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Economy

Bargain Hunting in GTCO, Others Keep Market up by 0.05%

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Bargain Hunting

By Dipo Olowookere

The local stock market maintained its positive momentum on Monday with a 0.05 per cent growth buoyed by bargain hunting in GTCO, Zenith Bank, Fidelity Bank and others.

Investors took a position in these equities ahead of the release of the third-quarter earnings later this month as they begin to notify the market of their forthcoming board meetings to consider the results.

This development helped the All-Share Index (ASI) rise yesterday by 21.88 points to 40,243.05 points from 40,221.17 points and lifted the market capitalisation by N14 billion to N20.970 trillion from N20.956 trillion.

Business Post reports that the total value of shares on the Nigerian Exchange (NGX) Limited rose during the session by 0.07 per cent as a result of the listing of additional shares of Jaiz Bank Plc worth N3.3 billion on the exchange. The stocks were from the private placement to Mr Mohammed Indimi.

During the trading day, a total of 202.4 million shares worth N1.9 billion were traded in 4,066 deals compared with the 1.1 billion shares worth N7.4 billion traded in 3,752 deals last Friday, showing that the trading volume and value went down by 80.67 per cent and 74.88 per cent respectively, while the number of deals rose by 8.37 per cent.

Fidelity Bank emerged as the most active stock with the sale of 19.0 million units worth N46.8 million and was trailed by GTCO, which traded 18.3 million units valued at N512.4 million.

FBN Holdings transacted 18.2 million equities worth N147.9 million, Universal Insurance traded 15.5 million stocks for N3.2 million, while Champion Breweries exchanged 14.2 million shares for N29.1 million.

The market breadth was positive on Monday with 14 price decliners and 23 price advancers led by Axa Mansard Insurance, which appreciated by 9.87 per cent to settle at N2.56.

Pharma Deko improved by 9.79 per cent to N2.58, University Press grew by 9.76 per cent to N1.35, Consolidated Hallmark Insurance rose by 8.77 per cent to 62 kobo, while Courtville gained 8.57 per cent to trade at 38 kobo.

Standing on top of the losers’ table at the close of transactions yesterday was Morison Industries with a price decline of 10.00 per cent to settle at N1.89.

Northern Nigerian Flour Mills depreciated by 9.94 per cent to N7.70, Veritas Kapital went down by 8.70 per cent to 21 kobo, Cornerstone Insurance reduced by 8.62 per cent to 53 kobo, while Jaiz Bank dropped 5.00 per cent to trade at 57 kobo.

In terms of the performances of the five key sectors of the market, the insurance space rose by 1.53 per cent, the consumer goods sector appreciated by 0.05 per cent, the banking counter rose by 0.01 per cent, while the energy and industrial goods sectors fell by 0.38 per cent and 0.02 per cent respectively.

Dipo Olowookere is a journalist based in Nigeria that has passion for reporting business news stories. At his leisure time, he watches football and supports 3SC of Ibadan. Mr Olowookere can be reached via dipo.olowookere@businesspost.ng

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Economy

FBN Holdings to Take Over Access Bank’s Pension Fund Custodian Business

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First Pension Custodian Access Pension Fund Custodian

By Aduragbemi Omiyale

A Nigerian financial group, FBN Holdings Plc, has taken another step to enhance its earnings by acquiring the pension fund custodian business of Access Bank Plc.

FBN Holdings is making this acquisition possible through one of its subsidiaries, First Pension Custodian, and it involves the total control of Access Pension Fund Custodian Limited.

A notice from both organisations disclosed that the transaction involves the transfer of a 100 per cent stake of Access Bank in the pension fund business to FBN Pension.

At the moment, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the National Pension Commission (NAICOM), the two key regulators of the two transacting companies, have given a “no objection” to the deal.

However, the sale is yet to be finalised as approvals of other regulatory agencies are being awaited.

“FBN Holdings Plc wishes to notify the Nigerian Exchange (NGX) Limited and the investing public that First Pension Custodian, a subsidiary of FBNH’s flagship subsidiary, First Bank of Nigeria Limited, has entered into a definitive agreement with Access Bank Plc for the planned acquisition by First Pension of 100 per cent share capital of Access Pension Fund Custodian Limited held by Access Bank Plc.

“The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the National Pension Commission (Naicom) have given their ‘no objection’ to the transaction, with completion subject to the receipt of all required regulatory approvals,” a disclosure from FBN Holdings signed by Adewale Arogundade, the acting company secretary, said.

On its part, Access Holdings Plc said it “announces today that its subsidiary, Access Bank Plc, has entered into a definitive agreement with First Pension Custodian Nigeria Limited regarding a proposed purchase by First Pension of the entire share capital of Access Pension Fund Custodian Limited held by Access Bank.

“The National Pension Commission and the Central Bank of Nigeria have given their ‘no objection’ to the transaction,” Mr Sunday Ekwochi, the company secretary, disclosed.

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Economy

CBN Laments Failure of Oyo Farmers to Repay Agric Loans

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tomato farmers in Nigeria

By Adedapo Adesanya

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has lamented that the majority of farmers who benefited from the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme (ABP) in Oyo State have not repaid their loans.

This call was made by Mr Sadeeq Ajayi, a CBN Development Finance Office in Ibadan at the Agribusiness Innovation Clinic.

