Fitch Ratings has assigned Ecobank Nigeria Limited (ENG) a Long-Term Issuer Default Rating (IDR) of ‘B-‘ with a Stable Outlook, Viability Rating (VR) of ‘b-‘ and National Long-Term Rating of ‘BBB (nga)’. The report, released Thursday, noted that Ecobank Nigeria IDRs are driven by its standalone creditworthiness, as expressed by its Viability Rating (VR).
The VR reflects the constraint of Nigeria’s challenging operating environment and modest core capital buffers amongst others. This is balanced by company profile strengths as well as a solid funding profile and good foreign-currency liquidity, which is enhanced by prudent liquidity management by the Ecobank group.
According to Fitch, “the Stable Outlook on ENG’s Long-Term IDR reflects our view that the bank has sufficient headroom at its current rating to absorb moderate shocks from sustained downside risks to the operating environment, the heightened level of risk in doing banking business in Nigeria and the ensuing risks to its financial performance (particularly asset quality) over the next 12-18 months. The Stable Outlook also reflects our expectations that capitalisation will remain resilient over this period with the bank maintaining adequate buffers over the minimum regulatory requirements.”
Fitch Rating reported that the VR benefits from ENG’s company profile strengths of being part of the leading pan-African Ecobank group. ENG is a 100% owned subsidiary of Ecobank Transnational Incorporated (ETI; B-/Stable). ETI is a regional bank holding company with fully-fledged banking subsidiaries in 33 African countries (collectively the group). The group also has a banking license in France and representative offices in Addis Ababa, Johannesburg, Beijing, London, and Dubai. The group’s operations are highly integrated, with all entities connected to a common operating platform and risk management framework, and common branding.
ENG is a material subsidiary for ETI, and its largest single entity, contributing to 23% of group assets at end-9M20. ETI continues to implement a turnaround strategy at Ecobank Nigeria, having deleveraged and de-risked the bank in recent years, although it returned to growth in 2020 and plans above-sector-average loan growth in the medium term. Fitch noted that ENG’s management quality is a relative strength, with ETI appointing experienced bankers to Ecobank Nigeria’s senior team.
“ENG has a solid funding profile, with low-cost current and savings accounts reaching 58% of total deposits at end-9M20 helping the bank to reduce its cost of funding. It has achieved good deposit growth through the expansion of digital channels and its financial inclusion initiatives. Retail and SME deposits to account for 58% of total customer deposits at end-9M20, which results in reasonable deposit concentration, with the top 20 customer deposits representing 29% of the total,” the report stated.
Fitch Ratings also views ENG’s liquidity management as prudent with contingency plans in place. Local-currency liquidity is underpinned by a high share of liquid assets (cash, interbank placements and sovereign securities) representing more than 50% of total assets at end-9M20. ENG’s foreign-currency funding benefits from sizeable interbank deposits, which represented about 15% of total funding at end-9M20. More than half of these deposits (about USD400 million) came from ETI’s affiliates at end-9M20. This reflects the group’s well-established inter-affiliate short-term deposit placement programme (IAP), amounting to USD650 million at end-1H20, which provides ENG with a significant competitive advantage compared with most other Nigerian banks, as ENG is able to rely on IAP funding when foreign-currency liquidity conditions temporarily tighten in Nigeria.
The facts on news reports about Facebook data
Since there’s still confusion about this data and what we’ve done, we wanted to provide more details here.
On April 3, Business Insider published a story saying that information from more than 530 million Facebook users had been made publicly available in an unsecured database. We have teams dedicated to addressing these kinds of issues and understand the impact they can have on the people who use our services. It is important to understand that malicious actors obtained this data not through hacking our systems but by scraping it from our platform prior to September 2019.
Scraping is a common tactic that often relies on automated software to lift public information from the internet that can end up being distributed in online forums like this. The methods used to obtain this data set were previously reported in 2019. This is another example of the ongoing, adversarial relationship technology companies have with fraudsters who intentionally break platform policies to scrape internet services. As a result of the action we took, we are confident that the specific issue that allowed them to scrape this data in 2019 no longer exists. But since there’s still confusion about this data and what we’ve done, we wanted to provide more details here.
