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2023 in review: Zenith Bank, Access Holdings amongst most performing stocks on NGX

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By Matthew Denis

The 2023 financial year was full of ups and downs with some emanating factors that affected transactions in the Nigeria Exchange market (NGX).

The key factor that affected the economy ranges from the redesign of the Naira currency by the  past Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele which brought untold hardship on the masses.

Another element that made the economy witness a standstill was the 2023 electioneering periods between February to April this year.

Despite these challenges, the NGX All Share Index closed the year (2023) at an all-time high of 74,773.77 points, while the market capitalization fell short of N41 trillion, closing at N40.92 trillion.

The NGX’s All-Share Index grew by 45.90 percent in 2023, and this growth was driven by some exceptional performers in the market.

The NewsDirect Business Desk was able to pencil down some of the top performing stocks on the NGX in 2023.

  1. 1. Transcorp Hotels Plc 

Standing with head tall with a share price appreciation of 1022.9 percent, Transcorp Hotels is one of the best performing stocks in the Nigerian Exchange in 2023. The company’s share price started 2023 at N6.25 and closed 2023 at N70.18.

The company’s market cap also hit N718.8 billion at the close of 2023. The company which is a subsidiary of Transnational Corporation Plc (TRANSCORP) owns and controls Transcorp Hilton Abuja, Transcorp Hotels Calabar, and Aura by Transcorp Hotels.

The company’s fundamentals in 2023 have been exceptional as the company recorded a net income of N4.07 billion in the nine months ending September 2023, representing a year-on-year growth of 79.19 percent from the corresponding period in 2022.

The company impressively between January and September 2023, the  assets grew by 2.75 percent to close at N123.8 billion.

  1. 2. Zenith Bank Plc

Nigeria’s leading commercial bank started the year with a share price at N25.00 but it is closing with a share price of N38.65.

Zenith Bank Plc has announced its audited results for the half-year ended 30 June 2023, recording an astounding triple-digit growth of 139 percent in gross earnings from N404.8 billion reported in H1 2022 to N967.3 billion in H1 2023. This is a clear demonstration of its resilience and strong market share despite a very challenging macroeconomic environment and persistent headwinds.

According to the bank’s audited half-year financial results presented to the Nigerian Exchange (NGX) on Monday, 11th September 2023, the triple-digit growth in the top line also spurred the bottom line as the Group recorded a 169 percent Year on Year (YoY) increase in profit before tax, growing from N130 billion in H1 2022 to N350.4 billion in H1 2023.  Profit after tax also grew by triple digits, growing by 162 percent from N111.4 billion to N291.7 billion in the same period.

  1. Access Holdings Plc

The current share price of Access Holdings Plc (ACCESSCORP) is NGN 23.15. ACCESSCORP closed its last trading day (Friday, December 29, 2023) at 23.15 NGN per share on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NGX). Access began the year with a share price of 8.50 NGN and has since gained 172 percent on that price valuation, ranking it 34th on the NGX in terms of year-to-date performance. Shareholders can be optimistic about ACCESSCORP knowing the stock has accrued 29 percent over the past four-week period alone —15th best on NGX.

Access Holdings is the third most traded stock on the Nigerian Stock Exchange over the past three months (Sep 29 – Dec 29, 2023). ACCESSCORP has traded a total volume of 1.64 billion shares — in 24,881 deals — valued at NGN 30.6 billion over the period, with an average of 26 million traded shares per session. A volume high of 81.5 million was achieved on November 27th, and a low of 4.21 million on November 8th, for the same period.

  1. Seplat Petroleum Development Co.

Seplat Petroleum Development began the year with a share price of 1,100.00 NGN and has since gained 110 percent on that price valuation.

Seplat Petroleum Development Co. is currently the sixth most valuable stock on the NGX with a market capitalisation of NGN 1.36 trillion, which is about 3.32 percent of the Nigerian Stock Exchange equity market.

  1. eTranzact Plc

eTranzact is Nigeria’s premier financial technology solutions provider and a leading payment and switching company.

E-Tranzact began the year with a share price of 3.50 NGN and has since gained 72.9 percent on that price valuation. ETRANZACT has traded a total volume of 120 million shares — in 1,622 deals — valued at NGN 904 million over the period, with an average of 1.91 million traded shares per session.

  1. United Bank for Africa (UBA) PLC

United Bank for Africa (UBA) PLC is a leading pan-African financial services group with presence in 20 African countries, France, UK, and US.

United Bank for Africa began the year with a share price of 7.60 NGN and has since gained 238 percent on that price valuation.

