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Higher oil prices significantly boosted ExxonMobil’s third-quarter earnings, more than offsetting the hit to operations from US hurricanes, the oil giant reported Friday.

ExxonMobil reported earnings of $4.0 billion, up 49.8 percent from the year-ago period. US hurricanes resulted in a hit of $160 million.

Revenues were $66.2 billion, up 12.8 percent.

ExxonMobil’s earnings from exploration and production more than doubled those of the year-ago period, mostly due to moderately higher commodity prices during the quarter and in spite of $238 million loss in the US upstream.

The oil giant also saw earnings rise in its downstream division, which is responsible for refining crude oil into gasoline and other petroleum products.

Better refining margins more than compensated for added expenses from Hurricane Harvey, which flooded the Houston area and resulted in temporary plant closures.

“A 50 percent increase in earnings through solid business performance and higher commodity prices is a step forward in our plan to grow profitability,” said ExxonMobil chief executive Darren Woods.

“For the fourth consecutive quarter, we generated cash flow from operations and asset sales that more than covered our dividends and net investments in the business.”

Shares of ExxonMobil rose 0.8 percent in pre-market trading to $84.14.

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BUSINESS

First Bank of Nigeria Limited has splashed scholarships worth N2.7 million on 18 customers under its XploreFirst promo initiative to boost savings culture and promote financial inclusion among students.

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By Chinyere Joel- Nwokeoma (NAN)

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the winners were drawn from the six geopolitical zones and Lagos at the final/ grand raffle of XploreFirst promo on Friday in Lagos.

The winners emerged through an electronic draw handled by Tequila on behalf of the bank and supervised by KPMG, National Lottery Regulatory Commission, Lagos State Lottery Board and Consumer Protection Commission (CPC).

At the event, Mr Chuma Ezirim, FirstBank Group Executive, e-Business & Retail Products, said: “XploreFirst is a FirstBank savings account variant designed specifically for students between the age range of 18 to 29.’’

Ezirim said that a minimum amount of N1, 000 was required to open the account and account holders are to maintain a minimum balance of N200 to run the account.

He said that the XploreFirst promo was one of the special benefits of the account.

According to him, the 18 winners that emerged at the final draw will be offered yearly scholarships of N150,000 each.

Ezirim said that the initiative was targeted at youths, especially those in tertiary institutions and informal sector, to enhance savings culture and drive financial inclusion across the country.

“Customers are offered yearly scholarships of N150,000 as incentives to maintain a certain amount of deposit, in this case, N10,000 in their account over a 30-day period to qualify for the monthly draws and giveaways.

“Customers who  successfully maintain the set balance over the six months period are eligible to win the jackpot of N150,000, the grand finale prize,’’ he said.

Ezirim noted that the initiative would be sustained by the ban k  in line with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) financial inclusion mandate.

Also speaking, Mr Olufemi Odumuboni, the bank’s Head, Youth/Women Banking, said  the promo dynamics was centered at making people to engage in financial discipline.

Odumuboni said that winners were selected based on certain principles that made them eligible to qualify for the draw.

He explained that apart from the N2.7 million set aside for the yearly scholarships, the bank had splashed about N900, 000 to customers who emerged winners at the various monthly draws for data purchase for their mobile phones.

“Winners from the monthly draw selected from the bank’s six geopolitical zones are entitled to N5, 000 each which they are encouraged to use for data purchase for their mobile phones,” Odumuboni stated.

Ms Susie Onwuka of CPC, commended the bank for ensuring transparency throughout the promotion process.

Onwuka said the bank had deployed modern technology in the promo process to eliminate bias, noting that, the agency was happy with the process and the bank.

“Promotions should be registered to show transparency and ensure fairness to the consumers,” she said.

Onwuka said the regulatory body would follow up with the winners to ensure they were rewarded accordingly.

