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Sterling Bank grows trading income by 265% in Q3 2020

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Lagos, Nigeria, November 19, 2020: Sterling Bank Plc, a full service national commercial bank, has reported a trading income of N7.1 billion for the third quarter ended September 30, 2020 compared with N1.9 billion for the corresponding period of 2019, representing an increase of 264.7 percent.

 

The bank made the remarkable financial performance despite the prevailing uncertainties that characterised the macro-economic environment in the wake of the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic and the attendant fiscal reforms by the Federal Government.

In his remarks on the impressive performance, Mr. Abubakar Suleiman, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer (MD/CEO) of the bank said, “With economic activity picking up in the third quarter, following the gradual ease in the nationwide lockdown, we continued to leverage on our existing remote work policy to enhance workforce productivity while ensuring uninterrupted service delivery to both existing and new customers.

Our performance continues to reflect positive results of strategic decisions and investments in our focus areas as we continued to record significant improvement in both funding and operational costs. Overall, we delivered a 7.2 percent increase in operating income and a profit after tax of N7.37 billion despite prevailing uncertainties around the COVID-19 pandemic and recent fiscal reforms.”

The CEO said, a 26.2% dip in fee income occasioned by the downward review of electronic banking fees, and slower loan origination due to the protracted lock down was moderated by a 264.7% spike in trading income.

He said growth in balance sheet was driven by a 26.5 percent growth in low cost funds, which saw the bank’s CASA mix improve to 71 percent from 60 percent, delivering a 6.6 percent growth in customer deposits. Our cash and short-term balances increased in line with the higher regulatory reserves while interest income also declined by 6.7 percent, which was offset by a 17.0 percent decline in interest expense. This delivered a 120 bps drop in cost of funds and, consequently, a 100-bps increase in net interest margin.

 

Suleiman noted that in terms of asset quality, “We proactively increased our cost of risk by 100 bps to 1.9%, while recording a marginal increase in NPL ratio to 2.9%, well below our target of 5%”

He explained that the decline in OPEX was achieved by moderating administrative expenses despite growth in other operating expenses, including AMCON and insurance fees

The CEO said the bank was able to maintain a strong capital and liquidity position of 16.1 percent and 32.5 percent respectively above regulatory benchmark, adding that overall the bank delivered a profit after tax of N7.37 billion for the 9-month period.

Sterling Bank Plc is a leading national commercial banking establishment in Nigeria. It commenced operations as NAL Bank in 1960. Today, with over N1 trillion in total assets, 160 business offices and over 800 ATMs nationwide, Sterling Bank has grown into a major financial institution. The Bank prides itself as ‘Your one-customer bank’ that celebrates each customer as a unique individual. For further information,

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BUSINESS

Heirs Holdings Acquires 45% of OML 17 from Shell, Total and ENI

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Heirs Holdings (“HH”), the leading African strategic investor, in partnership with affiliated company Transnational Corporation of Nigeria Plc (“Transcorp”), Nigeria’s largest publicly listed conglomerate, announced today the unconditional acquisition of a 45% participating interest in Nigerian oil licence OML 17 and related assets, through TNOG Oil and Gas Limited (a related company of Heirs Holdings and Transcorp), from the Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited, Total E&P Nigeria Limited and ENI. In addition, TNOG Oil and Gas Limited will have sole operatorship of the asset.

 

The transaction is one of the largest oil and gas financings in Africa in more than a decade, with a financing component of US$1.1 billion, provided by a consortium of global and regional banks and investors. OML 17 has a current production capacity of 27,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day and, according to our estimates, 2P reserves of 1.2 billion barrels of oil equivalent, with an additional 1 billion barrels of oil equivalent resources of further exploration potential.

 

The investment demonstrates a further important advance in the execution of Heirs Holdings’ integrated energy strategy and the Group’s commitment to Africa’s development, through long term investments that create economic prosperity and social wealth. Heirs Holdings’ heritage and approach to business fundamentally underscores its commitment to inclusive development and shared prosperity with its host communities. Heirs Holdings is fully invested in the development of the Niger Delta region.

