Non-Performing Mortgage Loans Hit N94b
By Modupe Gbadeyanka
Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) has disclosed that at least 55 percent of the mortgage industry’s N94 billion loans are classified as non-performing.
According to Bloomberg, mortgage lenders are buckling under the weight of unpaid loans as job losses and inflation near a record high hinder the ability of customers to pay off their debts.
President of Mortgage Banking Association of Nigeria, Mr Adeniyi Akinlusi, was quoted as saying, “They are just struggling to survive; a lot of them aren’t making money.”
While the association said it was not aware of any mortgage lenders on the verge of collapsing, increased pressure on the nation’s 36 home-loan providers presents another challenge to the Federal Government as the country reels under recession.
Rising costs for everything from building materials to school fees have meant the industry has been stagnant since June, according to Mr Akinlusi.
That compares with a ratio of 10 per cent for the N18.5 trillion of loans granted by commercial banks and 45 percent for microfinance banks, which have N195 billion of outstanding loans.
“The real estate market mirrors the larger economy,” the Chief Executive Officer of Lagos-based real estate broker, Fine and Country West Africa, Udo Okonjo, said.
“Over the last year-and-a-half, the recession affected key sectors such as oil and gas, financial and manufacturing. There were a lot of layoffs.”
The country’s official unemployment rate jumped to the highest level in at least seven years in the third quarter of last year.
While inflation in February slowed from a record a month earlier, at 17.8 percent, it is still almost double the CBN’s target.
Total assets in the mortgage industry surged to more than N386 billion at the end of June, compared with N102 billion a year earlier.
Regulators require mortgage lenders to have at least half their total assets in home loans.
Biggest mortgage banks include Union Homes Savings and Loans Plc, FBN Mortgages Limited, and Abbey Mortgage Bank Plc, which in October reported that net income in the third quarter plunged 37 per cent as non-performing loans jumped.
There are efforts to return the industry to growth as the Federal Government pledges to boost housing through the creation of a fund of as much as N1 trillion, which will offer up to 20-year loans to developers at interest rates of 9.9 percent.
The Federal Mortgage Bank is also giving mortgage providers loans of up to 20 years, which will relieve operators of the burden of having to seek long-term funding, according to Mr Akinlusi.
According to him, the regulator is expected to draft rules this year that will enable mortgage companies to provide loans to workers in the informal sector, including farmers, who do not earn enough to make an initial down-payment for the debt.
OPEC+ Likely to Keep Output Cut Levels as Group Meets April 3
By Adedapo Adesanya
The Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies (OPEC+) will likely stick to its existing deal to cut oil output at a meeting on Monday, April 3.
According to Reuters, this was said disclosed by five delegates from the producer group after oil prices recovered following a drop to 15-month lows due to banking fears and demand worries.
Brent crude has recovered towards $80 a barrel after falling to near $70 on March 20 as fears ease about a global banking crisis and as a halt in exports from Iraq’s Kurdistan region curbs supplies.
OPEC+ is due to hold a virtual meeting of its ministerial monitoring panel, which includes Russia and Saudi Arabia, on Monday.
The consensus was that Kurdistan curbs and recent price drops were not sufficiently important to affect the overall OPEC+ policy path for 2023.
Kurdistan’s crude oil exports – around 400,000 barrels per day shipped through an Iraqi-Turkey pipeline to Ceyhan and then on tankers to the international markets – were halted late last week by the federal government of Iraq.
Last week, the International Chamber of Commerce ruled in favour of Iraq against Turkey in a dispute over crude flows from Kurdistan. Iraq had argued that Turkey shouldn’t allow Kurdish oil exports via the Iraq-Turkey pipeline and Ceyhan without approval from the federal government of Iraq.
Talks between officials from Kurdistan and from the Iraq federal government have failed in recent days, but they are set to continue next week.
Three other OPEC+ delegates also told Reuters that any policy changes were unlikely on Monday. After those talks, the next full OPEC+ meeting is not until June.
Last November, OPEC+ reduced its output target by 2 million barrels per day – the largest cut since the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. The same reduction applies for the whole of 2023.
Saudi Arabia’s energy minister, Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman, has said OPEC+ will stick to the reduced target until the end of the year.
Oando to Quit Nigerian, Johannesburg Stock Exchanges
By Dipo Olowookere
The board of Oando Plc has informed the investing community of its intention to leave the Nigerian and Johannesburg stock exchanges in the coming months.
The reason for exiting the stock market, according to the energy firm, is to become a private company and to achieve this, its core investor, Ocean and Oil Development Partners Limited (OODP), has offered to buy all the shares held by minority shareholders in Oando.
OODP is offering to pay N7.07 in cash or its equivalent in South African Rand (ZAR) for each of the stock, which it said represents a 58 per cent premium to the last traded share price of Oando on Tuesday, March 28, 2023, being the day prior to the date it submitted the scheme application to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
Oando trades its shares on the floors of the Nigerian Exchange (NGX) Limited and the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE).
This news comes hours after the company announced that it had bounced back into profitability after years of dishing out losses to the frustration of shareholders.
In its unaudited financial results for 2021, Oando reported a profit after tax of N34.7 billion, in contrast to the loss after tax of N140.7 billion of the preceding year.
Before now, Oando has had it rough with regulators in Nigeria, leading to its suspension from the market and a court tussle over allegations that it tampered with its financial statements to deceive investors.
In the notice released this week, Oando said after the acquisition of “the shares of all minority shareholders in Oando,” it would “subsequently be delisted from NGX and JSE and re-registered as a private company.”
At the moment, the energy firm said it has “applied for the SEC’s No Objection to the scheme, noting that the deal is “subject to the approval of the shareholders of Oando at the Court-Ordered Meeting of the company, as well as the sanction of the Federal High Court.”
However, it disclosed that, “The terms and conditions of the transaction will be provided in the scheme document, which will be dispatched to all shareholders following the receipt of an order from the Federal High Court to convene a Court-Ordered Meeting,” promising to update the market “upon receipt of requisite approvals from shareholders and regulators.”
Ajay Banga to Become World Bank President Unopposed
By Adedapo Adesanya
The World Bank Group’s Board of Executive Directors has announced Mr Ajay Banga, a US national, as the only nominee for the position of the bank’s next president and may clinch the post if he passes the next hurdle.
This was contained in a statement issued by the World Bank on Friday.
“The World Bank Group’s Board of Executive Directors today confirmed that, as announced on February 22, the period for submitting nominations for the position of the next President of the World Bank Group closed on Wednesday at 6:00 pm ET.”
“The board received one nomination and would like to announce that Ajay Banga, a US national, will be considered for the position.
“In accordance with established procedures, the Board of Executive Directors will conduct a formal interview with the candidate in Washington D.C., and expect to conclude the Presidential election in due course,” the board said.
US President Joe Biden in February nominated Mr Banga to lead the World Bank, saying he is “well equipped” to lead the global institution at “this critical moment in history.”
No other country proposed an alternate candidate for the prestigious post.
Mr Banga, 63, was born in India and is a naturalised US citizen. He has led Mastercard Inc and now currently serves as Vice Chairman at General Atlantic.
If confirmed, Mr Banga would become the first-ever Indian-American to head either of the two top international financial institutions, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank.
Mr Banga is expected to replace the current World Bank president, Mr David Malpass, who will step down in June, nearly a year before his term is scheduled to expire.
Mr Malpass faced strong criticism over the bank’s commitment to climate action and over his personal views on climate change.
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