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Stanbic IBTC Bank Nigeria PMI® – New Order Growth Hits Six-Month High In November

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By Moninuola Sulaiman

…Faster rises in output and new orders

…Inflationary pressures remain elevated

…Business confidence at a survey-record low

By Moninuola Sulaiman

Business conditions continued to improve markedly in the Nigerian private sector during November amid improving demand and higher customer numbers.

In turn, firms expanded their purchasing activity and employment. That said, business confidence dropped to the lowest since the survey began in January 2014. Meanwhile, inflationary pressures remained elevated, often reflecting currency weakness.

The headline figure derived from the survey is the Purchasing Managers’ Index™ (PMI®). Readings above 50.0 signal an improvement in business conditions in the previous month, while readings below 50.0 show a deterioration.

The headline PMI rose to 54.3 in November from 53.6 in October, pointing to a solid monthly improvement in business conditions in the Nigerian private sector. The health of the private sector has now strengthened in 29 successive months, with the latest improvement the most pronounced since April.

New business increased at the fastest pace in six months amid reports of stronger demand and higher customer numbers. Companies responded to rising demand by increasing their business activity accordingly. Output has now risen in each of the past five months.

Marked increases in activity were seen across each of the four broad sectors covered by the survey. New order growth also encouraged companies to expand their employment and purchasing activity midway through the final quarter of the year.

Staffing levels increased for the twenty-second month running and at the fastest pace since August. Meanwhile, the rate of growth in purchasing activity was the steepest in four months. Similarly, inventories also expanded at a marked pace.

Purchase costs rose at a sharper pace as the weakness of the Nigerian naira against the US dollar exacerbated rising raw material prices. Staff costs were also up, linked both to higher staffing levels and efforts to motivate workers by increasing wages.

The passing on of higher input costs to customers meant that output prices also increased markedly, with the rate of inflation quickening to a three-month high.

Despite the generally positive picture for output and new orders in November, business confidence continued to decline. Optimism dropped for the fourth successive month and was the lowest since the survey began in January 2014. Those firms that were confident in the year-ahead outlook for output mentioned business expansion plans and hopes for a further strengthening of demand.

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FirstBank Opens Saturday, Sunday Nationwide To Deposit Old Naira Notes Till January 31 Deadline

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Written By Olushola Okunlade

In line with FirstBank’s drive to always put YouFirst (customers), the bank branches nationwide will be open this Saturday, 28 January 2023, and Sunday, 29 January 2023 to deposit your old Naira notes from 10:00 am – 2:00 pm.

The bank said there will be no charges for cash returned/paid into customers’ accounts. All old Naira notes of series N200, N500, and N1000 will cease to be accepted as legal tenders from 31 January 2023 as CBN instructed.

Against the race to beat the deadline given by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for old naira notes to be returned to banks, making way for the circulation of the redesigned N200, N500, and N1,000 notes, FirstBank announced that it will run weekend operations.

The bank said its branches nationwide will be open to receive and change old naira notes, in a bid to help their customers beat the January 31 deadline.

The CBN introduced sensitization campaigns to ensure that rural dwellers meet the deadline. The apex bank has sent agents to remote places across the country to help those who lack access to financial inclusion swap their old naira notes for new ones.

The Bank will continue to accept old Naira notes till the close of business on 31 January 2023.

For more inquiries, please contact FirstContact, our 24/7 contact centre on 0700FIRSTCONTACT (0700-347782668228), +234-01-4485500+234-0708-062-5000 or send an email to firstcontact@firstbanknigeria.com.

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Union Bank Reiterates Support For Small Businesses At BusinessDay Top 100 SME Conference

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Union Bank Reiterates Support For Small Businesses At BusinessDay Top 100 SME Conference

By Moninuola Sulaiman

Leading financial institution, Union Bank of Nigeria (UBN), has reiterated its support for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises in the country to drive increased growth and development.

This commitment was made during the recently held ‘Top 100 Fastest Growing SMEs in Nigeria’ conference hosted by BusinessDay newspaper.

The event themed ‘How SMEs can thrive in an age of volatility’ was well attended by various stakeholders in the SME sector, including entrepreneurs, industry experts, start-ups, and financiers. The event had different panel sessions to discuss the multiple problems facing SMEs in Nigeria.

Speaking on the Funding for SMEs panel, Ayokunnumi Abraham, Head, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SME) Products & Segments Union Bank, said SMEs need to pay attention to capacity building and keeping proper financial records.

According to him: “SMEs must focus on building capacity and developing the necessary skills to increase their expertise if they hope to succeed in this volatile age. SMEs also need to embrace technology and digital tools as an enabler for business growth while ensuring their books and records are organised if they hope to attract funding from the right financial partner.”

BusinessDay newspaper presented Union Bank with The SME Financier of the Year award in Nigeria at the awards ceremony held that same evening in recognition of the bank’s efforts to support and promote the growth of the SME sector in the country.

Union Bank Reiterates Support For Small Businesses At BusinessDay Top 100 SME Conference
Left-Right: Linda Ochugba, Digital Sales Manager, BusinessDay Media; Ayokunnumi Abraham, Head, Small & Medium-sized Enterprises (SME) Products & Segments Union Bank; Frank Aigbogun, Publisher/CEO, BusinessDay Media; Olufunmilola Aluko, Head, Corporate Communication & Marketing, Union Bank; and Chima Nwaubani, Brand Manager, Union Bank at the BusinessDay Top 100 Fastest Growing SMEs Conference recently held in Lagos, Nigeria.

Know More About Union Bank Plc: Established in 1917 and listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange in 1971, Union Bank of Nigeria Plc. is a household name and one of Nigeria’s long-standing and most respected financial institutions.

The Bank is a trusted and recognisable brand with an extensive network of over 300 branches across Nigeria.

The Bank currently offers a variety of banking services to both individual and corporate clients, including current, savings, and deposit account services, funds transfer, foreign currency domiciliation, loans, overdrafts, equipment leasing, and trade finance. In addition, the Bank also offers its customers convenient electronic banking channels and products, including Online Banking, Mobile Banking, Debit Cards, ATMs, and POS Systems

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Discontinuation of Acquisition of Sidian Bank Stands – Access Bank

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However, according to Access Bank; “The completion of the proposed transaction is subject to fulfilment or waiver of certain conditions before the Long Stop date as defined in the transaction agreement.”

By Moninuola Sulaiman

Access Bank Plc, a leading financial institution has announced that it has discontinued its acquisition of Sidian Bank Limited.

It would be recalled that Access Holdings Plc, trading as Access Corporation (‘the Corporation’) on June 8, 2022, announced that its flagship subsidiary, Access Bank Plc (‘the Bank’) has entered into a binding agreement with Kenyan-based Centum Investment Plc (‘Centum’) for the acquisition of the entire 83.4% shareholding held by Centum in Sidian Bank Ltd. (‘Sidian’).

However, according to Access Bank; “The completion of the proposed transaction is subject to fulfillment or waiver of certain conditions before the Long Stop date as defined in the transaction agreement.”

“Although regulators have all been supportive in engagements around the transaction, certain conditions precedent needed to prudently complete the transaction have not been met and the parties were unable to reach an agreement on the variation of these conditions in a manner to deliver the desired outcome for the parties.

Consequently, we hereby notify the Nigerian Exchange Limited (NGX) and the investing public that the Sidian Bank acquisition will no longer be completed by the Bank.

The Bank however remains committed to growing its franchise in a safe and sound manner in Kenya and the broader East African Community and will continue to explore a variety of organic and inorganic opportunities to grow its market share therein.

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