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AMCON Recovers 36% of N4.16trn Toxic Loans

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Senate Empowers AMCON

By Adedapo Adesanya

About 36 per cent (actually 35.6 per cent) of the N4.16 trillion toxic loans bought over by the Assets Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) has so far been recovered.

In order to save the banking industry from collapse and boost financial stability in the country, AMCON purchased the loans owed by bank debtors.

Speaking on Monday on the steps being taken to recover the debts, the Managing Director of the corporation, Mr Ahmed Kuru, said about N1.48 trillion have been retrieved.

He stated that due to debt recovery challenges the corporation was facing, it still had 7,902 outstanding obligors with a total outstanding loan of above N3.1 trillion, adding that 350 obligors alone accounted for over N2.05 trillion, which constitutes more than 70 per cent of the total outstanding amount.

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According to a statement issued by AMCON, Mr Kuru gave these details when he spoke in Kaduna at the 2021 retreat of the Senate Committee on Banking Insurance and other Financial Institutions with the management of AMCON.

The AMCOM chief informed the lawmakers that the agency was strongly battling with its debt recovery activities, noting that it was very difficult, particularly given AMCON’s peculiar situation, to recover these bad loans.

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He said despite the efforts of the corporation, the economy and the banking sector were not growing at the expected rate, creating a huge gap in its recovery operations.

“All our action is geared towards settling our obligation with the CBN. After recovery and disposal, funds are paid directly into our CBN account.

“Recovery and disposal of assets have so far contributed above N1.27tn towards settling our obligation. The economy and the banking industry are not growing at the expected rate thereby creating a huge gap in our recovery activities.

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“At the recovery rate we are currently experiencing; we may not be able to cycle out even in the next five years.

“Additionally, the interest rate AMCON is shouldering on its bond to the CBN is making it difficult for the recovery rate to grow,” he disclosed.

Mr Kuru, however, reaffirmed the commitment of the corporation to its mandate of loan and assets recovery, regardless of the difficulties encountered.

Adedapo Adesanya is a journalist, polymath, and connoisseur of everything art. When he is not writing, he has his nose buried in one of the many books or articles he has bookmarked or simply listening to good music with a bottle of beer or wine. He supports the greatest club in the world, Manchester United F.C.

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Economy

CBN Gives Nearly 4 million Farmers N756.5bn

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Ghana peasant farmers

By Ashemiriogwa Emmanuel

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on Tuesday said it has disbursed N756.5 billion to nearly 4 million (approximately 3,734,938) smallholder farmers cultivating 4.6 million hectares of land to improve food security in the country.

The development was revealed by CBN Governor, Mr Godwin Emiefele, while presenting the communiqué of the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting in Abuja.

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According to the CBN boss, a total number of 627,051 farmers were granted N120.2 billion for the 2021 wet season under the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme (ABP) to cultivate 847,484 hectares of land.

“Under the bank’s development finance initiatives, the bank granted N756.5 billion to 3,734,938 smallholder farmers cultivating 4.6 million hectares of land, of which N120.2 billion was extended for the 2021 wet season to 627,051 farmers for 847,484 hectares of land, under the ABP,” Mr Emefiele said.

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Furthermore, the apex bank said a total of N121.6 billion has been shared among 32,617 beneficiaries under the Agribusiness/Small and Medium Enterprise Investment Scheme (AGSMEIS).

Mr Emiefele also disclosed that the bank has released N318.2 billion to 679,422 beneficiaries for the targeted credit facility.

These beneficiaries, as said by the CBN chief, includes 572,189 individuals and 107,233 small and medium scale enterprises (SMEs).

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Meanwhile, the committee reviewed the domestic economic developments and noted that the non-oil sector, agriculture and industry sub-sectors were the major drivers of improvement as it recorded growth rates of 2.28 and 0.94 per cent, accordingly.

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Economy

Lafarge Africa Grows Net Sales to N145bn in Six Months

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Lafarge Africa

By Dipo Olowookere

One of the major cement manufacturers in Nigeria, Lafarge Africa Plc, has continued to show resilience in the face of various challenges caused by COVID-19.

On Thursday, the firm released its half-year earnings for 2021 and the results showed that the net sales grew by 20.3 per cent to N145.0 billion from N120.5 billion in the same period of 2020.

