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Bank Recapitalisation: Presidency Backs CBN, Investors Rush For Mega-Banks Stock

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President Tinubu

Last Updated on November 29, 2023 by Fellow Press

Presidency on Tuesday expressed support for the banking sector consolidation initiative of the Central Bank of Nigeria, saying it would help the country to grow the economy to a new height.

This came barely five days after the CBN said it would ask banks to raise new capital.

According to the Presidency, it has become important to consider the capital adequacy of Nigerian banks in light of the projected $1tn economy in eight years.

Representing President Bola Tinubu at the 40th Anniversary Celebration of The Guardian Newspapers in Lagos on Tuesday, the President’s Special Adviser on Information and Strategy, Bayo Onanuga, said there would be a strong need to revisit the capital adequacy levels of banks

Onanuga said, “On the economy, that is facing all of us, our ambition to attain the $1tn appears daunting but we believe that it is achievable with God on our side and our collective determine. This explains the reason the VP and I have been on the road trying to attract huge investments into various phases of our economy; agriculture, oil and gas and others.

“To arrive at the $1tn economy, we must address the capital adequacy of our banks that will prepare the fuel for this journey.”

At the 58th annual Bankers’ Dinner last Friday, CBN Governor, Olayemi Cardoso, had said a stress test performed on Nigerian banks revealed that while they would withstand mild to moderate stress, they would be unable to service a $1tn economy projected by Tinubu in seven years, hence the need for recapitalisation.

Cardoso said, “Stress tests conducted on the banking industry also indicate its strength under mild-to-moderate scenarios of sustained economic and financial stress, although there is room for further strengthening and enhancing resilience to shocks. Therefore, there is still much work to be done in fortifying the industry for future challenges.”

He added, “Considering the policy imperatives and the projected economic growth, it is crucial for us to evaluate the adequacy of our banking industry to serve the envisioned larger economy. It is crucial to evaluate the adequacy of our banking industry to serve the envisioned larger economy. It is not just about its current stability. We need to ask ourselves, can Nigerian banks have sufficient capital relative to the finance system needs in servicing a $1tn economy shortly, in my opinion, the answer is no, unless we take action. As a first test, the central bank will be directing banks to increase their capital.”

Mega bank stocks

Meanwhile, PUNCH findings show investors have begun positioning themselves in the stocks of Tier-1 banks listed on the Nigerian Exchange Limited following the announcement of the proposed recapitalisation of the banks.

There are reports some big banks may be eyeing smaller and weaker ones in the event the proposed consolidation in the sector fuels possible acquisitions.

Meanwhile, findings showed that some listed financial institutions gained over N101.18bn on Monday and Tuesday, following the announcement of the proposed banking sector recapitalisation.

An analysis done by The PUNCH at the close of trading on Tuesday revealed that at least six of the lenders added to their market capitalisation in the two trading sessions this week, while five banks shed their value and two remained unchanged.

The lenders who gained included United Bank for Africa Plc, whose market capitalisation rose to N731.87bn on Tuesday from N713.06bn on Friday, the market cap of Zenith Bank Plc appreciated by one per cent to N1.10tn and Access Holdings Plc’s market cap rose by four per cent to close Tuesday’s trading at N639.81bn.

FBN Holdings Plc has been the biggest gainer so far as its market cap stood at N800.47bn on Tuesday from N717.91bn on Friday, marking an 11 per cent appreciation. The market cap of Sterling Financial Holdings Plc rose by 4.51 per cent to N106.81bn and the value of FCMB Group’s share rose by one per cent to N137.63bn.

The five lenders who lost during the period under review include; Guaranty Trust Holding Company (-1 per cent), Jaiz Bank (-2 per cent), Unity Bank (-8.69 per cent), Wema Bank and Stanbic IBTC Holdings (-3.08 per cent) to close with their market capitalisation at N1.13tn, N55.27bn, N19.64bn, N66.61bn and N816.29bn respectively.

The market capitalisation of two lenders, Ecobank Transnational Incorporated Plc and Fidelity Bank remained unchanged over the two-day period at N293.59bn and N288.11bn respectively.

A bank CEO, who earlier spoke to The PUNCH, welcomed the CBN policy direction regarding the recapitalisation of the banks, saying his institution was ready to raise fresh capital though it had yet to conclude the modality.

“Even before the CBN governor made the pronouncement, our bank was already considering raising fresh capital to significantly increase the capital base. This should happen in the first quarter of 2024. So, we are in tune with the CBN governor,” the CEO of a Tier-1 lender told one of our correspondents on Saturday.