It is noteworthy that UBA was the most traded stock on the Nigerian Stock Exchange over the past three months (Sep 29 – Dec 29, 2023). UBA traded a total volume of 2.04 billion shares—in 25,985 deals—valued at NGN 42.3 billion over the period, with an average of 32.4 million traded shares per session

7.Transnational Corporation Plc (TRANSCORP)

The power sector is another most competitive sector in the country, the Tony Elumelu-led conglomerate has recorded one of its best years yet in the NGX, with a growth of 666.4 percent growth recorded in 2023. The company which started the year with a share price of N1.13 closed the year with a share price of N8.66.

In line with its impressive market performance, the company’s financial performance has been satisfactory. As of the nine months ending September 2023, the company recorded a net income of N22.7 billion, representing a year-on-year growth of 19.43 percent from the corresponding period in 2022.

Though, there was ownership crisis  between Femi Otedola and Tony Elumelu. And it is deductible that this action may have added to the increased investors’ attraction to the group.

  1. MRS Oil Plc

The only energy stock that features on this list is MRS Oil Plc. The company closed 2023 with a share price of N105, up by 644.7 percent from the N14.10 it started with in 2023.

The downstream oil company which is controlled by Sayyu Dantata has recorded an impressive 2023. In 9M 2023, the company recorded a revenue of N100.9 billion, representing a 45.9 percent year-on-year growth from the same period last year.

The company’s net income of N3.44 billion during 9M 2023 was a whopping 338.5 percent year-on-year increase from the N785 million recorded in 9M 2022. However, the company’s impressive financial performance can be linked to the rise in the price of petroleum products in Nigeria this year.

  1. Fidelity Bank Plc

Fidelity Bank Plc is listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NGX) since May 17th, 2005. Fidelity is traded on the NGX under the ticker symbol “FIDELITYBK,.”

The current share price of Fidelity Bank Plc (FIDELITYBK) is NGN 10.85. FIDELITYBK closed its last trading day (Friday, December 29, 2023) at 10.85 NGN per share on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NGX), recording a 2.8 percent gain over its previous closing price of 10.55 NGN. Fidelity began the year with a share price of 4.35 NGN and has since gained 149 percent on that price valuation

  1. Chams Holding Plc

As the world is gradually shifting into the the digital age, the ICT sector, Chams Holdings Plc is another impressive performer in the NGX in 2023, with a share price growth of 795.5 percent. It started the year with a share price of N0.24, closing the year with a share price of N1.97.

Chams Holding Company, a pioneering computer software solutions provider owns Chams Switch, Chams Access, Card Centre, and Chams Mobile.

Aligning with its market performance, the company’s financial performance has also been satisfactory as it recorded a gross profit of N1.84 billion in 9M 2023, representing a year-on-year growth of 181.3 percent from the corresponding period in 2022.

Conclusion

Beyond this ranking, the NGX has a lot of work to do in capturing more companies in the stock activities especially in the mining and aviation sectors which have zero participation in stock transactions.

The expectations for 2024 is high considering the fact that the President Bola Tinubu being a business technocrat has huge task in providing enabling environment to attract more foreign investor into the country. Also the government at all levels should create an incentive for local firms to gear up their productions and service to compete favourably with others.

Finally, the NGX should also extend their coast to the fintech companies to enable them participate fully in the exchange activities.

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FG to launch 2700 CNG buses, tricycles before May 29

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The Presidency on Sunday said it was ready to launch about 2,700 CNG-powered buses and tricycles before May 29 when President Bola Tinubu turns one year in office.

It said the Federal Government is set to deliver 100 conversion workshops and 60 refuelling sites spread across 18 states before the end of 2024.

The Special Adviser to the President on Information and Strategy, Mr. Bayo Onanuga, revealed this in a statement he signed Sunday titled ‘Presidential CNG initiative set for rollout.’

“From the end of May, Nigeria will take some baby steps to join such nations that already have large fleets of CNG vehicles.

“All is now ready for delivery of the first set of critical assets for deployment and launch of the CNG initiative ahead of the first anniversary of the Tinubu administration on May 29.

“About 2,500 of the tricycles will be ready before May 29, 2024…working towards delivering 200 units before the first anniversary of the Tinubu administration,” said the Presidency.

It added that in all, over 600 buses are targeted for production in the first phase which will be accomplished in 2024.

In October 2023, about five months after the removal of the petrol subsidy, President Tinubu launched the Presidential CNG Initiative to deliver cheaper, safer and more climate-friendly energy.

The CNG Initiative was designed to deliver compressed natural gas, especially for mass transit.

The Federal Government earmarked N100bn (part of the N500bn palliative budget) to purchase 5500 CNG vehicles (buses and tricycles), 100 Electric buses and over 20,000 CNG conversion kits, with plans to develop CNG refilling stations and electric charging stations nationwide.

The FG had said the initiative would ease the burden of the increased pump price on the masses.

“After months of detailed planning and background work, the committee driving the initiative is set to deliver on President Tinubu’s vision and promise,” Onanuga affirmed.

