CBN borrows N115bn via Treasury bills

The Central Bank of Nigeria borrowed N114.97bn ($579.05m) through three-month to one-year Treasury bills on Wednesday at higher returns than in its previous auction, the Debt Management Office said on Thursday.

The debt office said N18.12bn of three-month paper was sold at 5.99 per cent, up from 5.74 per cent at a sale on March 3.

It raised N13.68bn of six-month debt at 8.30 per cent against 7.95 per cent, while a total of N83.17bn of one-year paper was sold at 9.55 per cent compared with 9.15 per cent previously.

Total subscription fell to N323.47bn from N409.84bn at the previous auction.

The CBN’s Monetary Policy Committee had on Tuesday raised the benchmark interest rate to 12 per cent from 11 per cent, having cut rates only four months ago by two percentage points, and lifted the Cash Reserve Ratio for Deposit Money Banks to 22.5 per cent from 20 per cent.

Yields on fixed income paper rose after the central bank rate hike. Three-month bills closed at 7.28 per cent on the secondary market on Wednesday, up from 4.92 per cent before the rate rise.

Six-month paper had traded at 8.97 per cent, up from 6.84 per cent on Tuesday, while one-year paper closed at 10.01 per cent against 7.77 per cent previously.

The CBN issues treasury bills to banks and non-financial institutions to help ease government cash flow, manage banking system liquidity and curb inflation.

Commenting on the TB issue, analysts at Afrinvest, a Nigeria-based wealth advisory firm, said, “The result of the T-bills auction which showed stop rates, rose significantly higher than prevailing market rates drove further bearish sentiment on Thursday as average T-bills rates continued its northwards movement to close at 7.7 per cent, up by 0.8 per cent week-to-date.

“We believe the interbank market has significantly adjusted for the MPC rate hike and barring any unexpected OMO mop-up from the system, we expect rates to continue to stay at current levels at market close next week. However, we expect rates to fluctuate to liquidity dynamics during the week as deposit money banks provision and get refunded for FX intervention.”


FBNH, Nascon, others lose despite market rebound

Despite the rebound in the Nigerian Stock Exchange market capitalisation on Thursday, 18 stocks – led by First Bank of Nigeria Holdings Plc, Nascon Allied Industries Plc, Africa Prudential Registrars Plc – depreciated in value.

Market capitalisation rose to N8.909tn from N8.853tn while the All-Share Index also appreciated to 25,899.91 basis points from 25,736.92 basis points.

The highest index point recorded in the course of trading was 26,020.32 basis points while the lowest and average index points were 25,694.79 and 25,850.98 basis points, respectively.

Other firms which made the top five losers category were Transcorp HotelsPlc and Cadbury Nigeria Plc.

The FBNH shares depreciated by N0.18 (5.13 per cent) to close at N3.33 from N3.51, while those of Nascon dropped to N6.52 from N6.86, losing N0.34 (4.96 per cent).

The share price of Africa Prudential Registrars also fell to N2.51 from N2.64, losing N0.13 (4.92 per cent).

Transcorp Hotels shares posted a N0.27 (4.90 per cent) loss to close at N5.24 from N5.51, while those of Cadbury Nigeria depreciated to N14.77 from N15.53, losing N0.76 (4.89 per cent).

Other losers were Learn Africa Plc, Nemeth International Pharmaceuticals Plc, Dangote Sugar Refinery Plc, AIICO Insurance Plc, Tiger Branded Consumer Goods Plc, Seplat Petroleum Development Company Limited, United Capital Plc, Fidelity Bank Plc, Total Nigeria Plc, Custodian and Allied Plc, Champion Breweries Plc, Lafarge Africa Plc and Nestle Nigeria Plc.

A total of 17 firms appeared on the gainers’ table with International Breweries Plc, Vitafoam Nigeria Plc, FCMB Group Plc, United Bank for Africa Plc and PZ Cussons Nigeria Plc emerging as the top five gainers.

Other gainers were Unity Bank Plc, Caverton Offshore Support GA Plc, NEM Insurance Company Nigeria Plc, Zenith Bank Plc, Nigerian Breweries Plc, Transnational Corporation of Nigeria Plc, Ecobank Transnational Incorporated Plc, Skye Bank Plc, Sterling Bank Plc, Continental Reinsurance Plc, Access bank Plc and Mobil Oil Nigeria Plc.

