BDCs show support for CBN’s clean note policy, banknote fitness guidelines

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Bureau De Change operators have given their support to the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) Clean Note Policy and Banknote Fitness Guidelines meant to remove dirty, mutilated and unfit naira notes in circulation from the financial system.
Speaking Tuesday with financial journalists in Lagos, Aminu Gwadabe, president, Association of Bureau De Change Operators of Nigeria (ABCON), said the launch of the CBN Clean and Banknote Fitness Policy was not only apt, but timely giving the high volume of unfit and dirty notes in circulation across Nigeria.
He said the policy would discourage the attitude of the public in stashing naira notes in their homes and farms as witnessed recently.
The policy will also increase the level of money supply in the economy, and subsequently deepen the volume and value of credit available to real sector operators and other major segments of the economy, he said.
The policy entails diverse currency management plans geared towards the efficient circulation of premium quality banknotes and withdrawal of unfit/soiled banknotes. This, he said, will guarantee public confidence and usage of the naira banknotes as a medium of exchange.
According to Gwadabe, the move by the apex bank to sanitise the estimated N7.9 trillion pieces in circulation will enhance transparent currency management system, promote financial inclusion and enhance confidence of the informal sector in the financial system.
The ABCON boss said the CBN had through the new policy plans, demonstrated its commitment to seamless payment system, adding that the regulator had the obligation of providing adequate supply of clean banknotes to facilitate efficient payment and settlement of transactions by the public, government and banks.
The policy remains the first step in its bid to address the sorry state of the notes in circulation and create a new culture for better Read More...

Union Bank’s Atlas Mara exits four African markets, bullish on Nigeria operations

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Atlas Mara has announced that it is exiting some of its operations on the continent in exchange for a share of Kenya’s biggest bank.

Atlas Mara in a statement said it will swap operations in Rwanda, Zambia, Mozambique, and Tanzania for a 6.27 percent stake in Nairobi-based Equity Group Holdings Plc, the value of the transaction is worth about $106 million.

“Shareholding in EGH and the relationship that this represents with the leader in digital banking in Africa can meaningfully enhance our value proposition across our operations, our strategic review continues, but we believe the new Atlas Mara emerging from the proposed transaction is the right model for delivering value for shareholders over the long-term,” the statement said.

According to the company, Chief Executive Officer, John Staley is stepping down to pursue other interests after a review of the business that has struggled to contain costs that engulfed income and its share price plummeted more than 80 percent since being listed in London at the end of 2013,

An analysis of the company’s full-year 2018 result for the period 31st December shows that net income plummeted 12.5percent to $39.7 million in 2018. Out of this, its biggest investment, Union Bank of Nigeria contributed associate income of an estimated $56.5 million for full year 2018 compared to $38.4 million in 2017, which reflects the company’s share of income on an equity accounted basis of $27.8 million in 2018 as well as the impact of the gain on acquisition of $28.7 million

Atlas Mara increased its stake in Union Bank of Nigeria from 44.5 percent in Q4 2017 to 49.0 percent in Q4 2018 and 49.7 percent as at 30 April 2019.

Financial highlights from Union Bank show that Profit after tax increased by 39percent to N18billion … Read More...

When CBN repositions microfinance banks for real sector growth

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The vision of the Central Bank Nigeria (CBN) under the leadership of Godwin Emefiele, governor, is to create a people-centred Central Bank, delivering price and financial system stability as well as promoting sustainable economic development.

“We will collaborate with commercial banks to significantly improve the credit culture in the Nigerian banking system”, Emefiele said in his maiden speech as he assumed office in June 2014.

It was on this basis that the CBN and the bankers committee agreed in December to establish a national Microfinance bank across the 774 local governments, leveraging the Nigerian Postal Service (NIPOST).

Microfinance is about providing financial services to the economically active operators of the base of the income pyramid who are either undeserved or not served at all by conventional financial institutions.

Consistent with its developmental role the CBN in 2005 formulated the Microfinance Policy, Regulatory and Supervisory Framework. The policy was aimed among other at bringing microfinance institutions and activities into greater focus in order to deepen financial inclusion and alleviate the financing needs of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMES).

The CBN since then worked towards increasing access to financial services for the economically active poor in order to enhance job creation and poverty reduction. The target is to increase the share of micro credit as percentage of total credit to at least 20 percent by 2020.

To further deepen the understanding of the media on the policy and other CBN’s policies and interventions for the benefit of the society, the CBN last week engaged finance correspondents and business editors, in capacity building focusing on the theme, “Repositioning Microfinance Banks for Real Sector Growth”.

Recently, the Bank took some actions including a thorough review of the subsector, increased surveillance and revocation, where necessary. These measures were intended Read More...