Zenith Bank
Business and Economy

Business and Economy (203)

Zenith Bank Plc has released its half-year 2014 results, declaring a profit after tax of N46.669bn for the bank.

The bank’s PAT for the six-month period ended June 30, 2014 is 18.13 per cent higher than the N39.508bn it declared for the same period of 2013.

The result, which the bank filed with the Nigerian Stock Exchange, showed that it grew its profit before tax by 19.67 per cent to N55.575bn from the N46.422bn it recorded in the first half of 2013.

According to the result, the bank’s gross earnings at N174.569bn for the half-year period under review is 14.21 per cent higher than the N152.843bn it realised in the same period of last year.

The bank’s total assets for the period stood at N2.879tn, 11.03 per cent higher than the figure for the corresponding period of 2013, which was N2.593tn.

Zenith Bank Plc’s consolidated financial statements for the six-month period ended June 30, 2014 showed that the group grew its gross earnings by 7.84 per cent to N184.434bn when compared to the N171.024bn it posted for the same period of 2013.

Like the bank, the group’s profit before tax and profit after tax also appreciated.

While profit before tax was up by 11.08 per cent from N52.090bn to N57.859bn, the group’s profit after tax rose by 8.25 per cent to N47.445bn from N43.826bn.

Also, the group’s total assets rose by 15.21 per cent from N2.781tn to N3.204tn, the result showed.

The consolidated and separate interim financial statements for the bank and subsidiary companies of Zenith Bank Plc were signed by the Group Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Peter Amangbo, and Executive Director, Mr. Ebenezer Onyeagwu.

The bank had in the 2013 financial year grown its profit before tax by 8.3 per cent from N102bn at the end of the 2012 financial year, to N110bn; while its gross earnings also rose by 14.5 per cent to N351bn, up from N307bn recorded the previous year.

The result also showed that net assets rose by 10 per cent from N462bn at the end of 2012, to N509bn in the year under review.

In March, the bank announced it would pay a dividend of N1.75 per share to its shareholders for the 2013 financial year.

A month later, in April, it announced that it recorded 200 per cent over-subscription of its $500m Eurobond issue.

The $500m Eurobond is under a $1bn Global Medium Term Note programme announced by the bank on April 1, 2014.

The bank had said in a statement that its weeklong investors’ roadshow, co-ordinated by Goldman Sachs and Citibank, had received an overwhelming endorsement by a diversified group of global investors from Europe, the United States, Africa, Asia and the Middle East, Zenith said in a statement.

According to the statement, investor’s perception of Zenith’s domestic market leadership and its strong balance sheet defined by its liquidity, asset quality and capital adequacy are among the major factors driving the overwhelming acceptance of the bank’s first ever debt issue.

Nigerian Breweries (NB), in a filing on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) on Monday, said  its half-year pretax profit grew to N33.88 billion, up 14.4 percent from N29.60 billion a year ago.

Turnover also rose to N141.49 billion in the six months to June 30, compared with N133.81 billion in the same period of last year.

Profit after tax at the local unit of Dutch brewer Heineken grew 15.5 percent to N23.87 billion from N20.66 billion recorded a year earlier.

Activities at the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) on Thursday closed on a downward trend after three consecutive days of equity rallies across the floors of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE).

NAN reports that the market capitalisation which opened at N14.208 trillion lost N37 billion to close at N14.171 trillion due to profit taking.

The All-Share Index depreciated by 111.75 points or 0.26 per cent to close at 42,918.52, compared with 43,030.27 declared on Wednesday following price depreciation.

Forte Oil recorded the highest price loss, shedding N2 to close at N238 per share.

Dealers at the Nigeria stock Exchange

Dealers at the Nigeria stock Exchange

Guinness trailed with a loss of N1.8 to close at N197.1, while GTBank dipped N1 to close at N30 per share.

Oando Oil lost 92k to close at N25.65, while Lafarge Wapco depreciated by 85k to close at N119 per share.

