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JP Morgan Recommends UBA Shares over 45% Upside Potential

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Investors that take position on UBA shares now have the chance of making as much as 45% return over the next 12 months writes US based Investment banking  giant, JP Morgan, in its latest analysis of Nigerian banks.

“UBA offers an attractive 45% upside potential over 12 months, among the highest in CEEMEA banks” according to the JP Morgan report released October 2013.

CEEMEA is an acronym for Central and Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa. It is used by investment analysts to refer to reports that cover economies or businesses in this region.

“We think UBA’s valuation, despite a strong rally since the beginning of the year, offers an opportunity to buy into probably the deepest valuation discount in CEEMEA banks at current levels” states the JP Morgan Report while explaining the rational for recommending UBA’s shares. 

The report also notes that investors may be missing out on the opportunity presented by UBA shares despite improving fundamentals of the bank. “However, consensus is catching up fast – UBA has the best buy, or hold, or sell ratio on Bloomberg consensus.”

The JP Morgan report also explains that UBA benefits from significant balance sheet liquidity noting that the bank’s loan to deposit ratio of 37% as at half year 2013 was the lowest among CEEMEA banks covered by the investment bank.

JP Morgan however forecast that UBA’s loan to deposit ratio is “conservatively expected to rise gradually to 45% by 2016 year end. 

JP Morgan notes that UBA’s loan to deposit ratio is “reflected in UBA’s market shares where it is second in Nigeria in deposits with 13% market share, but has lowest lending market share at 8% among the four biggest banks JP Morgan tracks in Nigeria. 

UBA pan-African presence is also seen as strength in the bank’s operations. JP Morgan notes that UBA has the highest number of subsidiaries in Africa among the top-tier Nigerian banks with positions in 18 African countries outside Nigeria and potential to drive future revenues on rising intra-Africa trade.

“This pan-African presence and valuation discount increases the attractiveness of UBA as a potential take-out story, in our view, given our understanding on larger regional banks (e.g. South African banks) for pan-African franchises such as UBA’s.”

Notably, “UBA has the lowest mix of Commission on Turnover (COT) growth in its overall fee income mix when compared with peers. Excluding fee income, we see average Net Interest Income (NII) growth of 15% every year from 2013 to 2016” according to the JP Morgan report.

“UBA’s valuation is an opportunity to buy into what may be the most attractive risk-reward in CEEMEA banks; for a 33% valuation discount   versus peers, we estimate UBA offers 23% 2014 year end premium on Return on Equity (ROE) and significantly higher dividend yield of 10% by 2014 year end” 

JP Morgan expects that the Nigerian government’s reforms agenda in oil and gas, power, agriculture and infrastructure sectors will drive the future banking growth, the sector which UBA has recently been highly bullish on with new loan growth targeted at these sectors.

UBA only last week released its third quarter 2013 financial results which shows a significant 26.7% growth in loan portfolio, as the bank positions to take advantage of emerging opportunities  in the power and oil and gas sectors of the Nigerian economy.

The nine-month results put the bank’s new loan portfolio position at N870.4 billion as at September 2013, representing a 26.7% increase on N687.4 billion loan portfolio for full year of 2012. “We increased our exposure to the power, upstream oil and gas and telecoms sectors of the economy” explained Phillips Oduoza, group managing director.

The bank  also announced gross earnings of N188 billion, representing 12.5% increase from N167.1 billion in the same period of last year while interest income rose 18.8% to N133 billion from N112 billion.

There was a significant 28.5% increase in total comprehensive income for the period to N48.74billion, compared with N37.92billion in the same period of last year while the bank closed the first nine months of the year with a profit of N43.4billion.


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Stanbic IBTC Bank Disowns Lagos ATM Fraudster

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Stanbic IBTC Bank PLC has disowned Tope Olajide, 22-year-old fraudster arraigned for theft of customers deposits.

Stanbic IBTC Bank Disowns Lagos ATM Fraudster

The Bank said this in a statement on Wednesday.

The statement said: “The attention of the management of Stanbic IBTC Bank PLC has been drawn to news currently circulating in the media, about the alleged arraignment of staff of the Bank on charges bordering on the theft of customers deposits.

“The Bank would like to clarify that the defendant, a 22-year-old Tope Olajide, IS NOT, and was at no point in time an employee of Stanbic IBTC Bank PLC.

“The alleged culprit was apprehended around 7:30 am, on Thursday, 27 August 2020, by security operatives after he was exposed by CCTV footage using ATM cards he had allegedly stolen and converted, to make withdrawals from the accounts tied to the stolen ATMs.

“The CCTV footage also showed the alleged culprit pretending to assist customers at ATMs whilst also attempting to fraudulently dispossess the customers of their ATMs.

