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UBA’s Earnings Hits N494bn…Records Profit Of N106.8 Billion

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The Pan-African financial institution, United Bank for Africa Plc has announced its Audited 2018 Financial Results with impressive growths achieved across major financial lines.

According to the 2018 financials filed at the Nigerian Stock Exchange on Tuesday, the Africa’s global bank’s gross earnings grew by 7.0 percent to N494.0 billion, compared to N461.6 billion recorded in the corresponding period of 2017. The Bank’s total assets also grew significantly by 19.7 percent to an unprecedented N4.9 trillion for the year under review.

These results, according to financial analysts largely demonstrates the benefits of the Group’s Pan-African footprints with continued growth in market share in key countries of operation across Africa. The contributions of ex-Nigeria subsidiaries at 40 percent, again confirms the strong footing of the Group’s franchise in Africa.

Despite the challenging business environments in Nigeria and across key markets in Africa, the Bank’s Profit Before Tax was quite impressive at N106.8 billion, a 2.4 percent growth, compared toN104.2 billion in 2017 financial year. In same vein, the Profit After Tax rose by 1.4 percent to N78.6 billion, compared to N77.5 billion recorded in 2017. Due to lower foreign exchange trading income, Operating Expenses grew by 4.1 percent to N197.3 billion, compared to N189.7 billion in 2017

Reflecting the modest appetite of the Bank in the year under review as well as impact of IFRS 9 implementation, net loans recorded a prudent 3.9 percent growth to N1.72 trillion while Customer Deposits increased by a remarkable 22.5 percent to N3.3 trillion, compared to N2.7 trillion recorded in the corresponding period of 2017, reflecting increased customer confidence and enhanced service channels.  Furthermore, Shareholders’ Funds decreased marginally by 4.8 percent to N502.6 billion, reflecting the impact of International Financial Reporting Standards 9 (IFRS 9) implementation.

Commenting on the result, the Group Managing Director/CEO, Kennedy Uzoka noted that the year 2018 was important for the Group, as it gained further market share in many countries of operation. More so, the CEO was excited at strategic achievements made in the year, including the start of wholesale banking operations in London, as it seeks to leverage the Group’s unique network across Africa. UBA also opened its 20th African operation.

“Defying the relatively weak economic growth in Africa, earnings were positive and we grew our balance sheet by 20 percent, driven by the 23 percent growth in our deposit funding. In a period of economic uncertainty, we have focused on retail deposit mobilization, with exciting results. We recorded a 48 percent year-on-year growth in retail deposits and improved our CASA ratio to 77 percent, optimizing our funding mix, which will enhance our net interest margin (NIM), over the medium term,” Uzoka said.

Uzoka remained confident that the Bank’s performance would be even stronger in the years ahead and shareholders would enjoy even greater dividends, as the Group is well positioned to take advantage of imminent fiscal reforms across many economies in Africa, a positive outlook which should stimulate new opportunities in infrastructure, manufacturing, agriculture and resource sectors.

He continued: “Our operations in the United Kingdom now offer end-to-end trade, treasury, structured finance, wholesale deposit taking and ancillary services. With this development, we are better positioned to fulfill our aspiration of deepening trade and capital flows between Europe and Africa. We are also pleased with the market acceptance of our new operation in Mali”.

“Having said this, I am excited by the profitability of our ex-Nigeria subsidiaries, which now contributes an impressive 40 percent earnings to the Group. At the moment, our Nigerian business is benefiting from our product and operational focus, gaining market share – most importantly, the increasing penetration of our retail offerings is reassuring, as this fundamental progress aligns with our strategy of focusing on sustainable growth”.

“With great optimism, we look forward to a more rewarding 2019 for our shareholders, as we further sweat our resources and optimize productivity towards delivering superior returns,” he concluded.

Also speaking on the performance, the Group CFO, Ugo Nwaghodoh said that the improving mix of the Bank’s funding base and asset pricing, reinforce a positive outlook on Net Interest Margin(NIM) and broader balance sheet efficiency.

“Whilst considerable investment in people, digital transformation and channel enhancement masked cost efficiency gains within the year, with cost-to-income ratio at 64 percent, we are convinced that our diligent execution of new initiatives will ensure the reduction of Cost to Income Ratio(CIR) towards our medium-term target. Our balance sheet is being positioned to take full advantage of market swings and our strong 25 percent capital adequacy ratio provides headroom for growth, even under a BASEL III scenario. As it stands, UBA has started the year on a good note and should sustain the momentum, as we work towards improving our Return on Average Equity (RoAE),” Nwaghodoh said.

