AMIDST controversy stirred by the International Monetary Fund, IMF, asking Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria AMCON, to wind up, Mustafa Chike-Obi, AMCON managing director, has said the corporation needs 10 years to clean up the nation’s financial system. The IMF had, in a report released March 28, said that its board of directors commended the Nigerian authorities’ success in restoring the financial stability after the 2009 banking crisis. In the light of this achievement, it recommended the winding down operations of the corporation to curb moral hazard and fiscal risks.
But Chike-Obi said that it was surprising that the IMF should make such a call without telling them how to do it and within what time frame. “We are aware that the IMF has its hands full on banking crises all over the Euro zone that they have been struggling to solve. Therefore, it is strange to hear such a comment in a country where the crisis has been resolved. It is part of our place to slow down AMCON’s activities, but the comment the IMF made is baffling.”
However, Scott Roggers, IMF senior resident representative in Nigeria, said the Fund did not recommend immediate closure of AMCON but that it should begin to wind down between 2013 and 2017. AMCON said April 2, said that it had stopped buying bad loans. “We are not buying anymore non-performing loans, Chike-Obi said.
Zenith Bank’s Unassailed Industry Leadership
Zenith Bank Plc has said that the profit after tax for the financial year ending December 2012 was N100.68 billion, representing a 106.7 percent increase from the N48.70 billion it recorded in 2011. Its profit before tax for the period was N102.10 billion, up by 51.4 percent from the N67.44 billion recorded in 2011. The gross earnings of the bank rose by 25.88 percent from N243.94 billion to N307.08 billion indicating an increasing market share.
A statement by the bank said: “the much-expected result confirms the bank’s leadership position in the industry as it became the first to cross the N100 billion profit after tax mark in a financial year.” The bank said that the result showed its continuous leadership position in the industry with total assets plus contingents of N2.60 trillion, representing an increase over the N2.30 trillion recorded in 2011.
New Capital Market Makers
The Nigerian Stock Exchange, NSE, has unveiled 13 stockbroking firm that will complement the primary market makers, PMM in the capital market. The firms include some old PMM such as FBN securities Limited, Stanbic IBTC Stockbrokers, Grenwich Securities Limited, Renaisance Capital Limited and Capital Bancorp Limited.
The supplementary market makers are Cordros Capital Limited, Patnership Investment Company Plc, UBA Securities Limited, Apital Assets Limited, FSDH Securities Limited, Investmen One Limited, Magnatis Investment Finance Limited and FCSL Asset Management Limited. The Exchange said this was in line with its effort to ensure liquidity and deepening of the market. Twenty-three firms applied but only 13 were successful.
$3.04 Million for Malawi’s Power Feasibility Studies
African Development Bank, AfDB, Group has approved, a grant amounting to $3.04 million to finance the Kholombidzo Hydroelectric Power Plant, HPP, feasibility studies in Malawi March 25. The government of Malawi will contribute $0.23 million (7 percent) of the total study cost of $3.27 million. The grant aims to produce a full bankable feasibility study for the future development of a power generation project to contribute to the expansion of electricity generating capacity in Malawi.
The expansion will ultimately help to address electricity shortages and enable the delivery of reliable energy and electricity access expansion in Malawi. The study is consistent with the objectives of the Malawi Growth and Development Strategy II, MGDS II, which emphasises the importance of putting in place a foundation for long-term economic growth through improved infrastructure and investment climate.
By supporting the study, the African Development Fund will be contributing to facilitating investment in the provision of electricity needed for supporting economic growth and poverty reduction. The initiative also presents an opportunity for knowledge sharing from previous experiences in other member countries.
Compiled By Maureen Chigbo
— Apr. 15, 2013 @ 01:00 GMT