Zenith Bank Plc has announced result for the year ended December 31, 2019, with profit after tax of N208.8 billion, achieving the feat as the first Nigerian bank to cross the N200 billion mark.
According to the bank’s audited financial results for the 2019 financial year released in Lagos on Friday, profit after tax rose by 8% to N208.8 billion from the N193 billion recorded in the previous year.
The group also recorded a growth in gross earnings of 5% rising to N662.3 billion from N630.3 billion reported in the previous year.
This growth was driven by the 29% increase in non-interest income from N179.9 billion in 2018 to N231.1 billion in 2019. Fees on electronic products continues to grow significantly with a 108% Year on Year (YoY) growth from N20.4 billion in 2018 to N42.5 billion in the current year.
The bank in a statement sent to Newscorner said the increase in the figures was a “validation of the bank’s retail transformation strategy which continues to deliver impressive results”.
Profit before tax also increased by 5% growing from N232 billion to N243 billion in the current year, arising from topline growth and continued focus on cost optimisation strategies. Cost-to-income ratio moderated from 49.3% to 48.8%.
The drive for cheaper retail deposits coupled with the low interest yield environment helped reduce the cost of funding from 3.1% to 3.0%.
However this also affected net interest margin which reduced from 8.9% to 8.2% in the current year due to re-pricing of interest bearing assets.
Although returns on equity and assets held steady YoY at 23.8% and 3.4% respectively, the Group still delivered an improved Earnings per Share (EPS) which grew 8% from N6.15 to N6.65 in the current year.
The bank said it increased its share of the market as it secured increased customer deposits across the corporate and retail space as deposits grew by 15% to close at N4.26 trillion.
Total assets also increased by 7% from N5.96 trillion to N6.35 trillion. The Group created new viable risk assets as gross loans grew by 22% from N2.016 trillion to N2.462 trillion. This was executed prudently at a low cost of risk of 1.1% and a significant reduction in the non-performing loan ratio from 4.98% to 4.30%.
Prudential ratios such as liquidity and capital adequacy ratios also remained above regulatory thresholds at 57.3% and 22.0% respectively.
The bank has announced a proposed final dividend pay-out of N2.50 per share, bringing the total dividend to N2.80 per share.
“In 2020, the Group remains strategically positioned to capture the opportunities in the corporate and retail segments, while efficiently managing costs and expanding further its retail franchise employing digital assets and innovation.”
Zenith Bank was voted as the Best Commercial Bank in Nigeria 2019 by the World Finance and the Most Valuable Banking Brand in Nigeria 2019 by The Banker.
The bank was also recognized as Bank of the Year and Best Bank in Retail Banking at the 2019 BusinessDay Banks and Other Financial Institutions (BOFI) Awards, and was ranked as the Best Digital Bank in Nigeria 2019 by Agusto & Co. Most recently, the Bank emerged as the Bank of the Decade (People’s Choice) at the Thisday Awards 2020.
Nigeria’s commercial lender, Unity Bank Plc has advocated more investment in the creative industry to drive its contribution to the Nigerian economy.
The Head, Personal & SME, Unity Bank Plc, Mr. Opeyemi Ojesina made the call in Lagos on Wednesday while speaking at a panel to explore financing options for the music industry at the just concluded Social Media Week.
Nigeria’s music industry witnessed an explosion over the past decade, growing by 9 per cent in 2016 to hit $39 million, and is set to grow by 13.4 per cent by 2021, with an estimated worth of about $73 million, according to statistics.
Highlighting impediments to flow of credits and investment, Ojesina stated that the music industry with the involvement of stakeholders in financial services sector needs a deliberate action plan to boost investment that will grow opportunities for entrepreneurs in the sector.
“To attract the required funding in the music industry, all the stakeholders involved must be deliberate about it. But most importantly, the people in the industry must begin to understand the business of their craft and build the necessary structure that would enable financial institutions to make an informed investment decision’’, Ojesina said.
Also speaking, the Head of Digital, Events & Sponsorships, Unity Bank Plc, Bashir Salami reiterated that the Bank has been exploring several financing strategies to support musicians and grow the industry.
