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Coronation Merchant Bank records 196.2% increase in PBT to N8.28bn in FY 2022

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By Philemon Adedeji

The Nigerian leading financial institution, Coronation Merchant Bank Plc, has released its audited financial statement for the period ended December 31, 2022, the bank delivered stellar performance both its top-line and bottom line, as the bank Profit Before Tax increased impressively to a remarkable 196.2 per cent to N8. 28 billion in full year 2022 from N2.795 billion generated in prior financial year 2021.

From the profit and loss figures, the bank Profit After Tax moved stronger to N8.791 billion in 2022 financial year, indicating a significant improvement of 338 per cent from N2.007 billion achieved in corresponding period of 2021.

Net interest income increased largely by 343.5 per cent to N4.432 billion in FY 2022 from N999 billion accounted in the previous year.

Coronation Merchant Bank balance sheet remained well structure and resilient as the total assets recorded for the period gained a 12.3 per cent from N473.9 billion in FY 2021 to N532.6 billion in FY 2022.

The breakdown under total assets indicated that loan and advances to customers amounted to N186 billion in full year 2022 from N151 billion in full year 2021, representing an increase of 23 per cent, as intangible assets gained nearly 12.1 per cent to N1.589 billion as of end of December 31, 2022 from N1.417 billion as of end of December 31, 2021, while Cash and balances with bank up by 195.1 per cent to N38.385 billion in 2022 FY from N13.003 billion in the preceding year.

In addition, total liabilities gained a 15.3 per cent to N500 billion in 12 months of 2022 from N434 billion in 12 months of 2021

In conclusion, the bank total equity recorded for the period declined by 19.6 per cent to N31.987 billion in FY 2022 from N39.801 billion in FY 2021.

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Crypto: SEC launches new initiative to speed up VASP registration

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The Nigerian Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has launched a new program aimed at speeding up the registration process of Virtual Assets Service Providers (VASP).

According to the regulatory body, the new program will serve as an amendment to existing rules and is targeted at improving the current regulatory framework to fit the existing complexities of the crypto industry in the country.

In March, the Nigerian SEC announced steep changes to its Rules on Digital Assets Issuance, Offering Platforms, Exchange, and Custody.

The most significant aspect of the change was the increase in registration fees of VASPs from 30 million naira ($20,161) to 150 million ($100,806) which raised much criticism and speculation because of the potential to reduce business participation.

The latest adjustment was announced in a memo on June 21 unveiling a specific amendment to these VASP registration rules which introduces the Accelerated Regulatory Incubation Program (ARIP).

The new program which is expected to last for 30 days creates a window of opportunity for all “operating and prospective” VASPs in Nigeria to speedily complete all requirements thus ensuring full compliance across board.

The commission mandated all active and existing VASPs in the country to head to the SEC ePortal to commence the Accelerated Regulatory Incubation Program.

All defaulting VASPs are liable to prosecution by the nation’s regulatory body.

The new initiative is another brainchild of SEC Chief Emomotimi Agama who rode into office with a crypto-friendly reputation but his actions and initiatives since entering office have resonated wrongly on the stakeholders in the Nigerian crypto space.

One of his loudest Anti-crypto policies occurred in May when the SEC chief led an onslaught on the listing of the Naira on various crypto exchanges. The SEC chief argued that Peer-to-peer trading of the naira on crypto exchanges is responsible for the devaluation of Nigeria’s local currency.

The onslaught led to several crypto exchanges like Binance and Kucoin delisting Naira from their platform.

The SEC’s body language so far reflects a stringent approach to regulating cryptocurrency and its entities in Nigeria.

In December 2023, the Central Bank of Nigeria lifted its two-year prohibition on banks operating accounts for VASPs in a bid to embrace a more friendly regulatory approach towards cryptocurrencies rather than banning them outright.

Despite this positive move, Microfinance banks remained banned from facilitating crypto transactions. This development coupled with the hike in registration fees and the latest ARIP program suggests that the SEC is bent on upholding very strict regulatory measures for the crypto industry in Nigeria.

