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Zenith Bank ranks first in Nigeria by Tier-1 capital

By Anthony Areh

Zenith Bank has emerged as number one in Nigeria’s Tier-one Capital in the 2020 Top 1,000 World Bank Ranking, published by The Banker Magazine.

The bank, in a statement on Thursday in Lagos, said that it climbed a whopping 29 spots from 425 in 2019 to 386 in the 2020 global ranking of banks.

The statement noted that the bank retained its position as the number one Tier-one bank in Nigeria with Tier-one capital of 2.79 billion dollars.

According to the statement, this figure represented an increase of 16.1 per cent when compared with the 2.40 billion dollars achieved in the 2019 ranking.

It noted that the ranking published in July 2020 edition of The Banker Magazine of the Financial Times Group, United Kingdom, was based on the 2019 year-end Tier-one capital of banks globally.

Commenting, Mr Ebenezer Onyeagwu, the bank’s Group Managing Director/Chief Executive, said that the ranking had attested to the bank’s market leadership.

Onyeagwu said the ranking was the outcome of a well-thought-out strategy of always delighting and creating value for its teeming customers through a broad range of superior product offerings, best-in-class service and top-of-the-range technology.

“Tier-one capital describes the capital adequacy of a bank and it is the core measure of a bank’s financial strength from a regulator’s point of view,” he stated.

Onyeagwu noted that the bank had clearly distinguished itself in the Nigerian financial services industry through superior quality service, unique customer experience and sound financial indices.

“The bank, with a knack for setting the pace and raising benchmarks, is a clear leader in the digital space with several firsts in the deployment of innovative products, solutions and an assortment of alternative channels,” he said.

The bank, as a testament for its resilience and market leadership, announced a profit after tax of N208.8 billion for the financial year ended Dec. 31, 2019, achieving the feat as the first Nigerian bank to cross the N200 billion mark.

It also, for the first quarter ended March 31, posted gross earnings of N166.8 billion and profit before tax of N58.8 billion.

July petrol pump price ranges between N140.80 and N143.80

By Tanko Mohammed

Performing its advisory role on petrol pump price, the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA), has fixed the pump price at between N140.80 and N143.80 per litre for the month of July.

Executive Secretary of the Agency Abdulkadir Saidu disclosed this in a memo to all Petroleum Products marketers released in Abuja on Wednesday.

The memo was titled `Advised price for Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) in the month of July 2020.’

“After a review of the prevailing market fundamentals in the month of June and considering marketers realistic operating cost, as much as practicable, we wish to advise that a new PMS pump price band of N140.80 toN143.80 per litre be for the month of July.

“All marketers are advised to operate within the indicative prices as advised by the PPPRA,’’ he said.

He added that the ex-depot for collection include the statutory charges of bridging fund, maritime transport average, National Transport Allowance and administrative charges.

Since April, PPPRA had continue to issue a monthly price band of PMS for marketers.

In June, there was a slight reduction as the price was fixed at N121.50 per litre from N123.50 in May.

The July new price is N20.30 higher than the June price of N121.50 per litre.

Abdulkadir, stated this in a statement in Abuja, on June 28, 2020 stated that the agency would constantly, on a monthly basis, develop a guiding price for the commodity, with which it would advise marketers.

He noted that the deregulation of the downstream sector was dependent on the enforcement of appropriate laws by strong regulatory agencies, hence its continued intervention.

“For the purpose of emphasis, let me reiterate that different sectors of the polity operate under the guidance of national regulators.

“The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) regulates the banks and the financial sector; Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC) regulates telecommunications; National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) regulates the insurance sector and the same exists for operators in Nigeria’s downstream petroleum sector.

“To this end, it is not out of place for the Agency to provide a guiding price band with the aim to protect consumers against price gouging.

“It is important to also state that there is nowhere in the world that deregulation means total lack of control, supervision or oversight.

“While the Market-Based Pricing Regime is a policy introduced to free the market of all encumbrances to investment and growth, it should not be misconstrued to mean a total abdication of government’s responsibility to the sector and citizenry,” he said.

Abdulkadir said that the PPPRA no longer fix prices, but rather provide a guiding price band by monitoring petroleum products prices daily.

This, he said was being done using the average price of the previous month to determine prices for the following month, for appropriate cost-reflective pricing that ensures reasonable returns to Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs).

“This methodology is in line with international best practices which range from bi-monthly to monthly price reviews.

“Nigeria adopted the monthly review model considering the average duration for the importation of petroleum products into Nigeria from the closest spot market; North West Europe (NWE) to West Africa (WAF) is about 30 days.

