UBA: Truly committed to empowering Africans as loans cross the N1 trillion mark

It is all about vision. The vision was nurtured by its chairman, Tony Elumelu, when he was chief executive, and now its current chief executive, Phillips Oduoza has taken the dream to the next level.
While some of the banks are gasping for breath and slowing down on loans and advances to its customers, United bank for Africa (UBA) Plc has shown consistence by growing its loan portfolio 14 per cent year-on-year to N1.12 trillion in 2014. This is the first time the bank is crossing the N1 trillion mark in its loan book.
The vision tallies with the chairman’s own where his foundation, the Tony Elumelu Foundation is also busy empowering a good number of Africa to become tomorrow’s leaders.
So analysts and investors are in order when they see the loan growth as broadly in line with Management’s set target for the year.
What caught the attention of analysts and investors was the quality of the loan book, which remains one of the best-in-class, as reflected in the low Non-Performing Loan (NPL) Ratio of 1.55 per cent well below the CBN recommended maximum of five per cent.
In its support to loyal customers in the corporate, commercial and retail segments of the African markets, UBA continues to grow loan portfolio in a responsible manner that ensures the quality of the assets and sustainability of its earnings.
“We expanded our loan book without compromising our focus on asset quality” said the Group Managing Director/CEO, Mr. Phillips Oduoza.
The Bank focuses its lending on emerging growth sectors across the African markets; agriculture, manufacturing, resource-based sectors such as Oil, Gas and mining, information and communication technology, power and infrastructure.
UBA is considered by businesses on the African continent as a well-positioned partner for multinational corporates seeking opportunities in the diverse African markets.
“We continue to support Africa-focused businesses and governments, given our strong belief in the continent’s prospect. We believe the opportunities in Africa far outweigh the risks, given our on-the-ground experience in these markets. We however do not compromise our risk management criteria and selective approach to lending across all our target markets, as we focus on quality and profitable risk assets that fit into our sustainable growth principles and objectives” explained Ugo Nwaghodoh Group Chief Financial Officer, UBA Plc.
Also speaking on the 2014 loan growth, the Group Chief Risk Officer, UBA Plc, Uche Ike explained the growth in the bank’s loan book, is in line with it moderate risk appetite in the year 2014.
He also said that the bank is pleased with the quality of the risk assets created, as reflected in the low 1.55 per cent NPL ratio and moderated 0.7 per cent cost of risk.
“These measures of asset quality are evidence of our investment in risk management; human capital and ERM tools. We will remain consistent in our responsible approach to lending, especially as we are conscious of macroeconomic headwinds in our core markets. We will continue to maintain a diversified portfolio, with strict concentration limits on obligors, sectors, market segments and markets. More so, we will be proactive than ever in our portfolio monitoring in the years ahead, as we are committed to being the industry benchmark on asset quality” said Mr. Ike.
UBA sustains growth momentum, grosses N290 billion earnings in FY2014.
United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc has released 2014 full year audited results showing that consolidation of its African operations and enhanced productivity across the group are sustaining the Bank’s growth momentum. The results of the Pan-African Bank, released on Wednesday at the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), show a 10 per cent growth in gross earnings to N290bn.
In other indices, the Bank recorded a Profit-Before-Tax of N56.2 billion and a Profit-After-Tax of N48bn. Earnings received a boost from both Interest and Non-Interest Income showing the Bank’s diversified and stable income base. Interest Income rose 5.91% to N197 billion in December 2014 from N186 billion in December 2013, while Non-Interest Income rose by 18.17% to N93.3 billion from N79.0 billion.
The Group Chief Financial Oficer (GCFO), Ugo Nwaghodoh expressed optimism that the Bank will continue to record a steady and sustained increase in its profitability by leveraging on low cost stable funds as well as rising opportunities in the Bank’s target markets in Nigeria and across Africa.
“The performance of our African business was boosted by increased cross selling of our products and a number of other strategic initiatives. As we gain critical mass in the African market, we look forward to increased earnings in line with the diversification of our business across Africa” explained Nwaghodoh.
Customer deposits in the Bank in the period under review remained stable at N2.17 trillion in 2014. Buoyed by this stability, UBA expanded its support for businesses on the continent by increasing its loan book by 14 per cent to N1.072 trillion in 2014.
“We expanded our loan book without compromising our focus on asset quality. Notably, our non-performing loan ratio remains one of the best-in-class at 1.6 per cent, as we responsibly grew risk assets in line with our defined risk appetite and target markets” said the Group Managing Director/CEO, Mr. Phillips Oduoza.
The Bank was also able to grow shareholders’ fund significantly by 13 per cent to N265 billion in 2014 from N235 billion in 2013, with a capital adequacy ratio above regulatory requirement.
“We will leverage on our adequate capitalization and liquidity to grow market share across target business lines” said Oduoza.
UBA also announced that it is paying a proposed cash dividend of N0.10 per share in a move, the Board says, is to effectively reflect the balance between giving short term return to investors and the commitment to create sustainable long term value to all shareholders.
Commenting on the proposed dividend, Oduoza said;
“In arriving at the N0.10 proposed dividend, the Board considered a number of factors including shareholders dividend expectation, capital requirements for growth opportunities, and increasing regulatory capital requirements under Basel II. The board decided in favor of relatively higher earnings retention to strengthen the capital base, in line with the strategic goal of increasing our share of the market across all our business segments. The Bank remains committed to creating sustainable long term value to all shareholders”.
United Bank for Africa Plc is one of Africa’s leading financial institutions offering banking services to more than 8 million customers across 605 Businesses Offices in 19 African countries and three global financial centres. With presence in New York, London and Paris, UBA connects people and businesses across Africa by offering innovative products across all market segments.

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