International Breweries shares rose to N18.80 from N17.06, gaining N1.74 (10.20 per cent), while those of Vitafoam also appreciated by N0.42 (9.77 per cent) to close at N4.72 from N4.30.

The share price of FCMB closed at N0.80 from N0.76, appreciating by N0.04 (5.26 per cent).

Similarly, UBA shares closed at N3.78 from N3.60, gaining N0.18 (five per cent), while PZ Cussons’ share price rose to N22.79 from N21.71, gaining N1.08 (4.97 per cent).

Cadbury Nigeria, International Breweries and Diamond Bank Plc had led the N97bn loss recorded at the close of trading on the floor of the NSE on Wednesday.

The FBNH and FCMB followed on the losers’ table to crown the top five losers category. In all, 32 firms closed in the red, while just nine firms gained.

The NSE market capitalisation had plunged to N8.853tn from N8.95tn recorded on Tuesday, while the All-Share Index also fell to 25,736.92 basis points from 26,020.32 basis points.

A total of 398.277 million shares valued at N2.646bn were traded in 3,581 deals.

Cadbury shares had depreciated by N1.67 (9.71 per cent) to close at N15.53 from N17.20, while those of International Breweries slipped to N17.06 from N18.50, losing N1.44 (7.78 per cent).

The share price of Diamond Bank dropped by N0.10 (7.14 per cent) to close at N1.30 from N1.40.


CIS Cautions Stakeholders on N60b Unclaimed Dividend

CIS President, Mr Seyi Abe

The Chartered Institute of Stockbrokers (CIS) advised stakeholders to apply caution on what to do with the over Sixty billion naira, (N60 billion), unclaimed dividend laying idle within the system to avoid running fowl of extant laws.

Most capital market stakeholders, including associations of shareholders, has its opinion on what to do with the money.

A special committee set up to look into the unclaimed dividend issue by CIS’s council came up with recommendation on how the idle fund, causing rancor in the market, should be used.

The committee confirmed that, ”The issue of unclaimed dividend in the stock market has remained a conundrum in the operation of the  market.”

Adding that, ‘The matter calls for utmost caution to avoid running fowl of extant laws.”

The committee submitted that it might not be appropriate for the unclaimed dividend to be returned to the paying companies as requested by body of Registrars who had also disagreed with the stockbrokers that suggested that the fund should be used to shore up the market.

However, it suggested that the Registrars should be allowed to set up a fund with their respective holdings of the accrued dividend, however, with a mandate that the names of shareholders of outstanding dividends be published periodically.

The Unclaimed dividends were largely made up of warrants of dead shareholders whose next-of-kin or family members do not know that what they need do was to obtain a Letter of Administration for transmission of the shareholdings and be able to convert the warrants to cash.

Other reason for the build-up maybe, legal tussles in some cases; inappropriate record keeping of portfolio; lack of interest by shareholder to cash ‘’small’’ or ‘’insignificant’’ dividend payments.

The absence of authorised signatories needed to sign dividend warrants in defunct corporate bodies, Trade groups and Associations, Change of address by a shareholder and disinformation with the Registrars or the Central Securities Clearing System (CSCS) were some other factors identified.

It could also be the: Non-existence of a functional bank account by the shareholder; Non-compliance of shareholders to the e-dividend mode of payment; Use of proxies to buy shares and the associated encumbrances; Signature irregularities due to infirmities, forgetfulness, loss of memory and many other factors could have led to the N60 billion unclaimed dividend build.

Heritage Bank ED links financial literacy to economic growth

Heritage Bank ED links financial literacy to economic growth

Financial literacy has been described as a strong catalyst to financial inclusion and wealth creation that will aid the nation’s economic growth.

This was the submission of Mrs. Mary Akpobome,  Executive Director, Heritage Bank Limited, in her opening remarks, at the Financial Literacy Day Programme  organised by the bank at the University of Ilorin Secondary School, Ilorin, Kwara State last Thursday.