“This period encompasses the Import Financing Process to delivery at retail outlets,” he added

NSE resumes on positive note in second half of 2020

By Tanko Mohammed

The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) has resumed for the second half of the year on a positive trend, growing by 0.47 per cent.

Specifically, the All-Share Index inched higher by 115.83 points or 0.47 pe cent to close at 24,595.05 against 24,479.22 recorded on Tuesday.

Also, the market capitalisation grew by N61 billion to close at N12.830 trillion against N12.769 trillion achieved on Tuesday.

The upturn was impacted by gains recorded in large and medium capitalised stocks, amongst which are; BUA Cement, Cadbury, Lafarge Africa, Sterling Bank and PZ Cussons.

Analysts at Afrinvest Limited expected bargain hunting to lift the benchmark index in subsequent trading session.

Analysts at APT Securities and Funds Limited said: “We expect a slow down in market activity in a short while before positive rally picks up in mid to long term owing to anticipating half year earnings release.”

Cadbury dominated the gainers’ chart in percentage terms with a gain of 9.63 per cent, to close at N7.40, per share.

Sterling Bank came second with 9.60 per cent to close at N1.37, per share.

Chams and Japaul Oil rose by 9.52 per cent each to close at 23k per share each, while BUA Cement appreciated by 8.53 per cent to close at N42, per share.

Conversely, Neimeth International Pharmaceuticals led the losers’ chart in percentage terms, dropping by 9.70 per cent, to close at N1.49, per share.

Learn Africa followed with a loss of 7.69 per cent to close at N1.08, while Wapic Insurance declined by 5.71 per cent to close at 33k, per share.

Wema Bank dipped 3.70 per cent to close at 52k, while Jaiz Bank shed 3.51 per cent to close at 55k, per share.

Transactions in the shares of Wapic Insurance led the activity chart with 30.28 million shares valued at N11.19 billion.

UPDC Real Estate Investment Trust accounted for 22.79 million shares worth N79.68 million, while United Bank for Africa traded 20.20 million shares valued at N123.51million.

Transcorp sold 19.38 million shares worth N12.76 million, while Chams transacted 11.65 million shares valued at N2.59 million.

In all, the volume of shares traded as investors bought and sold 198.01 million shares, worth N1.04 billion exchanged in 3,772 deals.

This was in contrast with a total of 280.67 million shares valued at N3.14 billion achieved in 4,464 deals on Tuesday.

Tokyo stocks on upbeat

By Xinhua

Tokyo stocks advanced on Thursday morning, following a positive lead from Wall Street overnight as U.S. manufacturing activity rebounding to its highest level in more than a year helped sentiment, along with hopes for a new COVID-19 vaccine amid resurgent cases in the U.S. and elsewhere.

The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average added 144.50 points, or 0.65 per cent, from Wednesday to 22,266.23.

The broader Topix index of all First Section issues on the Tokyo Stock Exchange, meanwhile, gained 11.79 points, or 0.77 per cent, at 1,550.40.

Air transportation, marine transportation and transportation equipment issues led notable gainers by the morning break.

Conoil declares N2 dividend, records N139.8bn turnover

By Moses Uwagbale

Conoil Plc recorded a turnover of N139.8 billion in its last financial year ended Dec. 31, 2019 and declare N2 as dividends for the period.

This represented an increase of 14.4 per cent when compared with N122.21 billion achieved in the corresponding period in 2018.

The company said in a statement on Tuesday in Lagos that profit-after-tax rose by 9.8 per cent to N1.97 billion against N1.79 billion recorded in 2018.

Operating profit on ordinary activities before taxation and exceptional items grew by 10.4 per cent to N2.83 billion from N2.56 billion.

The company also recorded an increase of 10.2 per cent in its net assets from N15.26 billion to N16.82 billion.

The company, given the improved results, proposed N1.39 billion as dividend payout to its shareholders.

This means that shareholders will get N2 on every 50k ordinary share.

The company attributed the impressive results to effective cost management strategy, aggressive marketing and improved sales.

“We repositioned our retail stations by embarking on massive upgrade of the outlets,  thereby boosting sales.”

“The modest dividend proposal is hinged on the need to consolidate our cash management effort vis-à-vis the liquidity squeeze in the economy.

“We look forward to opportunities in the coming years to continue to deliver solid financial results and increase competitive returns and shareholder value,” it said.

The company said that it would continue to leverage on its strong leadership position in the industry to deliver value to investors by taking advantage of emerging opportunities in the industry.

It said that it had launched far-reaching initiatives to strengthen its income base in core business segments of retail, lubricants, aviation, and specialised products.