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UBA Wins Bank of the Year Africa 2023

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By David Torough, Abuja

United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc has clinched nine prestigious awards at The Bankers Awards 2023, organized by The Banker Magazine – a publication of Financial Times of London, the world’s leading business newspaper.

The awards presented to the bank at a ceremony in London, United Kingdom on Thursday, included the highly coveted Bank of the Year Africa 2023, solidifying UBA’s position as the leading financial institution on the African continent.

The bank’s subsidiaries also emerged as the Bank of the Year in eight of the 20 countries where it operates in Africa.

The winning subsidiaries are UBA Cameroon, UBA Chad, UBA Ghana, UBA Cote d’Ivoire, UBA Mozambique, UBA Congo,  UBA Sierra Leone, and UBA Tanzania, underscoring the bank’s dominance and impact across diverse African markets.

This is the second time in the past three years that the bank has won the regional award as the best bank in Africa, as it had emerged winner in 2021.

UBA’s Group Managing Director, Oliver Alawuba, who received the awards on behalf of the bank, expressed gratitude about the awards, and said the recognitions come as a reassurance that the bank is on track in its goal of consolidating its leadership position in Africa, and creating superior value for its stakeholders.

“UBA is honoured to be named the Bank of the Year in these eight countries and to receive the overall Award for Africa. This accomplishment is a testament to the hard work, dedication, and innovative spirit of the entire UBA team. We remain committed to delivering top-notch banking services that positively impact the lives of our customers across the continent.

Alawuba said, “We have our millions of customers across the globe and our many thousands of staff to thank for this. They are the very reason why we keep winning and receiving these accolades.”

The Banker Awards is widely recognized as a benchmark for banking excellence globally, and UBA’s multiple victories underscore the institution’s commitment to providing exceptional financial servicesand superior financial intermediation on the continent. As Africa’s Bank of the Year, UBA has demonstrated its ability to navigate the complexities of the African banking landscape and emerge as a leading force in driving economic growth and financial inclusion.

Speaking earlier about UBA’s consistent excellence in the financial services sector across the continent which has earned the bank great accolades overtime, Editor of the Banker, Joy Macknight, said that as always, UBA remains a clear winner across a wide range of criteria, having performed impressively across its footprint with a strong financial performance across most of its markets.

 “In a year of strong competition among the continent’s major banking groups, UBA has gained the edge on its rivals to win the Bank of the Year award for Africa for the 2nd time in three years. Congratulations. The award recognises the bank’s strength across Africa, including many of its most competitive markets,” Macknight stated.

Since 1926, the Bank of the Year awards has been celebrating the best of global banking and is regarded as the industry standard for banking excellence.

Just recently, UBA won the 2023 FMDQ Gold Awards in three Categories including the Best FX Liquidity Provider, Dealing Institution of the Year and Best Money Market Liquidity Provider. This recognition is a testament to UBA’s impressive capital strength and capacity to provide liquidity to the Nigerian financial market even in the face of harsh economic realities. Despite the headwinds, UBA Group has consistently maintained its position as Nigeria’s leading financial institution.

In June, the banking group announced impressive half-year financial results, and further increased the performance in Quarter 3, 2023, with profit before tax (PBT) soared to N502.01 billion, Shareholders’ Funds standing strong at N1.778 trillion, and total assets, reaching N16.24 trillion.

These outstanding figures not only reflect UBA’s institutional strength, but also demonstrate its position as a corporate role model in Nigeria and across Africa.

United Bank for Africa Plc is a leading Pan-African financial institution, offering banking services to more than thirty-five (35) million customers, across 1,000 business offices and customer touch points in 20 African countries. With presence in New York, London, Paris, and Dubai, UBA is connecting people and businesses across Africa through retail, commercial and corporate banking, innovative cross-border payments and remittances, trade finance and ancillary banking services.

Economy

Selloffs in Dangote Cement, MTN, others Push Equity own by 1.23%

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Selloffs in the shares of Dangote Cement, Conoil, MTN Nigeria, among others, on Friday, dragged the equity market’s performance indices down by 1.23 per cent to close the week’s trading sessions.