“He was subsequently arraigned before an Ikeja Magistrate Court on Monday, 14 September, for stealing the debit cards of two customers and using them to unlawfully withdraw the sum of N427,000.

“The Bank would also like to implore members of the public to be security conscious when conducting transactions at ATMs. Customers are advised to report any suspicious actions around them to security operatives who are usually stationed around the Bank’s ATMs, when carrying out transactions at any of our ATM locations.

“As an organisation, we hold dear the values of integrity, and we will continue to prioritise the safety of our customers effectively.”


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Buhari Okays Establishment of CBN-Led Infraco

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President Muhammadu  Buhari has approved the establishment of an   Infrastructure Company (Infraco) to be driven by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in partnership with the African Finance Corporation (AFC) and the Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA).

Buhari Okays Establishment of CBN-Led Infraco

Mr. Godwin Emefiele, CBN governor

This is coming  on the heels of the foreign reserves’ slump to $36 billion following a cocktail of monetary policy interventions by the apex bank to cushion the scathing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the economy.

Mr Godwin Emefiele, CBN governor, made these disclosures in Abuja at the annual conference of the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN) with the theme: Facilitating a Sustainable Future: The role of Banking and Finance.

According to him, Infraco would enable the use of private and public capital to support infrastructure investment that will have a multiplier effect on growth across critical sectors.

“This entity would also be able to raise funds from the capital markets and mobilise long term finance to address some of our infrastructure needs, while providing reasonable returns to investors. “We believe this well-structured fund can act as a catalyst for growth in the medium and the long run. The support of the banking community will be important in achieving this objective.

“A well-built infrastructure system, comprising hard infrastructure such as roads and ports, and soft infrastructure such as broadband penetration, can have a multiplier effect on growth by enabling the expansion of business activities in the country”, he explained.

On foreign reserves, Emefiele attributed its crash to the decline in foreign exchange earnings and subsequent adjustments in the value of the naira to the dollar.


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Amana Bank signs Comprehensive Software Deal with Path Solutions

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Amana Bank, a leading Islamic bank in Somalia has announced that it has selected iMAL, the AAOIFI-certified core banking platform from Path Solutions to replace its legacy IT system and deploy a single, cloud-based digital banking platform to underpin its banking operations.

This is Path Solutions’ third win in Somalia after Premier Bank and MyBank Ltd. The company went through a lengthy competitive bidding to which all international suppliers were invited, before being selected as Amana Bank’s preferred technology partner.

According to a statement following the signing, Path Solutions will supply and install its flagship Islamic core banking platform iMAL in addition to its comprehensive digital suite at Amana Bank Somalia. The new digital software will provide instant 24/7 service availability with fast, inexpensive, easy and convenient online banking, frictionless payments and transfers, personalization, engagement and retention.

Abdirizak Hussein Malin, Chairman of Amana Bank Somalia commented, “As part of our strategy, Amana Bank has instituted a digital transformation plan that will help us meet the emerging needs of our customers and the increasing demands of innovation.

“Consequently, we required a partner with open and agile technology that will drive powerful change. We have chosen Path Solutions for its ability to deliver vital digital financial solutions at this critical time with its depth of experience supporting Islamic banks in Africa.

“The company has differentiated itself from other vendors in its unique ability to combine core Islamic values with modern digital banking solutions, and to fully comply with Sharia and banking regulations.

“We are confident that the new technology, proven to significantly improve levels of customer fulfilment, will transform our operations by driving incredible efficiency gains while also reducing risk, lowering overall IT costs via higher automation and lower maintenance spending”.

The new iMAL platform leverages artificial intelligence and machine learning to help financial institutions get predictive insights for better data-driven decision making. It will also help strengthen customer loyalty through enhanced security transactions.

“We are delighted to partner with a leading Islamic bank in Somalia on a project that will set a new standard in digital banking for the country. Today, every financial institution has an incredible opportunity to apply advances in cloud computing to redefine every aspect of its business”, said Mohammed Kateeb, Path Solutions’ Group Chairman & CEO.

“Somalia’s Amana Bank is a good example of this transformation to drive innovation forward and ensure much more secure banking experience, enabling customers to enjoy the nuances of non-stop banking with cloud-based services.

The bank will also benefit from the full Islamic coverage which bridges the gap between modern customer requirements and intrinsic Islamic values. Our multi-award winning Islamic core banking platform will support the delivery of innovative digital products that are both Sharia-compliant and specialized for Amana Bank’s retail and corporate customers”.

The new agreement was signed by Amana Bank’s Chairman Abdirizak Hussein Malin and Path Solutions’ Group Chairman & CEO Mohammed Kateeb on Sunday 6 September at Path Solutions’ Dubai office. The implementation will be delivered 100% in the cloud and 100% remotely amidst the COVID-19 lockdown.


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