL ARMS AND ILLICIT DRUGS, SMUGGLING, THE TRANS AFRICAN HIGHWAY, PRIVATE SECTOR/AU/GOVERNMENT PARTNERSHIPS.
“Mr. Secretary General, I am sure you are well aware that there’s still a high level of distrust despite the overwhelming support for the AfCFTA. One of the causes has been the poor implementation of previous agreements for example, the ETLS – The ECOWAS TRADE LIBERALISATION SCHEME and the EAST AFRICAN COMMUNITY
A situation where people cannot move goods produced in African countries where over 90% value has been added to other African Countries is a cause of concern.
“How do we intend to address these issues? What is the Status of these regional agreements scheme going into the AfCFTA and how do we fix the issues that have beset it especially with regards to free movement of goods and services, tariffs amongst other things.
“For integration to be successful, we must facilitate free movement via liberalized air travel, operations, and visa-free regimes across the continent for businesses and individuals. Currently, it is more tedious to travel within Africa than from Europe to Africa. This is not the best for business or for integration.
“The current situation where an Australian or Euopean can easily enter an African Country unlike an African gives great cause for concern. As it currently stands, only 25% of Africans can travel visa-free to other African countries whilst another 20% can get visas on arrival. We understand that there are still pending issues with security amongst other things but the Free Movement Protocol of the AfCFTA needs to be pushed with renewed vigor
“The lessons learnt from operating the current regional economic blocs are some of the biggest hindrances to the full acceptance of the CFTA. For instance… Nigeria with its huge population and large economy is a prime target for dumping from smaller neighboring countries however, these same countries do not permit the importation of some 100% produced in Nigerian goods whilst flooding Nigeria with goods/food imported from outside Africa. How do we protect import dependent states and those with high populations from Dumping?
“We understand the need to protect smaller nations and boost fair trade however, measures must be put in place to prevent dumping and promote made in Africa by Africans for Africa trade rather than the current scenario whereby certain countries take advantage of these policies.
“In Nigeria for instance, we have seen it happen with rice and cheap imports from other countries being smuggled and dumped into the country. AfCFTA negotiations must take these into account. The final agreement should be crafted in ways to prevent goods produced and imported from outside Africa (above national consumption needs) benefitting from the pacts. This will in turn prevent the larger countries and the continent from becoming dumping grounds and make smaller countries with value on offer to be less protectionist in nature.
PROLIFERATION OF SMALL ARMS & ILLICIT DRUGS, AND SMUGGLING
Whilst I am in support of liberalizing the free movement of persons across the continent, it is important to acknowledge the security challenges we face from the proliferation of small arms and illicit drugs. This was one of the main issues I believe led Nigeria to close its borders with its neighbors. I daresay that the proliferation of arm, drugs, and smuggling go hand-in-hand. Both are crimes against economic, physical and territorial integrity and security of African Nations. More needs to be done in this regard.
PRIVATE SECTOR AU PARTNERSHIP & THE TRANSAFRICA HIGHWAY
On private sector involvement, It is our opinion that the Private Sector should be invited by the Governments of Africa and the Secretariat to discuss the way forward for sustainable investments and partnerships.
For cross border trade to work, everyone – governments, private sector and DFIs must be willing to collaborate fast to fix infrastructure to spur growth. BUA is interested in being part of a coalition that we urge the secretariat to put together on the development of the Trans African Highway, for instance.
As we all know, the Trans African Highway is a 56,600km road network conceived about 50 years ago to develop infrastructure and connect major African cities from North to South and East to West across 9 highways.
Why don’t we for example partner with various governments and engage the Special Envoy for Infrastructure in Africa, H.E. Ralia Odinga and take the Mombasa – Lagos Highway into consideration. The Lagos-Mombasa Highway 8 is about 6,259kms or 3880miles and is contiguous with the Dakar – Lagos Route.
“I am personally ready to mobilise like-minded businesses across the continent with the resources required (steel, cement, etc.) to do these roads at a concession and guaranteed by sovereign African nations. This can be done with the private sector with support from governments and the DFIs.
“If those roads are actualized, imagine the number of jobs that will be created as well as the amount of trade that will be facilitated as a result.
“We are more than excited about the possibilities of the Free Trade Agreement for us, Nigeria and the entire continent of Africa – now more than ever. The Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement, if actualized and harnessed properly, will help spur development and trade within Africa like we have never witnessed before.
BUA is ready to partner with the secretariat… we are ready to pool our resources to see the continent succeed.