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Access Bank, UBA, two others join NSE’s premium board

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The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) yesterday migrated Access Bank Plc, United Bank for Africa Plc, Lafarge Africa Plc and Seplat Petroleum Development Company Plc to its Premium Board Index.

 

The companies joined Dangote Cement Plc, FBN Holdings Plc, and Zenith International Bank Plc, which migrated to the Premium Board in 2015, bringing the total number of companies on the board to seven.

 

The migration, according to the Exchange, is sequel to their application and meeting the Exchange’s listing requirements for the board. The Premium Board is the listing segment for the elite group of issuers that meet the Exchange’s most stringent corporate governance and listing standards.

 

The board is a platform for showcasing companies that are industry leaders in their sectors. Premium Board features companies that adhere to international best practices on corporate governance and meet the Exchange’s highest standards of capitalisation and liquidity.

 

The board gives a company access to a global pool of investors that are focused on companies managed in conformity to the highest standards in their target markets. Speaking at the migration ceremony, Chief Executive Officer, NSE, Mr. Oscar Onyema, said the migrated firms had passed the Corporate Governance Rating System (CGRS) and have market capitalisation of N347.12 billion, N378.60 billion, N391.37 billion and N374.48 billion respectively.

 

Onyema said: “This migration affirms the strides our listed companies are making towards meeting the highest standards of corporate governance and underpins the robustness of our market.

 

The new companies have consistently demonstrated their inherent values to be globally competitive brands and we congratulate them on the attainment of this migration.”

 

“Companies on the Board are already enjoying the highest levels of visibility and appeal to investors looking for large companies with highest standards of corporate governance. From inception to date, the Premium Board Index continues to outperform the benchmark NSE ASI with the Premium Board recording a total return of 84.99 per cent versus the NSE ASI’s 41.79 per cent as at 11 April 2018.

 

The Premium Board’s performance continues to reinforce the sentiments of both foreign and domestic investors on the importance of corporate governance and sustainability,” he added.

 

Commenting on the development, Managing Director/ Chief Executive Officer of Access Bank Plc, Mr. Herbert Wigwe, said: “Access Bank is pleased to have attained this status.

 

We have always adhered to international corporate governance best practices, which is line with theour aspiration to become Africa’s gateway to the World.” On his part, the Group Managing Director/CEO, UBA Plc, Kennedy Uzoka, said: “The migration of UBA shares to the Premium Board of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) is well deserved. It is instructive to bring back memories of our pioneer Initial Public Offer (IPO) in the Nigerian banking sector, following our listing on the NSE in 1970.

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Group hires pioneer executive secretary

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Women in Successful Careers (WISCAR) have appointed Mrs. Fabia Ogunmekan as its pioneer executive secretary. WISCAR is a non-profit organisation focused on empowering and developing professional women to contribute to economic development and nation building in Nigeria and Africa. As the group’s executive secretary, Ogunmekanwouldoversee thedayto dayadministrationof WISCAR’sstrategyimplementationand programmes management. Prior to joining WISCAR, she served as alumni engagement manager at the Tony Elumelu Foundation.

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Insurance industry rebranding gains traction

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Efforts to rebrand the nation’s insurance sector have gained a renewed momentum as the estimated funds targeted for the project receive some boost. Indications emerged last week that the project, which has been shifted twice for lack of finance, is set to take off soon as a number of insurance companies have made financial contributions.

Giving an update on the programme last week in Lagos, the Director-General, Nigerian insurers Association, Mrs. Yetunde Ilori, said the industry was prepared now more than ever before to get the programme under way. Although she could not give specific date when it will commence, she, however, said it was certain that the industry was set to work with the consultant any moment from now to set the ball rolling.

While the contributions made so far by the underwriters is still being kept under wraps, it has, however, been revealed that the regulator, National Insurance Commission (NAICOM), has so far made a contribution of N40 million towards the project. According to available report, NAICOM contributed additional N20 million to the rebranding project, having earlier donated same amount in February. Although the Insurers’ Committee, which initiated the project about two years ago had estimated it to cost N300 million, the NIA director- general, however, said the exercise would be carried out based on whatever amount that can handle it without necessarily waiting for the committee’s estimation. Ilori had earlier clarified that the rebranding project would not be product based, but a general awareness campaign on benefits of insurance.

She noted that the campaign would be geared towards encouraging Nigerians to rely on insurance even as they make adventures, adding that the industry hopes to use the campaign to encourage Nigerians to pursue their visions vigorously with the assurance that insurers are always ready to support their dreams. Insurance operators had agreed to raise 50 per cent of the funds for the rebranding project from companies’ gross premium income, and the balance 50 per cent, shared evenly. The initiative, according to the committee, will be driven via social media, print and electronics, adding that greater attention will be on the social media due to the youth population.

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Benin snatches N300bn roro revenue from Nigeria

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Cotonou Port has snatched 50 per cent of revenue being generated from Roll-on Roll- off import at the Nigerian port, the Port and Terminal Multi-services Limited (PTML), operator of Nigerian Roll-on Roll-off terminal at Tincan Port, has said. The amount translates to N300 billion from the N600 billion provided by the National Automotive Council (NAC). According to the council, Nigeria imports 400,000 units of used vehicles valued at N600 billion annually. Of the figure, it was learnt that less than 10, 000 units of new vehicles were imported into the country in the last one year. According to a figure provided by Toyota Nigeria Limited (TNL), about 350 units of new vehicles came through the port in the first quarter of 2017.

The Managing Director of PTML, Mr. Ascanio Russo, who complained that the Federal Government’s auto policy was not adding value to Nigerian economy, said that 50 per cent of the country’s roro imports have been diverted to the neighbnouring port. He noted that the sister company, Grimaldi Lines, has the records of vehicles it shipped to the neighbouring port. It was gathered that the Nigerian port terminal is currently filled with damaged and flood ravaged vehicles from Europe and United States, while luxury vehicles were being diverted to Benin port.

The policy, which attracts 70 per cent levy, was introduced in 2014 to encourage local manufacturing of vehicles and to discourage importation of used cars into country. According to Russo, four years after the auto policy was introduced, Nigerians are yet to ride the much expected made in Nigeria vehicles. He noted that average Nigerian could not afford to pay N10 million for new cars.

The managing director said that roro imports in the country had gone down, leaving an empty space at the terminal. Russo said: “We have Grimaldi lines in different countries and we operate in Cotonou. We have the records of what is going there; I can tell you that over 50 per cent of vehicles which belongs to Nigerians are discharged in Cotonou Port because it is expensive to clear in Nigeria.” Also, Director General of Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), Mr. Muda Yusuf, said that since the policy was introduced, there had been an increase in the price of vehicles by between 100 to 400 per cent.

Yusuf noted that the increase in duties on imported vehicles introduced four years ago to encourage investment in local assembly plants had failed. He explained that inflation had made a new car of 1.8 litre engine capacity to cost as high as N18 million, while a two-litre engine capacity costs N20 million, three-litre new Japanese car costs N30 million, a 30-seater bus costs N45 million and 18-seater bus costs N29 million.

Before now, Customs duties paid for the categories of vehicle include cars, 30 per cent; buses, 15 per cent; trucks, 30 per cent; while completely knocked down vehicles attract five per cent. Other taxes are Comprehensive Import Supervision Scheme (CISS), one per cent; National Automotive Council, two per cent; VAT, five per cent and ECOWAS Trade Liberalisation Scheme (ETLS).

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