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Fitch Affirms UBA’s Viability Rating As Agusto Upgrades Rating To “Aa”

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-as UBA stock now best performing on the exchange

 

 

 

Fitch International, one of the foremost global rating agencies has affirmed United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc’s viability rating at “B”, as the pan-African banking group continue to sustain its benchmark asset quality and strong profitability amidst industry and macroeconomic challenges.

 

 

UBA is one of the few banks with strong risk management framework, which has helped keep non-performing loans ratio at a moderate level of 1.74% as at the end-March 2016, as against industry average of over 6%, as reported by Fitch in its recent report on Nigerian banks.

 

 

 

Fitch also upgraded UBA’s outlook to stable from Negative, thus reinforcing the strong outlook on the Bank, especially as its diversified network across eighteen other African countries make it relatively immune  against the potential cyclical volatilities in any of its country of operations.

 

Also, the foremost local rating agency in Nigeria, Agusto & Co,  at its rating review of UBA Plc, upgraded the Bank’s rating from “A+” to “Aa-“, with a stable outlook. According to Agusto & Co, “the rating of United Bank for Africa Plc (UBA) is upheld by the Bank’s improved capitalization, good liquidity and large pool of stable deposits, strong domestic presence supported by the Bank’s extensive branch network and growing alternative banking channels.

 

 

 

“We note improvement in profitability and the Bank’s good asset quality. The Rating takes into cognizance the weak macroeconomic climate on the banking industry’s asset quality, which we do not expect UBA to be excluded. Nonetheless, we note positively its diversified geographical reach, which will cushion to an extent the impact of the weak Nigerian economic climate,” Agusto & Co stated in its credit rating report.

 

 

 

Just as the credit rating agencies are strong on the fundamentals of UBA Plc, equity analysts have also affirmed the asset quality, profitability and broad investment case of the Bank, particularly as UBA has maintained an average return on equity of over 20% in the past three years, bucking the challenging economic environment and dwarfing peer performance track.

 

 

 

Following the strong financial performance of UBA in the first quarter of 2016, improved transparency and disclosure, which is now seen as benchmark for Nigerian banks, analysts at Renaissance Capital and CSL Stockbrokers (a part of the FCMB Group) upgraded the rating on UBA stock to “Buy,” with target prices of N9.40 and N7.21 respectively.

 

 

 

Reflecting investors’ conviction in the strong fundamentals of the Bank and the appetite for the stock, the share price has gained 39% thus far in 2016 to rank as the best performing banking stock on the Nigerian Stock Exchange. Closing at N4.70 on Wednesday, 13 July, 2016, UBA still trades at significant discount to analysts’ consensus valuation of the shares, which is put at N8.50 for the 2016 calendar year.

 

 

 

The Bank paid N0.20 interim and N0.40 final dividend in 2015 financial year and should currently be auditing its 2016 half year results in line with the Group’s governance culture of auditing results twice in a year. UBA is audited by PricewaterhouseCoopers, one of the global big-4 audit firms, which subjects clients to a rigorous international best audit practice.

 

 

 

United Bank for Africa Plc (UBA) is the third largest lender in Nigeria and a leading provider of financial services across 19 African countries, and with presence in New York, London and Paris. The Bank serves almost 11 million customers across expansive brick and mortal branches as well as diversified alternative electronic banking channels.

 

 

UBA has a diversified shareholder base of over 270,000, with some of the greatest global fund managers as well as multilateral institutions like the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and African Development Bank (AfDB) being shareholders of the Bank.

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Just In: President Tinubu approves N70,000 minimum wage

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President Bola Tinubu has approved N70,000 as the new minimum wage for Nigerian workers with a promise to review the national minimum wage law every three years.

 

More details later…

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Gov. Zulum Clarifies Son’s Purported Killing Of Chinese National At Indian Nightclub

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The Borno State Governor, Babagana Zulum, has denied reports alleging that one of the sons has been arrested and sentenced to prison for the murder of some Indian citizens.

Reports has it that there were unverified rumours, especially on social media platforms, alleging that the first son of the governor, Umar Zulum Umara, killed the Chinese national during a fight at an Indian nightclub.

However, the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on New Media, Abdurrahman Ahmed Bundi, dismissed the reports in a statement on Wednesday.

According to him, no son of the governor was arrested or charged with any crime.

The statement read, “attention of the Borno State Governor’s Media Unit has been drawn to rumours circulating that the son of the Borno State Governor has been arrested for the alleged murder of some Indian citizens.

“This misinformation was published in an online blog, Nairaland, titled “Son of Borno State Governor Murders Someone In India—Politics.” The blog claimed that the Governor also travelled to India, attempting to use diplomatic status to resolve the matter.

“It is on record that Governor Babagana Zulum was on a one-month vacation in Saudi Arabia for the 2024 Hajj and later travelled to Egypt to attend the annual ASUWAN forum conference in Cairo.

“The Media Unit would like to clarify and set the record straight that Nairaland and other online blogs have mischievously spread defamatory content without any speck of truth.

“We hereby warned Nairaland and all those who have spread the false information to pull down this misinformation from its website and platforms within the next 24 hours and offer an unreserved apology to Governor Zulum, his son, and the entire family, or risk legal action. The Governor shall also not hesitate to take legal action against any media outlet that continues to publicise this defamatory information on its platform.

“We would like to inform the public that none of Governor’s Zulum’s son was either arrested or charged with any crime, or involved in any unlawful activities anywhere.

“We urge the public to exercise caution when consuming and sharing information, particularly when it comes from unverified sources and blogs instead of credible media outlets.

“We enjoin all media organisations to engage in responsible journalism of truth and factual verification while recognising the potential harm and psychological trauma the spread of false information might have caused to the Governor’s family.”

 

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Over 600,000 Nigerians sought asylum abroad under Buhari – Report

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Over 600,000 Nigerians filed for asylum in other countries between 2016 and 2023, which were years under the administration of former President Muhammadu Buhari.

Buhari was President from 2015 to 2023 and handed over to President Bola Tinubu who was sworn in on May 29, 2023, after winning in the general elections the same year.

According to a report released on Wednesday, July 17, 2024, by Statisense, a data collection organisation, of a total of 664,384 in eight years, 355,792 persons sought asylum between 2016 and 2019 while 308,592 sought asylum between 2020 and 2023.

On a year-by-year basis, 66,862 sought asylum in 2016, 91,924 in 2017, 84,624 (2018), 112,382 (2019), 73,233 (2020), 83,105 (2021), 83,402 (2022), and 68,852 in 2023.

The figures indicate a surge from the past years, as Statisense noted that within 12 years – 2004 to 2015 – only 204,791 Nigerians filed for asylum in other countries.

In total, 869,175 Nigerians filed for asylum in the last 20 years, notably from 2004 to 2023.

The report was posted on the organisation’s X.com handle @StatiSense, citing the United Nations Refugee Agency.

In another report shared by the organisation on Wednesday, it was stated that the Republic of Niger topped countries with the most Nigerian refugees in 2023 with about 200,497 Nigerians and a total of 1,268,464 Nigerian refugees between 2015 and 2023.

Niger, a border country, shares proximity with Nigeria’s north, where residents battle a spate of insecurity in the region ranging from banditry, terrorism and herdsmen-farmers crisis.

Another report also revealed that Nigerians topped the list of African countries who sought asylum in Canada in 2023 with about 10,111 asylum seekers followed by Kenya with 1,345.  It stated that 1,345 Nigerians however sought asylum in the United Kingdom and 5,136 in the United States of America.

Source: The Punch

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