United Bank for Africa Plc is a leading pan-African financial services group, operating in 20 African countries, as well as the United Kingdom, the United States of America and with presence in France.

UBA was incorporated in Nigeria as a limited liability company after taking over the assets of the British and French Bank Limited who had been operating in Nigeria since 1949. The United Bank for Africa merged with Standard Trust Bank in 2005 and from a single country operation founded in 1949 in Nigeria – Africa’s largest economy – UBA has become one of the leading providers of banking and other financial services on the African continent. The Bank which was awarded the Best Digital Bank in Africa by the Euromoney awards in 2018, provides services to over 17 million customers globally, through one of the most diverse service channels in sub-Saharan Africa, with over 1,000 branches and customer touch points and robust online and mobile banking platforms.

The shares of UBA are publicly traded on the Nigerian Stock Exchange and the Bank has a well-diversified shareholder base, which includes foreign and local institutional investors, as well as individual shareholders.

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FBN Holdings Carrts Away World Finance Best Corporate Governance in Nigeria Award

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By Segun Lawal
FBN Holdings Plc has won the 2019 Best Corporate Governance in Nigeria Award organized by World Finance; the leading financial services group announced today.
The award ceremony was held recently in London Stock Exchange studio by World Finance, renowned for its comprehensive coverage and analysis of the financial industry, international business and global economy.
The annual event is usually organised against a backdrop of a comprehensive analysis of the very best across various areas of business endeavours in each market around the world.

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UK Eke, Group Managing Director, FBN Holdings Plc receiving the Best Corporate Governance in Nigeria award on behalf of FBNHoldings from Paul Richardson, Producer, World Finance at the World Finance Awards 2019 held in London Stock Exchange Studio, London recently.

Elated to receive the award on behalf of FBNHoldings, UK Eke, Group Managing Director of the finance house said; “receiving this award from World Finance basically tells us two things. One: it’s an affirmation of what we are doing in corporate governance, beyond the giant strides we’re making in financial performance. So we see this as an endorsement of the brand, and it’s a bragging right for us. Because again, there are very few institutions in Nigeria that have benefited from this award. We are truly proud to receive this award.”

Since 2007, World Finance has been celebrating corporate achievement, innovation and brilliance in their annual awards.

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Tony Elumelu Foundation Hosts European Commission, Leading Development Finance Institutions and Think Tanks in Brussels

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At a time when Europe’s relationship with Africa is high on foreign policy and developmental agendas and with the European Union beginning to deliver on its 2017 External Investment Plan, targeted at attracting investment and job creation in Africa, the Tony Elumelu Foundation brought together leading stakeholders in the development finance sector, at a case study session in the EU capital, Belgium. The convening demonstrated that Africa also had solutions to bring to the table and platformed the Foundation’s unique approach to catalysing entrepreneurship in scale across the continent.

Themed “A Convening on Africa’s Economic Transformation: A Case Study of the Tony Elumelu Foundation”, the event presented the results of the first five years of the Foundation’s Entrepreneurship Programme a unique programme, which has trained, mentored and seeded 4,470 African entrepreneurs with 3,050 newly announced to receive seed funding, and drawn over 200,000 applications to its 2019 cycle. Tony Elumelu’s $100m investment in entrepreneurial philanthropy was held up as an example of how vital capital could be targeted efficiently and effectively, at African businesses best able to create significant economic and developmental impact.

Opening the event, Mr. Koen Doens, Deputy Director General, DEVCO, EU, said: “Africa needs to create jobs by the millions to match the needs of its exponentially growing population. It will achieve this only if it unleashes a generation of empowered entrepreneurs. The Tony Elumelu Foundation contributes to this massively. The European Union wants to play its part and contribute to this endeavour.”

During an indepth question and answer session with EU-Africa relations expert, Annie Mutamba, Founder, Mr. Tony O. Elumelu CON, highlighted the growing interest in the Tony Elumelu Foundation and its unique approach, while welcoming a new type of intervention in Africa. “We very much believe in collaboration, mutual respect and a shared commitment to transform Africa. Africa is ready but we need to do this through the right sustainable manner, that enables our people to become self-reliant, and independent, instead of perpetuating dependency. We need to implement practical solutions on ground through entrepreneurship, which empower people economically and addresses issues of extremism, migration, and insecurity.”