On the other hand, Mobil led the gainers’ chart by N7.35 to close at N154.5 per share.

PZ Cussons gained N1.99 to close at N37.99, while NNFM grew by N1.02 to close at N19.79 per share.

Julius Berger appreciated by 72k to close at N65, while Total chalked up 6k to close at N180.2 per share.

Fidelity Bank emerged as the most traded stock, accounting for 44.83 million shares worth N87.49 million.

FBN Holdings exchanged 40.58 million shares valued at N652.39 million, while Nascon sold 38.59 million shares worth 399.91 million.

In all, investors traded 365.252 million shares worth N4.43 billion in 4,904 deals compared with 317.158 million shares valued at N3.06 billion traded in 5,098 deals on Wednesday.

The Economic Community of West African States (Ecowas) is to introduce a Community Regional Citizens Biometric Identity cards, officials said.

Ghana’s President John Mahama has described the move as welcome because “our people must be able to move freely in West Africa and enjoy all the opportunities opening up in our members states”.

“Its biometric features should make it easy to carry out any quick verification of identity at anytime and anywhere in the sub-region,” President Mahama said, when he opened the 45th ordinary session of the Ecowas heads of state Thursday.

The identity card, together with the implementation of a Common External Tariff (CET) regime on January 1, 2015 are likely to speed up the integration of the region.

The irony is that, President Mahama, as the current chairman of Ecowas, was facing a stiff opposition from members of the Ghana Union Traders Association (GUTA) who are opposed to foreign traders, mostly Nigerians in the country’s markets.

They have already given President Mahama an ultimatum to send out the foreign traders.

President Mahama said, the implementation of the CET, which was intended to integrate customs and duties, would help reduce delays at the borders.

Illegal checkpoints

He was hopeful that, members states and officials of the Ecowas commission would push the CET agenda in order to ensure importers in the region were “well informed to become strong advocates and stakeholders in the implementation of the common external tariff”.

CET has four tariff bands or rates of custom duty; nil per cent for essential goods, goods of primary nature including raw materials, five per cent, intermediate products, 20 per cent and final consumption products, 20 per cent.

He urged members states, particularly, border officials “to take all the legal and necessary steps to remove all challenges or bottlenecks to trade and commercial activities within our region”, adding that, “the lingering difficulties that many enterprising West Africans citizens face in doing business across our borders must be addressed”.

“Some of our business men and women complain that in addition to paying all the relevant duties and levies, they are still confronted with situations and hindrances that often make it prohibitive for them to do business within our region,” President Mahama said.

He mentioned some of the obstacles as, “the multiplicity of legal and illegal checkpoints and barriers, lengthy inspection times and documentation requirements, plus costly delays-regardless of whether documentation is complete or not”.

Two former top officials of Sierra Leone's Health ministry have been convicted for embezzling the Global Alliance for Vaccine and Immunisation (GAVI) funds.

Dr Magnus Ken Gborie and Dr Edward Magbity were convicted following the trial that began in March 2013.

And Sierra Leone's Anti-Corruption Commission is rejoicing over the first custodial sentences imposed in the captivating trial involving the Health ministry.

The money they embezzled is partly donated by multi-billionaire Bill Gates, and whose support to the country was rudely interrupted in 2012.

Following a Financial management assessment, the organisation had found that about half $500,000 of aid money was unaccounted for and subsequent investigations revealed that senior officials at the ministry of Health and Sanitation had diverted the cash into personal accounts.

The funds were for the disbursements in 2008 and 2009.

The situation prompted GAVI to pull the plug on $6 million which it was set to spend on the Sierra Leone programme.

The case received wider attention because of the initial implication of a former Health minister Zainab Bangura (she is now the UN envoy on Sexual Violence in Conflict).

She was later cleared of any wrong doing.

Mandatory jail term

The Sierra Leone Government had issued swift indictments on 17 officials, including a Permanent Secretary and the chief medical director.