 

Heirs Holdings’ strategy of creating the leading integrated energy business in Africa is executed through a series of strategic portfolio holdings. Transcorp is one of the largest power producers in Nigeria, with 2,000 MW of installed capacity, through ownership of Transcorp Power Plant and the recent acquisition of Afam Power Plc and Afam Three Fast Power Limited. Transcorp closed the US$300 million Afam acquisitions in November 2020.  Transcorp supplies electricity to the Republic of Benin, as part of an emphasis on promoting regional integration and delivering robust power supply to catalyse development in Africa. Transcorp also operates OPL281, under a production sharing contract with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (“NNPC”). Similarly, Heirs Holdings’ subsidiary, Tenoil is the operator of OPL 2008, under a production sharing contract with NNPC. Tenoil also owns the Ata Marginal Field, which will commence production in Q2, 2021, with 3,500 barrels of oil per day.

 

Chairman of Heirs Holdings, Tony Elumelu stated: “We have a very clear vision: creating Africa’s first integrated energy multinational, a global quality business, uniquely focused on Africa and Africa’s energy needs. The acquisition of such a high-quality asset, with significant potential for further growth, is a strong statement of our confidence in Nigeria, the Nigerian oil and gas sector and a tribute to the extremely high-quality management team that we have assembled. As a Nigerian, and more particularly an indigene of the Niger Delta region, I understand well our responsibilities that come with stewardship of the asset, our engagement with communities and the strategic importance of the oil and gas sector in Nigeria.  We see significant benefits from integrating our production, with our ability to power Nigeria, through Transcorp, and deliver value across the energy value chain.”

 

Speaking further, he said “I would like to thank Shell, Total and ENI, for the professionalism of the process, the Federal Government of Nigeria, the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, and the NNPC for the confidence they have placed in us.”

 

Speaking on the investment, the President/GCEO of Transcorp, Owen Omogiafo, said “This deal further demonstrates Transcorp’s integrated energy strategy and our determination to power Africa.”

 

Heirs Holdings was advised by Standard Chartered Plc, as Global Coordinator, and United Capital Plc, with a syndicate of lending institutions including Afreximbank, ABSA, Africa Finance Corporation, Union Bank of Nigeria, Hybrid Capital, and global asset management firm Amundi. The deal also involves Schlumberger as a technical partner, as well as the trading arm of Shell as an offtaker.

 

Heirs Holdings has created one of Africa’s largest, indigenous owned, oil and gas businesses, headquartered in Lagos, Nigeria and led by a board and management team with significant regional and global experience in production, exploration, and value creation in the resources sector. The HH Group is committed to the highest standards of safety, health, and community relations, together with best practice in governance and accountability.

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Movement that inspires’: Kia Presents its New Brand Purpose and Future Strategy

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Kia has announced new details of its new brand purpose and ambitions for the future during a digital showcase event. Supported by a new brand slogan, ‘Movement that inspires’, Kia today reveals new details of a strategy that will see the company go beyond vehicle manufacturing to create sustainable mobility solutions for customers.

Signaling the brand breaking away from its traditional manufacturing-driven business model, Kia has announced a new corporate name. Removing the ‘Motors’ from its name (previously ‘Kia Motors Corporation’), Kia will expand into new and emerging business areas by creating innovative mobility products and services to improve customers’ daily lives.

Ho Sung Song, President and CEO of Kia Corporation, comments: “At Kia, we believe that transportation, mobility, and movement represent a human right. Our vision is to create sustainable mobility solutions for consumers, communities, and societies globally. Today we start putting this vision into action with the launch of our new brand purpose and strategy for the future.”

Introducing Kia’s new brand purpose and slogan: ‘Movement that inspires’

Kia’s new brand slogan, ‘Movement that inspires’, is introduced today at the heart of a brand manifesto which reflects Kia’s new purpose of inspiring consumers through products and services, and their experiences with the brand.