Part of Sunday’s announcement was the creation of a new plant on the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway that will assemble the tricycles while Brilliant EV will assemble electric vehicles when it receives the Semi Knocked Down components.

The Presidency explained further, “The SKD parts manufactured by the Chinese company LUOJIA in partnership with its local partner to support the consortium of local suppliers of CNG tricycles are set for shipment to Nigeria and expected to arrive early in May.

“In collaboration with the private sector, the PCNGI is set to deliver 100 conversion workshops and 60 refuelling sites spread across 18 states before the end of this year.”

Four plants owned by JET, Mikano, Mojo, and Brilliant EV located in various parts of the country are involved in the assembly of the semi-knocked-down components of the CNG buses, Onanuga revealed.

He added “JET, which has received the SKD parts is coupling the buses in Lagos and is working towards delivering 200 units before the first anniversary of the Tinubu administration.

“Brilliant EV will assemble electric vehicles. It is awaiting the SKD parts, which will arrive in due course. The electric vehicles it will produce are meant for states such as Kano and Borno, which do not have access to CNG for now.

“They will also be available in key Nigerian cities and university campuses. It must be noted that soon-to-be-completed gas pipeline projects initiated by the Buhari administration and being completed by NNPCL (the AKK Pipeline) will take gas into the hinterlands of North East and North West where there is a current paucity.”

Onanuga said the deployment of CNG buses and tricycles and the vision to get at least one million natural gas-propelled vehicles on our roads by 2027 will mark a major energy transition in our country’s transportation industry.

With necessary tax and duty waivers approved by President Tinubu in December 2023, the PCNGI committee is partnering with the private sector to deliver the promise on the initiative, he explained further.

Therefore, the private sector has so far responded with over $50m in actual investments in refuelling stations, conversion centres and mother stations.

Also, a safety policy document on 80 standards and regulations that must be strictly adhered to by operators has been developed and approved to ensure CNG conversions are done safely and reliably.

The FG also plans to sell thousands of conversion kits for petrol-powered buses and taxis that want to migrate to CNG at subsidised rates, especially to commercial vehicle drivers to bring down the cost of public transportation.

The Presidency said as part of private sector collaboration, NIPCO and BOVAS are involved in offering refilling services for the CNG vehicles and also serving as conversion centres.

“NIPCO is setting up 32 stations nationwide to offer the services. The company has completed the set-up of four of the CNG stations.

“Likewise, BOVAS is setting up eight stations in Ibadan, two each in Ekiti, Abuja and four in Ilorin. MRS is also involved.

“It is making efforts to announce where its refilling stations and conversion centres will be,” the Presidential aide explained.

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Recapitalisation: Access Bank confident of raising $300m – Aig-Imoukhuede

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Mr Aigboje Aig-Imokhuede, Chairman of Access Holdings Plc, says he’s confident that the bank would raise 300 million dollars in capital for Access Bank, considering the bank’s strong market position and shareholders’ support.

Aig-Imokhuede said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria(NAN) on the sideline of Access Holdings’ second Annual General Meeting(AGM) held in Lagos.

NAN reports that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), on March 29, directed commercial banks in Nigeria with international authorisation to shore up their capital base to N500 billion and national banks to N200 billion.

Similarly, non-interest banks with national and regional authorisation will increase their capital to N20 billion and N10 billion, respectively.

The recapitalisation exercise is expected to commence from April 1, to March 31, 2026.

Consequently, the shareholders of Access Bank, iat the AGM, unanimously backed the Group’s plan to establish a capital raising programme of up to $1.5 billion.

They also agreed to the subset initiative to raise up to N365 billion specifically, through a Rights Issue of ordinary shares to its shareholders.

The proceeds of the rights issue will be used to support ongoing working capital needs, including organic growth funding for the group’s banking and other non-banking subsidiaries

Aig-Imokhuede explained that having announced to embark on a capital raising through Right Issue, he was confident that the group’s shareholders would support the bank in the journey.

He stated that Access Holdings had p0a unique relationship with the capital market in Nigeria and internationally.

“It is not the first time CBN is coming up with such policy.

“Recall that in 2004 when CBN announced that all banks must recapitalise to the tune of N25 billion and Access Bank had about N3 billion of capital.

“Between 2004 and 2007, our team, when I was the CEO of the bank, raised two billion dollars of common equity capital.

“Therefore, in 2024 when Access Holdings  is much older, wiser, stronger, larger and significantly respected by the capital market with over 800,000 shareholders, raising 300 million dollars in capital for Access Bank, its banking subsidiary is not really much of a challenge.

“We signalled to the market first that we will be doing a Right Issue, which means that we must carry everybody along, in spite of our large institutional shareholders.

“Nonetheless, we believe in ensuring that shareholders, either large or small, continue with us on our journey.

