Union Bank Recovers , record N3.5 billion in first quarter
UNION Bank of Nigeria Plc has posted a profit before tax of N3.55 billion for the first quarter, ended March 31, 2010 – indicating a rebound from loss profile.
In a bid to clean its books following the intervention of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) last August, Union Bank ended 2009 with a loss after tax of N281.2 billion for the nine months ended December 31st, 2009.
However, 2010 has started well for the bank, given its first quarter performance released at the Nigeria Stock Exchange (NSE) yesterday.
According to the result, which has just been approved by the CBN, Union Bank posted gross earnings of N34.235 billion for the three months ended March 31, 2010, as against N51.25 billion for the three months ended March 30, 2009.
The bank posted profit before tax of N3.56 billion in the first quarter of 2010, compared with a loss of N932 million in the corresponding period of 2009, which was before the intervention of CBN.
In the same vein, profit after tax stood at N3.33 billion as against a loss of N978 million in the corresponding period of 2009.
Market analysts have lauded the performance, saying it portrays the efforts the management has put into reviving the financial conglomerate.
According to them, considering the image battering Union Bank and the other banks rescued by the CBN went through, the performance is highly commendable and showed the high level of customer loyalty the bank still enjoys.
Reacting to the performance of the bank, President, Association for the Advancement of the Rights of Nigerian Shareholders (AARNS), Dr. Faruk Umar, said it is very encouraging and it shows that the Central Bank of Nigeria
(CBN) is succeeding in reviving the rescued banks.
“It is a good development and it shows that the apex bank is succeeding in the task of reviving the banks. My advice is that the management of the banks should not derail and should remain determined to putting the banks back on their feet and put smiles on the faces of shareholders,” he said.
Speaking in the same vein, the Chairman, Ibadan Zone Shareholders Association, Chief Oluremi Oyepeju, said the results showed that Nigerians are capable of managing the banks and making profit and therefore, called on the CBN not to bring in foreign investors.
“I am one of the people who has been calling for the rescued banks to publish their results and the result of Union Bank is encouraging. It has proved that Nigerian managers and investors are capable of resuscitating these banks.
“There is therefore, no need for the CBN to sell the banks to any foreign investor. The CBN should allow the existing shareholders to recapitalise the banks, ” he said.
The Group Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Mrs. Funke Osibodu, recently expressed optimism that Union Bank would regain its rightful position in the banking industry now that its books have been cleaned up.
She said that the bank is poised to exploit the business opportunities arising from the gradual recovery in the global economy, stressing the need for the esteemed customers to remain steadfast with the bank and increase their patronage.
When the management assumed office last year, Osibodu said the focus would be specifically on risk management/control, marketing and business development.
Going by the profit before tax of 12 banks based on their 2010 first quarter results, First Bank Plc recorded N15.42 billion; Zenith Bank, N13.2 billion; Guaranty Trust Bank, N13.01 billion; Access Bank, N5.29 billion; Syke Bank, N3.17 billion; Stanbic IBTC, N2.47 billion; Diamond Bank, N2.06 billion; Sterling Bank, N1.4 billion, Ecobank Nigeria, N1.21 billion; Finbank, N1.165 billion and Wema Bank, N764 million. Union Bank emerged the sixth most profitable, with a profit before tax of N3.56 billion.
Zain goes trough another name change
The company started as Econet Wireless Nigeria (2001); Vodacom Nigeria (2004); and the same year to V-Mobile Nigeria; Celtel Nigeria (2006); to Zain Nigeria (2008) and now Bharti Airtel Nigeria.
In six atempts to find an identity, yet again this comunications company changes hands again
now to be known as Bharti Airtel Nigeria, after parent company Bharti Airtel India bought the company, The Indian company had been looking for a foothold in Nigeria , The Over 100 million population and irresistible draw and the explosion of mobile use in the region is still not peaked yet.
The Broad Communications, a major shareholder of Zain Nigeria, had accused the majority shareholders, Zain Group, Kuwait, of mismanagement, fraud, and capital flight to the tune of N16.6 billion. Broad further accused Zain Kuwait of not paying its shareholders dividends since the Kuwait group started managing the firm.
According to Manjo Kohli, the Africa group chief executive officer of Bharti Airtel, the new brand name would coincide with the 50th Independence anniversary of Nigeria on October 1.
“We will invest $600 million in Bharti Airtel Nigeria in the next three years. Fifty per cent of that amount would come up in the first year. We have looked that the Nigerian telecom industry and have discovered three issues: quality of service, freedom to make calls and affordability of service which we would work on to provide quality service to consumers,” Mr Kohli added
Once again subscribers will be unsure of just how much the will be affected by this change.
Nigerian Halliburton bribery scandal net $2billion windfall for US Govt..
In a report in the Sahara reporters the us government has made $2 billion net profit from finesassociated with the Halliburton bribery scandal, in a tangled web involving countries like Germany , America and Nigeria.
Nigerian Law enforcement agents seemed locked in what can only be described as an unending investigation.
This investigation however has not resulted in any Nigerian prosecution. Sahara reporters continue , stating that
“It is hard to have any confidence in these agencies, and all these endless investigations point at nothing but a case of dereliction, and probably collaboration, or both,” said Jiti Ogunye, a leading public interest lawyer in Lagos, who wondered angrily “how come that 19 years after Siemens, (the Germany-based multinational electrical firm) agreed to pay fines to both the US and German authorities for bribing officials of foreign countries – including Nigeria – to secure contracts, no Nigerian has been prosecuted?”
Another attorney, Abuja-based Charles Musa, said if the US government is fining its own citizens, and its companies, it is unfortunate that Nigeria, where all the bribery took place, be it Anammco or Halliburton, is just grandstanding and playing to the gallery, and not serious about prosecuting its citizens.
First Bank Nigeria Plc will open an office in Beijing China, a milestone of great significance, at the Grand Hyatt Hotel Beijing the CEO Bisi Onasanya explained the move as the beginning of First Bank’s entry into the Chinese market, as it is in preliminary discussions with a local bank to take an equity stake in the Chinese bank.
Without giving away details of the prospective merger, it is expected that this will pave the way for FBN to offer the full array of banking services to customers in the country.
China is seen as the world’s fastest growing economies and has become Nigeria’s major trading partner with several Chinese companies seeking to do business in Nigeria.
He said FBN is using this as a platform to grow its business in the fastest growing market in the world, as well as fostering economic and trade ties between China and Nigeria.
The representative office, he stated, would offer a one-stop shop for such companies wanting to enter the Nigerian market, adding that FBN had already established banking relations with Chinese institutions, including the signing of a memorandum of understanding with Yuemei Group Company Limited, a textile firm, with a value of $50 million.
a partnership has been agreed with the Shenzhen Energy Investment Co. Limited (Shenzhen Energy Group) for the construction of 3,000MW gas turbine power plant in Nigeria worth $2.4 billion, as well as Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with another Chinese firm, Guangdong Xinguang International China-Africa Limited for a $500 million investment in Ogun State.
In addition, Onasanya disclosed that FBN has signed an MOU with the China Construction Bank, in addition to being its correspondent bank, to cover global banking collaboration.
In addition to the UK subsidiary, FBN has a branch in Paris, and a representative office in Johannesburg. The bank’s target is to set up another representative office in Dubai in the near future.
FBN Plc secured the approval of the China Banking Regulatory Commission to commence business of its representative office in Beijing in 2009, having satisfied the official requirements prescribed by the CRBC