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SMECONNECT WEBINAR: FIRST BANK ENLIGHTENS ENTREPRENEURS ON ACCESSING FINANCE FOR THEIR BUSINESS

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  • The FirstBank SME Connect webinar is one of the ways through which FirstBank delivers the capacity-building pillar of its value propositions to SMEs.

 

  • The event topic “The ABCs of Accessing Finance for your Business” is designed to expose SMEs to various finance opportunities that they can access and utilize to foster the continued growth of their businesses.

 

  • With FirstBank’s over 127 years of being woven into the fabric of society, FirstBank has been at the forefront of impacting businesses and has consistently won awards for providing innovative solutions for customers and other stakeholders including SMEs.

Nigeria’s premier and leading financial inclusion services provider, First Bank of Nigeria Limited will hold its SMEConnect Webinar by 11am on Thursday, 8th July 2021 with “The ABCs of Accessing Finance for your Business” being the topic to be discussed at the event. Participants are required to register for the event via https://firstbanknigeria.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_SU8vLK_OToec2EwZLqljZA

The event topic is designed to expose SMEs to various finance opportunities that they can access and utilize to foster the continued growth of their business, whilst optimising the sustenance of their business operations in contributing to national development.

SMEConnect webinar is one of the ways through which FirstBank delivers the capacity-building pillar of its value propositions to SMEs. The Bank’s SMEConnect initiative is focused on impacting SMEs in key areas that affect their business growth and development.

The scope of the Bank’s SME services covers small/medium scale manufacturing firms, merchants (suppliers, distributors etc.), professional firms (law, consulting, audit etc.), agricultural, Churches, Mosques and NGOs whose annual debit turnover is between N5M and N500M.

Guess Speakers at the event include Damilola Salawu – Partner/Head Technology, Innovation and Fintech, Olaniwun Ajayi LP and Patrick Ehidiame Akhidenor – Head Credit Analysis & Processing, First Bank of Nigeria Limited.

Speaking on the event, Deputy Managing Director, Mr. Gbenga Shobo said “amongst many factors, access to finance, plays a critical role to the growth and sustenance of every business venture, especially the SMEs and we are delighted with the role we continue to play in connecting SMEs to finance opportunities that are essential to boost their businesses.

With FirstBank’s over 127 years of being woven into the fabric of society, we remain at the forefront of positively impacting businesses, especially the SMEs and enjoin all business owners and individuals intending to own theirs to be part of the event’’.

Only recently, FirstBank was honoured with the Africa Bank of the Year and Innovative Banking Product of the Year Awards in recognition of its sterling performance in delivering over 127 years of development-oriented services as Africa’s foremost financial inclusion services provider.

These awards came on the heels of a hat-trick of awards the Bank bagged – the 2021 ‘’Retail Banking CEO of the Year Nigeria’’, ‘’Most innovative Retail Banking App Nigeria’’ and ‘’Best CSR Bank Nigeria’’ – at the Global Banking and Finance awards. In addition, Brand Africa ranked FirstBank the second most admired financial services brand for the second year running.

What remains apparent in the awards is the Bank’s commitment to innovation as exemplified in FirstMobile. Easy to use, secure, fast, convenient (offering “Instant Banking, Anywhere!”), innovative and interactive, FirstMobile was designed to offer lifestyle solutions that make banking an exciting experience for FirstBank customers. The self-service mobile banking product allows customers in possession of the phone linked to the mobile number on which they receive FirstBank SMS alert messages and who possess a Naira Mastercard (debit) or a Verve debit card and have downloaded and activated the app, to transact via its secure platform on their smart devices without intervention from FirstBank. The app can be downloaded from Google Play Store (for users of android devices) or the App Store (for iPhone and other iOS devices’ users) and also from FirstBank website via the URL: https://www.firstbanknigeria.com/getfirstmobile.

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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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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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