Financial Markets Close For Holiday

Nigerian Stock Exchange, NS, Financial Market, Stock Market, Independence HolidayFinancial markets across Nigeria are closed for the country’s 56th independence holiday.

Markets had closed on Friday to reopen tomorrow, Tuesday October 4.

Before the holiday, the financial markets had closed largely bearish but marginal gains were recorded in the equity market.

The last trading in September ended marginally positive as the all share index and market capitalisation rose further by more than a quarter of a percent, on the back of price advance by some mid-cap stocks.

However, market breadth was negative with 16 gainers against 22 losers on the price table.

The top three gainers for the day were Pharmadeko, NAHCO and Honeywell Flour Mills while Caverton, Nothern Nigeria Flour Mills and Conoil were the three most significant decliners.

Nigerian Stock Exchange, NS, Financial Market, Stock Market, Independence Holiday

Friday’s transaction was lower than the previous session, as it recorded a total turnover of 217.8 million shares worth 2.38 billion naira in 2,804 deals.

The most traded stocks were banking giants, Ecobank Transnational Incorporated, FCMB and Zenith Bank.

Research analysts believe that markets direction will be shaped by the third quarter numbers this week as yields in the local bonds market tend to inch higher.

Meanwhile, the Central Bank plans to auction 135.7-billion-naira worth of treasury bills on Wednesday with a view to curb speculations against the naira at the foreign exchange market as well as inflation.

FCMB Promises Improved Retail Banking

FCMB bank Retail BankingThe First City Monument Bank (FCMB) has promised to build on the success of its retail banking initiative to serve its customers better.

The Executive Director of Finance, FCMB, Mrs Yemisi Edun, made the statement at the official opening of the bank’s branch in Asokoro district of Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.

She said that the bank would work assiduously through its four core values, to bring its services to an enviable height.

Mrs Edun disclosed that the idea was driven by the bank’s desire to further enhance its retail banking scheme, expressing optimism that their customers’ needs would be met.

Another senior official of the bank, Mr Akinwunmi Kolapo, said that FCMB had provided several banking platforms for easy banking to its numerous customers.

He explained that banking channels would help fast-track business transactions and appealed to the bank’s customers to use it judiciously.

One of the bank’s customers, Olusola Alabi, expressed delight at the establishment of a new branch closer to them.

Diamond Bank, FCMB To Raise New Capital

Diamond Bank, FCMBDiamond Bank is considering raising fresh capital and selling some assets in order to maintain its capital ratios.

The bank’s management says the capital plan will ensure it meets all regulatory requirements both in the short term and in the future.

Diamond Bank’s capital adequacy ratio had fallen to 15.6 percent of assets by mid-year from 18.6 percent a year ago.

According to Reuters, the bank’s chief executive, Uzoma Dozie, told an analysts’ conference call, “We are doing a capital management plan and that will determine how much capital we want to raise, tenor and size.

“We don’t have any need to grow our branch network any more. We are also looking at some assets that we can dispose of and we are a long way into that.”

Meanwhile, mid-tier bank FCMB plans to raise 10 to 15 billion naira of Tier II capital to boost its balance sheet and will target its retail investors for the offering.

FCMB’s capital adequacy ratio was close to the regulatory limit of 15 percent of assets at mid-year, and the bank’s management say the capital raising is to provide an additional cushion.

FCMB CEO, Mr Ladi Balogun, said, “For the Tier II we would be looking at anywhere in the range of 10 to 15 billion naira. It’s really going to be targeted at retail because we feel that the rates from institutions will be high.”

Seven Oil Thieves Bag 84 Years Jail Term

Oil thievesJustice Okon Abang of a Federal High Court in Lagos on Friday convicted and sentenced seven men to a prison term of 84 years for dealing in 1,459 metric tonnes of Premium Motor Spirit otherwise known as petroleum product without obtaining lawful authority.

The convicts, who will each serve a jail term of 12 years, commencing from Friday, October 30 2015, are Adedamola Ogungbayi, Olaniran Olabode, Suraju Gasali and Moses Emmanuel.

Others are Wilson Bonsi, Okaraodi Uche and Onyeogo Happy.

The judge also ordered the forfeiture of the vessel, MT Good Success, used by the convicts in perpetrating the crime, as well as the recovered petroleum product to the Federal Government.

In addition, Abang further ordered the forfeiture of the sums of N66.6m and $975,000 belonging to the convicts’ company, Hepa Global Energy Limited, domiciled with the First City Monument Bank.

