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UBA Group Starts Strong in 2018, Grows Profits to N26.6Bn in Q1

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United Bank for Africa Group (UBA, Pan African financial institution, has released its unaudited first quarter results, showing significant growth across major income lines.

 

Following a sterling performance in the 2017 financial year, UBA Group delivered another impressive 18% percent year-on-year growth in gross earnings in the first three months of 2018.

 

Leveraging on strong growth in both interest and non-interest income, UBA grew top-line to N119.4 billion in the first three months of the year, ending March 31st 2018 and the Group recorded N26.6 billion in profit before tax, compared to N25.5 billion achieved in the first quarter of 2017.

 

The Group also recorded a profit after tax of N23.7 billion in the first quarter, an impressive 6.2 percent year-on-year growth compared to N22.4 billion achieved in the corresponding period of 2017. The group sustained its strong profitability recording an annualized 18% Return on Average Equity (RoAE).

 

Driven by an 18% year-on-year growth in interest income, UBA Group recorded an 18% percent year-on-year growth in gross earnings to close at N119.4 billion for the three months period ending March 2018, compared to N101.2 billion recorded in the first three months of the year 2017.

Kennedy Uzoka, GMD/CEO of UBAKennedy Uzoka

Mr. Kennedy Uzoka, Group Managing Director/CEO of the United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc, expressed satisfaction with the Bank’s impressive performance in the first quarter of 2018, despite intensifying competition and moderation in yield environment in Nigeria and Ghana.

 

“This set of first quarter result is a good start to the year and a reflection of our capacity to sustainably grow earnings over the medium to long term. We recorded 18% growth in gross earnings, as both interest and non-interest income grew 18% and 19% respectively. Notwithstanding the moderation in sovereign yield in Nigeria and Ghana, we achieved a 60bps improvement in net interest margin (NIM) to 7.6%, as we extract efficiency gains from balance sheet management,” Uzoka said.

 

“I am particularly pleased with the 8% year-to-date growth in our retail deposit, as it reflected the benefit of improved customer service and continued customer acquisition. We are committed to exceeding our 2018 deposit growth target in the year, with strategic focus on retail, low cost savings and current accounts, which is critical to sustaining our NIM uptrend,” he explained.

 

He said, “We are committed to responsible lending, as we seek to maintain our asset quality. We achieved a 40bps year-on-year savings in cost of risk, a reflection of the quality of our loan portfolio.

 

He expressed confidence on the steady recovery of the Nigerian economy and improving fundamentals of most African countries, where the bank operates.

 

Uzoka emphasized the increasing relevance of its African operations to its bottom line, adding that, “Reflecting our market share gain, we have grown the balance sheet by 6% in the first three months of the year, as we increasingly become systemically important across the 19 other African countries, where we operate. Barring unforeseen circumstances, we look forward to sustaining this strong performance through the year, with the primary objective of delivering superior return to our shareholders.”

 

Also speaking on UBA’s financial performance and position, Ugo Nwaghodoh, Group CFO said Management is committed to delivering on the Group’s financial goals for the year.

 

He said, “We are diligently executing our priorities for the year, as we focus on profitable growth. We are making strong progress in Nigeria, where our continuous market share gain is translating into higher profit. We grew non-funded income by 20%, driven by annuity-type offerings in digital banking. Precisely, the electronic banking income grew 33% year-on-year and we recorded an impressive 40% growth in trade service income, as customers become loyal ambassadors of our enhanced service channels and customer service.”

 

Continuing, he stated, “I am pleased that our drive towards optimal scale across our subsidiary operations is progressing well. More importantly, the contribution of these foreign operations to the Group’s profit is impressively reflective of geographic diversification.

 

“We remain resolute on our determination to leverage growing scale across our foreign operations to extract further cost efficiency, with the objective of moderating our cost to income ratio. More so, our profitability in the first quarter of the year reinforces the Group’s capacity to deliver on target, as our profit for the period translates to 18% return on average equity” Nwaghodoh s

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E-Financial

Global Heists on ATM Machines Imminent- FBI

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America’s Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has warned banks in Nigeria and others across the globe that criminals are gearing up to execute a global bank heist in the coming days.

 

In a recent confidential alert FBI told international banks that criminals are plotting a concerted global malware attack on cash machines in the next few days.