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L-R: Carl Michiels, Director, European Centre for Development Policy Management (ECDPM); Former Prime Minister of Benin, HE Lionel Zinsou; Bruno Wenn, Former CEO/Chairman at DEG-German Investment and Development Company, and Advisory Board Member, Tony Elumelu Foundation; Minister Phillippe De Backer, Minister for Digital Agenda, Telecommunications and Post; and Ifeyinwa Ugochukwu, CEO of the Tony Elumelu Foundation.

Minister Phillippe De Backer, Minister for Digital Agenda, Telecommunications and Post, Belgium, also commented: “There is an increasing desire in Europe to engage Africa, including its grassroots in a structure and targeted approach with the right processes. The Tony Elumelu Foundation offers this platform.”

The Tony Elumelu Foundation, which last month in March announced 3,050 selected entrepreneurs for its 2019 cycle, continues to grow in scale, ambition and impact, and now actively leverages technology to support entrepreneurs through TEF Connect – a digital hub designed to link entrepreneurs across Africa, and which already has 500,000 users.

On the Foundation’s future plans, he stated: “We want to make sure that we impact more, reach more, touch more lives and get more women involved. We want to see more Northern Africa participation. We would like to reach 10,000 a year, with support from partners to empower additional entrepreneurs. We want to eradicate poverty and create wealth in a sustainable way. Ultimately, \we want a larger and broader entrepreneurship ecosystem, that supports young Africans, and we want to deepen our engagement with government to create the enabling environment to support these Africans to succeed – the right investment climate, training, education, access to capital and most importantly creating the right investment culture.”

Other dignitaries at the event included: Carl Michiels, Director, European Centre for Development Policy Management (ECDPM); Bruno Wenn, Former CEO/Chairman at DEG-German Investment and Development Company, and Advisory Board Member, Tony Elumelu Foundation; Mr Viwanou Gnanssougou, Assistant Secretary General, African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) at the European Council of the European Union, and Ifeyinwa Ugochukwu, CEO of the Tony Elumelu Foundation.

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Firstbank Commemorates Global Money Week Empowering Over 7000 Students

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By Segun Lawal

Nigeria’s innovative financial powerhouse, First Bank of Nigeria Limited, commemorated the 2019 Global Money Week (GMW) themed “Learn Save Earn”, 25 – 31 March joining over 50,000 global institutions to mark the event.
Representatives of FirstBank imparted nuggets of financial literacy to over 7000 students in schools spread across the 6 geo-political zones of the country which is also in line with the mandate of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) that each bank in the country teach in selected schools across the 6 geo-political zones. Among the schools visited by FirstBank include the CEO school: Fiwasaye Girls Grammer Sch. Alagbaka Akure.
According to the official website of Global Money Week (GMW); “Child & Youth Finance International (CYFI) initiative, is an annual financial awareness campaign built to inspire children and young people to learn about money matters, livelihoods and entrepreneurship” which is akin to FirstBank’s commitment over the years to encourage its key stakeholders, customers, to imbibe savings culture whilst having their children also carried along on the essence of savings through its youth focused products, KidsFirsts (0 – 12 years) and MeFirst (13 – 17 years) carefully designed to meet the financial targets of the given demographics. These accounts ensure the accounts holders acquire the rudiments of banking and financial literacy as they grow into adulthood and they both come with exciting packages to support the financial journey of the children, enabling them learn money management from an early age.
The Global Money Week is in line with FirstBank’s FutureFirst programme, specially designed to equip students with the knowledge of money management, early entrepreneurship skills, and financial independence whilst stimulating in them savings culture at an early age. Commemorating the Global Money Week is consistent with the Bank’s financial literacy initiatives.
Speaking on the Global Money Week, Folake Ani-Mumuney, Group Head, Marketing & Corporate Communications, First Bank of Nigeria Limited said “interestingly the Global Money Week coincides with the month of the bank’s 125th anniversary celebration which indeed has been filled with activities of telling our story to the world, thereby promoting the need for efficient financial decisions as not just an individual but a business entity. The FirstBank story is one to be exemplified by all, especially the youth at promoting good money decisions towards business sustainability. .
“As the premier financial institution in Nigeria, we are committed to continually promote financial literacy amongst the younger generation as with them, the future of the country is secured, and they would be knowledgeably equipped and guided to make the right financial decisions, critical to improving their lives and venture into the right business activities, consequently influencing the economy.

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