Specifically, investors lost N672 billion or 1.24 per cent, as the market capitalisation, which opened at N54.

707 trillion, closed at N54.035 trillion.

The All-Share Index also lost 1.

24 per cent or 1.228.32 point, to settle at 98,751.98, as against 99,980.3 recorded on Thursday.

Consequently, the Year-To-Date (YTD) return on the index dropped to 32.07per cent.

Selloffs in Dangote Cement, MTN Nigeria,  Fidelity Bank, Sovereign Trust Insurance and Nestle made the market performance to be on a negative terrain.

Analysis of the market activities showed trade turnover drop when compared to the previous session, with the value of transactions down 22.01 per cent.

A total of 367.62 million shares valued at N6.78 billion were exchanged in 9,168 deals, compared to 542.95 million shares valued at N8.70 billion exchanged in 9,650 deals posted previously.

Meanwhile, Dangote Cement and Conoil led the losers table by percentage terms of 10 each to close at N135, N90.90 per share respectively.

MTN trailed by 9.96 per cent to close at N200.70, Thomas Wyatt Nigeria lost 9.78 per cent to close at N2.03, while Sovereign Trust Insurance shed 6.52 per cent to close at 43k per share.

On the gainers table, The Initiative Plc and FTN Cocoa Processors led by 10 per cent each to close at N1.98 and N1.65 per share respectively.

Juli Plc followed closely by 9.97 per cent to close at N3.75, Champion Breweries Plc gained 9.94 per cent to close at N3.76 and PZ Nigeria rose by 9.93 per cent to close at N33.75 per share.

On the activity table, Transcorp led in volume with trade of 57.00 million shares valued at N792.05 million, while Access Corporation sold 31.77 million shares worth N667.8 million.

United Bank of Africa (UBA) traded 28.50 million shares valued at N674.07 million and Fidelity Bank transacted 28.07 million shares worth N297.65.

Also, First City Monumental Bank(FCMB) sold 27.92 million shares worth N227.22 million.

However, market breadth closed positive with 43 gainers and eight losers on the trading floor.(NAN)

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BUSINESS

Geometric Power Commissions Afreximbank-backed 141mw Aba Integrated Power Project

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By Tony Obiechina, Abuja

The 141 MW Aba Integrated Power Project (Aba IPP), an Afreximbank-financed project, was officially commissioned in Abia State by the Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, H.E Kashim Shettima. A first of its kind in Nigeria, the Aba IPP is a pioneering initiative capable of generating and distributing 141 MW of its produced power across nine local government areas (LGAs) within the Aba ring-fenced zone.

Adequate distribution of energy is a cornerstone for national development, playing a critical role in facilitating industrialization and trade.

Recognising the challenges in the sector such as inadequate liquidity, high level of debt, and a lack of profitability, Afreximbank continues to support energy projects on the continent and has committed in excess of US$ 4.
6 billion to Africa’s power sector since inception. With approximately USD 900 million of funding in Nigeria, the Bank is one of the leading financiers in the Nigerian power sector. In 2021, Afreximbank signed a US$50 million term loan facility with Geometric Power Limited to support the completion of the generation and distribution infrastructure, commissioning of the gas supply pipeline and commencement of operations of the project.

Speaking at the official launch ceremony, Prof. Benedict Oramah, President and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Afreximbank said: “Afreximbank is proud to be part of this great milestone achievement in Nigeria. The 141MW Aba IPP underscores what can be achieved when public and private sector stakeholders join forces to impact humanity. As champions of trade and industrialization initiatives in Africa, we believe that it is projects like this embedded IPP that will catalyze trade and economic development in Nigeria and across the region.”  

The Aba IPP is unique as it is the only electricity company in Nigeria that is fully vertically integrated with embedded generation and distribution capabilities. This model ensures the Aba IPP can supply power directly to its immediate community, prioritizing local needs and distributing surplus power to Nigeria’s national power grid. This ground-breaking approach ensures constant power supply in the ring-fenced area and addressing the challenges associated with the national power grid. Furthermore, the integrated structure fosters value creation through improved cost management at various stages in the energy value chain: generation, distribution, and collection.