He added that, “before the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, came out with the Creative Funding Initiative, CFI, the Bank has supported a number of artistes to promote initiatives and projects that resonates with corporate objective of the Bank,” citing the endorsement deal with Adekunle Gold in 2018 as the most significant project to enhance the Bank’s contribution to the growth of the Nigerian music industry.
The session was hosted by Beat FM in partnership with Unity Bank Plc. Titled: “Financing the Music” it had in attendance over hundreds of musicians and creative industry entrepreneurs.
To deepen digital lending opportunities and further empower individuals and SMEs in Nigeria, SystemSpecs, a leading provider of financial technology and human capital management solutions and services, would be hosting an insightful session during the 2020 edition of the Social Media Week (SMW) in Lagos.
The session with the theme, “Human-Focused Lending in a Digital World: Impact of Fintech Collaborations” would hold between 11:00 am and noon on Thursday, 27th February 2020 at Landmark Event Centre, Oniru, Victoria Island.
Bringing together customers, providers, facilitators and regulators of digital lending in Nigeria including banks, other financial technology players, and policymakers, panelists at the session would discuss the potentials that abound in retail lending as well as the innovations and extensive opportunities that can be created through increased collaboration among Fintechs, banks, alternate lenders, credit bureaus and other data providers.
Speakers at the session would include the Chief Executive Officer of Arvo Finance, Ayotunde Bally; Business Head, Digital Banking Group, Access Bank, Esther Obiekwe; Co-Founder, Lidya, Tunde Kehinde; and Divisional Head, Payment Applications and Vertical Markets, SystemSpecs, David Okeme. The session will be moderated by Chukwuemeka Fred Agbata, Co-founder, CFAmedia
SystemSpecs, developers of Remita, the innovative payment and collection solution for corporates, SMEs and individuals, is known for powering the services of most of Nigeria’s top lenders. Since the inception of its data referencing service in 2017, SystemSpecs has become well-known as a key enabler in the ecosystem by providing insight on credit, streamlining lender’s risk decisions and facilitating the lending of over N35 billion to individuals and SMEs.
Thriving on partnerships within the ecosystem, its Remita direct debit offering is adjudged the leader in the industry and continues to attract interest from Deposit Money Banks (DMBs), Microfinance banks, alternative lenders and LendTech solution providers.
Patrick Ikpelue, Divisional Business Development Lead at SystemSpecs, said a major hindrance to the growth of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) is the lack of access to funds as a result of stringent measures such as lengthy, torturous approval processes as well as convoluted requests for collaterals.
“A virile finance and credit system is a key enabler to the realisation of a number of sustainable development goals, particularly in reducing poverty and raising peoples’ social status. At SystemSpecs, we are committed to empowering the delivery of digital lending to individuals, SMEs and larger organisations to enable them meet their financial needs,” Ikpelue said.
Noting that more financial institutions and Fintech lenders have now become active players in the retail credit business, he said this move would deepen retail portfolios and enhance collaborations.
Retail lending partnerships, if properly harnessed, will further strengthen the economy. The session on digital lending aligns with the overarching goal of the 2020 Social Media Week in Nigeria which is “to support ideas, campaigns and brands that embody a human-first approach to creating digital experiences, which is not only good for business, but will advance us as a society and culture.”
SystemSpecs is a leading provider of Africa’s financial technology infrastructure and human resource management software application. For 28 years now, SystemSpecs has offered robust solutions to individuals, corporate organisations – small, medium and large, and government at state and federal levels in Nigeria and on the African continent.
New-age financial solutions powerhouse, Zedcrest Capital Limited has announced the launch of a wholly owned subsidiary and new Investment/Asset Management firm aimed at digitally `democratizing investment in Africa.
The new company, Zedcrest Investment Managers (“ZIMVEST”) will introduce digital private wealth and investment management, help clients grow wealth by beating inflation and currency risks through multicurrency investments, through best in class paperless processes
According to the Founder & Group CEO of the Zedcrest Group, Saheed Adedayo Amzat, CFA, “ZIMVEST’s differentiating factor will come from the renowned expertise of the Zedcrest group in the global financial markets. This is evidenced by the leadership position of its global markets business, Zedcap Partners which bagged the 2019 best brokerage service award of FMDQ OTC. The Group also has a wide distribution experience garnered from setting up another subsidiary, Zedvance, a top-three consumer lender in Nigeria.