Kia’s new brand purpose emphasizes that movement is at the genesis of human development. Movement enables people to see new places, to meet new people, and to have new experiences. This connection is the essence of Kia’s new brand – to enable human progress by providing innovative in-car spaces, exciting new products, and meaningful, convenient services that inspire customers and free up time for the activities that they enjoy the most.

Artur Martins, Senior Vice President, Head of Global Brand & Customer Experience at Kia said “Movement has always been at the heart of our brand, and moving people at the core of our business. Movement helps humankind to constantly progress, improve, and evolve. That is why at Kia we believe that movement inspires ideas.”

Kia has been in the ‘movement’ industry for more than 75 years, and the company went on to create Korea’s first domestic bicycles and to manufacture motorcycles and delivery trucks. Today, Kia is one of the biggest automakers globally, providing high-value passenger vehicles to millions of people around the world.

Under its new brand purpose, Kia will meet changing customer expectations about how they move, and how their movement impacts the world around them. Consumers are increasingly seeking out flexible, environmentally conscious, and integrated forms of transportation.

Kia’s new brand strategy is to respond to – and shape – these changing expectations by developing a range of products and services to meet customers’ needs in markets around the globe. These will offer greater access to a wider range of environmentally conscious mobility products and services to meet growing demand from customers worldwide for flexible, customizable, individualized mobility solutions, enabled by data and new technologies.

Kia Corporation’s broader vision for sustainable mobility

Reflecting the brand’s broader vision for mobility, Kia has announced today a new corporate name as it expands into new business areas to promote sustainable mobility. By removing the ‘Motors’ from its name, Kia’s new corporate name shows a commitment to its long-term ‘Plan S’ business strategy. This was announced in 2020 and will see the brand establish a leadership position in the future mobility industry, expanding its business to encompass EVs, mobility solutions and services, purpose-built vehicles, and more. Alongside these efforts, Kia will simultaneously promote more sustainable production through the usage of clean energy and recyclable materials.

Kia is focused on popularizing battery electric vehicles (BEVs), and plans to reinforce its global product line-up with the introduction of seven new dedicated BEVs by 2027. These new models will include a range of passenger vehicles, SUVs, and MPVs across several segments, each incorporating industry-leading technology for long-range driving and high-speed charging from Hyundai Motor Group’s new Electric-Global Modular Platform (E-GMP).

Kia is also developing a range of new Purpose-Built Vehicles (PBVs) for corporate customers. These specialized vehicles will be based on flexible ‘skateboard’ platforms, with modular bodies designed to meet the specific mobility needs of a broad range of corporate and fleet customers. Partnerships with the likes of Canoo and Arrival will mean Kia PBVs can offer different bodies mounted on top of an integrated modular ‘skateboard’ platform, tailored to users’ functional requirements.

Demand for PBVs is expected to grow five-fold by 2030 due to rapid and sustained growth in e-commerce and car-sharing services. Bespoke Kia PBVs will be tailored to meet the needs of corporate and fleet customers. For instance, these could include car-sharing vehicles, low-floor logistics vehicles, and delivery vehicles.

The change in the company’s corporate name also means transforming the organization’s working culture. President Song explains: “Changing our corporate name and logo is not only a cosmetic improvement. It represents us expanding our horizons and establishing new and emerging businesses that meet and exceed the diverse needs of our customers worldwide. More importantly, it also means adapting our working culture, enabling the creativity of all our employees, and establishing an inspiring work environment.”

Development of eco-friendly mobility services

Another strategic objective under Plan S is a commitment by Kia to diversify its business to offer eco-friendly mobility services, centered on electric and autonomous driving across major global cities.

