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UBA Clinches PEARL, New Telegraph Awards for Impressive Performance

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Mr. Kennedy Uzoka, group managing director/CEO, UBA Plc

United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc, Pan-African financial institution, has continued to make waves and positive impact in the local and global financial industry earning more laurels and accolades.

 

Last weekend, UBA carted away two key industry awards emerging the Winner of the 2017 Sectoral Leadership Awards – Financial Services (Banking) organised by the PEARL Awards; as well as the Bank CEO of the Year 2017 which was organised by New Telegraph newspapers.

 

UBA triumphed over Guaranty Trust Bank Plc (first runner-up) and Zenith Bank Plc (second-run) to win the PEARL sectoral leadership award as a result of the bank’s outstanding operational and stock market performance in the 2016 year of assessment. The bank emerged winner based on verifiable facts and figures.

 

It has indeed been a fruitful year for UBA as the 2016 financial year end result showed that the bank emerged largest in both profitability and assets size in Nigeria, controlling an estimated 10% market share in deposits.

 

Also, its subsidiaries in the rest of Africa accounted for a notable 31% of the total earnings of the Group over the same period. Earlier in the year, the bank had successfully raised $500 million through a debut Eurobond, which was 240 per cent oversubscribed.

 

All these contributed to a scramble for UBA’s share, which in turn increased the bank’s share price currently standing at about N9.90, representing a rise of over 165 per cent or N6.16 per share compared to N3.74 per share recorded in 2016.

 

According to the organisers of the Pearl awards, it is this performance as well as other indicators that led to the bank’s selection for the coveted awards.

 

The PEARL Awards Nigeria, endorsed by the Securities and Exchange Commission  is one of Nigeria’s foremost award recognition bodies, focused on rewarding corporate excellence in local institutions and promoting healthy competitiveness amongst quoted companies through growth, diversification and innovation; ultimately leading to improved performance on the Nigerian Stock Exchange.

 

In the same vein, Mr. Kennedy Uzoka, group managing director/CEO, UBA Plc, who was recognised for his various achievements since he took on the leadership role at UBA was selected as the Bank CEO of the Year 2017, by New Telegraph Newspapers.

 

In his remarks on the award, Uzoka, while expressing his delight at the nomination, added that it remained a humbling experience for him to be selected for the honourable award. He also stated that the award is a call for him to do even more to ensure that UBA’s customers are prioritised in the bank’s activities.

 

He said, “I want to express my delight with this recognition. It goes to show that the effort that myself and my team have put in throughout the year has been totally worth it. I also congratulate all my colleagues because this recognition is not just for Kennedy but for the entire staff of UBA’.

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E-Financial

SEC’s eDividend Campaign Moves to South South

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Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Nigeria through its Port Harcourt Zonal Office will be holding a Town Hall meeting with stakeholders and the general public.

 

This is in a move to enlighten investors and the general public on the process and benefits of eDividend and to discuss other contemporary issues in the Nigerian Capital Market.

 

This will also provide an opportunity to throw more highlights on investment opportunities available in Nigerian Capital market and how retail investors can benefit therein.

 

The meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, July 18, 2018 at Hall ‘C’, Landmark Hotel, 4, No. 4, Worlu Street, off Olu-Obasanjo Road, Port Harcourt, Rivers State. Registration of participants starts by 9:00amwhile the main event starts at 10:00am.

 

The event will create an arena for the Apex capital market regulator to educate and enlighten the public on the above subject and also for operators, stakeholders and various investors to interact and discuss other issues surrounding the activities of the capital market.

 

Recall that the SEC in January 2015 commenced the e-dividend registration campaign in Abuja with a Road Show culminating in a Town Hall Meeting.

 

The Commission had announced that the e-dividend registration would continue seamlessly in spite of the expiration of free registration deadline which and also enjoined investors yet to enroll, to continue with the registration at a cost of N150 only.

 

“Investors should continue to approach their banks or registrars, as usual, to seamlessly mandate their bank accounts for the collection of their dividends electronically, including unclaimed dividends, not exceeding 12 years of issue; as the N150 would not be demanded from them at the point of registration.

 

“The N150 fee would not be demanded from the investors at the point of registration or submission of completed e-dividend mandate forms, divergent views have begun to trail the Commission’s stance that investors yet to register are to bankroll the exercise at a marginal cost of N150” the SEC added.

 

 

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E-Financial

Broadband, Mobile Phones, Others Expanding Business Frontiers – Okere

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Austin Okere, founder, CWG, has said that the ubiquity of broadband and the pervasiveness of mobile phones, along with breakthrough technology such as Artificial intelligence, Big Data and Blockchain are expanding the frontiers for business models in ways that were hitherto not possible, and leveling the playing field in the process.

He stated this in his presentation delivered at the 2018 Lagos Bankers & Stakeholders’ Nite held in Lagos over the weekend.