Akpobome, who was represented by Mrs. Moji Niran – Oladunni, Divisional Head, Public Sector, Heritage Bank, explained that the Bank’s Financial Literacy Programme is a platform to help children and young adults establish a positive relationship with money.

L –R: Miss Zuriel Oduwole, Heritage Bank Financial Literacy Ambassador; Mrs. Moji Niran – Oladunni, Divisional Head, Public Sector, Heritage Bank Limited; and Mrs. Silifat Nike Jaiyeola, Principal, University of Ilorin Secondary School during the 2016 Financial Literacy Day programme organized by the Bank in Ilorin

From L – R: Mrs. Kikanwa Akpenyi, Head, Customer Engagement, Heritage Bank Limited; Mrs. Moji Niran – Oladunni, Divisional Head, Public Sector, Heritage Bank Limited; and Mrs. Silifat Nike Jaiyeola, Principal, University of Ilorin Secondary School, receiving a set of books presented to the school by Heritage Bank as part of the 2016 Financial Literacy Day programme organized by the Bank in Ilorin

The Financial Literacy programme, she added, is a key enabler to the achievement of financial inclusion that will sustain economic growth and development in the country.

“At Heritage Bank, the importance of financial inclusion for the youth cannot be over-emphasized. The youth represents a vital force for socio-economic development and hence, the need to begin to work with young people through educational institutions. As a bank, we are here to grow with you and see you create wealth, preserve and transfer wealth across generations. This must begin with being financially literate,” she said.

Addressing the students, Miss Zuriel Oduwole, the education advocate teenager and Heritage Bank’s Financial Literacy Ambassador, noted that financial literacy is about how to earn money and preserve it for the future. Oduwole, who had held meetings with more than 18 Presidents and Prime Ministers on youth and education, averred that education is not only about passing subjects like Chemistry, Biology or Economics, but about learning new things that will help the learner in the future.

Earlier, the Principal of the school, Mrs. Nike Jaiyeola thanked Heritage Bank and the CBN for the initiative and described the programme as a valuable contribution to the life of the youth. “The youth are the most vulnerable group to make wrong financial decision, but with this programme now, the danger can be averted when it is time to make quality decision about finances and the future,” she said.

Some of the topics discussed at the programme ranged from banks, money, Bank Verification Number, BVN, the naira and devaluation. As part of the programme, the bank donated volumes of books on money and finance to the school.

As a key implementation priority of the Financial Inclusion Strategy, the Central Bank of Nigeria developed a Financial Literacy Framework (FLF) in January, 2013. The document articulates a strategic direction for a multi stakeholder approach to the delivery of financial education programmes across various target groups of the population in Nigeria.

Consequently, as part of the Global Money Week celebration, the Bankers’ Committee designated March 13 every year as Financial Literacy Day. The day is being marked to focus attention on children and youth in primary and secondary schools nationwide and to empower them by enhancing their financial knowledge and planning skills.

Stock Market Index Surges By 0.45% on Sustained Bull Pressure


Trading activities on the floor of the Nigerian Stock Exchange, NSE, rested in the Green Zone on Tuesday, March 22, as the All Share Index jumped by 0.45% to close at 26,020.32 points, compared with the appreciation of 0.81% recorded on Monday.

Year-To-Date (YTD), the NSE ASI depreciated by 9.15%.

The appreciation recorded in the share prices of Nigerian Breweries, Unilever, Guinness, Nestle and FBNH were mainly responsible for the gain recorded in the Index.

The three most actively traded stocks were: GT Bank (69.61mn), Fidelity Bank (53.31mn) and UBA (32.64mn). The most actively traded sectors were: Financial Services (286.23mn), Consumer Goods (41.28mn) and Conglomerates (7.39mn).

The total value of stocks traded on the floors of The NSE today was N2.46bn, up by 18.80% from N2.07bn yesterday. The total volume of stocks traded was 344.11mn in 4,386 deals.


Market Capitalization Gains N40billion Amid Blue Chip Stock Price Growth


Market capitalization on Tuesday, March 22, appreciated further for the second consecutive trading day as the price of some blue chips jumped.

The market capitalization which opened at N8.910 trillion rose by N40 billion or 0.45 per cent to close at N8.950 trillion.

