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L-R:       Mrs. Cathy Echeozo, Chairperson, NGX Regulation Ltd; Mr. Hezekiah Oyinlola, Non-Executive Director, GTBank Nigeria; Ibrahim Hassan, Non-Executive Director, GTBank Nigeria; Mr. Segun Agbaje, Group Chief Executive Officer, Guaranty Trust Holding Company (GTCO) Plc; Mr. Temi Popoola,CFA Chief Executive Officer, Nigerian Exchange (NGX) Limited; Mrs. Osaretin Demuren, Outgoing Chairman, GTBank Nigeria; Mrs. Miriam Olusanya, Executive Director, GTBank Nigeria; Mr. Seyi Osunkeye, Non- Executive Director, NGX Ltd and other NGX Ltd Executives during the Closing Gong Ceremony to mark the listing of GTCO Plc on the NGX yesterday in Lagos

The Nigerian Exchange (NGX) Limited, on Tuesday, July 13, marked the listing of Guaranty Trust Holding Company Plc’s (“GTCO Plc”) shares with a Closing Gong Ceremony on the main floor of the exchange. This follows the completion of all regulatory requirements for the corporate reorganization of the leading financial institution into a holding company structure and the listing of GTCO Plc, on the Nigerian Exchange (NGX) Limited and the London Stock Exchange, replacing Guaranty Trust Bank Plc. 

Guaranty Trust was first listed on the Nigerian Exchange in 1997, winning the “Nigerian Stock Exchange President’s Merit Award” within months of its listing. In 2007, it became the first Nigerian bank to list on London Stock Exchange, the first to dual list on an international exchange and the first Nigerian company to raise international capital using listed Global Depositary Receipts. Since then, Guaranty Trust has embarked on a decade of unparalleled growth with total assets and shareholders’ funds closing at ₦4.993trillion and ₦837.2billion respectively, at the end of Q1, 2021. 

As part of its long-term growth strategy, Guaranty Trust has now adopted a holding company structure wherein GTCO Plc will operate as the parent company of all Guaranty Trust banking businesses across Africa and the United Kingdom as well as other non-banking businesses which will be established following the transition. 

Segun Agbaje, the Group Chief Executive Officer of Guaranty Trust, commented: “These are very exciting times for us. Following our transition, we can now compete more effectively with non-banks in this new and evolving competitive landscape, whilst creating more value for customers and shareholders than we ever could as a bank. 

Although we are delighted to have completed this rigorous transition process, we know that the hard work has just begun. We are in the final phase of building a new payments business that will deepen and extend digital financial services across Africa. We also believe that we are in a better position to drive an Asset Management business and a Pension Fund business, given our strong retail base and digital-first approach to financial services, which we have honed over the past decade.” 

Founded in 1990, Guaranty Trust has maintained an unbroken streak of year-on-year growth and a consistent lead in driving the digitization of financial services in Africa. It is the best managed financial institution in Nigeria, leading the industry across key financial indices, such as Return on Equity (ROAE of 26.0% in Q1 2021), Return on Assets (ROAA of 4.3% in Q1 2021), and Cost to Income ratio (42.6% in Q1 2021).

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Fitch Affirms Ecobank Nigeria’s Stable Outlook

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Ecobank

Fitch Ratings has affirmed Ecobank Nigeria Limited’s (ENG) Long-Term Issuer Default Rating (IDR) at ‘B-‘ with a Stable Outlook. Fitch has simultaneously upgraded the bank’s National Short-Term Rating to ‘F2(nga)’ from ‘F3(nga)’.  According to Fitch, the IDRs of Ecobank Nigeria are driven by its standalone creditworthiness, as expressed by its Viability Rating (VR) of ‘b-‘, stating that the bank has a moderate market shares of Nigeria’s banking-sector assets but its franchise benefits from being a subsidiary of Ecobank Transnational Incorporated, a large pan-African banking group with operations spanning 33 countries across sub-Saharan Africa (SSA).

The rating agency reported that Ecobank’s loans have declined in recent years, stressing that it does not see a high risk of the largest Stage 2 loans, which are concentrated within the oil and gas sector, of becoming impaired. It noted that its asset-quality assessment is positively influenced by a substantial amount of non-loan assets, largely comprising government securities and cash reserves at the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). Fitch expects profitability to improve moderately with receding asset-quality pressures and lower LICs.

Fitch observed that “ENG’s total capital adequacy ratio (CAR) of 19.6% at end the first quarter of 2021 maintains a comfortable buffer above the 10% regulatory requirement for a bank with a national licence and the bank’s tangible leverage ratio of 10.7% at the end of first quarter of 2021 which compares favourably with that of peers. Impaired loans net of specific loan loss allowances represented a significant 46% of Fitch Core Capital at end of first quarter of last year but risks to capital are mitigated by strong collateral coverage and recovery expectations of the two large upstream impaired loans.” “ENG’s low gross loans/customer deposits ratio of 67% at the end of 2021 largely reflects a small loan book. Large cash reserves at the CBN, net interbank placements and unpledged central-government securities represented 33% of total assets and 50% of customer deposits at end the first quarter of 2021 providing healthy liquidity coverage. Our funding and liquidity assessment also considers the benefits of ordinary liquidity support from ETI.” The report stated.

Fitch’s view of support for Ecobank Nigeria considered the high propensity of ETI to provide support, given the former’s importance to the parent’s pan-African strategy as its largest subsidiary and it is operating in sub–Saharan Africa’s largest economy. It also considers the material reputational damage to ETI that would accompany ENG’s default, the 100% ownership, a high degree of management and operational integration and a record of capital support.

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Fidelity Bank Enriches Customers, Holds Second Draw of GAIM 5 Promo

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