Nigeria is among the countries with very high and fast crypto adoption. Over 22 million people (10.3 percent) of the population are active crypto owners.

The crackdown on peer-to-peer naira trading by the Nigerian SEC resulted in Binance and Kucoin delisting the naira from its platform.

The Nigerian authorities and Binance limited, the largest crypto exchange in the world are currently amid a spat that led to the detention of a Binance executive in a Nigerian prison. The spat between both groups has made the headlines in most top news outlets.

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GTCO rated Nigeria’s ‘Strongest Brand and Best Banking Brand’ in Nigeria

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By Seun Ibiyemi

Africa’s leading financial services institution, Guaranty Trust Holding Company Plc (GTCO), has added to its impressive haul of accolades as it was recently named Nigeria’s strongest brand and Best Banking Brand in Nigeria by Brand Finance and Global Brands Magazine, respectively.

These awards not only reaffirm GTCO’s position as a leading financial services group but also spotlights the Group’s enduring reputation as a customer-focused brand.

Over the years, GTCO has demonstrated remarkable commitment to shaping the future of financial services in Africa and is renowned for its innovative approach to customer service and stakeholder engagement.

The Group’s brand strength is underpinned by a strong commitment to delivering cutting-edge financial solutions, fostering meaningful customer relationships, and Promoting Enterprise using its proprietary free business platforms.

Commenting on the two awards, the Group Chief Executive Officer of Guaranty Trust Holding Company Plc, Segun Agbaje, said, “These achievements are a reflection of our unwavering commitment to excellence, innovation, and customer satisfaction, as well as to building a truly international brand from our proudly African roots.

“We are delighted to receive these recognitions and inspired to continue delivering our promise of enriching lives with every opportunity.”

GTCO is a leading financial services group with banking operations in Nigeria, West Africa, East Africa, and the United Kingdom alongside non-banking verticals in HabariPay, Guaranty Trust Fund Managers, and Guaranty Trust Pension Managers.

Its leadership in the banking industry and efforts at empowering people and communities has earned it many prestigious awards over the years.

The Group’s flagship banking franchise, Guaranty Trust Bank, was named Nigeria’s Best Bank and Best Bank in CSR at the 2023 Euromoney Awards for Excellence, Best Banking Group in Nigeria by World Finance, and Best Bank in Nigeria by Global Finance.

Guaranty Trust Bank is featured in the Top 1000 Banks in the World and Top 100 Banks in Africa rankings by The Banker.

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SEC introduces guidelines for banks to raise capital efficiently

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By Opeyemi Abdulsalam

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has introduced a comprehensive framework to support the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) bank recapitalisation program.

This framework aims to ensure a seamless, transparent, and efficient process for banks and holding companies to raise capital.

The framework serves as a guide for banks and market participants, outlining the necessary procedures and guidelines for raising capital through various methods, including rights offerings and private placements, between 2024 and 2026.

The SEC recognises the importance of strengthening banks’ asset base and supporting economic growth, as highlighted by the CBN’s directive.

The framework acknowledges the crucial role of the capital market in facilitating this program, enabling banks to access necessary funds and explore business combinations.

According to the SEC, this framework will ensure an efficient, transparent, and stakeholder-friendly capital raising process.

The SEC has established a streamlined application process, requiring electronic submission of applications and supporting documents via a dedicated email address.

The commission will review applications, communicate any deficiencies to applicants, and expect prompt resolution to avoid delays. Incomplete applications will incur penalties, including a N1,000,000 fine and N100,000 re-filing fee, encouraging banks to submit complete and accurate information.

The SEC encourages inquiries and clarifications via a dedicated email address, ensuring open communication and efficient navigation of the process.

Building on existing regulations, this framework should be read in conjunction with relevant provisions of the Investment and Securities Act, 2007, and the Commission’s Rules and Regulations.

In response to the CBN’s directive, the SEC framework provides a clear guide for banks and market participants, aiming to strengthen Nigeria’s banking sector and support economic growth.

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