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NEWS UPDATE (Wed. 07.08.19)

michael okonma

E -TRANZACT RECORDS N30 TRILLION ON 400 MILLION TRANSACTIONS

E-tranzact International Plc, Nigeria’s premier financial technology company recorded about N30 trillion in 400 million transactions in 2018.
Speaking at a media interactive session yesterday in Lagos, Group Managing Director, E-tranzact International Plc, Mr. Niyi Toluwalope said in spite of regulatory headwinds and turbulent operating environment, the volume of businesses in form of payment services carried out by E-tranzact was in excess of N30 trillion in value in over 400 million transactions at the end of 2018.
He said the company, arguably one of Nigeria’s foremost financial technology companies (fintech), has set machinery in motion to continue to deliver optimum services to its growing subscriber base and prospective customers.
He said the company is awaiting the nod of the regulators, including the Nigeria Stock Exchange (NSE) and the Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC) to continue the process of raising more than N7 billion from the capital market.
Shareholders of E-Tranzact had in December 2018 authorised their board to raise additional capital of up to N7 billion “through the issuance of any form of equity instrument(s), whether by way of public offering, private placement, rights issue, offer for subscription or other methods they deem fit, with or without preferential allotments, either locally or internationally, at such dates and on such terms and conditions as shall be determined by the directors”.
Shareholders also empowered the directors to consider as an alternative or addition issuance of convertible or non-convertible loans while also approving issuance of undersubscribed shares to interested investors as well as absorb excess subscriptions.
E-Tranzact shareholders also increased the company’s authorised share capital from N2.1 billion or 4.2 billion ordinary shares of 50 kobo each to N9.1 billion or 18.2 billion ordinary shares of 50 kobo each.
Toluwalope, who was in the company of other senior executives, including the Deputy Managing Director, Hakeem Adeniji-Adele, Group Head, Legal, Eme Godwin, Henry David, Chief Technology Officer, said as one of the foremost payment system platforms in the country, the company was poised to liberalise the way payment transactions are carried out.
The E-tranzact boss, who recalled that the company is 17 year old, stressed that it has pioneered a lot of innovation in the e-payment system which has changed the face of banking and financial services.
Specifically, he said, the company pioneered the Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) code, a communications protocol used by GSM cellular telephones to communicate with the mobile network operator’s computers to drive e-payments, mobile banking, mobile money, and a host of others.
While noting that the new management which came on board last June has since began a reorganisation, Toluwalope said the focus now is on improved structure and governance.

NIGERIA LOSES $115 MILLION DAILY AS OIL SLIDES BELOW $60

Nigeria’s 2019 budget of N8.9 trillion may have suffered a setback as brent crude, the international oil benchmark, on Tuesday trad below $60, the 2019 budget benchmark.
As at 6.50pm local time, the commodity traded at $59.50 per barrel, losing 50 cents. Earlier, it dipped by $2.10 to trade at $59.79 per barrel. It plunged to around $61 per barrel last Thursday from $65 on Wednesday.
During the preparations of the budget estimates, crude oil price was around $80, thus giving the Federal Government the comfort to ignore the $50 benchmark proposed in the Economic Recovery Growth Plan (ERGP) and to opt for $60 as the oil benchmark on which to base revenue projections for the budget.
Concerns that Iranian oil exports to the global market would drop because of renewed sanctions by the United States had pushed the price slightly above $80 per barrel for the first time since November 2014.
However, the unexpected rise in the US crude inventories, coupled with weaker outlook for global demand, has continued to push down oil prices despite the efforts of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and non-OPEC producers, led by Russia, to reduce excess supply in the global market.
President Muhammadu Buhari, while signing the N8.9 trillion budget on May 27, 2019, based oil production at 2.3 million barrels per day with an oil benchmark price of $60 per barrel.
If the trend continues, Nigeria will be losing about $115 million daily. This was deduced when 50 cents is multiplied by 2.3 million barrels.
The development may further put the government under pressure to seek alternatives means of generating revenue to be able to service both its domestic and external borrowings and fund both capital and recurrent expenditure.
Meanwhile, a glut of light sweet crude in the Atlantic basin owing to a surge in U.S. exports and homeless North Sea cargoes has sent differentials for Nigerian sliding.
Around 15 cargoes of Nigerian crude remain from the August loading programme, with the prompt barrels dragging down prices for September cargoes yet mostly failing to attract much buyer interest despite seller mark-downs.
Two cargoes of prompt-loading Forcados still await a buyer, with buyers holding out for a price well below a premium of $2 compared to dated Brent – among the lowest values in 2019.
Bonny Light and Qua Iboe were said to be trading below dated Brent plus $2.00.

