Heritage Bank to disburse CBN’s N100bn loan to health, sells FX to SMEs, education sectors
As part of proactive measures to cushion the effect of the COVID-19 and revamp the nation’s dwindling economy, Heritage Bank is set to disburse the N100billion set aside by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
This is in line with the apex bank’s policy to introduce another intervention scheme directed to the health sector, which is known as the NGN100 Billion Credit Support for the Healthcare sector (the Scheme). Specifically, the scheme is to provide credit to indigenous pharmaceutical companies and other healthcare value chain players intending to build or expand capacity.
Also, the CBN resumed provision of foreign exchange to all commercial banks for onward sales to parents wishing to pay schools fees and small medium enterprises (SMEs) with plans to make essential imports needed to revamp economic activities across the country. In particular, the CBN is resuming the provision of over US$100 million per week for both categories.
Meanwhile, Heritage Bank serves as a conduit which will assess and channel the profiles of interested applicants to the CBN while using its platforms to create awareness for the scheme.
The CBN has also made complete arrangements to resume foreign exchange sales to the BDC segment of the market for business travels, personal travels, and other designated retail uses, as soon as international flights resume.
To access the N100bn loans provided by the CBN for firms in the healthcare sector, a corporate entity must submit its application to a participating financial institution (PFI) which could be either a Deposit Money Bank or a Development Finance Institution of its choice with a bankable business plan.
It stated in its latest guidelines that the PFI must appraise and conduct due diligence on the application; and upon approval by the PFI’s credit committee, the application would be submitted to the apex bank with relevant documents attached.
The CBN would process and disburse funds to the PFI for onward release to the project, it added.
The CBN stated that the PFI must receive and review applications submitted by its customers; undertake due diligence based on normal business considerations, and bear the credit risk.
They must also issue offer letters and forward qualified applications to the CBN; disburse the released funds to successful applicants; monitor the project and recover the loans from the beneficiaries, and maintain adequate records of all beneficiaries and facilities.
It requires the PFIs to register all movable assets with the National Collateral Registry; forward periodic returns in the prescribed format on the scheme to the CBN; comply with the guidelines, and carry out any other duties as the CBN may prescribe from time to time.
According to the CBN, eligible participants under the scheme comprise healthcare product manufacturers – pharmaceutical drugs and medical equipment; and healthcare service providers/medical facilities – hospitals/clinics, diagnostic centres/laboratories, fitness and wellness centres, rehabilitation centres, dialysis centres and blood banks, among others.
Others include pharmaceutical/medical products distribution and logistics services; and other human healthcare service providers as may be determined by the CBN from time to time.
Eligible activities under the scheme would include manufacturing of pharmaceutical drugs and medical equipment; establishment/expansion/upgrade of basic and specialised healthcare facilities; and medical/pharmaceutical supplies.
Others are medical/pharmaceutical research and development; distribution of medical/pharmaceutical drugs and supplies; Manufacturing of medical/pharmaceutical drugs distribution technology; and any other healthcare value chain activity as may be prescribed by the CBN.
The CBN said the term loan had a maximum of N2billion per obligor; and the interest rate under the intervention would not be more than five per cent per annum up until February 28, 2021; and that interest on the facility would revert to nine percent as from March 2021.
To access further details on the modalities, interested persons and institutions can logon Heritage Bank’s website (www.hbng.com).
Sterling Bank Declares Bounty At 61st AGM
– Sterling Bank Declares Bounty At 61st AGM
Lagos, Nigeria: The shareholders of one of Africa’s fastest growing companies, Sterling Bank, have commended the board of directors, executive management and staff of the bank on its remarkable financial performance for the 2022 year, resulting in a recommendation of dividends of 15 kobo per ordinary share; a fifty percent increase from that paid in 2021. The shareholders gave this commendation at the 61st annual general meeting of the bank held in Lagos on Wednesday.
Speaking at the meeting, Mr. Rilwan Hamza, one of the shareholders, commended the board members and staff of the bank for the wonderful financial performance while another shareholder, Mr. Boniface Okezie, expressed delight at the level of transparency displayed by the board and commended them for the improved dividend payout.
The shareholders urged the board to make the most of the transition into a financial holdings company and establish more subsidiaries that will drive even more growth and increase shareholder value.
The bank’s strong performance for the 2022 financial year was derived from growth in its assets base and customers’ deposits by 14.4 percent and 9.8 percent respectively. This is despite strong economic headwinds experienced by the Nigerian economy in the year under review.
Addressing shareholders of the bank at the first meeting as a limited liability company, following its ongoing transformation into a holding company structure, Chairman of the bank; Mr. Asue Ighodalo remarked that, “Despite the challenges during 2022, our performance reflected our resilience and determination to deliver optimal value for our shareholders. We are pleased that we closed the year on a good note.”
Mr. Ighodalo said the bank grew profit before tax to N 20.8 billion, representing a 29 percent year-on-year increase from N 16.1 billion recorded in 2021, and a 28.5 percent growth in profit after taxes (PAT) to achieve the sum of N19.3 billion for 2022.
He said the PAT growth was driven by an N18.6 billion improvement in net operating income amidst heightened inflationary pressure and regulatory policies, adding that the gross earnings grew by 16.6 percent to N175.1 billion compared to N150.2 billion reported in 2021.
On business outlook for the year, the Chairman noted that “We remain very optimistic about our bank’s future and are devoted to effectively transforming our business to deliver optimal performance, and significantly offer superior services to millions of Nigerians.
“We are steadfast in our commitment to lead with best-in-class customer experience, establish a work environment that helps our employees became the best versions of themselves, become even more socially responsible as an institution, and create immense value for our shareholders.”
The Chairman said, “Our transformation into a holding company structure will allow shareholders and customers to maintain continued exposure to the bank’s existing lines of business and gain exposure to new business lines that will enhance shareholder value.”
“As we chart a new future for our organization, the expanded company structure will give us the renewed ambition to conquer new ground and solve more problems.”
The bank has maintained and increased momentum in 2023 with her citation as Africa’s Most Valuable Commercial Bank Brand for 2023 by the African Brand Magazine , in a poll conducted by GeoPoll and Kantar; two of the world’s leading brand research firms, a top three employer in Nigeria by LinkedIn in the social network’s annual Top 25 List, and most recently, one of the top 100 fastest growing companies in Africa by the prestigious Financial Times.
Renowned for its now famous HEART of Sterling strategy; which focuses major investments in the Health, Education, Agriculture, Renewable Energy and Transportation sectors of the Nigerian economy, its irreverent brand voice and enviable talent management practices, the lender recently completed a major milestone towards the completion of its transformation into a financial holdings company with the relisting of its shares on the floor of the Nigerian Exchange (NGX).
Shareholders Commend Wema Bank Management on Good Corporate Performance
Shareholders Commend Wema Bank Management on Good Corporate Performance
Naira devaluation’s fake news, says CBN
Naira devaluation’s fake news, says CBN
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has debunked a report by a national daily that it has devalued the naira to N631 per dollar at the Importers and Exporters’ (I&E) window.
A top official of the apex bank, who told this medium that the report is completely false , warned that such reports could have serious adverse consequences for the economy.
According to the top official, the CBN has not changed its strategy of allowing a gradual convergence of the parallel and official market exchange rates.
“The report is not true. The CBN has not devalued the naira. The exchange rate of the naira on the FMDQ website as at yesterday was N464.67 per dollar. The authors of the report may have their own agenda, but the CBN’s plan is that the best approach is to allow for a gradual convergence of all the rates.”
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