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09042018 - AS APC'S NEC MEETS TODAY: Oyegun, Tinubu's ‘soldiers’ head for showdown

22 — Vanguard, MONDAY,

22 — Vanguard, MONDAY, APRIL 9, 2018 FINANCIAL VANGUARD PoS transactions rise 39% to N297bn in 2mths By Babajide Komolafe The value of electronic payment transactions through Point of Sale (PoS) terminals rose by 39 percent, year-on-year, to N297 billion in the first two months of the year. Nigeria Interbank Settlement System (NIBSS) revealed this in its data for electronic payments from January to February 2018. Analysis revealed that the value of PoS transactions rose by 39 percent to N296.96 in the first two months of the year, year-on-year, from N181.49 billion in the first two months of 2017. Similarly, the volume of PoS transactions in January and February rose by 98 percent to 32.8 billion from 16.55 billion in same period of 2017. However, month-on-month analysis however revealed that the value of PoS transactions dropped in January and February. The value of transactions dropped by 9.5 percent to N152 million from N167.6 million in December 2017 and again by 4.8 percent to N144 billion in February. Volume of transactions also dropped in January, but rose slightly in February. In January it dropped by 5.6 percent to 16.1 billion from Fidelity Bank projects 300% customer base growth in 2018 By Adaeze Okechukwu Fidelity Bank Plc has projected 300 percent Heritage Bank restates commitment to sustainable growth, profitability Heritage Bank Plc, has restated its commitment to sustainable growth and profitability despite the prevailing adverse macroeconomic environment. The bank said in statement issued over the weekend by Mr. Fela Ibidapo, Divisional Head, Corporate Communications of the bank that, “Its ambition to emerge as a systemic important bank in the Nigerian banking industry remains its underlying corporate growth strategy. ” According to him, the foundational element of its growth strategy: People, Partnership and Process have been recalibrated to match the rapidly changing needs of its customers especially as it deploys full steam retail banking franchise. He said the bank was on a growth track and was not unmindful of the headwinds facing the domestic economy, adding that it is very optimistic that the Heritage Brand will continue to soar over the current economic tide through its collective efforts to remain an enduring institution. Ibidapo said the bank would continue to grow by appealing to key client segments especially in the retail space and also focus on underpenetrated banking segments while building loyalty amongst the bank’s existing customer base. 17.06 billion in December, but rose by 16.7 percent to 16.7 billion in February. While the sharp increase in The statement said the bank was committed to building an enduring and resilient banking franchise in the country, remarking that in the midst of the seemingly stormy realities presented by events within the political and economic environments, the bank will continue to pursue its strategic aspiration of not only being stable but also being sustainable in earnings and profitability in its growth plan. Mastercard appoints new Sub-Saharan Africa division president Spurred on by the company’s steady growth in Sub-Saharan Africa and in line with its focus on investing in the continent, Mastercard has appointed Raghav Prasad as Division President for Sub-Saharan Africa. The company in a stamen said: “Prasad will strengthen the company’s ongoing commitment of delivering value to customers and consumers in Africa by leveraging technology to build stronger and more inclusive ecosystems. payment year-on-year volume and value of transactions indicate increased acceptance and use of PoS for payment for goods growth in its customer base this year, even as it continues to promote the financial inclusion drive of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). Head Savings, Fidelity bank Plc, Mrs Janet Nnabuko disclosed this to Financial Vanguard, on the sidelines of the prize presentation ceremony of the bank's 'Get Alert in Million Savings Promo Reloaded' stating that the bank will continue to advocate savings culture for Nigerians. She said: "We have laid out plans to triple our current client base. With our current growth pace, we will achieve this target." "The promo avails customers the opportunity to enjoy value in addition to the interest paid Prasad brings his extensive 30-year global financial services and payments industry experience to further Mastercard’s goal of financially including 100 million people by 2020, an objective that can only be achieved by working with partners across the public and private sectors and by introducing market-relevant digital payment solutions such as Masterpass QR, Mastercard Payment Gateway Services along with its core Debit, Credit, Prepaid and Commercial solutions. “The influence and true and services, the month-onmonth decline reflect seasonal effect on level of spendings across the country •From left: Tunji Kazeem, Chief Risk