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Economy

SEC Sees Huge Untapped Investment Opportunity in Nigeria’s N59.5bn Housing Deficit

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huge untapped investment opportunity

By Aduragbemi Omiyale

The Director-General of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Mr Lamido Yuguda, has said the N159.5 billion investment needed to address the 20 million housing deficit in Nigeria, according to a study by the World Bank Group, provides a huge untapped investment opportunity.

He said this issue could be addressed through the non-interest segment of the capital market, calling on stakeholders to join hands together to bridge the gap.

The SEC chief, who was at the webinar themed the Non-Interest Capital Market as Panacea to Mortgage Financing in Nigeria, said the focus of the programme was timely and relevant.

“I have observed with delight the attention this webinar has generated and come to the conclusion that it is a clear indication of the keen interest in the potential that the non-interest finance segment holds in furthering the development of the Capital Market and the growth of our economy.

“According to a World Bank study, Nigeria’s housing sector requires an investment of about N59.5 trillion to bridge the 20 million housing deficit that is increasing yearly. Undoubtedly, this shows a huge untapped investment opportunity in the Nation’s real estate sector,” he said.

Mr Yuguda stated that governments at both federal and state levels and businesses in Nigeria have been tapping various available sources of financing, including capital market products, for funding real estate developments. The methods of finance have various associated costs, some of which are deemed to be high.

He emphasised that the Nigerian capital market provides a platform for mobilizing long-term funds for real estate investments to complement the mortgage funding sources by commercial banks, primary mortgage institutions, non-governmental organizations, cooperative societies and international finance institutions.

“The capital market creates investment opportunities to enhance the flow of low-cost, long-term funds to the real estate sector through investment vehicles such as Real Estate Investment Trust Schemes (REITs) and mortgage-backed securities. These instruments are usually traded on recognised exchanges.

“I am delighted to inform you that some corporate entities have started taking advantage of the non-interest capital market.

In 2021, Family Homes Funds Limited, a social housing initiative promoted by the federal government, issued a N10 billion Sukuk to finance residential houses across the six geopolitical zones of the country, and it was oversubscribed by over 200 per cent.

“The company also recently raised another N10 billion from the market. This development was a strong indication of the readiness of the capital market and the corresponding investors’ appetite for non-interest mortgage instruments.

“We strongly believe that the operationalization of the non-interest pension fund (Fund VI) and the recent amendment of the pension act to facilitate withdrawals from RSA for down payments of equity contributions for a mortgage will increase the quantum of low-cost, long-term investible funds to the mortgage industry by unlocking the untapped capital in the economy.”

The webinar, he said, therefore, aims to create awareness of the non-interest capital market instruments as a new source of financing for mortgage institutions as well as to facilitate the active participation of the private sector towards positioning the sector to perform optimally and contribute to the overall economy.

Mr Yuguda expressed confidence that the non-interest finance experts at the webinar would evoke the interest and attention of participants and enhance their knowledge on the subject to eventually lead to the birth of promoters and off-takers of new non-interest products in the capital market.

Speaking at the event, the Managing Director CEO of the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria, Mr Madu Hamman, stated that the non-interest financial products have gained a lot of interest from investors in Nigeria and globally and could aid housing finance sources and expand the frontiers of home ownerships through non-interest finance sources.

He stated that the engagement would go a long way in giving the capital market the needed boost to unbundle funds that were hitherto not accessible to Nigerians, adding that it is obvious that the Nigerian economy is on the verge of experiencing a tremendous transformation in this regard.

Mr Hamman said that sourcing non-interest funds from the capital were very necessary for seamless operations as funds sourced from interest-based facilities cannot be leveraged to deliver on non-interest mortgage transactions.

“We are committed to linking the mortgage market with the Nigerian capital market and thereby ensure sustainable long-term funding for the housing and mortgage sector. The non-interest capital market is, therefore, one area for such sustainable long-term funds that can be assured,” he said.

In his remarks, the Managing Director of the Nigerian Mortgage Refinancing Company, Mr Kehinde Ogundimu, said there is no way the nation can meet the housing deficit without having the non-interest services sector actively participating in it and commended the SEC on the initiative.

Economy

Honeywell Flour, MTN, Others Pull Market Back by 0.01%

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Honeywell Flour

By Dipo Olowookere

The depreciation printed by the shares of Honeywell Flour, MTN Nigeria, Ecobank and 10 others pulled back the Nigerian Exchange (NGX) Limited from the bulls’ territory into the danger zone by 0.01 per cent on Thursday.

It was the first trading session in December, and the stock market could not sustain the positive moment it recorded on the last day of the previous month due to the selling pressure on the equities mentioned above, though investor sentiment remained strong.

According to data from the bourse, the market breadth was positive yesterday as there were 15 price advancers and 13 price decliners led by Honeywell Flour, which dropped 7.89 per cent to trade at N2.10. RT Briscoe went down by 7.41 per cent to 25 Kobo, Wema Bank declined by 5.45 per cent to N3.12, FCMB contracted by 4.18 per cent to N3.21, and Cutix retreated by 2.84 per cent to N2.05.

