Osinbajo Visits NSE, Wants More Companies Listed

Osinbajo Visits NSE, Wants More Companies ListedThe Federal Government is determined to encourage more companies to list on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE).

This is coming from the Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo during his visit to the Nigerian Stock Exchange, on Friday.

On the plan to tackle the economic challenges, the Vice President said that there is need to partner with the broker-dealer community.

“As you know, several major companies have already indicated that they want to be listed on the stock exchange.

“I think for privatized companies, because they are privatised, the decision is not necessarily the decision of government, it has to be the decision of the new owners,” the Vice President told newsmen.

Meanwhile, despite the Vice President’s visit to the Nigerian stock market, the key index ended the week in the red amidst tight system liquidity as bearish sentiment dominated activities.

The all share index tumbled by 3% to finish at 26,170.88 with a market capitalization of 9 trillion naira.

Investors exchanged 2.84 billion shares, valued at 7.42 billion naira in 16,065 deals.

The financial services industry led the activity chart with 2.63 billion shares, contributing 92.48 percent to the total equity turnover volume.

36 equities depreciated in price and top on that list was CCNN with 14.34%.

Air service led 17 other price gainers for the week.

Standard Alliance Insurance, Chams and GTBank accounted for 81.16% or volume traded during the week.

Absence of EFCC Counsel Stalls Trial Of Jonathan’s Aide

Judges, Court, Judges, Court, Absence of EFCC Counsel Stalls Trial Of Jonathan's AideThe trial of Waripamo-Owei Emmanuel Dudafa, the former Special Assistant on Domestic Affairs to ex-President Goodluck Jonathan, could not go on Tuesday at the Federal High Court in Lagos, owing to the absence of the EFCC’s counsel, Mr Rotimi Oyedepo.

Presiding judge, Justice Muhammad Idris, told the court that he received a letter from the EFCC counsel seeking for an adjournment.

In the letter, Mr Oyedepo asked the court to grant the adjournment to enable him attend to an appeal filed by Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Mr Ricky Tarfa against the commission

Counsel to Mr Dudafa, Gboyega Oyewole, did not object to the request for an adjournment. He however informed the court that he was surprised that his client was not present in court.

Upon enquiry from the prison’s officials, Mr Oyewole said he was told that Dudafa is seriously sick.

He complained about the EFCC treatment of his client.

Justice Mohammed Idris has granted the prosecutor’s application and adjourned the matter till Thursday November 10, for the continuation of the defendants’ trial.

Dudafa and one Iwejuo Joseph Nna, are standing trial before Justice Mohammed Idris on alleged 5.1 billion naira fraud.

In the first count, the defendants on or about June 11, 2013 in Lagos allegedly conspired amongst themselves to conceal the sum of 1.667 billion Naira said to be the proceeds of crime.

The Offence was said to be contrary to Section 18(a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) (Amendment) Act, 2012 and punishable under Section 17(a) of the same Act.

In the other charges, Mr Waripamo-Owei also allegedly used six companies – Seagate Property Development and Investment Limited, Avalon Global Property Development Company Limited, Ebiwise Resources, Pluto Property and Investment Company, Rotato Interlink Services and De Jakes Fast Food and Restaurant Nigeria Limited  – to conceal varying sums of money between June 2013 and April 2016.

The EFCC’s Prosecuting Counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo, had listed 21 witnesses to testify against the defendants, including Representatives of some banks.

EFCC Charges Jonathan’s Aide, Waripamo-Owei

EFCC, Dudafa Waripamo-Owei, Goodluck JonathanThe Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has filed a 23-count charge against the Senior Special Assistant on Domestic Affairs to former President Goodluck Jonathan, Dudafa Waripamo-Owei.

Channels Television’s judiciary correspondent, Shola Soyele, who obtained a copy of the charge, said that Mr Waripamo-Owei was charged alongside one Iwejuo Joseph Nna, also known at various times as Taiwo Ebenezer and Olugbenga Isaiah.

In the first count, the defendants on or about June 11, 2013 in Lagos allegedly conspired amongst themselves to conceal the sum of 1.667 billion Naira said to be the proceeds of crime.

The Offence was said to be contrary to Section 18(a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) (Amendment) Act, 2012 and punishable under Section 17(a) of the same Act.

In the other charges, Mr Waripamo-Owei also allegedly used six companies – Seagate Property Development and Investment Limited, Avalon Global Property Development Company Limited, Ebiwise Resources, Pluto Property and Investment Company, Rotato Interlink Services and De Jakes Fast Food and Restaurant Nigeria Limited  – to conceal varying sums of money between June 2013 and April 2016.

The EFCC’s Prosecuting Counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo, had listed 21 witnesses to testify against the defendants, including Representatives of some banks.