He ordered the filing of an affidavit of compliance with the order within 21 days of the judgment.

The seven convicts, their vessel and company had on August 28, 2014 been re-arraigned on five counts before Abang, alongside one Padoun Jacob, who was on Friday discharged and acquitted by the court.

The judge, in setting Jacob free on all the five counts, described him as a desperate job seeker, who became a victim of circumstances.

He noted that the stolen product had been loaded before Jacob was employed by Hepa Global Energy Limited on February 7, 2014.

“The guilty should not escape punishment but the innocent should not be punished,” the judge held.

He, however, described the other convicts as enemies of the corporate existence of Nigeria, who had contributed to the economic woes of the country.

“The convicts have no sympathy for the corporate existence of this country. The seed of wrongdoing may be sown in secret but the harvest cannot be concealed. Today is the day of reckoning.

“You call it oil bunkering or pipeline vandalism, this menace has reached an alarming proportion in this country; enough is enough.

“The convicts are godless and lawless, without any particle of sympathy for this country. They are part of the people that have contributed to the economic woes of this country.

“The convicts planted thorns, they cannot expect to gather flowers; they sowed the wind, and they must gather whirlwind,” the judge held.

Although he noted that each of counts one to four attracted life sentence, he, however, sentenced each of the seven convicts to 10 years on each of the counts, to run concurrently from the judgment day.

He also sentenced each of them to two years on the fifth count.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission’s prosecutor, Mr. Rotimi Oyedepo, had told the judge that the convicts violated sections 19(c) and 17 of the Miscellaneous Offences Act, Cap M17, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.

To prove his case, Oyedepo called a total of 11 witnesses, leading to the conviction and imprisonment of the seven convicts.

N8b Currency Scam: EFCC To Arraign 6 CBN Bosses, 16 Others

EFCCThe Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is set to charge six top officials of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and 16 others to a Federal High Court on June 2, for a sum of 8b Naira currency fraud.

The commission said in a statement signed by its Head of Media & Publicity, Wilson Uwujaren, on Sunday that it would bring the executives before the court for their involvement in the theft and re-circulation of defaced and mutilated currencies.

According to the EFCC, “The Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) has concluded arrangement to arraign in court, five top executives of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), implicated in a mega scam involving the theft and re-circulation of defaced and mutilated currencies.

“The suspects drawn from various business units of the apex bank are to be docked by the anti-graft agency before a Federal High Court sitting in Ibadan, Oyo State, from Tuesday June 2, 2015 to Thursday June 4, 2015.

“They include Patience Okoro Eye (Abuja), Afolabi Olufemi (Lagos), Kolawole Babalola (Ibadan), Olaniran Muniru Adeola (Ibadan), Fatai Yusuf Adekunle (Head, Security, CBN, (Ibadan) and Ilori Adekunle Sunday, (Akure).”

The commission explained further that “the remaining 16 suspects were drawn from various commercial banks, who were found to have conspired with the CBN executives to swing the heist. All the suspects, who are currently in the custody of the EFCC, are now ruing the day they literally allowed greed and craze for materialism to becloud their sense of judgment and responsibility, when they elected to help themselves to tones of defaced Naira notes.

“Instead of carrying out the statutory instruction to destroy the currency, they substituted it with newspapers neatly cut to Naira sizes and proceeded to recycle the defaced and mutilated currency. The fraud is partly to blame for the failure of government monetary policy over the years as currency mop up exercises by the apex bank failed to check the inflationary pressure on the economy.”

“The lid on the scam which was widely suspected to have gone on unchecked for years, was blown on November 3, 2014 via a petition to the EFCC alleging that over N6, 575, 549, 370.00 (Six Billion, Five Hundred and Seventy-Five Million, Five-Hundred and Forty-Nine Thousand, Three Hundred and Seventy Naira) was cornered and discreetly recycled by light fingered top executives of the CBN at the Ibadan branch.

“The suspects, who were members of the Briquetting Panel, plotted their way to infamy on September 8, 2014, while carrying out a Briquetting exercise at the CBN Branch, Ibadan. In banking parlance, Briquetting is disintegration and destruction of counted and audited dirty notes. By this practice, depositor banks usually take mutilated notes to the CBN in exchange for fresh notes equivalent of the amount deposited.