The Chairman of Zedcrest Group and former managing partner of Ernst & Young, Adebisi Sanda said: “The launch of the Asset Management business ties in nicely with our plan to dominate every important vertical of Financial services: our four pillars of global markets, investment management, lending and payments. Despite some growth in the last decade, capital formation in Nigeria is still relatively low compared to our frontier/emerging market peers. The total AUM of the contributory pension scheme, at 10 trillion is just under 10% of GDP compared to South Africa at 63% of GDP. The non-pension AUM at about 1.2 trillion is very low and represents a clear growth opportunity, one which we are going after.”
Gbenga Adigun, the newly hired head of Asset Management believes ZIMVEST would leverage on the Group’s remarkable capacities and capabilities to launch the firm into the top five players in 5 years.
“I am delighted at the focus and vision I met on ground at Zedcrest Group and excited at the unique opportunity we have to create tremendous impact. In the coming months, we will be unveiling new well-thought-through products to meet the investment needs of the public. We would have propositions for the salaried employees, entrepreneurs, HNIs, corporates, governments and family offices”, Adigun said.
He also showered glowing praises on the Management of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), for the support in granting the operational license in record time.
With the current thrust of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to drive inclusive growth in the economy, returns have fallen tremendously as fund managers have been locked out of the Juicy Open Market Operation market, in favour of foreign investors who bring the much needed foreign currency inflows.
A recent guideline from the CBN elongates the available CBN futures yield curve to 5 years from 12 months. The management of Zimvest believes this is to encourage foreign direct investment in critical sectors of the real economy and would significantly give Nigeria a growth lifeline.
“The Nigerian rising narrative is about to be rekindled and we believe this is the best time for us to be setting up. We have a clear opportunity to bring alternative investments products to the market, and reduce the focus on government securities. We would be creating products for underlying investments in infrastructure and the agricultural value chain,” noted Stella Duru, another Zedcrest Director.
Top Integrated Marketing Communications, IMC stakeholders are set to discuss ‘Advertising And Power of Nigerian Story’ at an Industry Evening organised by one of Nigeria’s top brand analyst and journalist, Mr Goddie Ofose.
The Industry Evening which aims at massively accelerating growth in Nigeria’s marketing communications industry and propeling all-round relevance of the industry in the country’s development will take place on March 6, 2020 at the Sheraton Hotel and Towers, Ikeja, Lagos.
Gboyega Akosile, Chief Press Secretary to Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, will be the special guest of honour at the occasion.
The lead paper for the evening will be presented by Mr. Lanre Adisa, chief creative officer, Noah’s Ark Limited.
Meanwhile, members of the panel, who will discuss Adisa’s paper include: Mr. Onyekachi Onubogu, CEO, Frutta Juice and Services; Mr. Amaechi Okobi, Group Head, Communications and External Affairs, Access Bank Plc, Mr. Emeka Oparah, Vice President, CSR and Communications, Airtel Nigeria, Mr. Martin Mabutho, Chief Commercial Officer, Multichoice Nigeria, and Mr. Jaiye Israel Opayemi, chief executive officer, Chain Reactions/ President, Public Relations Consultants Association of Nigeria.
Others include Dr. Felix King Eiremiokhae, chief executive officer, Oracle Experience/convener The Startups Africa, Mrs. Ijedi Iyoha, acting Registrar/CEO, Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria (APCON), Mr. Odion Aleobua, CEO, Modion Communications and Mr Lekan Lawal as the moderator for the segment.
The Industry Evening, according to Ofose, was designed “to bring together industry leaders that I have interacted with over the years in the quest to rev up conversations that will move the Nigerian Marketing and Communications industry forward”.
Ofose also believes that with theme of the night, -Advertising and the Power of the Nigerian Story- the speaker, panelists and all other stakeholders present will explore the overriding engagement benefits derivable in deepening the Nigerian social-cultural content in advertising.
The programme, which is scheduled to be an annual event will attract stakeholders in Nigeria’s marketing communications industry, corporate organisations, young practitioners and students from selected universities and other higher institutions in the country.
The convener felt that weaving the conversation round the Nigerian story will not only deepen the evening’s conversation but will equally throw up ideas that will bolster the corporate image of brand Nigeria and raise the national consciousness of industry players, young practitioners, students and other stakeholders in all ramifications.