According to him, ‘any bank that does not read the signs and join the innovation train will definitely be disrupted and left behind. Remember that there was a time when the Post Office was at the center of our lives. When was the last time you visited a post office?’.

“Even though cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin tend to steal the limelight, it is their underlying blockchain technology that is proving to be of practical benefit. This technology, which goes beyond financial application, is expected to disrupt global supply chains by boosting transaction speed across borders and improving transparency.

“Essentially, the blockchain is a shared virtual public ledger where encrypted transactions are confirmed by outside parties. Confirmed transactions are placed in a “block” and added to the chain, hence the name blockchain. It is this technology that the FinTechs are leveraging to disrupt the traditional banks.

“Here in Nigeria, blockchain can help immensely unlock the immense capital locked in land assets that are not enumerated because of an antiquated system of land administrated that is very ripe for disruption.

“The most disruptive application of the blockchain technology however, is in the Financial Sector; and this will form the focus of my discourse. The consistent complain about banks have reached a crescendo in recent years. Is this justified?” he said.

 Okere added that Fintech companies in emerging markets have shown that with blockchain technology, it is possible to leapfrog to new forms of banking.

“Truth be told, Banks are best placed to continue to influence the future of Financial Services because of their huge branch network, solid reputations, and risk controls, as well as years of customer cultivation and loyalty. They however, have to radically change the mindset of we win when you lose’.

He noted that regulators are now helping Fintechs. “Fintechs are getting a lot of support from Regulators, believing that Fintech firms are small enough for any problems to be manageable, and on the other hand, might produce useful innovation (the sandbox approach).

“The intention is to lower market entry barriers for Fintech companies. For instance, France’s Central Bank has announced opening up a new innovation lab, aiming to collaborate with blockchain startups.

“In December 2015, Nasdaq executed its first trade on a blockchain, through its Linq ledger. The exchange said the blockchain promises to expedite trade clearing and settlement – all the steps needed to transfer the asset from seller to buyer including recording the transaction — from three days to as little as 10 minutes. That’s because the trades remove many manual processes and bypass third parties.

“As such, settlement risk exposure can be reduced by over 99%, dramatically lowering capital costs and systemic risk. Other stock exchanges tinkering with the blockchain include Australia, Germany, Japan, Korea, London,Toronto and  Myanmar.”

Okere explained that the future of Fintech seems bright. “Accenture recently released a report which found that investment in Fintech around the world has increased dramatically from $930 million in 2008 to more than $12 billion by early 2015.

“The Fintechs employ Artificial Intelligence, Big Data and Machine Learning to glean the credit habits of customers from their mobile usage, and so have mitigated against the risk of default.

“The homepage of LendingClub advertises personal loans of up to $40,000. You can “apply online in minutes” and “get funded in as little as a few days,”. Another prominent Fintech lender Funding Circle claims that small businesses can get loans from between $25,000 and $500,000 in as little as 10 days.

“These are innovative services that seek to fill important niches in the credit markets. They enable people who have historically been shunned by banks to get loans in order to expand their businesses,” he said.

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Farmcrowdy Wins Digital Business of the Year Award in Africa

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Farmcrowdy, Nigeria’s first and leading digital agriculture platform has won the Digital Business of the Year (2018) award in Africa. The award was granted at the annual Global African Business Awards (GABA) ceremony in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Jimoh Maiyegun, Farmcrowdy’s Chief Technology Officer at the Global African Business Awards ceremony in Addis Ababa.

Launched in 2017, GABA, the world’s premier annual business award was created to celebrate, honour and generate public recognition of the achievements and positive contributions of organizations and working professionals in the continent of Africa.

Other nominees of the Digital Business of the Year award include e-commerce platforms – Konga, Jumia, Zando, Dressmeoutlet, Mall for Africa and Dealdey; WeFarm, the world’s largest farmer-to-farmer digital network; Interswitch payment gateway; and Delvv.io, South Africa’s branding and refinement partners.

Onyeka Akumah, Founder and CEO of Farmcrowdy says, “we are honoured to have our hard work aimed at impacting on the lives of rural farmers recognised.

We are delighted about the great opportunities ahead of us as we continually strive to remain at the forefront of technological innovation in Agriculture across Nigeria and eventually the continent of Africa.”

With a team of 35, Farmcrowdy has, in the last 20 months, empowered over 7,000 direct and indirect rural farmers and given thousands of farm sponsors a platform to participate in Agriculture from their computers or mobile phones in order to make profit at harvest.

This impact has seen the platform plant Maize, Rice and Cassava on over 8,000 Acres of farmland in less than 2 years and raised close to 600,000 chickens to boost food production in the country.

The leading digital agriculture platform has also raised $1.4 million dollars in seed funding from local and international investors including Cox Enterprises, Social Capital, Techstars Ventures and most recently, won a grant from the GSMA Ecosystem Accelerator Innovator Fund.

So far, the funds have given the leading startup the potency to scale its operations to 10 states of operation in Nigeria with plans for more expansion across more states and regions.

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