Business Post reports that the sale of cement accounting for N141.4 billion of the total revenue for the period versus N118.6 billion in H1 2020, while the sale of aggregates and concrete contributing N3.6 billion compared with N2.0 billion in the same period of last year.

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The financial statements revealed that the cost of sales gulped N97.0 billion as against N78.8 billion in the first six months of 2020, leaving the organisation with a gross profit of N48.0 billion compared with N41.7 billion in 2020, while the operating profit improved to N38.2 billion from N32.8 billion.

In the results, Lafarge Africa said it had selling and marketing costs of N1.5 billion, lower than N1.6 billion in the same time of last year and this was mainly due to a reduction in advertising expenses to N113.0 million from N182.5 million.

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However, the administrative costs rose to N9.2 billion from N7.8 billion as a result of the rise in salaries and other staff-related costs, office and general expenses, as well as technical service fees.

In the period, the cement firm recorded a decline in finance income, which stood at N362.9 million compared with N377.1 million, while the finance costs went down to N2.7 billion from N4.4 billion.

On the bottom line of the results, Lafarge Africa said it had a profit before tax of N36.8 billion in H1 2021 versus N28.8 billion in H1 2020, while the profit after tax jumped to N28.3 billion from N23.3 billion.

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The CEO of Lafarge Africa, Mr Khaled El Dokani, while commenting on the results, stated that, “Our performance remained resilient in Q2 2021, with net sales of 29.4 per cent, recurring EBIT of 11.1 per cent and net income of 25.7 per cent compared to the previous year.

“We are equally pleased with the progress we are making on sustainability; our use of affordable clean energy and our agroecology footprint is in accordance with the acceleration of our net-zero pledge”.

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Economy

NGX Index Slumps 0.03% Amid Weak Trading Activity

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Trading Activity

By Dipo Olowookere

Trading activity on the floor of the Nigerian Exchange (NGX) Limited was weak on Wednesday as investors continued to play safe.

Some of the traders have retreated from the market, awaiting the release of the half-year results of market shakers like Dangote Cement, the tier-one banks and others.

As a result, the NGX depreciated by 0.03 per cent, causing the All-Share Index (ASI) to drop 11.12 points to 38,791.03 points from 38,802.15 points.

Equally, the market capitalisation went down at the midweek trading session by N6 billion to close at N20.211 trillion compared with the previous day’s N20.217 trillion.

Business Post reports that sell-offs in banking and insurance equities contributed to the decline as their respective indices depreciated by 0.96 per cent and 0.88 per cent.

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But during the session, the energy sector appreciated by 1.68 per cent, while the consumer goods counter grew by 0.11 per cent, with the industrial goods index closing flat.

Consolidated Hallmark Insurance and Tripple Gee were the worst-performing stocks yesterday as they lost 10.00 per cent each to close at 54 kobo and 90 kobo respectively.

Pharma Deko depreciated by 9.92 per cent to trade at N1.09, Regency Alliance lost 6.82 per cent to sell for 41 kobo, while Eterna went down by 6.58 per cent to N7.10.

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At the other side, Capital Hotels outperformed others after its value rose by 9.85 per cent to trade at N2.90 and was trailed by Oando, which gained 9.81 per cent to close at N5.26.

BOC Gases appreciated by 8.88 per cent to N9.20, FTN Cocoa grew by 8.16 per cent to 53 kobo, while Livestock Feeds improved by 4.80 per cent to N2.40.

At the close of business, investors traded 237.5 million shares worth N1.9 billion in 4,305 deals in contrast to the 243.1 million shares worth N1.9 billion transacted in 4,326 deals on Tuesday.

This indicated that while the trading volume and the number of deals depreciated by 2.29 per cent and 0.49 per cent respectively, the trading value closed flat.

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It was observed that the demand for Oando stocks persisted after a settlement of its dispute with the apex capital market regulator, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

On Wednesday, the company was the most traded stock with the sale of 44.3 million units valued at N233.0 million, while UBA, which followed, traded 19.4 million units worth N150.8 million.

Wema Bank transacted 14.2 million units valued at N11.9 million, Access Bank traded 13.3 million units worth N123.7 million, while Jaiz Bank transacted 12.3 million units valued at N7.6 million.

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