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Profit taking: NSE’s market capitalisation drops to N12trn



The market capitalisation of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) dropped to N12 trillion, amid huge sell off of stocks of blue chip companies.

Specifically, the market capitalisation lost N103 billion or 0.79 per cent to close at N12.948 trillion against N13.051 trillion recorded on Tuesday.

Also, the All-Share Index, which opened at 26,809.92 shed 210.98 points or 0.79 per cent to 26,598.94.

The downturn was impacted by losses recorded in medium and large capitalised stocks, amongst which are; Nestle Nigeria, Dangote Cement, Guinness Nigeria, Nigerian Breweries and Presco.

The market recorded 12 gainers as against15 losers.

Learn Africa recorded the highest price gain in percentage terms to lead the gainers’ table with 9.80 per cent to close at N1.12 per share.

Chams and Cornerstone Insurance followed with a gain of 8.33 per cent each, to close at 26k and 39k per share respectively.

Jaiz Bank went up by 4.26 per cent to close at 49 kobo, while Access Bank appreciated by 2.80 per cent to close at N7.35, per share.

On the other hand, PZ led the losers’ chart decreasing by 10 per cent, to close at N6.30 per share.

NCR followed with a decline of 9.09 per cent to close at N4.50, while Guinness went down by 7.69 to close at N30 per share.

United Capital dipped 6.98 per cent to close at N2, while Neimeth International Pharmaceuticals shed 6.52 per cent to close at 43k per share.

However, the total volume closed on an upbeat note as investors bought and sold 591.04 million shares worth N7.398 billion in 2,907 deals.

This was in contrast with 151.71 million shares valued at N1.13 billion exchanged in 2,854 deals on Tuesday.

Transactions in the shares of Custodian Investment topped the activity chart with 348.05 million shares valued at N2.52 billion.

Access Bank followed with 52.58 million shares worth N383.44 million, while Lafarge Africa sold 28.15 million shares valued at N450.35 million.

Guaranty Trust Bank traded 21.84 million shares valued at N583.12 million, while Guinness Nigeria transacted 20.23 million shares worth N607.01 million. (NAN)


Edited by Salif Atojoko


Japan’s corporate profits book sharpest dive since 2009 amid global pandemic




Japan’s corporate profits in the January-March quarter booked the largest decline since 2009, as numerous companies were hurt financially by the global coronavirus pandemic, which saw demand and consumption slump amid the shuttering of plants and businesses.

According to the Finance Ministry‘s quarterly survey, pretax profits of domestic companies tumbled 32.0 percent to 15.14 trillion yen (140.76 billion United States dollars) from a year earlier, marking the fourth successive month quarterly profits have retreated.

This also marked the sharpest decline since a 32.4 percent fall was booked in the July-September period in 2009 in the wake of the global financial crisis, the ministry’s figures showed.

Amid falling global demand, manufacturers felt the brunt of the pandemic, with the transportation equipment sector booking a 50.7 percent dive in pretax profit, the ministry said.

As for the non-manufacturing sector, meanwhile, pretax profits marked significant declines in the service sector, dropping 59.6 percent, while those in the wholesale and retail industry fell 38.0 percent, the ministry’s data also showed.

Declining for a third straight quarter, corporate sales in Japan were down 3.5 percent from the previous year to 359.56 trillion yen (3.34 trillion United States dollars).

Capital spending by all non-financial sectors increased 4.3 percent to 16.35 trillion yen (152.01 billion United States dollars), the ministry’s data also showed, with this figure coming on the heels of a 3.5 percent drop in the previous period.

Revised gross domestic product data for the January-March quarter will be released by the Cabinet Office on June 8, with the figures expected to be upwardly revised owing to the increase in capital expenditure, although the rise could be negligible when the drop in private consumption is factored in.

Preliminary data showed Japan’s economy shrank an annualized real 3.4 percent in the three-month period due to the coronavirus pandemic.

This was the second successive quarterly contraction and saw Japan enter a technical recession.

The finance ministry polled 31,540 companies capitalized at 10 million yen (92,963 United States dollars) or more.


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AirAsia Indonesia forecasts net profit to tumble in Q1 due to COVID-19




AirAsia Indonesia estimated that its net profit would plunge in the first quarter as the coronavirus pandemic has caused a declining number of passengers.

The budget airline forecast its net profit would deeply fall by 75 percent from that of the January to March period annualized, media reported on Thursday.