An analysis of the price movement chart indicated that Nestle led the gainers’ table, growing by N22 to close at N702 per share.

Nigerian Breweries came second with a gain of N5.20 to close at N109.20, while Guinness appreciated by N4.01 to close at N112 per share.

Unilever increased by N1.47 to close at N38.92, while UACN gained 47k to close at N20.95 per share. Conversely, Seplat topped the laggards’ chart, dropping by N30 to close at N310 per share.

PZ trailed with a loss of N1.13 to close at N21.71 and National Salt Company of Nigeria shed 36k to close at N6.86 per share.Zenith Bank dropped 29k to close at N12.90, while UAC Property declined by 25k to close at N4.85 per share.

Also, investors bought and sold 344.12 million shares valued at N2.46 billion achieved in 4,386 deals in contrast with 412.47 million shares worth N2.07 billion traded in 3,285 deals on Monday.


“FG, States, LGs Share N345billion For February” – FAAC


The three tiers of government on Tuesday, March 22, shared a sum of N345.09 billon for the month of February from the Federation Account.

This figure is a decline on what was shared in January following massive decline in government revenues during the period.

The Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) said that the N345.09bn allocation for February fell short of the N370.38bn shared in the month of January by N25.29bn.

Finance minister, Kemi Adeosun, while speaking shortly after the FAAC meeting for the month of February, said the country recorded a shortfall of N20.46 in gross statutory revenue from N290.96bn in January to N270.49bn in February.

She attributed the decline in revenue to explosions at Escravos terminal as well as force majeure declared at Brass terminal which led to the shutdown of pipelines at other terminals for repairs and maintenance.

Represented by the permanent secretary in the Ministry of Finance, Mahmud Dutse, the minister also said a revenue loss of $45.9m, caused by a drop in average price of crude oil from $39.04 in December 2015 to $29.02 in January this year, had a negative impact on government revenue.

She said: “The distributable statutory revenue for the month is N270.49bn. The sum of N6.33bn was refunded by Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation to the federal government.”

“Also, there is an exchange gain of N3.49bn which was proposed for distribution. The total revenue distributable for the current month is N345.09bn.”


EFCC arrests Diezani’s cousin, recovers implicating documents

Champion Breweries Plc, FCMB Group Plc, Ecobank Transnational Incorporated, Stanbic IBTC Holdings Plc and Eterna Plc emerged the top five gainers after the close of trading on the floor of the Nigerian Stock Exchange on Thursday.

The firms, alongside 16 other companies, boosted market capitalisation by N55bn in one day.

The NSE market capitalisation, which stood at N8.216tn on Wednesday, rose to N8.271tn, while the All-Share Index rose to 24,883.34 basis points from 24,042.73 basis points recorded on Wednesday.

A total of 271.617 million shares, worth N1.543bn, were traded in 3,360 deals with the highest index point hitting 24,432.51. The lowest and average index points stood at 23,883.34 and 24,174.59 basis points, respectively.

Other gainers on the floor of the NSE on Thursday were Ikeja Hotel Plc, Cement Company of Northern Nigeria Plc, Unilever Nigeria Plc, A.G. Leventis Nigeria Plc, Seplat Petroleum Development Company Limited, Learn Africa Plc, Vitafoam Nigeria Plc, Nestle Nigeria Plc, Zenith Bank Plc, UAC Property Development Company Plc, and Fidelity Bank Plc.

Tiger Branded Consumer Goods Plc, Honeywell Flour Mill Plc, Dangote Cement Plc, United Bank for Africa Plc and Union Bank Nigeria Plc also appeared on the gainers’ chart.

Champion shares rose to N2.83 from N2.58, recording a gain of N0.25 (9.69 per cent), while those of FCMB gained N0.06 (7.89 per cent) to close at N0.82 from N0.76.

The shares of ETI also rose to N15.96 from N15.20, gaining N0.76 (five per cent), while Stanbic closed at N14.85 from N14.15, gaining N0.70 (4.95 per cent).

Eterna shares closed at N1.94 from N1.85, gaining N0.09 (4.86 per cent).

