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UBA Delivers Stellar Performance in Half-Year 2017, Grows Profit by 66%

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United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc, Pan African financial institution, has announced its audited half year financial results ended June 30, 2017, showing remarkable performance across major metrics.

UBA grew its gross earnings for the period by 34.5 percent to N222.7 billion, as against N165.6 billion reported in June 2016.

This impressive performance, which reflects the strong momentum of UBA’s business and its increasing share of customers’ wallet, was driven by the 44.3 per cent and 16.0 per cent growth in interest income and non-funded income respectively.

The Group’s operating income stood at N161.8 billion, compared to N116.2 billion recorded in the corresponding period of 2016, representing a 39.2 percent growth.

Notwithstanding the impact of Naira devaluation and double digit inflation in Nigeria and a number of other African countries where UBA operates, the Group managed through its cost lines to deliver a sterling Profit Before tax (PBT) of N57.5 billion, representing a significant growth of 65.5 percent over N34.8 billion recorded in the corresponding period of June 2016.

In same vein, the Group recorded an unprecedented Profit After Tax (PAT) of N42.3 billion, translating to a 56.2 percent growth over the N27.1 billion recorded in the half-year of 2016. This profitability further reflects the earnings capacity of the Group and its capability to progressively deliver superior returns to shareholders.

While the Group closed the half year with Total Assets of N3.69 trillion, a growth of 5.3 percent, it prudently grew gross loans to N1.6 trillion, a 4 percent growth when compared to the Group loan book as at 31 December 2016.

Reflecting a strong capacity for internal capital generation, the Group’s Shareholders’ Fund grew by 8 percent to N483.1 billion, whilst it delivered an annualized 18.2% return on average equity (RoAE) and an Interim Dividend of N0.20 per Share.

Commenting on the result, Kennedy Uzoka, the Group Managing Director/CEO, said that “the results again demonstrate the strong momentum of the Bank, as we deliver continuous improvement across our businesses and key performance metrics.”

He further stated that the Bank’s “unwavering focus on customer service excellence is translating to strong operational and financial efficiency gains.  We have achieved better pricing on assets and liabilities, leading to continued improvement in the net interest margin to 7.3%. Leveraging our service-focused strategy and treasury management, we grew non-interest income by 17% year-on-year, reinforcing our transaction-banking-led approach towards deepening financial inclusion in Sub-Saharan Africa.”

According to him, UBA has made considerable progress in its retail banking penetration, gaining market share in deposits, at a time when a sizeable percentage of households are challenged due to inflationary pressures on disposable income. The Bank grew its retail savings and current account deposits by 23% and 5% YTD respectively.

Also speaking on UBA’s financial performance and position, the Group CFO, Ugo Nwaghodoh said that the Bank had “a strong start in the year, despite protracted recession in Nigeria, our largest market. Our profit after tax of N42 billion translates to 18.2% return on average equity, broadly in line with our 2017FY guidance.”

He further said that the Bank’s African subsidiaries (ex-Nigeria) contributed 32% of the Group’s earnings, leveraging on digital offerings to gain market share across the different markets.  “We maintain our discipline of banking only quality and profitable assets, a conservative stance which reflects on our asset quality. Notwithstanding consistent liquidity mop-up by the CBN, we maintained an average balance sheet liquidity ratio of 42%. Further reinforcing the Bank’s capacity is the strong BASEL II capital adequacy ratio of 20%, which underpins our ability to grow, as the macro risks decline, he said”

United Bank for Africa Plc is a leading pan-African financial services group, with presence in 19 African countries, as well as the United Kingdom, the United States of America and 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 provides services to over14 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.

UBA was the first Nigerian bank to make an Initial Public Offering, following its listing on the NSE in1970. It was also the first Nigerian bank to issue Global Depository Receipts. 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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E-Financial

Vodacom Director Urges Accountants to Leverage Sage/ACCA Partnership

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By peter oluka

Mr Oluseyi Olanrewaju, the finance director at Vodacom Business Africa (Nigeria) Limited, has re-emphasised the need for accounting professionals to embrace digital culture.

