• Saturday, May 18, 2024
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News Roundup: No slowing down for tech giants Apple and Facebook, despite COVID-19 impact.


There’s no slowing down for tech giants Apple and Facebook, despite COVID-19 impact. Apple and Facebook beat global investors’ expectations with their latest earnings results. The companies’ financial results released Thursday evening show that the two tech giants recorded an impressive surge in revenue in spite of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Specifically, Apple Inc’s third-quarter revenue outperformed Wall Street forecasts showing consumers bought more new iPads, iPhones, and Mac computers to stay connected during the COVID-19 era. Apple shares gained about 6.3% in extended trading.

“Apple’s record June quarter was driven by double-digit growth in both Products and Services and growth in each of our geographic segments. In uncertain times, this performance is a testament to the important role our products play in our customers’ lives,” Tim Cook, Apple CEO,

Also, Facebook Inc’s Q2 financials beat analysts’ highest estimates, recording growth from a COVID-19 pandemic-fueled disruption in global digital advertising in 2020. The company’s apps continue to bring new users.

Facebook reported that its revenue surged by 11percent to $18.7 billion, compared with the $17.3 billion forecasted by analysts. Facebook’s main social app logged 2.7 billion monthly active users in the period in review compared with the 2.63 billion average estimates. Shares jumped about 6.5% in late trading.

The impressive earning result boosted Facebook shares gaining as high as $254 in extended trading t, on track to set a new record after closing at $234.50. The stock had gained 14percent so far this year.

Read Also:Despite Covid-19 disruptions, Comercio Partners foresees bright prospects

COVID-19 impact could worsen stage 2 loans- Agusto & Co as banks write off N1.9trn loans in 4 years

Rating agency Agusto & Co says COVID-19 pandemic with its impact on businesses has elicited an increase in the volume of stage two loans. In its latest 2020 Banking Sector report, Agusto noted that stage two loans are susceptible to adverse migrations in the face of a prolonged macroeconomic downturn. Stage two loans primarily comprise exposures with an increase in the associated credit risk compared to when the loan was disbursed.

The report noted that following the 2015/2016 recession, the Nigerian banking industry has written off a minimum of ₦1.9 trillion of impaired loans from its loan portfolio.

“This volume of write-offs has been driven by the weak macroeconomic climate and the introduction of the IFRS 9 accounting standard in 2019,” the report said.

According to the International Financial Reporting Standard (IFRS) 9, approximately 23 per cent of the Banking Industry’s gross loans and advances was classified in the stage two category as of 31 December 2019. As at the same date, four out of the twenty-four banks covered in the report had stage two loans to gross loans ratios above the 23% Industry’s average.

Also following the forbearance granted by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in March 2020, permitting banks to restructure loans to businesses that have been adversely impacted by the novel COVID-19 pandemic, the banking industry had restructured over ₦7.8 trillion (almost half) of the loan portfolio as at June 2020

The forbearance is expected to keep the Industry’s impaired loan ratio, which stood at 7.6% as at 31 December 2019, at bay in the short term, Agusto & Co. is however concerned about the performance of these affected loans, given that the coronavirus pandemic is yet to be curtailed and a second wave may be looming.

a further slowdown in economic activities and a total lockdown may worsen an already bad situation,” the report said.

“Stage two loans are a threat to the Industry’s capital base, which has come under pressure in the last three to four years owing to the adoption IFRS 9 accounting standard and the recession. The COVID-19 pandemic is a further threat to capital which could impact profitability,” the report added.

The report said the Industry’s asset quality is further threatened given significant exposures to vulnerable sectors.

Read Also:The impact of COVID-19 on the real estate sector

Olumide Akpata elected as President Nigerian Bar Association

Olumide Akpata has emerged winner of the Nigerian Bar Association’s (NBA) national elections, after defeating two other contestants; Babatunde Ajibade (SAN) and Dele Adesina (SAN). This win makes him NBA’s first non-SAN President in years.

Akpata who won the election with a total of 9,891 votes of the total 18,256 ballots cast, while his closest rival, Babatunde Ajibade (SAN) polled 4,328 votes and Dele Adesina (SAN) polled 3,982 votes.

Announcing the winner on Friday morning, Chairman, Electoral Committee of the NBA, Tawo Tawo (SAN) said;

“I, Tawo Tawo, the Chairman, Electoral Committee of the Nigerian Bar Association (ECNBA), as the electoral officer for the 2020 National Officers’ Election, hereby declare Akpata Olumide Anthony, having scored the highest number of votes cast and satisfied the provisions of the constitution of the NBA 2015 (as amended), the winner of the election into the office of the President of the Nigerian Bar Association”.