In addition, Kia is ramping up collaboration and partnerships with global mobility solutions businesses, diversifying mobility services in global strategic regions. In 2018, the company invested in Grab, Southeast Asia’s largest ride-hailing service, food delivery and payment solutions company; and in Ola in March 2019, an Indian company offering peer-to-peer ridesharing, ride-service hailing, taxi, food delivery and other mobility services.

Kia is also establishing other mobility services, including WiBLE, a car-sharing joint venture with Repsol, Spain’s major energy corporation, in Madrid. Launched in September 2018, WiBLE operates 500 Kia Niro Plug-in Hybrid EVs (PHEVs) through a free-floating method that allows users to freely rent and return vehicles within the service area. WiBLE remains one of Europe’s most successful shared mobility schemes, with over 130,000 members having registered since its inauguration. A new service, KiaMobility, was also launched in locations across Italy and Russia in September 2020, accelerating the company’s transformation to becoming a mobility solutions provider. KiaMobility will be introduced to several new markets in the years ahead.

Coming soon: Kia’s first dedicated BEV and a new design philosophy

The first of Kia’s next-generation BEVs will be revealed in the first quarter of 2021, embodying Kia’s shifting focus towards electrification. Based on new E-GMP technology, this dedicated BEV will boast a crossover-inspired design, while offering an electric driving range of over 500 kilometers and a high-speed charging time of under 20 minutes. This will also be the first global model to bear Kia’s new logo.

With its growing range of BEVs, Kia is targeting a 6.6% share of the global BEV market by 2025, and global annual sales of 500,000 BEVs by 2026.

Kia will also reveal more information about the new design direction of its future products and services in the weeks ahead, with a new design philosophy that reflects the brand’s transformation.

Karim Habib, Senior Vice President, Head of Kia Global Design Center, explains: “We want our products to deliver an instinctive and natural experience that can improve the daily lives of our customers. Our aim is to design the physical experience of our brand and to create original, inventive, and exciting electric vehicles. The ideas of our designers and the purpose of the brand are more connected than ever, with our customers at the center of what we do.”

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Banking

FIRSTBANK BEGINS THE YEAR WITH AN INNOVATIVE, CONVENIENT VIRTUAL PAYMENT CARD

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First of Bank of Nigeria Limited, Nigeria’s leading financial inclusion services provider has launched the Virtual Payment card, a Naira denominated debit card and digital representation of the plastic debit card. The card is designed to be linked to either a customer’s operative account or wallet account.

 

The FirstBank Virtual Payment Card is a suitable alternative to the use of cash and cheques, with its wide-range features which  include the ability of cardholders to protect his/her card using the block and unblock capabilities; PIN Reset; Change PIN as well as view statement at one’s convenience. It also enables diaspora customers to spend from his/her FirstBank account within the spend limit advised by the bank without the need for a physical card.

The FirstBank Virtual Payment Card is a safe, convenient, and easy way of making e-commerce payments amongst other functionalities.

The Virtual Payment Card can be created via the Bank’s leading digital channels; FirstMobile or Firstmonie Wallet applications. Customers can download the card, activate the card and consummate transactions all at once from the comfort of their homes/offices. No branch visit is required. Customers are advised to update their mobile application to the latest version, then select Card Services on the FirstMobile App and My Virtual Card application to create a Virtual Card at the cost of N215 (VAT Inclusive).

Speaking on the launch, Mr. Gbenga Shobo, Deputy Managing Director, First Bank of Nigeria Limited said ‘the launch of our Virtual Payment Card is yet another secure and seamless way we promote electronic banking, whilst enabling customers to carry-out their transactions on the web”

“The Virtual Payment Card is also designed to guard against the spread of the COVID-19 as it does not require physical interaction between the customer and FirstBank Branches. We enjoin our customers to download the application and stay ahead in modern banking,” he concluded.

 

Similarly, FirstBank recently launched the FAST Track ATM, the next generation ATM and first of its kind in Africa, designed to promote financial activities on the ATM without any form of physical interaction with the machine.

 

For more information on the Virtual Payment Card, kindly click here for the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs).

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