NAN reports that some of the scholarship winners included Mr Offiong Micheal, Mr Ezugba Chukwuebuka, Mr Olorunfemi Oluwatunmise, Mr Adekale Adenike and Ms Agbakwuru Dorcas.

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FirstBank Hits N1 Trillion in Transactions Processed through its Firstmonie Network

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Nigeria’s premier financial services provider and Bank of first choice, First Bank of Nigeria Limited has announced that its Firstmonie network has processed a cumulative transaction value of N1 trillion from its relaunch in January 2018. The network also achieved nationwide coverage in record time, enabling access to financial services for many locations that never had a way for its residents to access financial services. This is in line with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)’s objective of bringing banking services close to all Nigerians, irrespective of where they live.

FirstBank’s Firstmonie service provides financial/banking solutions to rural and semi-urban locations across the country, such as account opening, cash deposit, cash withdrawals, airtime purchase, bill payments and much more. Through this channel, the Bank is committed to providing convenient services that endears trust and provides ease of access to banking products, thereby saving time and travel costs for users of our network.

According to Dr. Adesola Adeduntan, the Chief Executive Officer, First Bank of Nigeria Limited; “The Firstmonie scheme is supporting the Federal Government’s empowerment and job creation agenda as over 22,000 Nigerians, through this scheme, contribute to the increased economic activities of their neighborhoods. Our partner network is growing and we are particularly delighted about the progress we are making in actively driving nationwide Financial Inclusion, exposing communities to opportunities for growth, jobs, empowerment, and improved live conditions. Yet again, we are delighted to score another first in promoting financial inclusion in the country.”

“We appreciate our partner network and remain committed to working together to achieve even greater impact on the lives of Nigerians”, he concluded

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SEC approves MTN listing on NSE

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The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) said that it has approved MTN Nigeria’s application to list on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) by way of introduction.

Mrs Efe Ebelo, SEC Head, Corporate Communications, confirmed this to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos.

Ebelo said the commission has approved the company’s application to be listed on the nation’s bourse by way of introduction.

She said that the company has successfully completed the registration of 20,354,513,050 ordinary shares of N0.02 each with the commission.

NAN recalls that MTN Nigeria on May 6 filed an application with SEC and the exchange for listing by introduction.

SEC recently said that it received an application from MTN requesting for registration of their existing securities.

“They have applied for listing by introduction which will enable the company to be listed and allow shareholders sell their shares on the floor of the exchange,” Ebelo said.

Mr Henry Rowlands, SEC Acting Executive Commissioner, Corporate Services, told NAN that the commission was committed to work with MTN Nigeria.

“SEC is committed to work with them, when they list by way of introduction naturally it will translate to public offering by and large.

“It’s better that they come to the market even if it’s by way of introduction because it will encourage other service providers to access the market,” Rowlands said.

Reacting to the approval, Mr Ambrose Omordion, the Chief Operating Officer, InvestData Ltd commended SEC for speedy approval.

Omordion said that MTN Nigeria July target for listing would be feasible with the approval, noting that the listing might be concluded before the target date,

NAN reports that MTN Nigeria recently changed its status from a private company to a public liability company (PLC) ahead of its listing on the exchange.

NAN reports that the conversion was one of the requirements for listing on the exchange.

The company had previously announced that it looks to list on the NSE before July, saying it plans to enter the market by way of listing by introduction.

Speaking on the conversion, Fredi Moolman, MTN Chief Executive Officer, said the listing was part of its commitment to localisation in the markets in which it operates.

“Our conversion to a Plc is a major step towards listing by introduction on the Nigerian Stock Exchange in the first half of 2019.

“It is a reaffirmation of our long-term commitment to expanding investment opportunities for Nigerians, in addition to providing everyday services to them.

“We look forward to continuing our engagement with the SEC and NSE to take forward the listing process,” Moolman said.

NAN reports that listing on the NSE was one of the conditions reached in the resolution of a N330 billion fine placed on the telco by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) for its inability to disconnect improperly registered SIM cards.

NAN

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