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Insurance Operators Decry Poor Industry Returns

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The insurance sector of the nation’s economy has been described as performing below its potentials as the companies in the sector released the financial results to the public.

According to capital market operators the sector has not lived up to expectation despite high hopes by the shareholders during the recapitalisation exercise in the industry.

However, they believe that the sector still has more to offer as it is still performing below its potential on the Exchange in terms of capital appreciation and returns on investment to its shareholders.

Yomi Osunrinde, the General Manager of Integrated Trust and Investment Limited, stated that the poor performance of insurance companies is a reflection of what is happening in the economy.

Osunnde added that the global economic meltdown seriously affected the sector. He pointed out that the consciousness level of insurance in the country is still low, stating that by the time the need for insurance is made compulsory by the government the level of their profitability will go up and they will be able to generate a lot of income. He foresees bright prospect in the industry in the nearest future.

Also speaking, the Managing Director of Laksworth Investment & Securities Limited, Mr. Kayode Awotite, noted that insurance services cannot be likened to that of the banks.

Awotite agreed with Osunnde’s view that insurance companies should embark on enlightenment campaign to change the age-long perception that insurance companies find it difficult to remit premium as and at when due.

However, Mr. Emma Eze, a broker with DBSL Securities Limited, described insurance stock as penny stocks which are associated with low dividend payout.

He noted that all of them are kin a stable colum because their dividend and bonus is constant even though it may not be impressive.

Recently, Regency Alliance and Staco Insurance Plc released their audited results ended December 31, 2008.

Regency Alliance posted a turnover of N1.71 billion as against N1.21 billion representing an increase of 40.91%. the company’s profit after tax stood at N312.06 million compared to N237.54 million in 2007.

While Staco Insurance’s result showed a turnover of N4.38 billion as against N2.82 billion; its profit after tax was N543.42 million, down fromN758.01 million in 2007, indicating 28.44% drop.

Board of directors of both companies recommended a dividend of N0.02 and a bonus scrip issue of new share for every 10 shares held by shareholders.

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Lockdown: NNPC Begs Security Agencies To Allow Tanker Drivers Operate

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The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has appealed to law enforcements agencies across the country to allow petroleum products tanker drivers free movement during the lockdown order in parts of the country by President Muhammadu Buhari and some state governments.
This was contained in a statement on Tuesday in Abuja by the NNPC Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, Dr Kennie Obateru. The NNPC boss said the exemption granted by President Muhammadu Buhari in his broadcast to certain categories of essential workers covers the operations of petroleum products tanker drivers.
The President has on Sunday ordered total lockdown of Lagos State, the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja and Ogun State.
The release said the Federal Government counts on the support of the law enforcement agencies across the country to ensure smooth distribution of petroleum products across the nook and cranny of the country during the period of the restriction.
The corporation said that NNPC has over 2.6 billion litres of petrol, enough to last the period of the lockdown and beyond, advising that motorists should not engage in panic buying.

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SEC Urges Firms To Publish Impact Of COVID-19 On Businesses 

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The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has called on public companies to publish the impact of coronavirus on their business operations.
SEC in a circular dated March 31, and released in Abuja yesterday, advised the companies to publish the information on their websites and or other relevant media.
“All public companies are required to continue to make material disclosures to investors on the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on their business operations,” the commission stated.
According to SEC, they should also continue to disclose the trend and outlook of the company as well as updates on implementation of business continuity plans.
The commission said it would continue to engage and collaborate with all stakeholders to ensure that the capital market remained resilient, adding that the move was part of its business continuity process.
“In compliance with the Federal Government’s directives on the cessation of movement in Lagos, Ogun and the Federal Capital Territory, SEC has activated its business continuity process.
“In light of the global pandemic of the Corona Virus Disease (COVID-19), the commission wishes to provide additional guidance to the capital market as follows:
“Public companies who plan to conduct Annual General Meetings are required to ensure that the conduct of the meetings comply with the provisions of the Companies and Allied Matters Act, the Investments and Securities Act, the SEC Rules and Regulations, among others.
“Debt issuers are also expected to continue to engage trustees to ensure that relevant disclosures are provided,’’ the commission said.
The commission enjoined all Capital Market Operators (CMOs) to continue to monitor the real and potential risks COVID-19 might have had on their business operations and the discharge of services to investors and clients.

SEC called on all issuers and trustees who might require further guidance to contact it through the following email addresses: quotedcoyreturns@sec.gov.ng,offerapplications@sec.gov.ng, and dhpostoffer@sec.gov.ng.

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MAN Tasks Govs On Smooth Movement Of Essential Items

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The Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) has appealed to state governors to give necessary directives to security agencies to allow smooth passage of essential products across states of the federation.
In a statement to newsmen on Tuesday in Lagos, MAN President, Mr Mansur Ahmed, said that better sensitisation of such officers became necessary following the actions of some of them, which were hampering the chain of distribution.
Ahmed said, “Since the decision to lock down economic activities by different states and the eventual national declaration by the Federal Government, MAN has maintained consistent talks with relevant governmental authorities.
“The talk is on the survival and sustenance of livelihood of Nigerians, via the operation of critical manufacturing sector and has indeed yielded positive results.
“One of the numerous results is the letter addressed by the Chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) to my humble self for manufacturers.
“The food, beverage, pharmaceutical and other complementing sector that makes the value chain of essential products available are very critical.
“The Association is glad that government recognised this critical role in its directive for 14-day lockdown.
“Let me add that the directive of the NGF has yielded good outcomes in some states as our members have testified to unhindered operations in the face of the lockdown.
“Notwithstanding, some security operatives in other states are not yielding, particularly, the rank and file officers on the field.”
Ahmed said, in order to address this setback, MAN has been in talks with the NGF to give the necessary directives for adequate sensitisation of officers to give manufacturers of essential products easy movement.
He commended the Federal Government’s response to manufacturers as it tackles Coronavirus pandemic.

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