INVESTORS AWAIT INTERIM DIVIDENDS OF MAJOR BANKS

Investors have stepped up demand for shares of the largest banks amidst expectations that the lenders will declare interim dividends on their half-year results.
Four leading banks-Guaranty Trust Bank (GTB), Zenith Bank, United Bank for Africa (UBA) and Access Bank, have established a regular pattern of twice-a-year dividend payment, with interim dividend usually declared on first half reports. Stanbic IBTC Holdings had also declared interim dividend in recent period.
Under the three-step final process for the release of dividend recommendations and audited reports, the board of directors meets to consider and approve the audited financial statements as well as dividend recommendation, then authorises the transmission of the signed reports to the primary regulator, in the case of financial institutions and other regulated entities and with the receipt of the approval of the primary regulator, transmits the dividend recommendation and audited report to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) for announcement to the investing public.
Already, the four leading banks have confirmed that they might declare interim dividend for the first half of 2019. In separate regulatory filings, the banks had indicated that their directors had met and deliberated on dividend payment. The boards of Zenith Bank, Access Bank and GTB had met last month to deliberate on the half-year 2019 results. Also included on the agenda was a consideration for interim dividend payment.
UBA on Tuesday indicated that its board of directors will be meeting on August 22, 2019 to consider the audited financial statements for the half year ended June 30, 2019.
The four-Access Bank, Guaranty Trust Bank, Zenith Bank and UBA were among the five most active stocks yesterday at the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE). Market analysts said investors were positioning for the first half results and interim dividends of the major banks.
UBA had paid N6.84 billion to shareholders as interim dividend for the first half of last year, representing interim dividend per share of 20 kobo.
Access Bank had also paid N7.23 billion to its shareholders as interim dividend for the first half of 2018, indicating interim dividend per share of 25 kobo, the same rate paid for first half of 2017.
Zenith Bank Plc had distributed N9.42 billion to shareholders as interim dividend for the half-year ended June 30, 2018, representing interim dividend per share of 30 kobo, 20 per cent above 25 kobo paid as interim dividend for the first half of 2017. The bank had distributed N7.5 billion as interim dividend for the first half of 2017. GTB had also paid interim dividend per share of 30 kobo for the first half of last year.
Post-listing rules at the NSE require quoted companies to submit interim or unaudited quarterly report not later than 30 calendar days after the end of the relevant period. Most quoted companies including all banks, major manufacturers, oil and gas companies, breweries and cement companies use the 12-month Gregorian calendar year as their business year. The deadline for the six-month period ended June 30, 2019 is thus July 30, 2019.
However, where a company chooses to audit its quarterly accounts, it shall be required to file such accounts not later than 60 calendar days after the relevant quarter.
All the four leading banks also undertake audit of their half-year accounts. The deadline for the submission of their accounts is thus August 29, 2019.

NAIRA APPRECIATES BY 0.1% AT I & E FX WINDOW

The Naira at the Investors & Exporters Foreign Exchange (I & E FX) on Monday appreciated by 0.1 per cent to close at N362.21 against the Dollar from N361.60 it opened for trading.
According to the FMDQ Securities Exchange, the local currency traded high and low at N 364.00 and N310.00 against the dollar respectively.
A total of $293.60 million turnovers was traded, data on the FMDQ OTC revealed on Monday.
However, the naira weakened against the Dollar by 0.3per cent to N360.00 as against the dollar in the parallel market, while it moved to N306.9 against the dollar from N306.85 against the Dollar at the Interbank market rate of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
At the money market & fixed income on Monday, the overnight lending rate dipped by 43basis points to six per cent, even as banks funded for foreign exchange wholesale auction. Activities in the Treasury bills market were bearish as average yield widened by 15basis points to 11.12per cent. Trading in the bond market was bullish as the average yield dipped by two basis points to 13.40per cent.

WHY MOST NEW INTERNET SUBSCRIBERS PREFERRED GLO IN JUNE

New Internet subscribers demonstrated their preference for Globacom as their data service provider in June. The operator became the first network in Nigeria to launch nationwide 4G in 2016.
Globacom topped the gainers’ chart in the latest statistics of Internet subscribers released by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) for the month of June.
Although June was a difficult month for the industry generally, Globacom and Airtel were still able to gain. Total number of Internet subscribers dropped by 332,338 from 122,624,417 in May to 122,292,079 in June in the industry as a whole. Globacom gained a total of 196,816, moving from 28,825,533 data subscribers in May to 29,022,349 in June. Airtel gained a total of 42,510 subscribers in the corresponding period.
On the other hand, MTN lost 178,103 subscribers, dropping from 52,433,020 in May to 52,254,917 in June. Nigeria’s fourth largest telecommunications operator, 9Mobile lost 310,924 data subscribers, dropping from 9,350,477 in May to 9, 039,553 in June.

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