By Elizabeth Chukwuma
Between August and now , all roads lead to the Nigerian Stock Exchange, NSE,in Lagos, the nation’s Commercial nerve centre, as banks presents their 2023 -Half year audited interim financial statements. At the last count, no fewer than four Money Deposit banks were said to have presented their financial statements at the NSE, before the deadline set by the regulatory Authority. Some of the banks that were said to have gone to the NSE to present their audited half- year financial report includes United Bank For Africa, UBA plc, a pan African Bank, Zenith Bank plc, Guaranty Trust Bank, GTB and Stanbic IBTC Bank.
The UBA plc, may have led the pack of banks which Board of Directors, had presented its 2023 half- year financial statements, that was said to have been prepared by a five- man Audit Committee headed by one Feyi Ogoji , who incidentally is the Chairman of the bank’s shareholders . Other members of the audit Committee , were Matthew Esonanjor, and Alex Adio , all shareholders of the bank , Ms Angela Aneke, an Independent Non-Executive Director and Mrs. Owanari Luke , another Non-Executive Director of the Bank.
In approving the bank’s five -man Audit Committee report, before presenting it at the NSE, for approval , bank’s the Board of Directors, were said to have constituted a 15-man Analysis Committee. Members of the Board Analysis were Tony Elumelu, a business mogul and the Board Chairman, Oliver Alawuba, the bank GMD, , Muyiwa Akinyemi, Deputy GMD, Ugochukwu Nwaghodoh, Risk and Finance, Mr. Alex Alozie, Group Operating Officer, Emen Usoro, Executive Director , North Bank, and Ms. Sola Yemi-Ajayi, International Banking, Abiola Bawuah, ED/CEO, UBA , Africa and Mrs. Owanari Duke, Independent Non -Executive Director, and Ms. Angela Aneke, Independent Non -Executive Director.
Other members of the UBA plc, Board of Directors , analysi Committee, according to informed sources who were Erelu Angela Adebayo, Non-Executive Director, Mr. Abdlqadir Bello, FCA, Non- Executive Director, Kayode Fasola, Non-Executive Director , Hajia Aisha Hassan -Baba , Independent None- Executive and Caroline Anyawu, Non- Executive Director.
Based on the Committee’s report, the MDB , had recorded a gross earnings of N981.78 billion as at June 30, 2023 as against N372 billion recorded during the same period in 2022. Even the bank’s assets were said to have grown in lips and bounds as well. As at June 30, 2023 the bank’s total assets was said to have hit N13, 382,382 as against N10,857,571 billion in December 2022 whie Customers deposits , recorded a phenomenal increase as it rose to N11.4 trillion and have continued to be on the increase. The bank’s shareholders’ funds were said to have increased to N1.712 trillion , thus reflecting the Group’s strong capacity for internal capital generation as reported by the audit Committee.
The Bank was said to have made a Profit Before Tax, PBT, of N404 billion , despite the tough macroeconomic backdrop and geopolitical challenges in the West African sub-region , thus representing an increase of 371% when compared to the N85.71 billion recorded in the first half of 2022.
It was said to have also earned a Profit After, PAT, of N378.24 billion, which the Board of Directors had said was about N70.3 billion or 438% higher than the amount that was said to have been earned by the pan African bank in the same period of 2022.
Giving the huge PAT, earned by the bank, in the first six months of 2023, may have informed why the Board had proposed an interim dividend of N0.50 per share from the retained account as at June 30, 2023 compaired to the proposed N0.20 per share from the retained profit with the same period in 2022. Note that approved interim shareholders dividend as at June 30, 2023, clearly shows that it is over 150% higher than that of 2022, approved shareholders’ dividend or .
The huge PFT earned by the bank in the first half of 2023, according to sources was said to have been generated from the bank’s business of banking which caters for the banking needs of Institutions, Corporate , Commercial and consumer Customer segments of the society.
Indeed, the Money Deposit Bank, MDB, according to an insider was said to have provided various services ranging from remittance, treasury management, customer/investor, digital and general banking which were said to have enhanced it profit earnings in the six months under review , thus leading to its contribution and improved market share from the subsidiaries in the African Continent and the global financial market. This is in addition to providing pension custody services that was said to be offered through its subsidiary, UBA Pensions Custodian Limited.
Alawuba, the GMD, of the bank, had said that the impressive performance of the bank in the first six months of 2023, was not unconnected to its commitment to consistently deliver value to shareholders, noting that the UBA Group , made progress in digital payments, retail penetration, and also benefited from the revaluation gains , arising from the harmonization of the both official and black market rates of the foreign exchange rates in Nigeria,
The UBA, GMD, did not stop there. He may have gladdened the heart of shareholders and depositors and other customers of the bank when he disclosed that the business of the MDB, had remains on a steady growth trajectory as it continue ‘’to strengthen the bank risk management traditions and practices necessary technology investments to deliver premium services to customers in Nigeria ,African Continent and other parts of the world’’.
The impressive performance of the bank in its operations in the first six months of 2023, may have informed why the bank’s shares are the most traded on the trading floor of the NSE. source at the NSE, had corroborated the bank’s audit Committees report approved by the Board that a total of 3.88 billion of the bank shares were traded on the Nigeria Stock Exchange Limited, NGX, in the first six months of 2023, representing 11.4% of the bank’s shares outstanding.
The UBA Board plc, may not have given room for the Directors to buy shares secretly during the period under consideration but were said to have approved a global Personal Investment Policy , which covers the Directors, staff and related parties. The source informed the Value News online Magazine that ‘’the policy prohibited the bank Directors, employees and related parties/Companies from insider dealings on the shares of the UBA plc and related parties.
The essence of the policy, The Value New News online Magazine gathered is ‘’to prevent abuse of confidential non-public information that may be gained during the execution of the bank business’’. The policy, it was gathered also serves ‘’to ensure compliance with the country’s laws and regulatory requirements’’.
There is no gain saying the fact that in accordance with the NSE Rule Book and amendments to the Listing Rules, UBA plc, Authorities, according to insiders observed the closed periods within which affected Directors and other staff including Corporate Organisations were restricted from trading on the shares of the bank, meaning that’’ there was no case of violation during the period under review’’.
Zenith Bank plc, which had delayed the release of its 2023 half -year audited reports due to post -audit issues had followed the foot- steps of the UBAL PLC Authorities to submit the interim Financial statements of the bank to the NSE for Consideration. The high rise new generation bank was said to have kept its promise of submitting the audited 2023 , half report of the bank to NSE , before the earlier agree date of September 14, 2023, by the Board.
The bank was said to have recorded a gross earnings of N967.6 billion, going by the report of the bank’s audit Committee approve by the board of Directors as against Nn404.8 billion in the first half of 2022., showing a triple digit growth of 39%. The bank total assets, going by its interim audited report was said to have grown from N12.3 trillion to N16 trillion, showing an increase of 31%.