GAVI, which is partly funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, demanded as condition for its continued support, that the culprits be tried and punished.

It only resumed funding on receiving assurances from the anti-graft body that its funds would be protected and the case against the suspects pursued.

However, the Anti-Corruption Commission went on to lose a string of the cases, casting doubt about the chances of the real culprits being convicted.

Dr Gborie was the director of Planning and Information and was responsible for the implementation of the GAVI Health Sector Support while Dr Magbity was the Principal Monitoring and Evaluation Officer at the Directorate of Planning and Information.

In addition to the mandatory jail term, they paid a combined fine of over $200,000.

GAVI's support to Sierra Leone, which last year totalled over $24 million since 2000, covers access to services and strengthening of civil society engagement in the health sector.

But it is mostly focused on vaccines for child diseases like tetanus, whooping cough and hepatitis B.

"It goes without saying that the activities of these convicts provide no incentive to the donor community for further and continued intervention in the health sector," said presiding High Court judge M.A. Paul on passing judgment.

The fate of the $500 million Geometric Power project remains in the balance, as the National Council on Privatisation (NCP) and the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) continue to dither amid mounting calls for the prompt resolution of the dispute over the controversial sale of distribution assets in the Aba area to the well-connected Interstate Electrics.

Geometric Power, which is promoted by Bart Nnaji, former power minister, is perhaps the most modern power station in sub-Saharan Africa, but its ability to light up Aba, the commercial hub of the southeast region, has been compromised by the suspicious sale of assets which had been pledged to it under a 2006 understanding reached with the Federal Government.

The power plant has capacity to produce about 141 megawatts (MW) of electricity in its first phase, with new distribution lines, four new sub-stations and three rehabilitated sub-stations. Each plant is to produce 47 MW of power, supported by a 60 MVA per transformer.

On May 11, 2004, the Federal Government, the now defunct National Electric Power Authority (NEPA) and Geometric Power Limited (GPL) entered into and executed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) under which GPL was granted the exclusive right to construct a 3 x 35 MW open cycle gas turbine power plant and designated sub-stations in Aba, Abia State, which would generate electric power for distribution by Aba Power Limited (APL) to residential and commercial customers and to industrial clusters in a ring-fenced island in Aba.

Electric Power transmission

The government, NEPA and APL executed a lease agreement on April 28, 2005 for the distribution of power to the ring-fenced residential and commercial consumers at Aba. By the terms of the agreement, NEPA assigned its right to distribute electric power in the ring-fenced island of Owerri-nta, Osisioma, Ogbor Hill, Factory Road, and Port Harcourt Road in Aba, and also leased its distribution facilities within the contract area.

A supplementary agreement was made on August 31, 2006 between the Federal Government represented by the minister of power and steel, Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) and Enugu Distribution Company (EDC), and Geometric Power Limited. EDC and TCN were substituted for NEPA as parties to the lease agreement of 2005 and assumed their respective obligations.

The power project was conceived on the enclave model so it could have unfettered line to the 2.3 million people of Aba, through existing distribution assets which were to be sold to Geometric for further modernisation.

In view of this, BPE duly set up a special purpose vehicle (SPV) called Aba Disco Limited in 2006 to hold these assets for the purpose of their sale to Geometric Power or its agents.

However, a spanner was thrown into the works last year, when the BPE went ahead to sell the assets as part of Enugu Disco during the 2013 privatisation exercise, thereby shutting out Geometric.

BusinessDay learnt that Atedo Peterside, chairman, Technical Committee on Privatisation of the NCP, had in a recent position paper to the NCP recommended that the power distribution assets in Aba, which had previously been unbundled and a value for them ascertained by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), be withdrawn from the 2013 privatisation transaction with Interstate Electrics and sold to Geometric, as was originally intended.

Instead of adopting this position for implementation by BPE, the NCP has curiously set up a panel headed by acclaimed accountant, Emmanuel Ijewere, to liaise with parties concerned to find a workable solution to the debacle.