We believe the data in question was scraped from people’s Facebook profiles by malicious actors using our contact importer prior to September 2019. This feature was designed to help people easily find their friends to connect with on our services using their contact lists.
When we became aware of how malicious actors were using this feature in 2019, we made changes to the contact importer. In this case, we updated it to prevent malicious actors from using software to imitate our app and upload a large set of phone numbers to see which ones matched Facebook users. Through the previous functionality, they were able to query a set of user profiles and obtain a limited set of information about those users included in their public profiles. The information did not include financial information, health information or passwords.
Keeping Your Account Safe
Scraping data using features meant to help people violates our terms. We have teams across the company working to detect and stop these behaviours.
We’re focused on protecting people’s data by working to get this data set taken down and will continue to aggressively go after malicious actors who misuse our tools wherever possible. While we can’t always prevent data sets like these from recirculating or new ones from appearing, we have a dedicated team focused on this work.
While we addressed the issue identified in 2019, it’s always good for everyone to make sure that their settings align with what they want to be sharing publicly. In this case, updating the “How People Find and Contact You” control could be helpful. We also recommend people do regular privacy checkups to make sure that their settings are in the right place, including who can see certain information on their profile and enabling two-factor authentication.
Doing Business in Nigeria Conference
This event will attract audiences such as Business Leaders, Senior Executives, Investors, Potential Entrepreneurs and Nation Builders.
We are delighted to present to you, Doing Business in Nigeria Conference (DBNC) happening on the 17th of April 2021 and organised by Linda Uneze, Co-Founder, Maurice Xandra Solutions.
DBNC is a business initiative established to create a platform where business professionals can share their experiences in addition to addressing some of the gaps and challenges peculiar to a developing nation like Nigeria. With the global influence of Nigeria, its population size and people resources, there is the need for interstate and global partnerships. So, the aim of the discourse is to showcase the will of businesses, the opportunities in the Nigerian market in a bid to attract investors, enlighten potential entrepreneurs and foster collaboration.
This maiden event is themed “Reshaping the Business Environment” and the focus will be on how economic threats can be transformed into business success and the role of talents in driving business sustainability. The Keynote speakers are Valentine Ozigbo, Immediate Past President and Group CEO of Transcorp Group and Mofoluwaso Ilevbare, the HR Director of P & G Australia and New Zealand. Our Panel Discussants consists of Dr Teddy Ngu, the Executive Director of GB Foods, Africa, Marilyn Maduka, People Director West Africa Ab Inbev, Lanre Da-Silva Ajayi, Managing Director of Lanre Da-Silva, Eyong Ebai, Zone General Manager GE Healthcare Europe, Middle East & Africa, Amaka Nsofor, Executive Director, Debt Market, Standard Chartered, Ifeoluwa Orioke, Chief Commercial Officer, Flutterwave, Yemi Faseun, HR Head Globacom and Lara Yeku, HR Head, Food Division Flour Mills.
This event will attract audiences such as Business Leaders, Senior Executives, Investors, Potential Entrepreneurs and Nation Builders. This event is sponsored by Flutterwave, a global Fintech company and GB Foods Africa, makers of Gino, Jago, Bama, Jumbo and other household items. Our media partners are BusinessDay, Nairametrics and the Workbooth Magazine.
For free access, please click on the link to register: bit.ly/dbnc
Additional Information as Needed
Dateline – 17th April 2021
Company info –Maurice Xandra Solutions is an HR consulting firm that specializes in providing HR advisory services, team building, recruitment including executive search and soft skill trainings.
Contact information – [email protected] [email protected]
Nairametrics | Company Earnings
Access our Live Feed portal for the latest company earnings as they drop.
- Cornerstone Insurance Plc notifies stakeholders of late submission of financial statements.
- NSE approves delisting of 11 Plc shares.
- Berger Paints Nigeria Plc reports a 67% decline in Profits in FY 2020.
- MTN Nigeria raises N73.5 billion from CP Issuance to finance operations.
- Jaiz Bank proposes dividend worth N884 million for shareholders.