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FBN Holdings to Improve Operating Model for More Efficiencies

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Nnamdi Okonkwo FBN Holdings

By Dipo Olowookere

The management of FBN Holdings Plc says its strategic focus in 2022 is revenue generation through digital channels and retail product offerings.

Reacting to the performance of the company in the 2021 financial year, the team stated that efforts would be made to further drive “our synergy potential as well as continue to improve our operating model to deliver more efficiencies.”

Last year, the organisation grew its gross revenue by 28.2 per cent to N757.3 billion, with profit before tax up by 99.1 per cent to N166.7 billion and the loans and advances growing by 30.0 per cent to N2.9 trillion.

In addition, the total assets appreciated by 16.2 per cent to N8.9 trillion, reaffirming its commitment to driving revenue and profitability as it completes the balance sheet clean-up.

A thorough analysis showed that the interest income remained challenged given the moderated interest rate environment negatively impacting yields; as a result, interest income declined 4.1 per cent to N369.0 billion from N384.8 billion in 2022.

To mitigate the effect of the low-interest rate on investment securities and revenue generation, the firm remained deliberate with its intensified deposit mobilization and funding strategy to support enhanced loan growth at optimised rates leading to a 5.7 per cent increase in interest expense to N140.8 billion from N133.2 billion a year earlier.

Conversely, non-interest revenue grew by 96.1 per cent to N364.6 billion from N185.9 billion on the back of increased fees and commission income, treasury activities and other operating income.

Additionally, and in line with its focus on further enhancing revenue generation capacity, First Pension Custodian Limited, a subsidiary of FBN Holdings’ flagship subsidiary, First Bank of Nigeria Limited, entered into a definitive agreement with Access Bank Plc for the planned acquisition of the entire share capital of Access Pension Fund Custodian Limited held by Access Bank Plc.

The idea behind this move is to boost its market share in the industry, aid revenue diversification and support annuity income as FBN Holdings plan to create quality loans with a focus on retail lending driven by technology as we continue to grow non-interest income to further diversify revenue.

In 2021, the company operated in a challenging operating environment that was pressured by high inflation and currency devaluation, the effect of which increased operating expenses by 14.2 per cent to N334.2 billion from N292.5 billion).

However, this 14.2 per cent is below the inflation level of 15.6 per cent in the previous year whilst regulatory costs also rose during the period, up 23.2 per cent y-o-y.

Despite the inflationary push factors, operating income grew 35.5 per cent to N592.8 billion from N437.6 billion, resulting in an improvement in cost to income ratio to 56.4 per cent from 66.8 per cent.

It was observed that in the year, deposits from customers increased by 19.5 per cent y-o-y to N5.9 trillion from N4.9 trillion, reaffirming its strong market access and robust funding base.

In the year, total assets grew by 16.2 per cent y-o-y to N8.9 trillion from N7.7 trillion driven by a 30.0 per cent y-o-y increase in customer loans and 26.3 per cent increase y-o-y in investment securities. Cash and balances with central banks, loans to banks & customers and investment securities constituted 87.2 per cent of total assets compared with 83.4 per cent of the preceding year.

The firm, while reacting to the figures, stated that, “As a financial service holding company, driving synergies remains a critical part of our strategy and has been integrated into every aspect of our delivery model.

“We pride ourselves in the uniqueness of our diversified portfolio and the collaborative ecosystem that we have built around our lines of business, our customers, and the unique value proposition that we deliver.

“We are also increasingly leveraging technology – artificial intelligence, robotics, and other next-generation technological advancements, to deepen collaboration and further drive operational efficiency across the group.”

“Following years of strategic restructuring of the Bank’s balance sheet and operations, the commercial banking business is beginning to transition into a sustained growth phase delivering performance commensurate to the size of our business and capabilities of our people. Profit before tax is up 77.9 per cent, gross earnings 30.3 per cent, total assets 15.9 per cent and customer deposits up 19.5 per cent.

“We continue to record progress in Asset Quality and Risk Management stemming from our retooled and strengthened risk management architecture.

“On the back of this, non-performing loan ratio further declined to 6.1 per cent from 7.7 per cent while coverage ratio improved to 62.2 per cent from 48.0 per cent.

“With a cleaner balance sheet and resilient earnings-generating capacity, First Bank (Nigeria) was able to accrete capital buffers from organic earnings. Hence, despite the increase in loans and advances, Capital Adequacy Ratio (CAR) remained steady, marginally increasing to 17.4 per cent versus 17.0 per cent in 2020,” it added.

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

CitiTrust Lifts Over-the-Counter Bourse by 0.05%

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Cititrust

By Adedapo Adesanya

CitiTrust Holdings Plc played the central role in lifting the National Association of Securities Dealer (NASD) Over-the-Counter (OTC) Securities Exchange by 0.05 per cent on Thursday, August 11.

This raised the NASD market capitalisation by N550 million yesterday to N1.007 trillion from the previous day’s N1.006 trillion as the NASD Unlisted Securities Index (NSI) went up by 0.41 points to wrap the session at 765.28 points compared with 764.87 points of the previous session.

On Thursday, the stock price of CitiTrust Holdings Plc rose by 55 Kobo to N11.90 per share from the N11.35 per share it was sold in the Wednesday session.