The projected fall was fueled by the edging down of consolidated revenues, which are expected to plunge by 30 percent to 50 percent annually.

To pare down the risks of the virus pandemic, the airline has applied a number of strategies including that to apply a tight control on spending.

The coronavirus has been ravaging the aviation industry in Indonesia, which is exacerbated by the ban on flights across the country.


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Tokyo stocks mixed in morning on economic revival hopes, profit-taking




Tokyo stocks were mixed Wednesday morning, as investors both bought on hopes for increased economic activity in Japan and overseas as virus-related restrictions are eased, and sold to lock in gains following the market’s sharp rise the previous day.

The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average shed 4.94 points, or 0.02 percent, from Tuesday to 21,266.23.

The broader Topix index of all First Section issues on the Tokyo Stock Exchange, meanwhile, added 3.47 points, or 0.23 percent, at 1,538.20.

Land transportation and real estate issues led notable decliners, while marine transportation, and iron and steel-linked issues comprised those that gained the most.


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Profit taking: NSE market indices record first week loss of 1.27%



The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE)on Friday recorded first week loss with the market indicators dropping 1.27 per cent due to profit taking.

Specifically, the market capitalisation of listed equities dipped N161 billion or 1.27 per cent to N12.531 trillion compared with N12.692 trillion achieved on Thursday.

Also, the All-Share Index dropped by 308.85 points or 1.27 per cent to close at 24,045.40 points from 24,354.25 on Thursday.

MTN Nigeria dominated the losers’ chart, dropping by N8 to close at N112 per share.

Guaranty Trust Bank trailed with a loss of 55k to close at N21.95, while BUA Cement was down by 40k to close at N31.90 per share.

Guinness lost 30k to close at N18, while C & I Leasing depreciated by 20k to close at N4.50 per share

On then other hand, Nigerian Breweries led the gainers’ table appreciating by N2.60 to close at N37.50 per share.

Custodian and Investment Plc followed with a gain of 45k to close at N6.30, while Zenith Bank gained 20k to close at N15.40 per share.

GlaxosmithKline added 20k to close at N5.40, while Africa Prudential increased by 19k to close at N3.90 per share.

The banking stocks remained the toast of investors with FBN Holdings emerging the most ctive, trading 63.05 million shares worth N295.85 million.

Guaranty Trust Bank followed with an account of 27.16 million shares valued at N608.78 million, while Zenith Bank traded 14.71 million share worth N224.28 million.

Red Star traded 11.78 million shares valued at N32.13 million, while Mutual Benefits accounted for 9.69 million shares worth N1.94 million.

In all, investors traded 208.5o million shares valued at N2.19 billion in 4,320 deals.

This was against a total of 431.58 million shares worth N5.26 billion achieved in 5,860 deals on Thursday, a decrease of 51.67 per cent.

Edited By: Remi Koleoso (NAN)

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Shareholders applaud Union Bank’s enhanced profitability in 2019, approve dividend



Shareholders of Union Bank of Nigeria (UBN) Plc have commended the board and management for enhanced profitability achieved in 2019 financial year.

The bank, in a statement, said the shareholders gave the commendation at its first ever virtual Annual General Meeting (AGM) on Tuesday in Lagos.

It noted that shareholders’ attendance at the AGM was by proxy, in keeping with physical distancing measures put in place due to the global COVID-19 pandemic.

Mrs Beatrice Hamza Bassey, the bank’s Chairman, was quoted in the statement as saying that 2019 was a very impressive year.

Bassey highlighted some of the bank’s key achievements in 2019 as the launch of alpher, the bank’s proposition for women, and the introduction of digital loan offerings.

She said that the issuance of a fully subscribed Tier-2 N30 billion bond and the board’s recommendation of a dividend payment to its shareholders owing to its overall strong performance were also major achievements of 2019.

“On behalf of the board, I am pleased to inform our shareholders that we have recommended a dividend payment for the first time in over a decade.

“We remain committed to delivering high-quality earnings to our shareholders, and I am pleased to announce we were able to deliver this in 2019, despite the challenging operating environment.

“We remain focused on delivering value to our shareholders as we continue to drive growth and profitability of our business towards sustaining this trend,” she said.

Commenting on the bank’s performance in 2019 and plans for 2020, Mr Emeka Emuwa, its Chief Executive Officer, said it emphasised revenue productivity and efficiency across board.