BusinessDay investigation shows that instead of going ahead with Peterside’s recommendation, the BPE has complicated matters by suggesting that Geometric and Interstate be encouraged to reach an agreement, which has so far been elusive.

It was the same BPE that isolated the distribution assets in Aba and placed them under the SPV; it was the same BPE that put information about this and the intention not to sell these assets as part of Enugu Disco, which was acquired by Interstate, and it is the same BPE that has so far shied away from enforcing its own rules regarding the matter.

Many believe that this otherwise simple matter has become complicated and is now victim of high-wire politics involving Vice President Namadi Sambo, who as chairman of the NCP, has so far refrained from making a clear order for the correction of the mistake made by selling power distribution assets in Aba to Interstate Electrics.

“If we cannot guarantee the investment of one of our own, what right has the government in seeking foreign investment into the country? This is simply laughable,” said one industry analyst.

According to him, the NCP’s prevarication now puts to question the government’s much-avowed claim to be seeking investment into Nigeria and in this case the power sector, which is one of President Goodluck Jonathan’s cardinal programmes.

Sources close to the presidency say the spate of information in the public domain on the Geometric issue has been a source of huge embarrassment to the president, but it remains a mystery why no concrete action has been taken to resolve the matter.  

Another analyst said Nnaji and his co-investors, such as banks, were the only serious group offering to commit any private funds to developing power assets in Nigeria as early as 2006 when all others shied away, unsure of the seriousness of the government’s power privatisation programme.

As the future of the over $500 million Aba power plant still hangs in the balance, the darkness and misery being experienced by the 2.3 million people of Aba and its environs continue.

A group of minority shareholders has raised concerns about the deal proposing a combination of the Nigeria and South Africa businesses of Lafarge Cement Wapco plc.
South Africa based fund management company, Coronation Fund Managers, which says it has more than $200 million invested in the Nigerian equity market, with $10 million of that amount across its Africa funds in Lafarge,
said the deal is unfavourable to minority shareholders of the company.

The complaint comes ahead of next week’s voting by Nigerian shareholders to approve the deal.

The Fund raised three points of concern relating in particular to pricing and valuation, suggesting that these have been skewed against minority shareholders in Nigeria in particular.

“The price being paid by Lafarge WAPCO of N215.3billion ($1.35billion) for incremental earnings of N10.3billion,implies a price earnings multiple of 20.9x for the acquired assets,while Lafarge Wapco currently trades on a 12.5x multiple,” Coronation stated in a letter sent to BusinessDay.

It noted that,“by issuing shares at a rating that is 67% lower than the rating on the acquired assets, minority shareholders are greatly prejudiced.” It complained about the basis of arriving at a higher valuation for the South African assets, a market it said was ‘slow growing and in a mature market.’

“Of the $1.35billion deal, 60% relates to the South Africa assets. These assets are slow growing and operate in a mature market. Lafarge S.A are looking to sell their SA assets in exchange for shares in Lafarge WAPCO, an undervalued, high growth company operating in one of the most attractive cement markets on the continent. Lafarge S.A will have increased their shareholding in Lafarge WAPCO from 60% to 73% following the deal at the expense of minority shareholders,” Coronation explained.

Lafarge-Cement

But Joe Hudson, managing director/CEO, Lafarge Cement WAPCO, in an exclusive interview with BusinessDay, said there were no fears to be entertained by minority shareholders, describing the deal as ‘fair to all.’

Hudson explained that KPMG Professional Services did fairness evaluation of the deal after Standard Chartered Bank’s deal valuation, insisting that negotiation for the deal was done by Nigerian directors, and not by Lafarge.

“We believe that this is such a good deal for minority shareholders. They should carry the way at the voting. Some of the minority shareholders including Coronation have asked us for more information about the deal and we have provided them enough, even on our website,” he said.