A look at the trading activity indicated that there was an 86.5 per cent increase in the volume of securities traded at the bourse yesterday to 111,021 units from the previous trading day’s 59,538 units.

However, the value of shares transacted by market participants went down by 41.7 per cent to N2.7 million from N4.6 million just as the number of trades reduced by 43.8 per cent to nine deals from the 16 deals executed a day earlier.

AG Mortgage Bank Plc remained the most traded stock by volume on a year-to-date basis with the sale of 2.3 billion units worth N1.2 billion, (Central Securities Clearing System) CSCS Plc stood in second place with the sale of 686.5 million units worth N14.2 billion, while Food Concepts Plc was in third place with the sale of 147.8 million units valued at N128.4 million.

Also, CSCS Plc was the most traded stock by value on a year-to-date basis with a turnover of 686.5 million units valued at N14.2 billion, VFD Group Plc was in second place with the sale of 11.1 million units worth N3.3 billion, while FrieslandCampina WAMCO Nigeria Plc in third place has transacted 13.9 million units valued at N1.7 billion.

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Economy

Value of Naira Falls at P2P, I&E, Parallel Market Forex Scarcity Worsens

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devalue naira

By Adedapo Adesanya

The Naira further weakened against the United States Dollar in the various segments of the foreign exchange (forex) as the scarcity of hard currencies is getting worse, putting pressure on the local currency.

In the Peer-to-Peer (P2P) segment, the Nigerian currency was battered by the Dollar by N6 or 0.87 per cent to settle at N696/$1 versus the previous day’s value of N690/$1 and in the Investors and Exporters (I&E) window, the domestic currency fell by N1.50 or 0.29 per cent to trade at N430.25/$1 in contrast to Wednesday’s value of N428.75/$1 as the turnover for the session stood at $58.37 million.

Also, in the parallel market, the Naira depreciated by N8 or N1.19 per cent to quote at N680/$1 compared with the previous day’s value of N672/$1 and in the interbank segment, the domestic currency lost N5.51 against the Pound Sterling to sell for N513.10/£1 in contrast to N507.59£1 and against the Euro, the Nigerian currency went down by N4.7 to close at N433.78/€1 versus the N429.08/€1 it was sold a day earlier.

In the cryptocurrency market, the bears maintained their grip as nine of the 10 tokens tracked by Business Post pointed south, with Solana (SOL) losing 4.1 per cent to sell at $42.94.

Cardano (ADA) recorded a 2.9 per cent fall to sell at $0.5288, Binance Coin (BNB) recorded a 2.9 per cent depreciation to trade at $323.25, TerraClassicUSD (USTC) retreated by 2.7 per cent to quote at $0.0292, Bitcoin (BTC) fell by 2.5 per cent to sell at $23,939.78, Ripple (XRP) recorded a 1.2 per cent loss to trade at $0.3769, Dogecoin (DOGE) depreciated by 1.7 per cent to trade at $0.0708, Litecoin (LTC) lost 0.9 per cent to settle at $61.68, while Ethereum (ETH) declined by 0.1 per cent to sell at $1,888.23.

However, the value of the US Dollar Tether (USDT) remained unchanged yesterday at $1.00.

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Economy

Crude Oil Jumps 2% as IEA Forecast 2022 Demand Growth

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Crude Oil Export Sales

By Adedapo Adesanya

Prices of crude oil expanded by more than $2 on Thursday after the International Energy Agency (IEA) raised its demand growth forecast for this year.

Brent crude futures gained $2.20 or 2.3 per cent to settle at $99.60 a barrel while the United States West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures rose by $2.41 or 2.6 per cent to $94.34 per barrel.

Global crude oil demand will rise by 2.1 million barrels per day this year, the IEA said in the latest monthly edition of its flagship Oil Market Report, spurred by the switch from gas to oil for electricity generation.

The new number is 380,000 barrels per day higher than the previous monthly forecast. It also means that the IEA now expects global oil demand this year to average 99.7 million barrels daily.

Supply, according to the IEA, already exceeds demand, as it hit 100.5 million barrels per day last month, with production from the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and allies (OPEC+) adding 530,000 barrels per day in line with the production increase deal and non-OPEC+ output rising by 870,000 barrels per day.

“With several regions experiencing blazing heatwaves, the latest data confirm increased oil burn in power generation, especially in Europe and the Middle East but also across Asia,” the International Energy Agency said in its report. “Fuel switching is also taking place in European industry, including refining,” it said.

The agency also revised upwards its forecast for oil supply for the full year, noting a smaller than expected decline in Russian oil production and exports.

By contrast, OPEC cut its 2022 forecast for growth in world oil demand, citing the impact of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, high inflation, and efforts to contain the pandemic.

OPEC expects 2022 oil demand to rise by 3.1 million barrels per day, down 260,000 barrels per day from the previous forecast. It still sees a higher overall global oil demand figure than the IEA for 2022.

OPEC+, however, is not eager to tap into this effective spare capacity, which would diminish the group’s power to respond to market emergencies with increased production.

After OPEC+’s last meeting in early August, OPEC+ referred to its “severely limited” spare capacity, which should be used with “great caution in response to severe supply disruptions”, reinforcing the IEA’s predictions that additional OPEC+ output increases are unlikely in the coming months.

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