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H1: Zenith Bank profit marginally rises to N111bn

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…As Profit before tax stood at N130bn

Notable increase was seen across the key income streams of Zenith Bank in the half year results ended June could not boost its bottom line as much as it did revenue, its audited financials issued on Tuesday shows, echoing the notion that growth in the time of persistent inflation does not always help profit.

The financial institution, currently Nigeria’s biggest lender by market value, posted a 17.1 per cent jump in revenue to N404.8 billion compared to the same period of last year.

More than half of that was contributed by interest and similar income, which improved by 18.5 per cent, while earnings from fees and commission jumped to N64.4 billion, accelerating by 35.2 per cent.

Zenith Bank realised N25.9 billion more from trading gains than the N59.3 billion reported a year ago as banks turn to lower-yielding but less risky assets like bonds and treasury to soften the impact of impaired credit on earnings.

But its impairment charge still surged by nearly one-third, and that was one out of many pressure points for income. South West Nigeria accounted for 87.6 per cent of the bank’s impaired loans during the period.

Operating expenses climbed to N130 billion compared to N117.1 billion in the same period, no thanks to Nigeria’s implacable inflation, which last month soared to a level last seen almost seventeen years ago.

Spending on information technology, fuel & maintenance as well as the statutory payment made by banks to Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria contributed most to this cost category.

Profit before tax stood at N130 billion, 11.1 per cent higher than last year’s, while after-tax profit rose only by 5 per cent

In a separate document, Zenith Bank stated it would pay shareholders whose names appear on its register of members an interim dividend of N0.30 per share. That is equivalent to a payout of N9.4 billion.

Shares in Zenith Bank added 0.68 per cent at N22 per unit in Lagos on Tuesday.

Money market

MDAs remitted N835.7bn revenue to FG in February – Minister

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The Minister of Finance and the Coordinating Minister of Economy, Wale Edun, has disclosed that the revenues of government-owned enterprises, ministries, departments and agencies increased to N835.70bn in February.

This figure indicates a growth of N681.45bn or 441.78 per cent from N154.25bn MDAs remitted in the same period of 2022.

The minister stated this during a presentation titled “Reconstructing the Economy for Growth, Investment and Climate Resilience Development,” delivered at the Lagos Business School Breakfast Club, which was obtained by our correspondent.

Edun said the government had automated a two-time daily sweep of 50 percent of MDAs and GOEs internally generated revenue since January 2, 2024, leading to more remitted earnings.

“There is an increasing revenue contribution of MDAs and GOEs, growing from 154.25 in February 2023 to 835.70bn in February 2024 through an automated two-times daily sweep of 50 per cent of MDAs and GOEs IGR since January 2, 2024,” he stated.

Recall that in December 2023, the Federal Government, through the Ministry of Finance, directed all MDAs to remit 100 percent of their internally generated revenue to the Sub-Recurrent Account, which is a sub-component of the Consolidated Revenue Fund.

The government stated in a circular that the directive was to improve revenue generation, fiscal discipline, accountability, and transparency in the management of government financial resources and prevent waste and inefficiencies.

“All Ministries, Departments, and Agencies that are fully funded through the annual Federal Government budget (receiving personnel, overhead, and capital allocation) and on the schedule of the Fiscal Responsibility Act, 2007 and any addition by the Federal Ministry of Finance should remit 100 per cent of their internally generated revenue to the Sub-Recurrent Account, which is a sub-component of the Consolidated Revenue Fund,” the circular read.

The finance minister emphasised that augmenting revenues was a crucial aspect of a comprehensive execution strategy aimed at achieving a 78 per cent year-on-year rise in budgeted revenue for 2024.

He underscored the importance of implementing an upgraded government revenue assurance model, adding that the target was to reduce the budget deficit from 6.1 per cent of GDP in 2023 to 3.9 percent.

“We have set out a robust execution plan for a 78 percent y-o-y increase in budgeted revenue in 2024, but implementing enhanced the government’s revenue assurance model is critical with a target budget deficit of 3.9 per cent of GDP from 6.1 per cent in 2023.”

Edun underscored the government’s strategy of increasing the pricing of government securities, which had successfully attracted dollar inflows but at a higher cost to the government.

He further stated that the government had revamped the process for the commencement of 2024 capital expenditure payments by MDAs and GOEs through direct payments to contractors and employed prudent measures to minimise redundancy and reduce leakages through digitisation.

He said, “We have taken prudent expenditure measures by minimising unnecessary redundancy, reducing leakages through digitisation and eliminating inefficiencies. There is also a revamped process for the commencement of 2024 capital expenditure payments for MDAs and GOEs, which is through direct payments to contractors while promoting a government-wide cost curtailment culture across all MDAs & GOEs.”

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Naira makes huge recovery, gains 7.2% against dollar

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The Naira on Friday experi enced huge appreciation at the official market, trading at N1,142.38 to the dollar.

Data from the official trading platform of the FMDQ Exchange, a platform that oversees the Nigerian Autonomous Foreign Exchange Market (NAFEM), revealed that the Naira gained N88.23.

This represents a 7.16 percent gain when compared to the previous trading date on Monday, April 8, exchanging at N1,230.61 to a dollar before the Sallah holiday.

The total daily turnover increased to $281.34 million on Friday up from $125.55 million recorded on Monday.

Meanwhile, at the Investors and Exporters (I&E) window, the Naira traded between N1,265 and N1,100 against the dollar.

Economic experts have continued to praise both fiscal and monetary policies of President Bola Tinubu’s administration responsible for the steady Naira appreciation.

The CBN, during its policy meetings held in February and March, implemented a total of 600 basis points in interest rate increases.

This helped tackle dollar scarcity, reduced volatility, and decreased reliance on parallel markets.

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Money market

Naira makes huge recovery, gains 7.2% against dollar

Published

on

The Naira on Friday experienced huge appreciation at the official market, trading at N1,142.38 to the dollar.

Data from the official trading platform of the FMDQ Exchange, a platform that oversees the Nigerian Autonomous Foreign Exchange Market (NAFEM), revealed that the Naira gained N88.23.

This represents a 7.16 per cent gain when compared to the previous trading date on Monday, April 8, exchanging at N1,230.61 to a dollar before the Sallah holiday.

The total daily turnover increased to $281.34 million on Friday up from $125.55 million recorded on Monday.

Meanwhile, at the Investor’s and Exporter’s (I&E) window, the Naira traded between N1,265 and N1,100 against the dollar.

Economic experts have continued to praise both fiscal and monetary policies of President Bola Tinubu’s administration responsible for the steady Naira appreciation.

The CBN, during its policy meetings held in February and March, implemented a total of 600 basis points in interest rate increases.

This helped tackle dollar scarcity, reduced volatility, and decreased reliance on parallel markets.

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