According to him the new entity will have nationwide coverage in both Nigeria and South Africa, with cement capacity of about 12 million tonnes, as well as operations in aggregates, ready-mix and fly ash. He added that the strong operational track record and management skills within the combined businesses, as well as continued support and expertise from Lafarge Group would position Lafarge Africa to offer a full range of value added solutions to meet customers’ needs.

“There are multiple ways of evaluating a deal. What we are paying for is a great value for shareholders. We see a lot of potentials in the deal. It is a cash positive business. It is a steady market; we are also managing our risk to leverage and build further expansions in Africa,” he stressed.

Hudson explained further: “When you invest, you have to decide on your strategy. For us, cement business is a long term business. In the medium to long term, we have a lot of hope in the business. This deal is the only way to make the most of the opportunities that are out there for us in Africa.

“The only way is to create a platform for growth. Nigerians are very excited about the deal. This will also provide a platform for liquidity in the market. Our intention is not to increase our shareholding, but to create liquidity in the market. We also want a greater platform for expansion.”

Chief Financial Officer, Anders Kristiansson, wading in during the interview, told BusinessDay that, “with this investment, we have the potential to grow our balance sheet, leveraging on the potentials of the markets.

“We met with the shareholders in South Africa, including Coronation Fund Managers. We also had meetings with analysts, where we made presentations before a road show,” he said of the process leading up the deal’s announcement.

Barely one month ago, Lafarge Group disclosed its intention to transfer all of its shares in its businesses in Nigeria and South Africa into Lafarge Cement WAPCO Nigeria plc (Lafarge Wapco), a deal which when finalised will
result in Lafarge Cement WAPCO Nigeria plc being renamed Lafarge Africa plc.

Lafarge Africa, owned 73% by Lafarge Group, will remain listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange. Under the proposed terms, Lafarge Group will transfer its direct and indirect shareholdings in Lafarge South Africa Holdings (Pty) Limited (100%- representing 72.4% of underlying companies in South Africa), United Cement Company of Nigeria Limited (35%), Ashakacem Plc (58.61%) and Atlas Cement Company Limited (100%) to Lafarge Wapco.

The transaction will be concluded through a cash consideration of $200million and the issuance of 1,402,575,984 Lafarge Africa shares to Lafarge Group.
The transaction which is subject to Lafarge Wapco shareholder approvals next week and requires regulatory and other customary authorisations, will be completed in second-half (H2) of 2014. Lafarge will next week be seeking shareholders consent for this deal.

 

With the green light now given by the Federal Government, Oando plc, Nigeria’s leading indigenous energy group listed on both the Nigerian and Johannesburg Stock Exchanges, is poised to seal the acquisition of the Nigerian assets of United States oil major ConocoPhillips, which will boost its oil production to about 50,000 barrels per day (bpd).

With its output set to skyrocket from about 5,000 bpd to the new record high, Oando now joins the class of independents such as United Kingdom-listed Afren and Seplat Petroleum Development Company.

Oando Energy Resources (OER), the upstream business of Oando plc, yesterday announced the receipt of the consent of the minister of petroleum resources for the acquisition of the Nigerian upstream oil and gas business of ConocoPhillips for a total cash consideration of $1.65 billion subject to customary adjustments.

Confirming this in a statement by Ainojie ‘Alex’ Irune, head of corporate communication, Oando plc, the company said though it had successfully acquired all funds required to complete its acquisition of the assets, closing of the ConocoPhillips acquisition had remained subject to the satisfaction of certain closing conditions, including government and regulatory approval, and the consent of the minister of petroleum resources.

On December 20, 2012, Oando had announced that OER had entered into agreements with ConocoPhillips to acquire its entire business interests in Nigeria.

The acquisition of ConocoPhillips’ Nigerian upstream oil and gas business is expected to position OER as one of the leading indigenous independent exploration and production (E&P) players in the country, as measured by total reserves and production.

“We are delighted to receive the approval of the Honourable Minister of Petroleum Resources for the completion of our acquisition,” said Wale Tinubu, group chief executive, Oando plc and chairman, OER. 