The accused have been scheduled for arraignment on Wednesday before Justice Mohammed Idris of the Federal High Court in Lagos, Nigeria’s commercial capital.

Four Nigerian Banks Among Global Top 500 Banking Brands

Nigerian BanksFirst Bank of Nigeria ranks 320 in the 2016 top 500 banking brands ranking published by the Banker Magazine of Financial Times Group.

The bank moved up the scale 16 places from 336th position in 2015 to retain its number one banking brand ranking in Nigeria for the fifth consecutive year.

A press release from the country representative of the Banker Magazine in Nigeria, Kunle Ogedengbe, added that three other Nigerian banks also made the ranking.

They are Guaranty Trust Bank which moved to 389th position, Zenith Bank at 392nd, and United Bank for Africa at the 447th position.

Access Bank that made the ranking at 496th position in 2015 dropped from the 2016 ranking.

According to The Banker magazine, Nigeria has the highest brand value increase of $249m among the five countries in Africa that made the ranking.

Egypt moved up by $239m; Togo gained $134m while South Africa and Morocco lost $878mn and $213m.

The top 10 banks in the world are Well Fargo (USA); ICBC (China); China Construction Bank; Agricultural Bank of China; Chase (USA); Bank of China; Bank of America; Citi (USA); HSBC (UK); and Barclays (UK).

Babalakin lied; He Owes AMCON N60 Billion – Agbakoba

The Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) says companies linked to businessman, Wale Babalakin currently owed the Corporation over N60 billion.

The Chairman of Bi-Courtney Nigeria Limited, Wale Babalakin

AMCON’s lawyer, Olisa Agbakoba, who disclosed this at a press conference in Lagos, said Mr Babalakin’s insolvency arose due to the loans granted his companies by First Bank and Guaranteed Trust Bank (GTBank), which currently remain unpaid.

The AMCON lawyer presented documents at the press conference to buttress his claims.

He advised Mr Babalakin to drop the litigation option and return to AMCON for negotiation.

“The most convenient way out of the dispute was for Babalakin to approach AMCON and seek the structuring of his debt,” he said.

Mr Agbakoba queried the B-Courtney’s boss’ decision to repossess the property on 43A, Afribank Street, Victoria Island, which was shut last Friday by court bailiffs upon an ex-parte order made on February 5 by Justice Chukwujeckwu Aneke of the Federal High Court, Lagos.

He said, “He (Babalakin) got loans from First Bank and GTBank. He has not been able to service the loans. He is fighting a battle that he cannot win. He should come to AMCON for settlement.

“I challenge him today, if he comes to AMCON, we will be ready to welcome him. If he comes today, he will be shocked because of the terms he will get. AMCON is not out to kill businesses. Its aim is to help businesses resolve the problem created by debt” he said.

He challenged Mr Babalakin to approach AMCON with evidence of his claim that the Federal Government owes him N132 billion by virtue of a March 3, 2009 judgment and other information.

“My advice for my friend, Babalakin is that he should pay his debt or come to AMCON and negotiate with these facts that he said he has. If this judgment is true, let him come to AMCON with it. Let him call me. I will take him to AMCON and the whole thing will be resolved. Others have done so before. So, he will not be the only one to ask for the restructuring of his loan,” Mr Agbakoba said.

Mr Babalakin had on Monday said his company, Bi-Courtney is not indebted to AMCON or any Federal Agency, neither was its office property mortgaged to any bank.

He had exhibited a court order dated the 5 April 2012 which shows that Bi-Courtney has a judgment credit of N132 billion in its favour, with the court directing that any debts to the federal government should be deducted from the amount.

Fitch affirms Nigerian banks

Fitch Ratings has upgraded First Bank of Nigeria Plc’s (First Bank) Viability Rating (VR) to ‘b’ from ‘b-‘ and Union Bank of Nigeria Plc’s (Union) VR to ‘ccc’ from ‘c’. At the same time, Fidelity Bank Plc’s (Fidelity) Long-term National Rating was upgraded to ‘BBB+(nga)’ from ‘BBB-(nga)’ and its National Short-term rating to ‘F2(nga)’ from ‘F3(nga)’.

The ratings of all other Fitch-rated Nigerian banks were affirmed. A full list of rating actions is at the end of this announcement.

The VRs of the Fitch-rated banks indicate highly speculative fundamental credit quality, with no VRs above the ‘b’ range. This is due to an extremely challenging operating environment, rapid underlying credit growth, concentrated credit risk and weak – albeit improving – corporate governance and transparency requirements.