Officer, Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) presenting a replica of the NSE Closing Gong to Mrs. Vivien Shobo CEO, Agusto & CO. during a Closing Gong ceremony at the NSE. to savings deposit." The lending institution further disclosed that its savings deposit has grown by 91 percent to N170 billion in the last three years as a result of the promo. Speaking at the event, Managing Director/Chief Executive, Fidelity Bank Plc, Mr. Nnamdi Okonkwo, who was represented by Directorate Head, Corporate Banking, Mr. Obaro Odege said: "About three years ago, the savings base was about N89 billion but I can tell you that today we have crossed N170 billion threshold and it is still growing. So clearly, we have really demonstrated a lot of traction since this promo started. potential of technology is seen on the continent like almost nowhere else in the world. Africa has an amazing advantage of not having invested in legacy infrastructure and can embrace the latest technologies, especially mobile, to transform the payments landscape. Technology innovation is influencing the way consumers engage with the world around them, shaping economies, creating smarter, more connected and financially inclusive cities,” said Prasad. Ecobank partners Calabar Sports Club on tennis championship Ecobank has partnered with the Calabar Sports Club on the 2018 East of the Niger Inter Club Tennis league Championship. Commending Ecobank for the partnership, President of the Club, Ambassador Asam Asam said that this year’s event was a huge success due largely to partnership by Ecobank and other farsighted sponsors, who are concerned about creating a positive and engaging future for the youth. Expressing appreciation to the bank, he said the 2018 East of the Niger Inter Club Tennis league Championship (ENIC) had participants from 11 Sport Clubs representing 9 states in South South and South East. He assured that the competition will be sustained and further extended to include more Clubs within the region. “The East of the Niger Inter- Club (ENIC) Tennis League has offered participating regions and clubs a platform to bond in friendship which is only peculiar to the game of tennis. The league has built solid relationships between the two regions of South East and South South over the years.” He said Expressing appreciation to the bank, he said the 2018 East of the Niger Inter Club Tennis league Championship (ENIC) had participants from 11 Sport Clubs representing 9 states in South South and South East. He assured that the competition will be sustained and further extended to include more Clubs within the region. Also speaking Mr. Godwin Eton, representing the Managing Director, Ecobank Nigeria Mr Charle Kie said Ecobank is delighted to support initiatives that support youth development in the Niger Delta and Eastern region of Nigeria. He maintained that Ecobank is focused on encouraging creativity among Africans especially the young people, who are the future of the continent. In his words “We are delighted to be a strong part of the success story of the East of the Niger Inter Club Tennis league Championship especially on this last edition, which had nine states in attendance. We hope this competition will grow to have every state of the federation represented”. Speaking further, he reiterated that the guiding principle of Ecobank’s partnerships and sponsorships revolves around giving back and contributing effectively to the societies in which it operates.

FINANCIAL VANGUARD Vanguard, MONDAY, APRIL 9, 2018 — 23 NSE: Bargain hunting to prevail ahead of QI‘18 earnings release By Nkiruka Nnorom As the first quarter 2018, Q1’18, draws close, investment bankers and financial analysts have said that bargain hunters will rule the equities market pending the commencement of release of Q1’18 results by quoted companies. Though they expressed divided opinion on whether the market would be majorly positive or negative this week, they indicated that investors will tread cautiously as they review their investment decisions. According to Mr. Johnson Chukwu, Managing Director/ CEO, Cowry Asset Management Limited, the market will still be choppy; moving in a zig-zag direction, as well as recording marginal gains for marginal losses. He said: “I do not see a bear or bull run next week (this week). I foresee a sluggish market that will end up closing neutral at the end of the week. The key thing at this stage is that investors are weary of going in for the long run. So, people are taking short term position, looking at where there are publications of fresh results and deciding whether to take profit or to make fresh investment and when there are marginal gains, investors will lock in those gains. ‘‘So, the market environment this past few weeks is such that investors are playing in the short end.” In the same vein, analysts at Cowry Assets Management projected a cautious trading activity in the market as investors await the first quarter results. In their own projection for the week, analysts at Vetiva Capital Management Limited stated that, “notwithstanding the negative close for the week, market sentiment was more upbeat at week close and as such we foresee further mixed trading with a mild positive tilt at week open.’’ But analysts at Cordros Capital maintained a positive outlook for risky assets on the backdrop of still-positive macroeconomic fundamentals, downtrend in yields on debt instruments, and lower stock prices, which they said is expected to drive bargain hunting ahead of Q1 18 corporate releases. Also, Afrinvest Securities Limited, said: “We maintain our positive outlook on the market in the near term following the release of strong full year 2017 earnings and expectation of impressive Q1'18 results.” However, the trading result for the past week showed that the equities market reverted to a loss after a positive close the previous week with the All Share Index, ASI, falling by 1.60 percent to 40,841.14 points. Further analysis showed that the market capitalistion plunged by same margin to N14.753 trillion from N14.993 trillion All major sector indices closed in the red with the oil and gas sector leading with 2.77 percent decline, followed by the industrial goods sector, which depreciated by 2.09 percent. The banking sector fell by 1.33 percent; consumer goods was down 1.08 percent, while the insurance sector fell by 0.07 percent. Despite the negative performance, total volume traded within the week shot up by 84.13 percent to 501 million units, while traded value moved higher by 57.35 percent to N5.85 billion. The financial services sector, measured by volume, led the activity chart with 1.468 billion shares valued at N18.707 billion traded in 12,850 deals; thus contributing 83.18 percent and 70.43 percent to the total equity turnover volume and value respectively. The conglomerates sector followed with 127.882 million units valued at N623.871 million in 971 deals. The third place was occupied by consumer goods sector with a turnover of 69.868 million shares worth N6.189 billion in 2,930deals. Trading in the top three equities namely, Zenith Bank Plc, Access Bank Plc and United Bank for Africa Plc, measured by volume, accounted for 543.758 million shares worth N9.739 billion in 3,533 deals, and therefore contributed 30.81 percent and 36.66 percent to the total equity turnover volume and value respectively. Improved sales, cost efficiency boost May & Baker’s PBT by 75 % By Peter Egwuatu May & Baker Nigeria Plc has recorded significant growth in major financial indices as its Profit Before Tax, PBT for the year ended March 31, 2017 rose by 75 percent to N605.6 million from N345.94 million in 2016. The company attributed the growth in PBT to improved sales , efficiency in cost minimisation and quality services. The audited report and accounts of May & Baker Nigeria for the year ended December 31, 2017 released on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) showed impressive improvements in the underlying fundamentals of the company as well as the actual So, the market environment this past few weeks is such that investors are playing in the short end earnings figures. The board of directors of the company has recommended distribution of N196 million as cash dividend for the 2017 business year, representing a dividend per share of 20 kobo. The recommended dividend payout for 2017 represents an increase of 233.3 per cent on the payout for the 2016 business year. May & Baker had distributed N58.8 million as cash dividend for the 2016 business year, with shareholders receiving a dividend per share of 6.0 kobo. Highlights of the report showed that turnover rose by 10.39 per cent from N8.47 billion in 2016 to N9.35 billion in 2017. Gross profit grew by 29.13 per cent to N3.28 billion in 2017 as against N2.54 billion in 2016. Operating profit jumped by 51.04 per cent from N820.87 million to cross the billion Naira mark to N1.24 billion in 2017. Profit before tax leapt by 75.07 per cent from N345.94 million in 2016 to N605.62 million in 2017. After taxes, net profit stood at N370.87 million in 2017 compared with net loss after tax of N41.09 million recorded in 2016. Shareholders’ funds also rose by 10.3 per cent from N3.01 billion in 2016 to N3.32 billion in 2017. Commenting on the results, Managing Director, May & Baker, Mr. Nnamdi Okafor, said: “Despite the macroeconomic challenges, the company’s sales growth has continued to improve considerably above industry average, showing continuing efforts to retain and grow market share.” He noted that the improvement in margin validated management’s tight cost control measures and continuing efforts to harness synergies within the group to reduce costs and improve shareholders’ value. “Our results show our main focus of satisfying our customer and enhancing our shareholders’ value. Our steady implementation of many growth initiatives are paying off as can be seen in the latest results. We are also happy that the investing public is taking note of these improvements with the performance of our stock as one of the best-performing stocks at the market,” Okafor added.