“In 2019, we continued to emphasise revenue productivity and efficiency across all facets of our business.

“We were focused on further leveraging the platform (people, technology, brand and infrastructure) we have steadily built over the years to drive sustainable growth in earnings and profitability.

“Our efforts yielded positive results as we witnessed major feats across all our priority areas.

“We remain committed to delivering improved profitability and higher returns in 2020 and beyond.

“Returning value to our shareholders has been at the core of Union Bank’s transformation and continuous drive to become a leading financial institution in Nigeria.

“Notwithstanding the tough operating environment, we remain focused on our strategy and ambition as we strive towards achieving our ambition to be Nigeria’s most reliable and trusted banking partner,” Emuwa said.

The shareholders at the AGM approved the recommended dividend of 25k per 50k ordinary share.

Major highlights of the bank’s financial performance in 2019 show that profit before tax grew by 33 per cent to ₦24.7 billion from ₦18.7 billion in 2018.

Gross earnings grew by 14 per cent to N159.9 billion from N140.1 billion in 2018.

Customer deposits also increased by five percent to ₦ 886.3 billion compared with ₦844.4 billion in 2018.

Edited By: Oluwole Sogunle (NAN)

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UK bank Barclays sees profits plummet in Q1 amid COVID-19 outbreak




British multinational bank Barclays on Wednesday reported a profit plunge in its first financial quarter (Q1) ending March 31, 2020, despite a strong income performance amid the coronavirus outbreak.

In the group’s financial statement for the first three months of 2020, its profit before tax fell to 913 million pounds (about 1,135 million U.S. dollars), down 38 percent compared with the same period of 2019.

Meanwhile while, figures showed the group’s total income for Q1 hit 6,283 million pounds (7,816 million dollars), up 20 percent from Q1 2019.

“Q1 represented a strong income performance in the Corporate and Investment Bank (CIB), where our Markets business had a record quarter as we supported our clients through a period of extreme volatility,” said James Staley, chief executive officer of Barclays.

Notably, the bank’s credit impairment charges increased to 2,115 million pounds (2,631 million dollars), far higher than 448 million pounds (557 million dollars) in the same period a year earlier.

“The impact of COVID-19 came late in what was until that point a good quarter. Statutory profit before tax was 0.9 billion pounds (1.12 billion dollars) and profit before tax excluding credit impairment charges was 3.0 billion pounds (3.73 billion dollars),” said Staley.

“We have taken a 2.1 billion (2.61 billion dollars) credit impairment charge which reflects our initial estimates of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Staley.

Besides the British government and Bank of England’s business support programs, Staley said the bank has introduced “additional measures to back UK companies ourselves. They are now having a real impact”.

As of April 24, 2020, Barclays has “lent 737 million pounds (916.8 million dollars) in Coronavirus Business Interruption Loans, approved over 238,000 mortgage and loan payment holidays, and over 6 million customers and clients are currently paying no personal overdraft or business banking charges,” said Staley.

“We expect that all of these measures will help to limit the economic and social impact of the pandemic,” said Staley, adding that “given the uncertainty around the developing economic downturn and low interest rate environment, 2020 is expected to be challenging.”


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Net profit of German carmaker Daimler down by 92 pct in Q1




Net profit of Daimler decreased by 92 percent year-on-year in the first quarter (Q1) of 2020, with total vehicle sales decreasing by 17 percent to 644,300 “due to the global spread of the coronavirus,” the German carmaker announced on Wednesday.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has substantial effects on the global economy and our company,” said Daimler CEO Ola Kaellenius. Daimler had taken a “proactive decision to stop production in March, and moved very quickly into cash preservation and cost management mode.”

While revenues only “slipped slightly” by 6 percent to 37.2 billion euros, earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) of Daimler plummeted to 617 million euros (669 million U.S. dollars), significantly lower than last year’s Q1 result when EBIT still amounted to 2.8 billion euros.

According to Kaellenius, Daimler had ended the first quarter with a “positive result and a robust liquidity”. In Q1, however, free cash flow amounted to negative 2.3 billion euros.

Daimler stated that “the effects of the virus pandemic and the resulting decrease in unit sales led to a significant earnings downturn.” Daimler announced that worldwide sales of the brand’s cars division slipped by 15 percent to 470,600 vehicles and by 20 percent to 97,600 units at its trucks and busses division.