He appealed to farmers who defaulted in paying back the agric loans to pay back, saying that the inability of the apex bank to recover the loans from the defaulting farmers had threatened the scheme, adding that it has prevented other farmers from accessing the facility.

The CBN official made the call at a clinic entitled Fostering Innovation and Collaboration Across the Agricultural Value Chain organised by the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN).

ABP is an agricultural loan scheme launched in 2015 by the federal government, through CBN, to provide loans (in kind and cash) to smallholder farmers to boost agricultural production, create jobs, reduce food import bills toward conservation of the foreign reserves.

“While the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme has recorded some level of success, the failure of farmers to repay the loans has, however, been a major setback.

“Many of the farmers refused to pay back their loans due to the misconception that since CBN is the lender, the loan is a ‘national cake’ and they do not have to pay back what they consider theirs as citizens.

“This attitude has made it difficult for other farmers, who also want to access the loan, to benefit from the scheme,” he said.

Mr Ajayi said that stakeholders, including the traditional rulers, should appeal to the defaulting farmers to promptly repay the loans for the sake of others.

“Of course, we are engaging various stakeholders and we expect the narrative to change very soon so that more people can have access to the fund,” he said.

In his keynote address, Mr Olasukanmi Olaleye, the Oyo State Commissioner for Trade, Industry, Investment and Cooperatives, lauded the initiative of GAIN to tackle malnutrition in the country.

Mr Olaleye, represented by Mr Mukaila Oladipo, a Deputy Director in the ministry, said that food fortification is one of the safest, most effective and affordable ways of addressing the micronutrient gaps in the country.

Also, Mr Godwin Ehiabhi, a Senior Project Manager, GAIN Nigeria, said that improved access to safe and nutritious food would reduce the country’s high rate of malnutrition.

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Economy

Seplat Will Continue to Expand Under Guidance of Omiyi, Okeahalam—CEO

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Basil-Omiyi Adoption of Clean Energy

By Aduragbemi Omiyale

The chief executive officer of Seplat Energy Plc, Mr Roger Brown, has expressed his desire to work with the company’s new Independent Non-Executive Chairman, Mr Basil Omiyi, and the new Senior Independent Non-Executive Director, Mr Charles Okeahalam.

The appointment of Mr Omiyi followed the stepping down of the founders of Seplat Energy Mr ABC Orjiako and Mr Austin Avuru, from the board.

While commenting on the development, Mr Brown said he was excited with the appointments, especially with the transition into the next chapter of the firm.

“Mr Basil Omiyi has been a leading figure in the Nigerian oil and gas sector and also with Seplat Energy, having joined its Board in 2013 and helped it to achieve a dual listing in April 2014. The vast depth of experience and his detailed knowledge of Seplat Energy will be invaluable as we continue to evolve and mature the company.

“He has provided invaluable guidance as an Independent Director and I look forward to his continued leadership as our new Independent Non-Executive Chairman.

“We will also benefit from the considerable expertise of Dr Charles Okeahalam as Senior Independent Non-Executive Director, especially his experience and knowledge of Africa’s economies and its financial markets.

“Under their guidance, we will continue to expand and consolidate our position as Nigeria’s leading energy company and the partner of choice to deliver energy transition for Africa’s largest economy and its rapidly growing population,” he said.

Mr Omiyi has been a member of Seplat Energy’s Board of Directors since March 2013 and as Senior Independent Non-Executive Director from February 1, 2021. During this period, he sat on the company’s Remuneration, Nominations & Governance, Energy Transition, and Risk Management & HSSE committees.

His experience in the energy industry is extensive, with more than 40 years at Royal Dutch Shell, during which time he held senior roles in Nigeria and Europe, including becoming Managing Director of Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria in 2004 and in addition, Country Chairman of Shell Companies, Nigeria, until his retirement in 2009.

Mr Omiyi has held several leadership positions in the Nigerian oil and gas industry, including Chairman, Upstream Industry Group (Oil Producers Trade Section, Lagos Chambers of Commerce & Industry) from 2007-2010; Chairman of the Energy Sector of NEPAD Business Group, Nigeria, and Board Member NEPAD Business Group, Nigeria from 2005-2010; Chairman, of the Oil & Gas Commission of the Nigerian Economic Summit Group from 2005-2010; and Board Member, Nigerian Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (NEITI) 2007-2010. Mr Omiyi is also the Independent Non-Executive Chairman of Stanbic IBTC Holdings, a subsidiary of Standard Bank Group, a post he has held since 2015.

In 2011, he was awarded the national honour of Commander of the Order of the Niger for pioneering leadership in Nigeria’s oil and gas sector.

On his part, Mr Okeahalam joined the Board in March 2013 as an Independent Non-Executive Director and is Chairman of Seplat Energy’s Finance Committee, and a member of the Energy Transition, Remuneration, and Nominations & Governance committees.

He has extensive corporate finance and capital markets expertise and in particular, detailed knowledge of African financial markets, economies and the investment industry. He was a co-founder of AGH Capital Group, a private equity and diversified investment holding company based in Johannesburg, with assets in several African countries.

Prior to co-founding AGH Capital Group in 2002, he was a Professor of Financial Economics and Banking at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg. His other roles have included advising a number of African central banks and government ministries, the World Bank and the United Nations.

He has held several board positions and is a former non-executive chairman of Heritage Bank Limited, Nigeria. Since March 2016 he has served as the non-executive chairman of the Nigeria Mortgage Refinance Company.

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