It was a brief trading week as the equities market opened for three days in observance of the public holidays (Thursday 30th and Friday 31st July 2020) declared by the Federal Government of Nigeria to mark the Eid-El-Kabir celebrations. A total turnover of 421.984 million shares worth N5.337 billion in 11,801 deals was traded this week by investors on the floor of the Exchange, in contrast to a total of 1.350 billion shares valued at N14.433 billion that exchanged hands last week in 16,723 deals.

The Financial Services industry (measured by volume) led the activity chart with 249.588 million shares valued at N1.563 billion traded in 5,899 deals; thus contributing 59.15% and 29.29% to the total equity turnover volume and value respectively.

The Consumer Goods Industry followed with 51.760 million shares worth N1.072 billion in 1,877 deals. The third place was the Industrial Goods industry, with a turnover of 46.197 million shares worth N833.473 million in 1,489 deals.

Trading in the top three equities namely WAPCO Plc, FBN Holdings Plc and Mutual Benefits Assurance Plc. (measured by volume) accounted for 110.114 million shares worth N685.942 million in 1,587 deals, contributing 26.09% and 12.85% to the total equity turnover volume and value respectively.

Lagos State said it is set to drive new growth in the hospitality business with the approval of N1 billion seed capital for investment in tourism. Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu announced the approval of the loan on Wednesday at the 6th Lagos Corporate Assembly held at the Banquet Hall in the State House, Alausa.

The Governor said the investment was required to bolster the hospitality sector by providing key operators in the tourism business with soft loans to boost their capacity in driving growth. The initiative, Sanwo-Olu observed, is necessary to position the tourism business as a new frontier for job creation and economic prosperity in the post-Coronavirus era.

The seed capital will be domiciled in the Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSETF), the Governor said, adding that the funds will be made available specifically to Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) operators in the sector.

The Governor said the State would also be collaborating with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to further create access for the fund to support the hospitality business.

“We have just given approval for N1 billion support that will be given out through the Lagos State Employment Trust Fund to support the hospitality business in the State. The beneficiaries of this fund will go through screening in line with the requirement of the agency. We are making this investment because of the huge potential for job creation and inclusive growth this sector can bring about,” Sanwo-Olu said.

MTN Nigeria reported a half-year revenue of N638 billion in 2020 compared to N566.9 billion reported the same period last year. The 12.5percent surge was driven by growth in data revenue in the first and second quarters of the year. This amounts to c.N100 billion monthly in revenues compared with an averaged of N97 billion monthly in 2019 and N86.5 billion in 2018.

In the second quarter of 2020 total revenues rose 8.5% to N308.9 billion driven largely by higher data revenues. Data revenue increased from N56.7 billion to N79.9 billion in the quarter under review. Call revenues the company’s mainstay suffered a 1percent decline to N176.2 billion suggesting a drop in its average revenue per user. Call revenues make up about 68percent of its service revenue. Mobile subscriber growth was just 3.8percent in the quarter.

However, revenues from its Fintech division fell 7.7percent to N10.2 billion in the quarter. It, however, rose by 29.6percent in the first half of 2020 compared to the year before. Pre-tax Profits for the quarter was N62.2 billion down 13.4percent Year-on-year. Earnings per share N2.11/N2.4 15.6percent up Quarter-on-Quarter. The earnings per share dip were due to higher operating expenses.

Femi Otedola, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Akinwumi Adesina, Folorunso Alakija, and Paul Enenche 2020 listed on ‘100 most reputable Africans’

The list, which was pooled by Reputation Poll International, a leading global reputation-management firm, had 47 women and 53 men drawn from across Africa. These prominent individuals are active players in different professional fields such as education, advocacy, business, entertainment. They were selected on the criteria of integrity, visibility, and impact.

Ethiopia’s prime minister, Abiy Ahmed; presidents of the Republic of Rwanda, and Democratic Republic of Congo, Paul Kagame and Felix Tshisekedi also made the list.

US dollar set for worst month since 2010 in relentless sell-off
The US dollar has tumbled the most in a decade this month, propelling sterling and the euro higher, on questions over the recovery of the world’s biggest economy and growing political uncertainty.

The dollar index, a measure of the greenback against six peers, has shed 4.3 per cent in July, its worst monthly sell-off since September 2010.

It sought to close the month out on a high note, however, rising around 0.4 per cent on Friday.