In the last few months, First Bank of Nigeria Holdings, Wema Bank and Jaiz Bank have proposed Rights Issues, while Fidelity Bank has announced plans to raise additional capital via the issuance of 13,200 billion ordinary shares via public offer and rights issue. It was gathered that Wema Bank would commence its Rights Issue on December 1.

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Accept FG offer above N60,000 as new minimum wage, Opeyemi Bamidele to labour

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The Senate Leader, Senator Opeyemi Bamidele, APC, Ekiti Central has pleaded with the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC and the Trade Union Congress, TUC
to accept whatever the federal government offered them above N60,000 as the new minimum wage.

Bamidele urged the NLC and TUC to toe the path of dialogue and peace in the negotiation of a new minimum wage, which the President had promised to send a bill to the National Assembly for this purpose.

The Senate Leader has reiterated the need for Nigerians to demonstrate more patriotic spirit and oneness in their daily activities as the nation journeys through its socio-political trajectory towards the promised land.

He made the call in an Eid-el-Kabir message by his Directorate of Media and Public Affairs on Sunday, just as he highlighted some achievements of the administration of President BolaTinubu.

Bamidele said, “The federal government has conceded to N60,000, which translates to a 100 percent increase. But both NLC and TUC turned down this offer, leading to a two-day industrial action.

“The federal government has promised to make more concessions in this respect. As the federal government reveals its new offer, I plead with the organised labour to accept it in the national interest. The economy will remain in this condition. Collectively, we are taking multi-pronged measures to reverse disturbing economic indicators.”has conceded to N60,000, which translates to a 100 percent increase. But both NLC and TUC turned down this offer, leading to a two-day industrial action.

“The federal government has promised to make more concessions in this respect. As the federal government reveals its new offer, I plead with the organised labour to accept it in the national interest. The economy will remain in this condition. Collectively, we are taking multi-pronged measures to reverse disturbing economic indicators.”

While identifying with all Muslim faithful nationwide, Bamidele who noted that Nigerians, regardless of religion and tribes, should team up with and rally support for the Tinubu administration to safely steer the ship of the nation into a successful end, emphasised that no nation could travel the journey of national rebirth alone without the unwavering support of its citizens not minding their political, cultural and social backgrounds and orientations.

He assured that the current administration would leave no stone unturned in alleviating the economic hardship being faced by the majority of Nigerians and re-offer them a sense of pride in their home country.

In the spirit of the season, the Senate Leader urged all Muslims to emulate love and good neighbourliness exemplified by Prophet Mohammed (SWAT) during his time and how he related very well with people of other faiths and nationalities.

Bamidele who appealed that the ongoing reengineering efforts of the Tinubu Administration could only yield democratic dividends in an atmosphere devoid of insecurity, but where lives and property are protected, said: “Just to mention a few among ongoing projects like the 700 kilometres Lagos-Calabar Coastal Highway, the establishment of N50 Billion Pulako Initiative and annual recruitment of 30,000 new police personnel are Key Performance Indicators of this government.

“Only recently, this government declared a state of emergency in agriculture and launched the National Agricultural Development Fund with N100 billion, in addition to the Dry Season Farming Initiative and the Green Imperative Programme to ensure food security across the land.

“All these and other components of the 8-point Renewed Hope Agenda require the patriotic support and prayers for their deliverables to multiply at the doorsteps of Nigerians in the remaining three years of the first term of this government.”

He further urged the Muslim faithful to use the season of Eid el-Kabir to pray for the leaders of the country for divine wisdom and understanding that can match the enormous tasks of leading the country especially at a time when economic realities are not favourable around the world.

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FG updates on UAE lifting visa ban on Nigeria

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The Minister of Aviation, Festus Keyamo, has revealed that the United Arab Emirates (UAE) government will soon announce the date for lifting the visa ban that has been imposed on Nigerian travellers.

This information was shared during an interview with Otega Ogra, Senior Special Assistant to President Bola Tinubu, which is available on the official YouTube page of the State House of Nigeria.

Keyamo acknowledged that while a resolution was reached between President Bola Tinubu and UAE President Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan during President Tinubu’s working visit to the UAE in September 2023, additional processes were required before the ban could be officially lifted.

He said the processes have now been completed, paving the way for the imminent announcement from the UAE government.

“After that high-level meeting, Mr. President, credited to him, made things very easy for us all. We did our follow-ups as his ministers. We have done everything. We have resolved everything.

“Just wait for the announcement from the UAE government, and that announcement is imminent,” Keyamo stated.

The Minister further mentioned that he is aware of the specific date when the travel restriction will be lifted, but he emphasized that it is up to the UAE government to make the official announcement.

The lifting of the ban is expected to restore ease of travel for Nigerian citizens to the UAE, thereby enhancing bilateral relations and cooperation between the two countries.

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