In this context, the upgrade of First Bank’s VR follows the sale of significant loans to the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) which has resulted in material improvement in the bank’s asset quality and reduced the concentrated problem loans that were constraining the VR at ‘b-‘. The VR also reflects First Bank’s dominant domestic franchise and acceptable levels of Fitch Core Capital.

The upgrade of Union’s VR acknowledges the restoration of the bank to solvency through the injection of capital from AMCON and a private equity consortium.

Fidelity’s National Ratings were upgraded due to the perceived level of support that Fidelity could expect from the authorities if required. Strong support was demonstrated across the sector during Nigeria’s banking crisis which Fitch expects would be repeated.

The IDRs and National Ratings of Access Bank Plc (Access), Diamond Bank Plc
(Diamond), Fidelity, First Bank, United Bank for Africa Plc (UBA) and Union are derived from Fitch’s perceived level of support from the authorities if required. These banks’ ratings are sensitive to a reduction in the level of support Fitch views would be forthcoming from the Nigerian authorities – either through indications of a reduced willingness to support or the ability to do so.

The latter would be signalled by a downgrade of Nigeria’s ‘BB-‘ sovereign rating. In Union’s case, the perceived level of support is enhanced by substantial AMCON ownership.

Stanbic IBTC Bank Plc’s (Stanbic IBTC) National Ratings are driven solely by potential support from its majority parent, Standard Bank Group (‘BBB+’/Negative). The ratings of Guaranty Trust Bank Plc (GTB) and Zenith Bank Plc (Zenith) are based on these banks’ individual strengths.

GTB and Zenith have the highest stand-alone VRs among the Nigerian banks at ‘b+’. The VRs on these banks reflect their strong domestic franchises, superior asset quality relative to peers and acceptable levels of capital.

The ratings also take into account their relatively resilient earnings throughout Nigeria’s banking crisis and GTB’s positive outlier cost/income ratio. Upward potential for these ratings is limited due to Nigeria’s challenging operating environment.

The VRs could be sensitive to a material weakening of levels of core capitalisation, possibly by loan growth exceeding retained earnings over time. If this were to occur, GTB’s Issuer Default Rating (IDR) could fall to its Support Rating Floor (SRF) of ‘B’ while Zenith’s IDR would not be affected due to its SRF at ‘B+’.

First Bank’s VR at ‘b’ takes account of its improved asset quality and reduced concentrations of problem loans following the sale of loans to AMCON. It also acknowledges the bank’s dominant domestic franchise and acceptable levels of capital. The VR could be positively sensitive to a track record of stable asset quality and maintenance of stable and/or improving Fitch Core Capital and leverage ratios. Downward pressure is limited in the short-term following significantly improved asset quality due to AMCON intervention.

Access’s VR of ‘b-‘ reflects earnings and asset quality that were sensitive to the Nigerian banking crisis and a historically developing franchise. In the medium-term, an upgrade could result from a track record of entrenching its expanded franchise following the acquisition of Intercontinental Bank Plc and stable asset quality through a cycle as well as stable or improving Fitch Core Capital and leverage ratios. Downward pressure is limited in the near-term.

Diamond and UBA’s ‘b-‘ VRs reflect their low Fitch Core Capital ratios and weak earnings through the banking crisis. The poor financial performance of these institutions was driven by weak operating efficiencies and high levels of impairment charges as a result of poor asset quality. Positive actions on these ratings would be sensitive to Fitch Core Capital and leverage ratios increasing significantly from current levels, possibly from demonstrating improved efficiency and underwriting. Downward pressure on these VRs in the short to medium term is limited following the sale of problem loans to AMCON during 2010 and 2011. This has materially improved the asset quality of these institutions.

Union’s VR of ‘ccc’ has limited downward pressure given the bank’s recent capital injection. Positive rating sensitivity could come from a track record of improving operating earnings and management’s ability to transition from restructuring a failed institution to running the bank as a going concern.

Stanbic IBTC’s ratings could only change if there were a material change in SBG’s willingness or ability to support the bank.

A Special Report will be available shortly at www.fitchratings.com giving more details on the banks discussed in this RAC. Credit updates and Full Rating Reports on each of the individual banks will follow this.

