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Sterling Holdings reports 27% surge in interest income in 2023

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Sterling Financial Holdings Company Limited has announced a significant 27 percent rise in its interest income for the fiscal year 2023, as revealed in its latest unaudited financial statement.

The company’s interest income surged to N163.22 billion compared to N128.43 billion in 2022. Concurrently, interest expenses also experienced growth, reaching N72.90 billion from N52.04 billion.

A detailed analysis of the financial statement indicates that fees and commission income witnessed an uptick, reaching N26.32 billion, up from N22.37 billion in the previous year.

Notable items contributing to the fees and commission income include facility management fees totaling N3.76 billion, account maintenance fees amounting to N4.88 billion, commission and similar income reaching N6.14 billion, e-business commission standing at N8.59 billion, commission on letters of credit and off-balance sheet transactions totaling N7.23 billion, and other fees and commission accounting for N4.31 billion.

The remarkable increase in interest income underscores Sterling Financial Holdings Company Limited’s robust performance and strategic financial management amid prevailing market conditions. This positive growth trajectory positions the company for further expansion and solidifies its standing in the financial sector.

The company’s after-tax profit rose to N21.52 billion from N19.29 billion. Other operating income was N11 billion, up from N10.63 billion.

Other operating expenses increased to N30.79 billion from N26.88 billion, on the back of an increase in Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria surcharge amounting to N10.47 billion. Total assets grew to N2.53 trillion from N1.86 trillion.

Total expenses for the year increased by 25.2 percent to N109.24 billion from N87.21 billion. Earnings per share increased to N0.75 kobo from N0.67 kobo. Loans and advances to customers rose to N901.89 from N737.74 billion.

Deposits from customers totalled N1.84 trillion, up from N1.33 trillion. Net cash flows from operating activities increased to N168.18 billion from N76.72 billion.

Net cash flows from/(used in) investing activities recorded a negative of N124.18 billion from a negative of N80.02 billion. Net cash flows from/(used in) financing activities recorded a negative of N9.79 billion from N4.11 billion.

Cash and cash equivalents at the end of the period totalled N391.25 billion from N222.65 billion.

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Money market

Naira slumps marginally at official, parallel windows

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The naira slumped marginally against the United States dollar on Friday. Data from the Nigerian Autonomous Foreign Exchange Market (NAFEM) showed that the domestic currency traded at N1, 485.53/$1 on Friday.

At the end of trading today, the naira lost less than N1 against the dollar as against the N1,485.36/$1 it recorded on Thursday.

The intra-day high and low recorded during the day were N1, 505/$1 and N1, 401/$1 respectively, representing a very lean spread of N104\$1.

Similarly, the naira slumped against the dollar at the parallel section of the market to trade at N1,495/$1, as against the N1,490/$1 it traded the previous trading day.

However, the Nigerian currency appreciated slightly against the British Pound to trade at N1,890\£1 s against the previous trading day’s N1,900\£1. For several weeks consecutively, the Canadian dollar closed flat against the naira to trade at N1,200| CA$1.

The naira also lost N10 against the Euro to trade at N1,590/€1 as against the previous trading day’s N1,580/€1.

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CBN, OPS collaborate to boost Nigeria’s financial sector

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By Opeyemi Abdulsalam

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) recently hosted a meeting with the Organised Private Sector (OPS) to discuss strategies for enhancing Nigeria’s financial sector.

The meeting aimed to improve monetary policy communication and guidance to boost Nigeria’s image in the global investment community.

CBN Governor, Mr. Olayemi Cardoso, emphasised the importance of private sector contributions to economic policy and pledged to establish a framework for collaboration and regular interactions with OPS leadership.

“The private sector is a critical engine of our economy. This meeting underscores our commitment to working collaboratively with stakeholders to create a more robust and investor-friendly financial environment,” Cardoso said.

The CBN presented an overview of the economy’s trajectory, highlighting the deceleration of inflation and expectations of moderation.

The Bank assured the private sector of its commitment to building trust, ensuring price stability, and implementing monetary policies to support economic growth and stability in foreign exchange rates.

The meeting also addressed concerns about macroeconomic risks, exchange rate volatility, and the need for development finance support.

The CBN and OPS agreed to work together to create a more robust and investor-friendly financial environment.

“We appreciate the CBN’s open dialogue and interest in ensuring the manufacturing industry and other organised private sectors are abreast of the bank’s policies,” said Otunba Francis Meshioye, President of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN).

The meeting demonstrated the CBN’s commitment to collaboration and its willingness to listen to the concerns of the private sector.

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Sterling Bank, SMEDAN partner on data platform, Databanc

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Sterling Bank and the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria have launched a platform called Databanc that provides data on businesses in Nigeria and N5bn worth of single-digit loan programmes.

A statement from the bank said that Databank provides insights which will be utilised by SMEDAN to deliver its mandate on policy formulation and a unique identification for small businesses and their promoters.

Speaking at the launch of the platform, the Executive Director of Commercial and Institutional Banking at Sterling Bank, Tunde Adeola, described the platform and fund as evidence of Sterling Bank’s commitment towards growing the real sector of the nation’s economy.

Adeola said, “We are delighted to bolster the backbone of our economy with SMEDAN. This initial fund of N5bn marks just the beginning of what has been and will continue to be a mainstay of our approach to funding businesses to grow at scale, and become the preferred financial partner for businesses, no matter their scale.”

He added that over 20,000 SMEs had enrolled on the Databanc platform, with over 80 beneficiaries of the single-digit loan programme and further disbursements ongoing.

He encouraged all MSMEs in the country to enrol on the platform.

SMEDAN’s Director-General, Mr Charles Odii, represented by the Director of Agribusiness Development and Access to Finance, Levi Anyikwa, highlighted the programme’s alignment with SMEDAN’s mission to democratise credit access for nano and micro-enterprises.

Anyikwa affirmed that access to finance remained a significant hurdle for SMEs, and restated SMEDAN’s commitment to removing that barrier.

The Head of SME Digital Products at Sterling Bank, Bolanle Tyson, emphasised Sterling Bank’s strategic focus on critical sectors encapsulated in the HEART of Sterling forward strategy: Health, Education, Agriculture, Renewable Energy, and Transportation.

She said, “We are leveraging data to empower SMEs like never before. Our commitment to SMEs is steadfast. We recognise their pivotal role in driving Nigeria’s GDP and employment. This partnership with SMEDAN underscores our shared dedication to their success.”

The latest study from Visa, the SME Megatrends report showed that SMEs in Nigeria remained heavily underserved and underbanked with a considerable amount of SMEs relying on personal loans and informal credit, as they face obstacles and requirements that make it difficult to secure loans from banks and other formal lending institutions.

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