 

The FBI issued a warning about a highly choreographed fraud scheme known as an ATM “jackpotting”, or ATM cash-out,” in which crooks hack a bank or payment card processor and use cloned cards at cash machines around the world to take out millions in just a few minutes.

 

The alert said the agency had procured information indicating an attack was imminent and that it was likely an “unlimited operation,” which uses malware to exploit network access and get customers’ card information at a large scale.

Once the criminals get the card data, they create fraudulent copies using reusable magnetic strip cards (like gift cards) and hit the ATMs.

 

“Historic compromises have included small-to-medium size financial institutions, likely due to less robust implementation of cyber security controls, budgets, or third-party vendor vulnerabilities,” reads the confidential alert, which was sent to banks last Friday.

 

“The FBI expects the ubiquity of this activity to continue or possibly increase in the near future.”

 

The alert urges banks to review their security systems and use two-factor authentication with a physical or digital token.

 

Other tips include monitoring and limiting administrator and business accounts with the authority to modify typical fraud controls like maximum withdrawal amounts and number of daily ATM transactions.

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E-Financial

Oradian, ANMFIN Unveil New Cloud-based Microfinance Solution

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As part of their shared mission to boost financial inclusion throughout Nigeria, Oradian and the Association of Non-Bank Microfinance Institution of Nigeria (ANMFIN) have launched a strategic partnership.

Princess Adesola Ogunleye, the President of ANMFIN, commented on the partnership saying, “We are extremely pleased to partner with Oradian. Together we align our shared vision and leverage the success delivered to date.

The partnership will enable all of our MFIs to move to Oradian’s cloud-based solution, helping our members to save time and money through more efficient, digitised processes – no more manual input of data. We and our members are very excited to improve administrative process, reduce high operational costs and offer digital financial services across the country.”

Launching ANMFIN Cloud Express expands the range of solutions that Oradian offers in Nigeria. As stated by Antonio Separovic, CEO of Oradian, “Nigeria was Oradian’s first market when we started Oradian six years ago and we remain committed to solving the financial inclusion challenge here. This partnership is a long-term partnership that is an important step towards this goal”.

The partnership will enable ANMFIN to promote access to financial services for Nigerian clients on a larger scale by using ANMFIN Cloud Express, a core banking system specially built for ANMFIN and its microfinance institution (MFI) members.

ANMFIN Cloud Express, powered by Instafin, is a cloud-based toolset tailored to enable smaller Nigerian microfinance institutions (MFIs) to benefit from a cloud-based solution.

According to Oradian’s Programme Director for Africa Onyeka Adibeli, “ANMFIN Cloud Express enhances MFIs’ ability to manage all operations including client relationships, transactions, portfolio management and reporting in the same way that large banks do – but at a fraction of the cost.

We are removing the barriers that prevent MFIs from using the right technology to serve their clients and to strengthen their operations.”

With a cost and a system tailored for the needs of smaller MFIs, Oradian’s partnership with ANMFIN enables more financial institutions to take advantage of technology to become more efficient, grow and reach more unbanked individuals in rural communities.

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E-Financial

CBN Boosts Foreign Exchange with $210m

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The Central Bank of Nigeria has sustained its intervention in the inter-bank foreign exchange market by injecting 210 million dollars into the various segments of the market.

 

Mr Isaac Okorafor, Acting Director, Corporate Communications, CBN,  on Tuesday in Abuja, said the apex bank offered 100 million dollars as wholesale interventions and allocated 55 million dollars to Small and Medium Enterprises.

 

Okorafor said another 55 million dollars was allocated to customers requiring foreign exchange for business and personal travels, tuition or medical fees, among others.

 

The CBN spokesman said the the bank was pleased with the performance of the naira because it had continued to enjoy stability against the dollar and other major currencies of the world in recent times.

 

He reassured the public that the CBN would continue to intervene in the interbank foreign exchange market to ensure liquidity in the foreign exchange market and maintain stability.

 

Okoroafor reiterated, in a statement, that the steps taken by the CBN in foreign exchange management had resulted in further reduction in the country’s import bills and accretion to its foreign reserves.

 

It will be recalled that the CBN on Aug. 10, intervened in the Retail Secondary Market Intervention Sales to the tune of 327 million dollars in the agricultural and raw materials and 69 million Chinese Yuan in the spot and short-tenored forwards.

 

Meanwhile, the naira continued to maintain its strong stand against major currencies around the globe, exchanging for N360 to a dollar in the Bureau De Change segment of the market.

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