“It has been a long journey, wherein we kept faith with our strategy and executed every milestone diligently. This acquisition satisfies our criteria for assets in production, as well as excellent appraisal and exploration prospects. We will work hand-in-hand with the management team of ConocoPhillips to immediately complete the acquisition,” Tinubu said.

OER, which is listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange, had in its latest extensions in May said the outside date for completion of the proposed acquisition of ConocoPhillips’ assets had been extended to June 30, 2014 from April 30, 2014.

The extension was to enable the companies to satisfy all closing conditions, including the anticipated consent of the minister of petroleum resources. The company had on January 31, 2014 said it had completed all the financials for the closure of the acquisition and was awaiting the ministerial consent.

Oando plans to hold the shareholder meeting on February 18.

Oando plans to hold the shareholder meeting on February 18.

OER and ConocoPhillips agreed to extend the outside date for completion of the acquisition from January 31 to February 28. It was later moved to March 31, April 30, and then to June 30.

“Oando should be congratulated for being able to build on their portfolio. For the industry it demonstrates that the policy of capacity building in terms of indigenous participation in the upstream is yielding some dividends and we are beginning to see it,” said Emmanuel Usanga, a senior industry professional.

OER believes that the ConocoPhillips acquisition represents a ‘game-changing’ opportunity for the company and its shareholders, with a 20-percent working interest in the Nigerian Agip Oil Company JV, which includes 41 discovered oil and gas fields with remaining oil and gas recovery, about 40 identified prospects and leads, 12 production stations, about 1,490 km of crude oil, natural gas liquids and natural gas pipelines, three gas processing plants, the Brass River Oil Terminal, the Kwale-Okpai 480 MW combined cycle gas-fired power plant, and associated infrastructure.

There are about 36,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boepd) based on average production between January and December 2013, according to ConocoPhillips. There are also about 211 million barrels of oil equivalent (MMboe) of proved plus probable reserves, 484 MMboe of best estimate economic contingent resources, and about 239 MMboe of risked prospective resources, according to a report dated December 31, 2013, prepared by OER’s independent resource and reserve auditors, Petrenel.

The deal comprises the indirect acquisition of all of the shares of Phillips Oil Company Nigeria Limited, Phillips Deepwater Exploration Nigeria Limited and Conoco Exploration and Production Nigeria Limited.

Pade Durotoye, OER chief executive officer, had in December 2012 described the transaction as “a transformational step forward” for the company, adding that it was in keeping with their overall strategy to grow their portfolio of Nigeria-based assets by focusing on those opportunities that deliver high quality growth in reserves and production.

“Our management team is familiar with the assets contained in this proposed transaction and, we believe, possesses the regional experience and technical expertise necessary to capture and unlock their future value for our shareholders,” he said.

The company had paid an initial deposit of $450 million, and has received additional funds through debt commitment letters from financial institutions ($815 million), private placement of shares ($200 million), and the recent sale of its EHGC asset to Seven Energy for $250 million.

Ministerial consent is the mandatory final approval of all oil and gas acquisitions by the minister of petroleum resources as required by the Petroleum Act of 1969, which states that “prior consent of the minister of petroleum resources is obtained before the assignment of any right, power or interest in an oil prospecting licence or oil mining lease”.

The Act stipulates that the Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources must conduct due diligence to ensure ownership is being transferred to a company that is of good reputation, has sufficient knowledge, experience and financial resources to work the licence or lease and in all other respects is acceptable to the Federal Government. Consent of the minister may only be granted where the minister is satisfied that the above conditions have been fully met.

Banks and businesses in Nigeria are ruminating on how to respond to a new law on taxation by the United States of America aimed at plugging revenue loopholes.

The new law known as the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) requires citizens of the US, including individuals who live outside its space, to report their financial accounts held outside of the US. The law also requires foreign financial institutions to report to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) about their US clients.

US citizens who own businesses or work in Nigeria, as well as Nigerians who are behind businesses situated in the United States, are targets in this move by the US government, analyst say.

