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Zenith Bank Plc Sustains Market Dominance with Improved Profitability

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Zenith Bank GMD, Peter Amangbo, arrested

 

In the first quarter ended 31 March 2019, Zenith Bank Group recorded improved numbers across key metrics, driven by a solid performance in all business segments. This resulted in a Profit before Tax (PBT) of ₦57 billion, representing a 6% growth over the ₦54 billion achieved in the corresponding period in 2018. The Group’s on-going commitment to cost optimisation on the income statement and statement of financial position ensured earnings per share increased by 7% to ₦1.60 compared to Q1 2018.

The growth in net interest income and operating income by 23% and 1% respectively mitigated the decline in gross earnings. The effective management of cost-to-income ratio, cost of funds and cost of risk offset top-line declines to deliver an enhanced operating income in the period.

Our risk and asset quality continues to improve as cost of risk dropped significantly by 52% from 0.9% in the prior year to 0.4% for the period. This was achieved as impairment charges declined by 54% (₦2.5 billion year on year reduction). Our cost of funds also improved, declining by 25% from 4% in Q1 2018 to 3% at quarter-end. This was supported by a 22% decrease in interest expense of ₦10 billion over the same period, affirming the Group’s robust treasury and liquidity management. Our prudent cost management led to a 5% decline in our cost-to-income ratio by 5% from 53.3% in 2018 to 50.9% in the period with an absolute reduction in operating expenses by ₦2.3 billion year-on-year.

The Group’s retail franchise continues to increase as retail deposits grew by N80bn between December 2018 and March 2019 representing a 9% growth notwithstanding the fact that total customer deposits dropped marginally by 3%. The drop in customer deposits was as a result of rebalancing of the deposit mix as expensive purchased deposits were forgone in favour of cheaper and stickier retail deposits.

The volume and value of transactions across our electronic and digital platforms continue to grow as new customers are being acquired. Our balance sheet continues to strengthen as liquidity ratio is at 66.7%, loan to deposit ratio closed at 43%, and capital adequacy ratio ended the period at 25% respectively and remain above the relevant regulatory thresholds as at 31 March 2019.

Going into the rest of the year and with improving economic fundamentals, we are confident of delivering value to all our stakeholders on our commitments even as we create more opportunities for businesses by supporting them through selective risk asset creation. We shall continue our investments in the retail segment of the market as we consolidate our leadership position in the corporate segment while maintaining a strong balance sheet.

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UBA’s Africa Conversations: Leaders Emphasise Importance of History to African Development

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African leading minds have called on Africans to be mindful of their rich history, which according to them creates the path towards the socio-cultural, economic and political development of the continent

The strong African voices which included Group Chairman, United Bank for Africa (UBA), Tony Elumelu, Nobel Laureate, Wole Soyinka; Professor emeritus and authority in Sahelian history, Djibril Tamsir Niane; Ghanaian Politician, Samia Nkrumah and Famous Musician, Femi Kuti spoke during the first edition of UBA’s Africa Conversations, a symposium organised by the United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc at the UBA House in Lagos, as part of activities marking this year’s Africa Day celebrations. The theme of the panel session was “Africa’s History Redefined, Our Past, the Path to the Future”.

Opening the conversation, the Group Chairman, UBA, Tony Elumelu stated ‘UBA understands the past- that Africa as a continent has always been united by the struggle for identity. UBA is a symbol for the development of Africa, for the economic empowerment of our people, the Small and Medium Enterprises as well as the big corporations. Thus, identifying with Africa and indeed Africa Day is synonymous with who we are as a bank. It presents us the opportunity to remind ourselves, the world and indeed Africa that we owe ourselves the duty of making Africa the continent of our dreams.”

Elumelu added that it is important for Africans to remember history as this will help prepare for the future. ‘Our past provides a veritable tool to fashioning the continent’s development, renaissance and economic growth’ he emphasised.

Speaking strongly on the issue, professor Wole Soyinka, who commended UBA’s initiative for opening up discussions on these pressing topics decried the growing erosion of history from the curriculum in African schools, adding that the lack of knowledge of our past makes children’s growth on the continent truncated. “How can we cope with the modern phenomenon if we do not know the past? We should never forget the importance of history as it is not just an academic exercise,” he enthused.

Corroborating Soyinka’s position, Professor Niane opined thatreminiscingabout Africa’s rich history is important as there is no people without history. He said, “A lot of work has been done by Africans and we have to be happy about it. There is the need to continue the conversation about African unity. Policies  have been put in place and our democracy can only get stronger. Peace will reign and Africa will be reunited. Economic transformation is also important but it is not the only thing we should concentrate on.”

Samia Nkrumah, the daughter of Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana, who commendedUBA for prioritising African entrepreneurship, called for a renewed attempt at African unity, which according to her, has to be a collective effort of the people.

Nkrumah said, “As we work in our individual smaller countries, it will be easier to achieve more if we work together and complete unification can only come if we work together; we won’t go anywhere unless we use unity as a political project.’ She added.

