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FirstGem 4.0 : Firstbank Reiterates Commitment for Promoting Women, Convenes Annual Women Conference 

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FirstGem Annual Conference 4.0

 

First Bank of Nigeria Limited, Nigeria’s premier and leading financial inclusion services provider has announced the fourth edition of its annual FirstGem Conference, tagged FirstGem 4.0. The 2021 event is themed ‘The Art of Negotiation’ and convened to provide women with insights on the secrets of wealth management, investment and savings. It is scheduled to hold on Wednesday, 31 March 2021. Participants are required to register via the link http://bit.ly/firstbankwebinar

 

 

The product, FirstGem, is an account designed specifically to meet the needs of women, aged 18 years and above. The product is targeted at a broad spectrum of women, working professionals, entrepreneurs or market women to promote their business through an array of benefits, from free business advisory services on business funding, specialized training on
Business Development initiatives (online and physical), regular information or insights on business opportunities or openings in various sectors and industries. FirstGem account owners have access to mouth-watering discounts at merchant outlets (spas, salons, grocery stores) that offer lifestyle products and services.

 

 

The Guest Speakers at the event are Mrs. Ibukun Awosika – Chairman, Board of Directors, First Bank of Nigeria Limited; Prof Pedro Videla – Prof. of Economics at IESE Business School and Prof Mehta Kandarp, Senior Lecturer, IESE Business School. They would
respectively speak on the topics; the theme of the International Women’s Day “Choose to Challenge”, the current state of the Global Economy and how it Impacts Business Decisions and Negotiation as a Tool for Winning in Business & Career.

 

 

During the event, FirstBank SME customers would be given the opportunity to pitch their business idea and stand a chance to get N1,000,000 seed fund to kick-start their business. The business ideas would be judged by the following criteria; Originality, Feasibility, Good presentation skills and Sustainability. Speaking on the event, Mr. Francis Shobo, Deputy Managing Director, Firstbank said “The FirstGem 4.0 is the icing on the cake in the streams of initiatives and activities we have organised and participated in March as we join the world to celebrate women for the indelible roles they play in our society. Through these activities, we spearhead the call on the need to promote women inclusiveness in the country as the role they play towards the continued socio-economic growth and development of any given society cannot be overemphasized.”

 

 

Shedding light on the impact of the FirstGem account, he said “our FirstGem account is specifically designed to meet the financial needs of women as it offers unrivaled services that empower women to do more and achieve more. It seeks to drive financial development and the empowerment of women through gender-engineered programs. At FirstBank, we recognize that promoting female entrepreneurship and empowerment is crucial to a better society, “he concluded.

 

 

Since the product launch in October 2016, the Bank has implemented various activities targeted at promoting female empowerment, impact and influence in the economy. Through its online portal – designed to provide a virtual online community with over 61,293 members where like-minded women irrespective of where they are in Nigeria and abroad, gather to connect, grow and share knowledge on everything about lifestyle, motherhood, career development, entrepreneurship, health, work and family. We encourage all women to join the community by signing up via this link https://firstgem.com.ng/community to enjoy this
experience.

FirstGem has successfully empowered women in states across the geo-political zones in Nigeria and the United Kingdom.

 

Business

Half-Year Performance: Transcorp Plc Shows Powerful Growth as Profit Leaps by 713%

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Transcorp Hotels

Transnational Corporation of Nigeria Plc (Transcorp) has released its unaudited results for the half-year ended June 2021, recording significant improvement across its major income lines.

The Conglomerate with strategic investments in the Power, Hospitality, and Energy sectors, recorded a profit after tax of N6.5bn, rising by 713% up from N0.8bn recorded in June of the previous year. Other key highlights of the result include the following:

  • Revenue rose by 53%, from N35.0bn in June 2020 to N53.3bn in the period under consideration.
  • Gross profit grew by 60%, from N14.7bn in June 2020 to N23.5bn in June 2021.
  • Profit before tax rose by 689% from N0.9bn in June 2020 to N7.1b in June 2021.

Commenting on the performance, Transcorp’s President/Group CEO, Mrs. Owen Omogiafo, reiterated the Conglomerate’s commitment towards producing long-term value and sustainable impact. “We are pleased to see the sustained growth in our group performance, which was achieved as a result of the improved performance across all the sectors we operate in. The revenue achieved in our power business grew by 48%, as a result of improved gas supply and increased generation capacity”, she stated.

Commenting on the hospitality sector, Omogiafo stated that the company’s strategic actions have resulted in a growth in revenue of up to 84%, despite the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 epidemic on the Nigerian and global hospitality industries. She expressed confidence in the company’s recovery strategies, citing the recent official launch of Aura, the company’s digital hospitality platform, as a testament to that confidence.

On the Group’s capacity to sustain its performance, Omogiafo said, “We do not plan to rest on our oars. We will continue to sweat our existing assets and explore new frontiers, as we continue to deliver on our purpose of Improving Lives and Transforming Nigeria.”