However, the major concern of banks and businesses in Nigeria is the non-existence of an Inter-governmental Agreement (IGA) between the country and the United States Treasury Department on Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA). This has left many foreign financial institutions (FFIs), particularly banks, considering the risks of playing safe in this jurisdiction.

 

The US Congress said it enacted FATCA to make it more difficult for US taxpayers to conceal assets held in offshore accounts and shell corporations, and thus to recoup federal tax revenues.

On July 1, 2014, FATCA withholding payment begins on US source FDAP (Fixed, Determinable, Annual, Periodical) payments to new account holders identified as non-participating foreign financial institutions, recalcitrant account holders, and passive non-financial foreign entities (NFFEs) with undisclosed substantial US owners. It will require account opening procedures to include FATCA due diligence for new accounts.

At an interactive seminar on FATCA organised in Lagos, Tuesday, by the banking, finance and tax practices arm of Dentons, a global law firm, and Jackson, Etti & Edu, a leading Nigerian law firm, participants were unanimous in their submission that compliance with the provisions of FATCA was more profitable than avoidance. South Africa is the only African country that has signed the agreement in substance.

Samuel Ogungbesan, director, Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), acknowledged that the task of complying with FATCA provisions was worthwhile, adding that “the FIRS keeps negotiating treaties with other countries relating to tax and other revenue collections”.

“Most of the countries we engage are those that have centralised taxpayer data. It is not the same thing with us in Nigeria. We don’t have centralised taxpayer data, yet we have got to negotiate. We must be able to get information from everywhere, no matter what it takes,” Ogungbesan said at the seminar themed ‘Are Nigerian financial institutions ready for FATCA?’.

“The question is, how do we go about it? It is all about providing information of US citizens in Nigeria doing business or providing information of non-US citizens who are hiding behind companies in the US,” he said.

He said FIRS was ready to support banks, adding that the question to ask was who should drive/supervise it.

“We are trying to be careful. We know this is what we will do, but we need to carry along the Ministry of Finance and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). The rules are there; compliance is the issue,” Ogungbesan said.

Jeremy Cape, tax partner, Dentons (a UK-based firm rated as an African-wide tax expert by Chambers Global), observed that the way FATCA worked in the United States might be very different from the way it might work here in Nigeria and other countries.

Investors on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) on Tuesday staked N4.06 billion on 313.087 million shares in 5,066 deals.

The volume of transactions represented a 71.95 per cent increase over the 182.084 million shares worth N1.96 billion, traded in 4,517 deals on Monday.

Custodians emerged the most traded equity, accounting for 56.12 million shares valued at N199.22 million.

Mansard Insurance came second on the activity chart with 21.52 million shares worth N55.97 million, while Transcorp accounted for 20.49 million shares valued at N92.84 million.

Oando Oil traded 20.34 million shares worth N467.52 million, while Zenith Bank exchanged a total of 17.46 million shares valued at N436.12 million.

However, the NSE’s All-Share Index depreciated by 313.70 points or 0.76 per cent to close at 41,135.70, as against the 41,449.51 achieved on Monday.

Similarly, the market capitalisation dropped by N104 billion or 0.76 per cent, to close at N13.582 trillion, from the N13.686 trillion posted on Monday.

Nestle led the losers’ chart by N10, to close at N1,060 per share.

Nigerian Breweries trailed with a loss of N8.58 to close at N164.42, while ConOil dropped N7.08 to close at N65.65 per share.

GTBank depreciated by N1.40 to close at N30.20 and ETI dipped by N1.05 to close at N14.82 per share.

Conversely, MRS recorded the highest price gain of N3.36 to close at N51.36 per share.

It was followed by Oando Oil, which gained N2.15 to close at N23.15, while Dangote Cement appreciated by N2 to close at N229 per share.

Unilever chalked up 70k to close at N50, while Caverton rose by 41k to close at N5.89 per share.

NAN

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