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AGUSTO & CO UPGRADES WEMA BANK’S RATING TO Bbb+ WITH ESG SCORE OF 2

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AGUSTO & CO UPGRADES WEMA BANK’S RATING TO Bbb+ WITH ESG SCORE OF 2

…Confirms Stable Financial Outlook for the Bank

Following its strong 2023 financial performance, Wema Bank, Nigeria’s foremost innovative bank and pioneer of Africa’s first fully digital bank, ALAT, has received an upgraded rating from Agusto & Co, validating the Bank as Bbb+ rated with an ESG Score of 2 and confirming a stable outlook for the Bank.

Agusto & Co is a Pan-African credit rating agency and leading provider of industry research and knowledge in Nigeria and Sub-Saharan Africa.

By upgrading Wema Bank’s rating from BBB to BBB+, Agusto has confirmed that Wema Bank is of stable financial standing and more equipped than ever to keep fulfilling its duties as a commercial bank with National authorization.

This development is unsurprising as Wema Bank’s financial strength is reflected in the Bank’s FY 2023 Audited Financial Report. Among the outstanding results achieved by Wema Bank was a 196% increase in Profit Before Tax (PBT) from N14.75bn to N43.59bn translating to higher pre-tax return on average equity (ROE) and pre-tax return on average assets (ROA) from 21.5% to 43.9% and 1% to 2.1% respectively. The Bank also recorded a 220.4% increase in Profit After Tax (PAT) from N11.21bn to N33.66bn, 70.63% increase in Gross Earnings from N132.30bn to N225.75, 53.64% increase in Loans disbursed from N521.43bn to N801.10bn, a reduction in cost-to-income ratio (CIR) from 80.1% to 64.4% due to significant earnings growth despite economic fluctuations and 220.53% increase in Earnings per share from N87.2 to N279.5, among other indices.

According to Agusto & Co, “The upgrade of Wema Bank’s rating to Bbb+ is underpinned by improved profitability despite macroeconomic headwinds, lower impaired loan ratio, better deposit mix, strong shareholders’ support as reflected in the successful rights issue exercise and perpetual bond issuance. We have also attached an ESG score of ‘2’, reflecting our view that environmental, social, and governance issues have a minimal impact on Wema Bank’s rating”.

Affirming the Bank’s commitment to providing stakeholders with optimum returns, Moruf Oseni, Wema Bank’s MD/CEO, expressed the Bank’s gratitude to Agusto & Co for acknowledging the strong progress made by the Bank. “Wema Bank is on a journey to the top and we are driven by a commitment to delivering exceptional value, exceeding expectations, and providing optimum returns to every stakeholder—shareholders, customers, employees, and partners alike. It is this commitment that has reflected positively in our numbers and will propel our growth over the next decade”.

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Business

FG Unveils Incentives to Boost Foreign Direct Investments

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– FG offers incentives to attract foreign direct investments
– Incentives include tax breaks, duty waivers, and deferred payments
– NEPZA aims to create a favourable business environment

The Federal Government has announced plans to attract foreign direct investments by offering incentives to businesses operating in Nigeria.

These incentives include customs duty waivers, tax breaks, and deferred payments to alleviate financial burdens.

The Managing Director of Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority, Olufemi Ogunyemi, stated that the move is in response to challenges posed by foreign exchange constraints and unreliable power supply.

He noted that the incentives aim to reduce production costs and encourage companies to maintain their operations within Nigeria.

Ogunyemi emphasized the importance of corporate social responsibility, requiring investors to contribute to societal development through CSR initiatives.

He believes that economic growth should be coupled with sustainable community impact.

The incentives are expected to support existing businesses and attract new ventures looking to establish and expand their operations in Nigeria.

By providing a favourable business environment, NEPZA aims to drive economic growth and development.

 

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Business

SEC Urges Capital Market Stakeholders To Embrace Innovation For Sustainable Growth

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SEC DG.
– SEC urges capital market operators to embrace innovation
– Regulatory Incubation programme to support fintech businesses
– Risk management frameworks essential for market stability

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has emphasized the importance of innovation in driving sustainable growth and development in the capital market.

According to the Director General, Emomotimi Agama, innovation is crucial for efficiency, transparency, and resilience in the market.

Agama stressed that the SEC is committed to supporting innovation and growth through its Regulatory Incubation programme, which allows fintech businesses to operate within a controlled regulatory environment.

This programme aims to ensure investor protection and market stability while fostering financial technology advancements.

The SEC’s efforts are guided by the Revised Capital Market Master Plan (CMMP 2021-2025), which prioritizes technology and innovation to expand the depth and breadth of the Nigerian capital market.

Agama warned stakeholders about associated risks, such as cybersecurity threats and regulatory complexities, and emphasized the need for robust risk management frameworks.

“In its efforts to support innovation and growth in the market, the SEC has established a programme of assessment called Regulatory Incubation to help new fintech businesses,” Agama said.

The SEC will ensure appropriate safeguards are in place to protect investors and maintain market stability.

 

 

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