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Opinion

Rethinking safe-haven assets and building resilient portfolios with Xend Finance

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As with most things in life, feeling overwhelmed as a newbie is simple, and this is especially true in such a volatile market as the world of cryptocurrencies. Regardless of the uncertainty and worries, the world of cryptocurrency has the potential to have a unique and substantial impact on anyone’s financial stability.

Government Bonds, treasury bills, and other forms of fixed income investments are undeniably considered as safe haven investments due to their low risk, but with inflation on the increase, the question arises how safe is money locked up for a specific period of time?

It is therefore important to build a resilient portfolio able to minimize risks and mitigate volatility, diversity into multiple unrelated investments, deliver steady returns and also able to recognize changing market conditions, new opportunities and respond accordingly.
Enter the world of Stablecoins. A less volatile cryptocurrency asset pegged to a cryptocurrency, fiat money, or to exchange-traded commodities (such as precious metals or industrial metals).

Compare to other forms of cryptocurrency assets like bitcoin, or altcoins the advantages of stablecoins are stabilized by assets that fluctuate outside of the cryptocurrency space that is prices are pinned to real-world assets.
Most stablecoins are pegged to the US Dollar as they are an easy way to get exposure to the crypto space without having to worry about volatility.

You can build a resilient portfolio with stable coins by having a good foundation on which you can build and protect your investment portfolio. This is necessary to provide a buffer when the markets are volatile or things go south.

These stablecoins also provide diversification as Investor Phillips Hodges mentioned in an interview emphasized the importance of balancing factors affecting the returns you can get across the different than the classes themselves. Stable coins also provide the extra diversification a portfolio needs to stay afloat in a stormy market, minimize losses due to their low volatility.

Be rest assured as an investor that your portfolio can only said to be strong when you have investments that can stand the test of time. Inflations and rickety market conditions.
If you’re a fund manager looking to get exposure to the crypto space through stable coins, send an email to [email protected] and someone would be in touch with you.

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Market formation framework, driver to optimally develop solid mineral sector- Ifie Sekibo 

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Ifie Sekibo

MD/CEO of Heritage Bank Plc, Ifie Sekibo has said that the market formation framework is the key to optimally exploit Nigeria’s precious metal and solid minerals endowments. He disclosed this during a webinar organized by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Mines and Steel Development with the theme, “Financing the Solid Minerals Sector through the Capital Market and the Critical Role of Commodity Exchanges.”  

Sekibo explained that a fully established market formation process that would lead to having a Corporation as an integrated solid mineral institution like NNPC which allows the collateralization of assets those banks can rely on for alternative funding options.

According to him, this will guarantee other creative ways of raising funds for financing commercial activities relating to solid minerals and viable projects along its value chain.

Sekibo who was represented by the Divisional Head, Strategy and Business Solutions, of the Bank, Olusegun Akanji, said for the sector to be viable, it requires lots of converged government interventions because for any development focused sector to kick-off around the world, it needs government intervention to lay the foundation for the private sector and funders to step-in and pool their resources.

“Once, we can collateralize these assets, whether they are under the ground or being determined, you use different instruments to bring liquidity into them. Then investors will follow up once we have established there is enough they can explore.” the MD stated.

He further suggested that finance sector regulators need to expand their Prudential Guidelines to accommodate the instruments such that precious metal-backed or solid minerals-backed assets could qualify as part of the computation of liquidity ratios.

“Once banks start injecting their resources, customers would certainly follow that trend. You can start arranging for sophisticated solutions like bonds, bullion-backed assets and pension notes. Again, banks will have to be poised to hold the funding that comes from this sector; that way, they can open new transactional frontiers either locally or internationally.

“At the base of this, are the issues of pricing and integrity of the market. Once banks play in that sector and we have a government institution like the NNPC type to hold all this documentation, it would be very easy to establish price discovery on an ongoing basis. This will in turn attract international funders, hedge funds and retail investors. Today, we have retail bonds in the same way; we can have gold-backed or any of the solid mineral assets where retail investors can put in the funds,” Sekibo explained.

Meanwhile, it would be recalled that Heritage Bank Plc has said its involvement in the private sector collaboration with Dukia Gold & Precious Metals Refining Co. Limited is set to unlock the over N344 trillion market worth of gold investible instruments in the solid minerals sector.

However, he reiterated that a consistent packaged framework, which could only be held by an established government institution, as part of the layers of the framework, would help to tackle major challenges in trying to support Dukia Gold’s clients.

“With a consistent packaged framework, it will be easier for Dukia Gold and help in less spending. If Dukia Gold should speak of their challenges, they will speak about tonnes of documents they have to produce. But with a unified source of documentation, it makes the process easier and improves cost management. These are some of the challenges we have experienced in trying to support a few clients we worked with,” Sekibo stated.

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