The Aba IPP is equipped with renowned world class infrastructure including three GE LM6000 Gas turbines, with a capacity to produce up to 47MW each. The power plant is also equipped with a 27km gas pipeline to ensure consistent fuel supply, three rehabilitated distribution substations, five new additional substations and 140km of 33kV/11kV lines using fibre optic cables for seamless data communication.

Strategically positioned in the industrial South-Eastern Nigeria, the Aba metropolis is one of the most commercial areas in West Africa, renowned for its cottage and small-scale industries specialising in the craftsmanship of leather goods, fabrics and related services. In addition to increased power supply and reliability, the Aba IPP is expected to enhance industrialization efforts and increase production of small and medium-scale enterprises, as well as local industries.

According to Geometric power, over 370,000 direct and indirect jobs would be created during the operational phase of the project. In addition, there are significant indirect benefits for the supporting industries including the development of road infrastructure, improvement in local services including enhanced water supply, schools and healthcare facilities, a boost in agricultural productivity due to a more reliable power supply, as well as increased support for rural electrification programs and enhanced tourism and leisure opportunities.

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Economy Grows Under Tinubu – IMPI

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By Tony Obiechina, Abuja

The Independent Media and Policy Initiative IMPI is convinced that Nigeria will witness economic growth in 2024, on the basis of the GDP figure of the last quarter of 2023

In a statement signed by its Chairman Niyi Akinsiju, IMPI said it expects the growth to be driven by the non-oil sector and expansion in the financial sector as the Central Bank of Nigeria battles to tame inflation rate and stabilize the foreign exchange rate.

The policy group explained that its position is based on a careful study of the latest GDP figure released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) that also showed a sharp rebound in the oil production after a 3-year contraction.

It said:”According to NBS, real growth of the oil sector will spiral upward to 12.11 percent year on year in Q4 2023.

“This indicated an increase of 25.50 percentage points (highest in the last three years) compared to the rate recorded in the corresponding quarter of 2022 which was -13.38 percent. Growth also increased by 12.96 percentage points when compared to Q3 2023 which was -0.85 per cent.

“By way of production breakdown, the nation in the fourth quarter of 2023, recorded an average daily oil production of 1.55 million barrels per day (mbpd), higher than the daily average production of 1.34mbpd recorded in the same quarter of 2022 by 0.21mbpd.

“This is higher than the production volume of the third quarter of 2023, which is 1.45mbpd, an increase of 0.10mbpd. This has implications for inflow of foreign exchange because the nation depends on crude oil export for more than 90 percent of its foreign exchange earnings.

“The principal explanation for this impressive crude oil production increase is that the country now has about 30 functioning rigs in its upstream oil and gas sector.

“According to OPEC data, Nigeria’s average rigs count was 11, 7, and 20 in 2020, 2021 and 2022 respectively. Rig count is a measure of vibrant activities in the oil industry. It also referred to the number of active drilling rigs extracting oil from the ground at a given time. It is an important metric in the oil and gas industry as it provides insight into the level of drilling activity, which can influence oil production levels and market dynamics.

“The draw down from this is that the Tinubu administration must have rolled up its sleeves and went to work to redeem the nation’s problematic crude oil production activities as soon as it was sworn into office.”

It is against the backdrop of the performance of the oil sector as well as the non-oil that IMPI envisages further economic growth.

“By our conservative estimation, we can posit that the economy may have survived the most elementally critical stage as it adjusts to the subsidy removal policy and unification of the foreign exchange rates. We, therefore, envisage an economic growth trajectory, even in the face of prevailing challenges confronting the economy.

“We are confident of increased GDP growth in 2024, buoyed by the non-oil sector and driven by expansion in the financial sector which shall benefit from regulatory increase in interest rates as the Central Bank of Nigeria battles to tame inflation and stabilize the foreign exchange rate. These will act together to impact the living standards of the citizens in the months ahead,” it added.

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