On his part, Femi Kuti emphasised the importance ofHistory, saying “Our children need to learn this history so that they can come up and build the continent. We need everyone – both boys and girls to work towards this vision.”

The UBA Conversations, an initiative of the Pan African financial institution, aims at aggregating discussions necessary for the growth and development of the continent. It is being held as part of the activities to mark the 2019 edition of Africa Day celebrations by the bank.

With presence in 20 African countries as well as in the United States, France and The United Kingdom, UBA’s passion for Africa’s growth is part of who they are.

The bank is set to continue conversations around these important topics that are required to galvanise the African economy with the aim of attracting the much needed support that will boost SMEs and support business growth on the continent.

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Zenith Bank achieves feat of First Nigerian Bank to Consecutively Audit its Greenhouse Gas (Carbon) Emissions & be Certified Compliant using International Recognize “GHG Protocol

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Zenith Bank Plc was presented with a Certificate for Greenhouse Gas Auditing by V4 Advisors after a successful completion of the Bank’s Greenhouse Gas Audit for the 2018 Financial Year. The presentation of the certificate and the report of the Auditors was done by V4 Advisors at the Zenith Bank Head Office on May 21, 2019.

The Executive Director, Dr. Temitope Fasoranti, who received the certificate on behalf of the Bank said the Bank started this effort with the 2016 Financial Year and has carried out three greenhouse gas audits to date. He explained that the Bank understands the relationship between greenhouse gas emission and climate change and appreciates the role it is expected to play towards combating the menace of climate change.

Also speaking on the milestone, the Country Manager Lynsey Elston highlighted that Zenith Bank is the first Nigerian bank to consecutively report the carbon emissions of their Head Office in Lagos using a certified tool which is built on the internationally recognized “GHG Protocol”. She commended the bank for proving its commitment to United Nations Global Compact (UNGC) Goal 13, Climate Action, in addition to complying with Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) Standards”.. In response to her, the Executive Director said the initiative has significantly helped the bank reduce its overall carbon footprints and drive energy efficiency.

V4 Advisors is a UAE-based provider of advisory and consulting solutions on climate change and greenhouse gas emissions. The firm’s calculation and reporting tool has been reviewed by the World Resources Institute (WRI) for conformance with the GHG Protocol Corporate Standard.

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UBA Premieres Most Anticipated Men’s Club Season 2 Trailer

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Lagos, Saturday 18th of May, 2019 was the definition of entertainment success. From the lights to setup, the atmosphere was filled with the euphoria of excitement. The wait was finally over, almost 6 months after the first season hit YouTube, The Men’s club, season 2 is set to launch.

In anticipation, a private screening was held at the IMAX Filmhouse cinema, Lekki. In attendance were the cast, crew and industry supporters. A little waiting room held a re-enacted set from the show’s opening montage, signature cocktails, mock tails  and delicious canapés were served. The Crème-de-la Crème of Lagos entertainment elites including Kemi Adetiba, Noble Igwe, Eku Edewor, Ashionye Raccah, Bola Atta and guests mingled and re-lived their favourite scenes from Season 1 through pictures and interviews.

At 7:30 pm, all guests were ushered into the main screening hall by the Creative Director of REDTV, Obinna Okerekeocha, intimating fans and guests present that the new Season was about to bring on a different dimension. ‘REDTV has taken drama to a different level and we aren’t scared to push the boundaries. Our vision at REDTV is to continually produce premium content for entertainment. The new season of The Men’s Club is real. Its aspirational and relatable. The cinematography and scores are top class and its wonderful to see how the lead actors have grown. This is going to be a bigger hit than Season one’ said Okerekeocha. He reminded everyone to spread the message and invite friends to subscribe on the REDTV.

As end credits from the show reeled on the screen, the room was filled with a resounding applause. In a thank you address, Bola Atta the Executive Producer expressed her uttermost joy as the show more than surpassed expectations. She thanked the United Bank for Africa(UBA) for the endless support to ensure the success of REDTV and congratulated Tola Odunsi and Akins Akinkugbe, co-producers of the The Men’s Club.

The curtains drew with a final address from Tola Odunsi and Akins ‘AK’ Akinkugbe returning immense gratitude to every single actor and crew behind the scene reminding guests that ‘it’s easy to see the finished show but every single person who contributes to the show makes the job worthwhile’.

The Men’s Club starring Daniel Etim Effiong, Ayo Ayoola, Efa Iwara, Baaja Adebule, Mimi Chaka, Sharon Ooja, Segilola Ogidan, Enado Odigie. This season hosts some new faces including Shawn Faqua, Ijeoma Aniebo, Somto Akanegbu as we follow the lives of 4 young men in Lagos, discovering love, breaking hearts and trying to find meaning to life through their daily experiences and encounters.

The new season drops on YouTube this Thursday 23rd, May on the REDTV channel.

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