He made the remark while delivering keynote address at Sage-ACCA Continuing Professional Development (CPA), event held in Lagos Tuesday, which was the launch of partnership between the two entities to provide platform for accountants to embrace digital transformations.

Olanrewaju emphasized that rapid growth and development in information technology has brought about digital revolution in economic, social and cultural fields, and bequeaths today’s accountant with the responsibility to improve on the skills to remain relevant.

With the recognition of the accounting discipline as an information system, he said, the accountants can’t undermine the influence that the changes in processes of carrying out transactions with the usage of IT in business operations.

In a bid to keep up with changing conditions and the enabling inclusion of information era the need to embrace the digital culture in accountancy can’t be overlooked especially in medium to large scale business.

“Technology should not be viewed as a threat rather tools to boost accounting profession. Digitization is the future; as accountants we can’t run from it. Yes, manual processes are ridden with high risks on accounting and costly. Thus, changes is the environment necessitates changes in applicable accounting tools and skills required to carry out accounting roles”, Olanrewaju said.

Determinants of business that qualify as medium to large include: IT staff & skills including several specialists, multiple locations, large capex in relation to other businesses in operation in the same industry and business with main considerations for technology purchases being advanced features and security.

Using the acronym: VUCA- Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous situations, he reminded the participants that, roles of accountants have changed overtime, demanding for real-time ‘results’. “The environment demands you react quickly to ongoing changes that are unpredictable; it requires you to take action. Therefore, there is little you can achieve today in the ‘VUCA’ world without digitization”.

The keynote speaker also applauded Sage X3 offering, such as robust accounting processes; consistency; time saving; delivers visible metrics; helps to improve operational efficiency and assists users to be in line with government regulations and international accounting rules.

Participants at the interactive session with other C-level ACCA members also learnt how Sage X3 offers the bedrock of the adjustments required in today’s accounting field.

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E-Financial

CBN 14% Interest Rate: Investors Still Expecting Cut

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Lukman Otunuga, a research analyst at FXTM.

By peter oluka

Nigeria’s central bank has yet again left benchmark interest rates unchanged at 14% in November amid a ‘fragile’ economic recovery.

But, Lukman Otunuta research analyst ForexTimes, in his comment, believes investors are still keen on interest rate cut.

The apex bank also left the cash reserve ratio (CRR) at 22.5 percent.

CBN governor, Godwin Emefiele made this known on Tuesday while announcing the decision of the committee in Abuja.

Emefiele said only one of the nine members of the committee voted against the decision.

“Inflation in particular requires very close monitoring to gain clarity on the medium-term optimum path of monetary policy,” Emefiele told a news conference.

The monetary Policy Committee had begun its last meeting for the year on Monday.

According to the committee, the interest rate was held to prevent exchange rate pressure.

Commenting on the decision by the apex bank, Otunuga said, “With GDP growth in the third quarter rising by 1.40%, it seems that the central bank is hesitant to take action anytime soon.

“I believe that Nigeria’s improving economic landscape, and signs of inflationary pressures easing, are likely to support investor expectations of a rate cut.

“With inflation in Nigeria at 15.91%, there is a suspicion that the CBN may be waiting for a more sustained decline before moving ahead with rate cuts to support economic growth.

“As the year slowly comes to an end, investors will continue to observe Nigeria’s hard economic data and inflation figures for hints as to when the CBN might act in 2018”.

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E-Financial

Bitcoin Smashes Through $8,000 for the First time

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Bitcoin hit a new record high on Monday after smashing through the $8,000 level for the first time over the weekend, marking an almost 50 percent climb in just eight days.

The new high came after leading U.S. payments company Square Inc said late last week that it had started allowing select customers to buy and sell bitcoins on its Cash app.

Bitcoin traded as high as $8,197.81 on the Luxembourg-based Bitstamp exchange, up over 2 percent on the day and around 48 percent up since dipping to $5,555 on Nov. 12.

An eye-watering eightfold increase in the value of the volatile cryptocurrency since the start of the year has led to muliple warnings that the market is in a bubble, and institutional investors are broadly staying away.

Retail investors, however, as well as some hedge funds and family offices, are piling into the market. The “market cap” of all cryptocurrencies hit an all-time high of over $242 billion on Monday, according to trade website Coinmarketcap.

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