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Nigeria’s Sterling Bank’s Trading Income Rises By 265% in Q3 2020

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Sterling Bank Plc has reported a trading income of N7.1bn for the third quarter (Q3) ended Sept. 30, compared with N1.9bn achieved in the corresponding period in 2019, notwithstanding the uncertainties caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and recent fiscal reforms by government

Mr Abubakar Suleiman, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the bank, said in a statement, on Thursday in Lagos, said that the growth represented a 264.7 per cent increase.

Suleiman said that the bank achieved the remarkable performance in spite of the prevailing uncertainties that characterized the macro-economic environment due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the attendant fiscal reforms by the Federal Government.

The bank’s profit after tax dropped to N7.36bn during the period under review as against N7.57bn recorded in the corresponding period in 2019, just as gross earnings also fell to N106.07bn during the period under review, against N109.7bn achieved last year.

According to him, with economic activity picking up in the third quarter, following the gradual ease in the nationwide lockdown, the bank would continue to leverage on existing remote work policy to enhance workforce productivity and ensure uninterrupted service delivery to both new and existing customers.

“Our performance continues to reflect positive results of strategic decisions and investments in our focal areas as we continue to record significant improvement in both funding and operational costs.

“Overall, we delivered a 7.2 per cent increase in operating income and a profit after tax of N7.37bn despite prevailing uncertainties around the COVID-19 pandemic and recent fiscal reforms.

The CEO said a 26.2 per cent dip in fee income caused by the downward review of electronic banking fees coupled with slower loan origination, due to the protracted lock down, was moderated by a 264.7 per cent spike in trading income.

“Growth in balance sheet was driven by a 26.5 per cent growth in low cost funds, which saw the bank’s CASA mix improve to 71 per cent from 60 per cent, delivering a 6.6 per cent growth in customer deposits.

“Our cash and short-term balances increased in line with the higher regulatory reserves, while interest income also declined by 6.7 per cent, which was offset by a 17.0 per cent decline in interest expense. This delivered a 120-bps drop in cost of funds and, consequently, a 100-bps increase in net interest margin,” he said.

In terms of asset quality, Suleiman noted: “We proactively increased our cost of risk by 100 bps to 1.9 per cent, while recording a marginal increase in NPL ratio to 2.9per cent, well below our target of 5 per cent.

He explained that the decline in OPEX was achieved by moderating administrative expenses despite growth in other operating expenses, including AMCON and insurance fees

The CEO said that the bank was also able to maintain a strong capital and liquidity position of 16.1 per cent and 32.5 per cent respectively, above the regulatory benchmark.

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Business Edge | Nigeria, UAE Signs MOU, Eskom Faces R5 Million Over Kendal Power Station Pollution

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The Nigerian Government has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the United Arab Emirates (UAE), which provides a platform for both countries to establish a Joint Commission between the two friendly countries, seeking to enhance cooperation and coordination between both countries in all fields.

Also, Eskom could face fines of up to R5-million under South Africa’s air quality legislation for supplying blatantly false and misleading information about its toxic pollution at the Kendal coal-fired power station to authorities.
On 28 January 2021, the state-owned energy utility will appear in the Emalahleni regional court on four counts of environmental transgressions.

Tolulope Adeleru-Balogun and Mukhtar Mohammed, CEO Asher Dynamic Solutions, discussed these on Business Edge.

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Nigeria’s Federal Government Approves N117 Billion for Road Rehabilitation

The Ministry of Works and Housing presented three memoranda, two relating to roads, and one relating to a banking application.

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The Federal Executive Council (FEC) on Wednesday approved N117.6 billion for the rehabilitation of some major roads across Nigeria.

This was disclosed to journalists by the Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, after the meeting chaired by President Muhammadu Buhari.

The Ministry of Works and Housing presented three memoranda, two relating to roads, and one relating to a banking application.

Read also: Full Text Of Nigeria’s President Buhari Budget Proposal Speech

“The first set of roads is for a total sum of N18,923,846,198.47, and it is with respect to roads and bridges as follows: rehabilitation of 26 km road linking Kano, Jigawa and the Katsina States, N8.767 billion; Omo-Umulokpa road in Anambra and the Enugu States, N1.712 billion; rehabilitation of Oye-Oranta road in Anambra, N2.504 billion; Okpoko bridge along Benue-Cross River road, N1.057 billion; the bridge at km 22.7 along Bida-Zungeru road in Niger State, N1.022 billion; Nkumi bridge linking Abia and Enugu States, N1.0.72 billion, and Challawa-Nunku road in Kombotso, Kano State, N2.787 billion.

“The other memorandum relating to roads is also for the total sum of N98,073,840, 842.81. The roads are Rijiya-Gusau road in Zamfara State, N7.799 billion; Jegga-Kwana-Sanagi-Gumi road in Kebbi State, N31.539 billion; Koko-Mahuta road in Kebbi, N19.713 billion; Kuka Babbangida-Ganagara road in Katsina State, N11.731 billion; Ihiala-Olu-Umudu road, N16.750 billion; Oye-Ama-Etite-Umuawulu road in Anambra, N2.155 billion and Bichi road in Kano State, N8.384 billion,” Fashola said.

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Arik Air Workers Ground Operations

They alleged that several members of staff had been furloughed, adding that pensions were being owed.

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Operations of Arik Air, one of Nigeria’s carriers have been grounded by the National Union of Air Transport Employees over poor working conditions.

The workers on Thursday blocked the entrance of the airline’s headquarters in Lagos, the country’s commercial capital in the South West, carrying placards with different inscriptions.

Some of the inscriptions read, “End Arik brutality”, and “Sign our condition of service and recall all staff.”

They alleged that several members of staff had been furloughed, and that pensions were being owed.

The Lagos state Secretary of NUATE, Ijeh Anthony, said the issue had lingered for long, vowing to continue the strike till all demands are met.

He said, “The contentious issue is the signing of the Conditions of Service which we have been negotiating for the past three years.

Read also: Unions Shut Down Nigeria’s Arik Air Operations Over Anti-Labour Practices

“But the only aspect remaining in the CoS is the issue of the severance package. We have sought interventions from the Ministry of Aviation, the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority.

“However, in most discussions, Arik Air Management will always renege.”

At the Murtala Muhmmed Airport 2 terminal, several passengers booked for 8 am flights were stranded.

Some of the passengers were distraught after waiting for several hours.

Officials from the airline were seen trying to manage the situation.

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