On top of the gainers’ log was UPDC REIT, which improved its share value by 9.09 per cent to N3.00, McNichols rose by 8.93 per cent to 61 Kobo, Japaul jumped by 7.41 per cent to 29 Kobo, Nigerian Breweries 7.14 per cent to N45.00, and Royal Exchange grew by 4.76 per cent to 66 Kobo.

Yesterday, investors transacted 172.9 million shares valued at N2.8 billion in 3,073 deals compared with the 107.0 million shares valued at N1.3 billion traded in 3,227 deals in the midweek session, representing a decline in the number of deals by 4.77 per cent, an increase in the trading volume by 61.55 per cent, and a surge in the trading value by 115.63 per cent.

The increase in the market turnover was driven by the 49.8 million shares of FCMB traded by investors during the session. Courteville traded 16.9 million stocks, Access Holdings sold 12.0 million equities, UBA traded 10.8 million shares, and Zenith Bank exchanged 9.8 million shares.

Business Post reports that the insurance and energy counters went down by 0.12 per cent and 0.08 per cent, respectively, while the banking and consumer goods sectors went up by 2.16 per cent and 0.77 per cent apiece, with the industrial goods space closing flat.

At the close of trades, the All-Share Index (ASI) receded by 3.40 points to 47,656.64 points from 47,660.04 points, and the market capitalisation retreated by N2 billion to N25.957 trillion from N25.959 trillion.

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Economy

Ecobank Q3 Earnings Swell Amid 12% Jump in Non-Interest Income

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Ecobank non-interest income

By Dipo Olowookere

In the third quarter of 2022, Ecobank Transnational Incorporated (ETI) improved its gross earnings by 11 per cent to N761.3 billion from N686.8 billion in the same period of last year, with interest income growing by 9 per cent to N485.8 billion from N445.1 billion, and interest expense surging by 8 per cent to N174.2 billion from N160.7 billion.

In the period under consideration, fee and commission income expanded by 15 per cent to N165.5 billion from N144.0 billion, driven by higher cash management and related fees, as well as more card management fees, which offset the shortfall in other fees and portfolio and other management fees.

Business Post reports that bank charges, brokerage fees paid, and other fees paid by the lender triggered a 41 per cent increase in the fee and commission expense by Ecobank in the first nine months of this year to N21.0 billion from N14.9 billion.

The trading income generated by the bank grew to N93.2 billion in Q3 of 2022 from N85.5 billion in Q2 of 2021, other operating income rose to N16.7 billion from N11.6 billion, but the net investment income declined to N4.4 billion from N5.6 billion.

In the first nine months of 2022, Ecobank improved its non-interest income by 12 per cent to N258.7 billion from N231.7 billion, while operating income jumped by 11 per cent to N570.4 billion from N516.2 billion.

In the period under consideration, the operating costs of the company increased by 7 per cent to N320.9 billion from N300.7 billion, with personnel costs rising to N138.6 billion from N132.4 billion.

The bank, in the financial statements filed to the Nigerian Exchange (NGX) Limited, said its pre-tax profit improved by 17 per cent to N168.7 billion from N143.7 billion, while the post-tax profit gained 12 per cent to N1177.4 billion from N104.5 billion.

On a year-to-date basis, its loans disbursement to customers was marginally down to N4.03 trillion from N4.06 trillion in FY 2021, while deposits from customers went down to N8.06 trillion from N8.36 trillion.

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Economy

NGX Helps Governments, Corporates Secure N3.5trn Debts

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Cross Deals

By Aduragbemi Omiyale

Debt instruments worth N3.5 trillion have been raised from the capital market in 2022 with the assistance of the Nigerian Exchange (NGX) Limited.

These funds were secured by the federal, state governments, and corporate organisations through the issuance of bonds and commercial papers, with the proceeds used to finance projects and business operations.

The NGX has always provided an avenue for organisations to seek cheap capital from investors by positioning itself as the prime location for raising funds.

According to the Divisional Head of Capital Markets at the NGX, Mr Jude Chiemeka, the capital market could serve as the primary source of bulk mobilisation of capital to finance developmental projects, and NGX had implemented an array of incentives, programmes and capacity building workshops for investors.

“The pension fund industry, for example, has been able to leverage the issuances done by the DMO in recent times, and a lot of financing has come from them,” he said at the Nigeria Integrated National Financing Framework (INFF) dialogue on Channels TV with the theme How Can Nigeria Finance its Development Priorities.

“As an exchange, we provide the platform that will enable the government to finance projects through green instruments that these investors can invest in and ultimately benefit from the returns. And that is why it’s critical to ensure there’s constant investor education, sound governance and regulation.

“If you take a look at the recently revamped Capital Market Master Plan, there’s a conversation there around increasing retail investor participation in our markets,” he added.

INFF emanated as a result of a partnership among the FG, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and European Union (EU) to support Nigeria in mobilising greater amounts of private and public resources to finance its development agenda.

Speaking further, Mr Chiemeka said the goal is to revamp the current active retail participation level to 5 million by 2025.

“NGX has been able to facilitate the raise of about N3.5 trillion since January 2022 for corporates, federal and state governments. We are very well equipped to support the financing of these capital projects because we have the right platform.

“Today, you talk about the African Exchanges Linkage Project, which commenced on November 18 and will be launched in December. That gives Nigeria the ability to leverage the investor base in other capital markets to fund the projects to grow the economy and lift people out of poverty,” he stated.

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