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A total of 19 firms appeared on the losers’ table, with Unity Bank Plc, MRS Oil Nigeria Plc, Flour Mills Nigeria Plc, AIICO Insurance Plc and Fidson Healthcare Plc emerged as the top five losers.

Other losers after the close of trading on Thursday were Livestock Feeds Plc, Academy Press Plc, Africa Prudential Registrars Plc, Custodian and Allied Plc, Diamond Bank Plc, Dangote Sugar Refinery Plc, Cadbury Nigeria Plc, Nascon Allied Industries Plc, Glaxo Smithkline Consumer Nigeria Plc, and Access Bank Plc.

Nigerian Breweries Plc, Oando Plc, UAC Plc and FBN Holdings Plc also emerged as losers.

Unity Bank share price depreciated by N0.04 (5.63 per cent) to close at N0.67 from N0.71, while MRS shares lost N2.48 (4.99 per cent) to close at N47.18 from N49.66.

The shares of Flour Mills closed at N18.34 from N19.30, losing N0.96 (4.97 per cent), while those of AIICO shed N0.04 4.94 per cent) to close at N0.77 from N0.81.

The shares of Fidson also dropped by N0.13 (4.83 per cent) to close at N2.56 from N2.69.


Ecobank sacks 50 top managers

Ecobank sacks 50 top managers

Ecobank Nigeria has sacked about 50 senior managers as part of its cost-cutting measures amid a challenging business environment.

The top officials laid off by the pan-African lender include general managers, deputy general managers and assistant general managers, sources within the bank told our correspondent on Wednesday.

The banking industry has been battered by the nation’s lingering foreign exchange crisis occasioned by the plunge in the global crude oil prices.

Nigeria derives over 90 per cent of its forex from the sale of crude oil. And the banking sector and the economy have taken a beating from the sharp decline in the oil prices.

Banks’ 2015 full year results are expected to show a major decline in earnings.

A top official of Ecobank said the move was part of a “corporate alignment strategy of the bank.”

The lender recently got a new group managing director and a chairman of board of directors.

“We are top heavy and this decision is just part of the bank’s corporate realignment strategy,” the bank official told our correspondent.

A statement by Ecobank confirming the layoff said the affected officials had performed below the company’s expectation.

The lender said while over 300 staff members were promoted, a few officials that had low performance were “exited.”

The statement quoted the Deputy Managing Director, Ecobank, Mr. Anthony Okpanachi, as saying, “The management of Ecobank Nigeria Limited has announced the recent promotion of about 300 top performing workers.

“The promotion exercise, which affected about 10 per cent of the employees, is in line with the bank’s commitment to recognising and rewarding excellence and exceptional performance. The promoted workers cut across all cadres of the workforce. Also, few staff members that performed below expectation have been exited.”

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Okpanachi said the affected staff members were selected through an appraisal exercise conducted using an in-house performance management system, which used both financial and non-financial metrics to categorise workers.

He noted that “the performance parameter used to determine the performance of those promoted also revealed the underperformance of the disengaged workers.”

Ecobank Nigeria is part of the Ecobank Group represented in 36 African countries. The group employs nearly 19,000 people from 40 different countries in over 1,200 branches and offices.


FBN Holding Shares Drop to 13-Year Low at 4.4%


FBN Holdings Plc shares dropped to its lowest level in almost 13 years on Wednesday, February 24, after the lender by assets warned that earnings for the full year ended December 31, 2015, would be lower than those of 2014.

Shares dropped 4.4 per cent to N3.47 per share, which is its lowest since August 2003.

In statement to the management of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) and market operators, signed by the Company Secretary, Tijjani Borodo, FBN Holdings said following the review of its management accounts for the 2015, it is expected that earnings will be materially below that of the prior year.

The bank said:“The reduction in earnings is as a result of the recognition of impairment charges on some specific accounts resulting from a reassessment of the loan portfolio within our commercial banking business.”

“This reassessment was driven by the challenging macro environment coupled with fiscal and monetary headwinds, which have resulted in marked reduction in domestic output. This is a prudent measure being taken while the bank has commenced active remedial action on the specific impaired accounts,” the bank said.

However, FBN Holdings assured stakeholders that its merchant banking, asset management as well as insurance businesses remain strong and resilient.