Stocks: Banks post N92bn gain in August

Investors in banks quoted on the main board of the nation’s stock market reported a cumulative gain of about N92 billion during the month of August 2020 following fair earning results released by most lenders despite COVID-19 ravaging the country.

Checks revealed that the stocks recorded a gain of N92 billion or 4.67 per cent to close at N2.063 trillion in market capitalisation on the last trading day of August 31, as against the opening figure of N1.971 trillion at the beginning of trading on August 1.

Market watchers believe the investors are taking positions on bank stocks following fair H1 results being declared by the financial institutions.

For instance, Fidelity Bank Plc has posted a 33.01 per cent increase in profit after tax for the half year ended June 30, 2020.

The bank’s interim statement of profit or loss and other comprehensive income for the period ended June 30, 2020 showed profit after tax of N11.303 billion as against N8.498 billion recorded in 2019, representing a growth of 33.01 per cent.

Profit before tax stood at N11.963 billion from N9.812 billion recorded in2019, accounting for 21.92 per cent increase. Gross earnings for the period increased by 2.03 per cent from N103.655 billion in 2019 to N105.755billion in June 2020.

GTBank’s loan book grew by 8.1 per cent from N1.502 trillion recorded as at December 2019 to N1.624 trillion in June 2020 and customer deposits increased by 18.5 per cent to N3.001 trillion from N2.533 trillion in December 2019. Profit before tax closed at N109.7billion, representing a decrease of 5.2 per cent over N115.8billion recorded in the corresponding period of 2019.

Commenting on the financial results, the Chief Executive Officer of Guaranty Trust Bank plc, Segun Agbaje, said: “These are undoubtedly tough and trying times for people, businesses and economies the world over. Our financial performance in the first half of the year reflects the quality of our past decisions which have broadened our earnings and strategically positioned us to thrive, thus far, through the current global health and economic crises.

“Underpinning this financial performance is our commitment to being there for our customers and the communities we serve, and over the past six months we have lent the full weight of our franchise to safeguarding lives and livelihoods of our staff and customers by leading from the front in the fight to curtail the Covid-19 outbreak and offering grace periods on loans to our small business customers.”

He further stated that “going forward, our focus is not just to survive this pandemic, but to thrive beyond it. That is why we are going ahead with our plans to reimagine how we create value for all our stakeholders. We know that making financial services work for customers goes beyond banking, and in line with our long-term strategy, we will seek to create and drive innovative financial solutions that go beyond banking.”


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