The rating actions are as follows:

Access
Long-term foreign currency IDR: affirmed at ‘B’. Stable Outlook
Short-term foreign currency IDR: affirmed at ‘B’
National Long-term rating: affirmed at ‘A-(nga)’
National Short-term rating: affirmed at ‘F2(nga)’
Viability Rating: affirmed at ‘b-‘
Support Rating: affirmed at ‘4’
Support Rating Floor: affirmed at ‘B’

Diamond
Long-term foreign currency IDR: affirmed at ‘B’. Stable Outlook
Short-term foreign currency IDR: affirmed at ‘B’
National Long-term rating: affirmed at ‘BBB+(nga)’
National Short-term rating: affirmed at ‘F2(nga)’
Viability Rating: affirmed at ‘b-‘
Support Rating: affirmed at ‘4’
Support Rating Floor: affirmed at ‘B’

Fidelity
National Long-term rating: upgraded to ‘BBB+(nga) from ‘BBB-(nga)’
National Short-term rating: upgraded to ‘F2(nga)’ from ‘F3(nga)’

First Bank
Long-term foreign currency IDR: affirmed at ‘B+’. Stable Outlook
Short-term foreign currency IDR: affirmed at ‘B’
National Long-term rating: affirmed at ‘A+(nga)’
National Short-term rating: affirmed at ‘F1(nga)’
Viability Rating: upgraded to ‘b’ from ‘b-‘
Support Rating: affirmed at ‘4’
Support Rating Floor: affirmed at ‘B+’

GTB
Long-term foreign currency IDR: affirmed at ‘B+’. Stable Outlook
Short-term foreign currency IDR: affirmed at ‘B’
National Long-term rating: affirmed at ‘AA-(nga)’
National Short-term rating: affirmed at ‘F1+(nga)’
Viability Rating: affirmed at ‘b+’
Support Rating: affirmed at ‘4’
Support Rating Floor: affirmed at ‘B’

GTB Finance BV’s Senior Notes, guaranteed by Guaranty Trust Bank: affirmed at
‘B+’, ‘RR4’

GTB Finance BV’s Global Medium-term Note Programme, guaranteed by Guaranty Trust
Bank: affirmed Long-term Rating at ‘B+’, ‘RR4’ and Short-term Rating at ‘B’

Stanbic IBTC
National Long-term rating: affirmed at ‘AAA(nga)’
National Short-term rating: affirmed at ‘F1+(nga)’

UBA
Long-term foreign currency IDR: affirmed at ‘B+’. Stable Outlook
Short-term foreign currency IDR: affirmed at ‘B’
National Long-term rating: affirmed at ‘A+(nga)’
National Short-term rating: affirmed at ‘F1(nga)’
Viability Rating: affirmed at ‘b-‘
Support Rating: affirmed at ‘4’
Support Rating Floor: affirmed at ‘B+’

Union
Long-term foreign currency IDR: affirmed at ‘B+’. Stable Outlook
Short-term foreign currency IDR: affirmed at ‘B’
National Long-term rating: affirmed at ‘A+(nga)’
National Short-term rating: affirmed at ‘F1(nga)’
Viability Rating: upgraded to ‘ccc’, from ‘c’
Support Rating: affirmed at ‘4’
Support Rating Floor: affirmed at ‘B+’

Zenith
Long-term foreign currency IDR: affirmed at ‘B+’. Stable Outlook
Short-term foreign currency IDR: affirmed at ‘B’
National Long-term rating: affirmed at ‘AA-(nga)’
National Short-term rating: affirmed at ‘F1+(nga)’
Viability Rating: affirmed at ‘b+’
Support Rating: affirmed at ‘4’
Support Rating Floor: affirmed at ‘B+’

Seven Nigerian banks ranked amongst World’s top 1000

Seven Nigerian banks have been featured in a ranking of the Top 1000 banks in the world.

The list is compiled by The Banker magazine, a publication of the Financial Times of London.

The seven Nigerian banks are Zenith Bank, First Bank, GTbank, Access Bank, United Bank for Africa, Fidelity bank, First City Monument Bank and Skye Bank.

The banks are ranked according to their tier 1 capital. According to this metric, Zenith Bank is the no. 1 Nigerian bank on the list with a tier 1 capital of $ 2.398 billion (Zenith is no.7 in Africa and #322 Worldwide). Zenith is followed closely by First Bank’s tier 1 capital of $ 2.262 billion (#2 in Nigeria, #8 in Africa and #338 worlwide). GTBank is third with a tier 1 capital of $ 1.478 billion (#3 in Nigeria, #11 in Africa and # 455 worldwide).
Access Bank’s tier 1 capital or shareholders’ funds is $1.054 billion (#4 in Nigeria, #15 in Africa and #541 worldwide).

UBA is the fifth largest bank in Nigeria, #16 in Africa and #563 worldwide. Fidelity takes position as the sixth biggest bank in Nigeria, #17 in Africa and #618 in the world while First City Monument Bank becomes the seventh largest bank in Nigeria, #22 in Africa and #710 in the world.

Bank of America emerged #1 on the global list with a tier 1 capital of $159.232 billion, JP Morgan was #2 with $150 billion.  Four American and Four Chinese banks made the top ten list, with one British and Japanese Bank apiece also emerging.