“The depositor banks in this instance, are Zenith Bank, FCMB, Wema Bank, Access Bank, First Bank, Skye Bank, Ecobank and Sterling Bank. But while carrying out the assignment, the team were alleged to have found one of the currency boxes filled only with old newspapers rather than 20 bundles of N1000 notes. A similar case, according to investigation, had been discovered on September 22, 2014 when a box that was supposed to contain N500 notes to the tune of N5billion was filled with old newspapers,” the commission said.

The EFCC stressed further that “unlike in the past, this fraud could not be swept under the carpet, as a member of the Briquetting Panel from the Osogbo branch blew the lid on the illicit deal.

“In a statement, the informant stated that the exercise was designed to last between August 4 and 8, 2014. The 35-year-old, however, stated that she discovered a strange ‘sight’ while opening the third box on the second day of the exercise. It was a discovery that beat her ken.

“A five count charge awaits the suspects as they prepare to face the wrath of the law.”

Money Laundering: Fani-Kayode’s Trial Commences

Femi Fani-KayodeTrial commenced afresh on Monday in the money laundering charge filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, against former Aviation Minister, Femi Fani-Kayode.

Mr. Fani-Kayode is facing a 40-count charge of laundering about 100 million naira.

The offence was allegedly committed while he served first as Minister for Culture and Tourism and then as Aviation Minister.

The trial began with the prosecution’s first witness, Mr. Okechukwu Okeke, testifying before the court.

Mr. Okeke, a Relationship Officer with First City Monument Bank, FCMB, said that Mr. Fani-Kayode’s account at the bank had become dormant.

He explained that the account was with First Atlantic Bank before it was acquired by Finbank, which was also acquired by FCMB.

The prosecution counsel, Mr Festus Keyamo, tendered Mr. Fani-Kayode’s bank statement of account between August 2008 and September 2012, but the inability to provide the bank statements between 2004 and 2008, the period during which Mr. Fani-Kayode served as minister ended the trial abruptly.

Efforts by the defence lawyer, Ifedayo Adedipe, to secure a long adjournment date for continuation of the trial was rebuffed by the judge who insisted that the trial had dragged on for too long.

Mr. Fani-Kayode was first arraigned in 2008 and since then, three judges have at different times handled his case.

Presiding Judge, Justice Rita Ofili-Ajumogobia, has fixed March 18 and 19 for continuation of the trial.

FCMB losses N11.35 billion in 2011

First City Monument Bank (FCMB) said on Monday it had made a pre-tax loss of N11.35 billion in 2011, compared with a N9.02 billion profit before tax in 2010, on underwriting losses and bad loans.

Revenues rose to N80.39 billion, from N62.68 billion the previous year, it said.

FCMB attributed the loss to the underwriting of several share issues dating back to 2009, and on some non-performing loans sold to Nigeria’s state-backed rescue bank AMCON (Asset Management Company of Nigeria).

“All legacy loans and weaknesses associated with capital market and oil and gas transactions have been fully regularised through sales to AMCON or outright provisioning/ write-offs,” the bank said in a statement.

FCMB said it expects that the first half of 2012 will see improvements and is likely to exceed its released forecasts.
The bank’s shares fell 2.49 percent to 3.70 naira per share on Monday.

Nigeria’s FCMB warns of 2011 loss, shares fall

Nigeria’s First City Monument Bank (FCMB) warned on Thursday it expected to report a net loss of up to 9 billion naira ($57 million) for last year, knocking its share price.

“We will be posting a loss for the full year 2011, arising mainly from some investment and underwriting of several share issues dating back to 2009 and some non-performing loans sold to AMCON (Assets Management Company of Nigeria),” chief executive Ladi Balogun told reporters.

Shares in FCMB were down 5 percent by 1330 GMT at 3.80 naira.

FCMB, which recently completed a buy-out of rescued lender Finbank, said the losses were due to a 29 billion naira write-off for bad loans sold to state-owned “bad bank” AMCON and the underwriting of preference shares issued by Finbank.

AMCON was set up in response to the global banking crisis to absorb non-performing loans from the sector. Rival lender Zenith Bank, the first to announce 2011 results, reported a higher-than-expected risk charge for bad loans for its fourth quarter on Friday, though it posted a pre-tax profit increase of 21 percent.

Zenith’s risk charge raised fears among investors there could be more bank write-downs in the offing.

FCMB is the second lender to issue a warning on its full year results. Write-downs of non-performing loans caused rival bank UBA to issue a profit warning last month.

“We are expecting the balance sheet to pick up by the first half of the year from the synergy with the acquisition of Finbank,” FCMB’s Balogun said.