“They have always supported us when need be with good reasons, because they believe in the company and the performance that would be delivered subsequently to such capital raising exercise.

“What is on the mind of our shareholders now is recapitalisation and they are also concerned about how their company continues to deliver returns,” he said.

Commenting on the CBN recapilisation policy, the chairman noted that Access Bank as a group endorses the CBN policy wholeheartedly.

Aig-Imokhuede described the policy as a good and sensible prudential regulation.

He added that banks, particularly after period of significant devaluation of domestic currency, volatility in the foreign exchange, and interest rate regime, are always encouraged to build up their capital buffer.

According to him, this is to ensure that whatever adverse effect that may arise as a result of the dynamic changes in the business environment would not affect their very concern.

In terms of performance and expectations from Access Holdings going forward, Aig-Imokhuede stated that the earning profile of the group, which spread across Nigeria, Africa and outside Africa subsidiaries, is very robust.

He said: “As an investor, you always look to see whether there is deep concentration where the profit is coming from; in our case, these arears are spread across three core areas that is of significant interest to local and international investors.

“If you look at the performance of banks in the year ended 2023 financial reports, you will see that all banks in naira terms have increased significantly their profitability as a result of the devaluation.

“But that isn’t the case with Access Bank, whose revaluation benefits come from the fact that it has significant international operations, because it is not a function of holding large foreign currency balances.

According to him, Access Bank, United Kingdom for example, is the largest and probably highest performing Sub-saharan African bank that has a license in the UK and making hundred of millions of naira of profit from the UK.

The chairman further said that this is not an accounting benefit that comes in the year 2023, but will continue, and with the operations of the bank in France, and across other European, Asia and Middle Eastern jurisdiction.

“We can see that the foreign currency benefit of profit in those locations are going to also accrued to the holding.

“The holding as an investor is also thinking of retail banking, which is like a utility. A retail banking with about 60 million customers is enough to sustain the bank anytime, irrespective of how volatile or uncertain the market is,” he said.

Access Holdings full-year results for the period ended Dec. 31, 2023, showcased an impressive 335 per cent increase in pre-tax profit to N729 billion from N167.68 billion in 2022.

The group also experienced an 87 per cent surge in gross earnings to N2.59 trillion from N1.39 trillion in 2022 and reported a remarkable 306 per cent growth in profit After Tax to N619.32 billion, from N152.20 billion posted in year 2022.

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Transcorp Power Plc grows PBT by 775% in Q1 2024

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Transcorp Power Plc (Transcorp Power), one of the electricity generating subsidiaries of Nigeria’s leading, listed conglomerate, Transnational Corporation Plc (Transcorp Group), has demonstrated impressive financial performance in its released Q1 2024 unaudited financial statements, for the period ended March 31, 2024.

The Company recorded N67.86 billion in gross earnings, compared to N21.04 billion reported in Q1 2023, reflecting a significant increase of 223%.
The strong performance is further demonstration of the Company’s strategic focus and effective execution, as part of Transcorp Group’s implementation of its integrated power strategy.
Commenting on the financial highlights, Evans Okpogoro, the Chief Financial Officer said, “The Q1 2024 results saw a gross margin of 51%, a cost to income ratio of 70% and net profit margin of 30% compared to Q1 2023 gross margin of 37%, cost to income ratio of 87% and net profit margin of 13%. This highlights the remarkable operational efficiency gains of the Company. Transcorp Power has continued to grow its revenue aggressively and consistently over the last five years. We expect that by year end 2024, we will see a similar growth trajectory recorded between FY 2022 and FY 2023.”
Transcorp Power MD/CEO, Peter Ikenga, commented on the results, “We are pleased to report further robust financial performance, despite sectoral challenges such as gas supply issues and macroeconomic challenges. Our ability to sustain growth amidst this environment shows the resilience of our business model and the efficient execution of our strategic initiatives.”
“We remain committed to leveraging our strengths to capitalise on emerging opportunities, drive sustainable growth and provide superior value to all our stakeholders. We will continue to prioritise ingenuity, operational excellence, corporate governance, and stakeholder engagement, to deliver superior value for our long-term growth”. He added.

 

Highlights
•Q1 2024 Revenue N67.86 billion, up 223%, compared to N21.04 billion in Q1 2023.
•Profit before Tax rose by 775%, amounting to N28.77 billion in Q1 2024, compared to N3.29 billion in the same period last year.
•Profit after Tax grew by 665% year-on-year to N20.1 billion in Q1 2024, compared to N2.6 billion in the same period last year.
•Total assets grew to N276.2 billion in Q1 2024, up from N223.3 billion in Q4 2023.
Transcorp Power Plc is an electricity generating subsidiary of Transnational Corporation Plc (Transcorp Group), one of Africa’s leading, listed companies, with strategic investments in the power, hospitality, and energy sectors.

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