The German carmaker expects that the development of the world economy would “continue to be dominated by the coronavirus pandemic during the rest of the year” after it was “already burdened in the course of the first quarter.”

According to Kaellenius, Daimler, however, had now started with a “gradual ramp-up” of its production. Daimler, like its competitors Volkswagen and BMW, had to shut down operations in factories and car dealerships due to the risk of infection and lack of supplies caused by interrupted supply chains.

Daimler expects sales in 2020 to be “below the levels of the previous year” stressing that the original forecast for the financial year 2020 would no longer be valid. “The decisive factors will be when the pandemic will be under control worldwide, how long economic activity is limited until then, and which pattern of recovery will occur afterwards,” Daimler concluded.

Following the announcement, Daimler was among the winners of the German DAX index of the country’s 30 largest listed companies, growing by 2.48 percent on Wednesday.


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Operating profit of German carmaker Volkswagen plummets by more than 80 pct in Q1




Operating profit before special items of Volkswagen “decreased significantly” by 81.4 percent year-on-year to 0.9 billion euros (0.98 billion U.S. dollars) in the first quarter (Q1) of 2020, while car deliveries decreased by 23 percent to 2 million vehicles, the German carmaker announced on Wednesday.

“The global COVID-19 pandemic substantially impacted our business in the first quarter,” stated Volkswagen’s chief financial officer (CFO) Frank Witter. In Q1 2020, earnings before tax fell from 4.1 billion euros to 0.7 billion euros.

Sales of Volkswagen passenger cars, the German carmaker’s highest selling division, declined by 16 percent to 765,000 cars while subsidiary Audi recorded a decrease of roughly 12 percent to 268,000 sold vehicles in Q1.

Sales declined in particular in the Asian Pacific region, shrinking by 33.6 percent year-on-year. In Volkswagen’s biggest single market China, sales decreased by 35.2 percent to 945.305 vehicles. In Volkswagen’s domestic market Germany, vehicle sales recorded a decline of 15.3 percent.

Volkswagen subsidiary and sports car manufacturer Porsche still sold 56,000 vehicles between January and March and only recorded 1.3 percent fewer vehicle sales than a year before. Although there had been cost increases, exchange rate effects and a drop in vehicle sales, “the mix developed favorably.”

For 2020 as a whole, Volkswagen expects vehicle deliveries to be “significantly below the prior year due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.” Challenges would also arise “particularly from the increasing intensity of competition, volatile commodity and foreign exchange markets and more stringent emissions-related requirements.”

According to Witter, Volkswagen had taken “numerous countermeasures to cut costs and ensure liquidity” and would “continue to be robustly positioned financially.” Overall, Volkswagen expects operating profit for 2020 to be “severely below the prior year, but still to remain positive.”

Volkswagen, like its competitors Daimler and BMW, had to shut down operations in factories and car dealerships for several weeks due to the risk of infection and a lack of supplies from interrupted supply chains. Since last week, German carmaker production in Germany had been starting up again slowly, but initially at lower capacity.

“The gradual restart, also of our factories outside of China, has begun,” commented Witter, stressing that “the health of our employees and suppliers remains the clear priority here.” According to Witter, Volkswagen “is steering through this unprecedented crisis with focus and determination.”

Following the announcement, Volkswagen was among the winners of the German DAX index of Germany’s 30 largest listed companies, growing by 2.6 percent on Wednesday morning.


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HSBC profit halves in Q1 amid coronavirus pandemic




British multinational investment bank HSBC said on Tuesday that its profits halved for the first quarter mainly due to the global impact of the COVID-19 outbreak.

The company’s reported profit before tax dropped to 3.2 billion U.S. dollars, down 48 percent from the same period last year, according to figures released Tuesday.

HSBC also forecast its expected credit losses, a provision for loans going bad, would increased to 3 billion dollars as customers may fail to repay them during the pandemic.

“The economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on our customers has been the main driver of the change in our financial performance since the turn of the year. The resultant increase in expected credit losses in the first quarter contributed to a material fall in reported profit before tax compared with the same period last year,” HSBC Group Chief Executive Noel Quinn said.

However, the company said it would put on hold its massive job cuts announced previously to reduce the uncertainty employees are facing at this difficult time.

HSBC announced in February to cut 35,000 jobs over three years, a move understood as part of a major restructuring plan to reduce costs by 4.5 billion dollars by 2022.


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