Bank of America set aside $13.38 billion for bad loans for a second straight quarter, and net charge-offs totaled $8.7 billion, up 25 percent from the prior three-month period.
Total reserves increased $4.63 billion to $35.78 billion, and nonperforming assets surged 21 percent to $30.98 billion.
“It was expected to be difficult in the quarter, and it is,” said Richard Bove, an analyst at Rochdale Securities in Lutz, Florida.
Credit cards were a big trouble spot. The bank said it is not collecting payments on 11.73 percent of its $169.8 billion card portfolio, up from 8.62 percent three months earlier.
“We have a really ugly economic backdrop,” Michael Holland, a money manager at Holland & Co in New York, said on Reuters Television. “Those numbers aren’t going to go away soon.”
Still, Lewis said the bank expects to boost reserves more slowly, as consumer charge-offs perhaps peak around year end.
The bank announced results just before Citigroup Inc, whose difficulties are considered more severe, posted a quarterly loss excluding a big gain from a brokerage joint venture with Morgan Stanley.
Goldman Sachs Group Inc and JP Morgan Chase & Co posted better-than-expected results earlier this week. Like JP Morgan, Bank of America said it has no material exposure to struggling business lender CIT Group Inc.
In afternoon trading, Bank of America shares fell 29 cents, or 2.2 percent, to $12.88 on the New York Stock Exchange.
But many of the Bank’s problems relate to its takeover of Merrill, after less than 48 hours of negotiations.
Lewis considered scrapping the deal as Merrill’s losses soared, but completed it after then-U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson threatened to oust management, fearing a cancellation would threaten the financial system.
According to The Wall Street Journal, regulators have placed Bank of America under special secret oversight to address problems with risk and liquidity management.
Shareholders in April stripped Lewis of his chairman role, and Bank of America has since installed several directors with banking or regulatory experience.
Congress, meanwhile, is investigating whether Lewis withheld information about Merrill’s problems from investors.
Regulators have barred Bank of America from repaying its $45 billion of bailout money from the Troubled Asset Relief Program, and in May ordered it to build a $33.9 billion buffer to cope with a possible $136.6 billion of losses through 2010.
The bank said it is in early talks with the government about repaying TARP funds, preferably “sooner rather than later” according to Lewis.
Despite the problems, Chief Financial Officer Joe Price told reporters on a conference call that Bank of America is ahead of schedule in realizing $7 billion of merger savings and has made the “lion’s share” of a potential 35,000 job cuts.
He expects within 30 days to resolve whether the bank owes anything under an agreement for the government to share losses on $118 billion of assets. The bank said the agreement, part of a January bailout, was never signed and is not needed.
Price also said the bank is moving into the “contract phase” in its efforts to sell its Columbia asset management unit, and remains in talks with “multiple parties.”
Investment banking posted a $1.38 billion second-quarter profit, though trading revenue fell short of levels posted by Goldman and JPMorgan.
Credit card operations lost $1.62 billion, and Lewis said new credit card rules in 2010 could reduce annual card revenue by $700 million, similar to what JPMorgan expects.
The home lending and insurance business lost $725 million, though mortgage and home equity loans rose to $114.3 billion from the first quarter’s $89.26 billion. Bank of America bought mortgage lender Countrywide Financial Corp last July.
FG Approves N169.72bn Private Sector Investments In Roads
The Federal Executive Council (FEC) has approved N169.7 billion private sector investments for at least four road infrastructures through the government’s Tax Credit Scheme.
The roads include a 234-kilometre stretch from Bali to Sheti through Gashaka to Gembu in Taraba State, at the sum of N95,232,474,010.72; and a second road, which consists of three roads worth N74,486,577,050.
Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, disclosed this to State House correspondents at the end of the FEC’s meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, on Wednesday.
Fashola, who noted that the scheme was initiated in 2019 through Executive Order 7 signed by the President, said the arrangement allowed private sector players to finance public infrastructure instead of paying taxes and then offset it over time using tax credits.
For the 234-kilometre road in Taraba, which would cost N95.23 billion, Fashola said a N20 billion under the NNPC Tax Credit Scheme would be disbursed to begin the project soonest.
According to him, “the two main memoranda (presented to the council) relate to the uptake by the private sector in response to the tax credit programme, which we initiated in 2019, by Mr. President signing of Executive Order 7 to allow private sector finance public infrastructure in lieu of tax and then to offset it over time using tax credits.
“So, the first road that was awarded today on that policy initiative is the Rule Road from Bali to Sheti, through Gashaka to Gembu in Taraba State. A total of 234 kilometres reconstruction of that road in the sum of 95,232,474,010.62.
“The existing road, for those who are familiar with it, has no concrete stone base. It is just laterite on the asphalt so it doesn’t last and it’s breaking up and leading to potholes.
“So we’ve re-awarded this now for reconstruction under the tax credit scheme, there’s a N20 billion provision under the NNPC tax credit scheme that will be used to kickstart this immediately.
“The second road which is also the tax credit scheme, which was approved by the council is actually three roads. The applicant, in this case, is Mainstream Energy Solutions, a major energy player in the country is now seeking to also participate in this policy by investing a total of N74,486,577, 050,” he explained.
Speaking on behalf of his counterparts in the Ministries of Aviation, Power and Agriculture, the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, revealed that the council approved N3.49 billion for the purchase of an office building in Abuja for the Ministry of Aviation.
This, he said, would cluster the various agencies under the ministry into a single location.
He also revealed that council awarded a N553.58 million contract for the establishment and deployment of Advanced Report Generation Utility Engine Web-based Reporting Tools in favour of Messrs Sinecou Limited with a delivery date of 12 months.
JET-A1: Domestic Airlines Predict Increased Flight Ticket To N100,000
Domestic airlines under the aegis of the Airline Operators of Nigeria have said that rising operational costs occasioned by aviation fuel price hikes, foreign exchange shortage, etc. may push the base economy flight ticket to N100,000.
Spokesperson for local airlines/Chairman, United Airlines, Professor Obiora Okonkwo, made the disclosure during an exclusive interview with The Tide’s source on Wednesday in Abuja.
Beyond the lingering aviation price hike crisis, the airline chief said local operators were being compelled to source foreign exchange from the parallel market at high rates due to a lack of adequate supply from the Central Bank of Nigeria through the commercial banks.
Consequently, he said an increase in the base economy flight ticket to at least N100,000 might be inevitable for all domestic airline operators, if the current situation persists.
“Obviously, it is inevitable. I can tell you that all the airline operators, in the last three months, have been losing money, a huge amount of money. There is too much stress on the operational fronts for them to break even.
“Even if the aviation fuel is made available, there must be a review to reflect the minimal operational cost. We are offering patriotic services to the nation and understand the essential part of it. We are part of this economic development process in Nigeria but it is coming at a very huge sacrifice.
“Nothing less than N100,000, between N100,000 and N120,000 base price, even with Jet A1 fuel at N400 – N500. That is what it is”, Okonkwo said.
Noting that meetings with the CBN in this regard are yet to yield any positive result in the provision of adequate forex, he stressed the need for the aviation industry to be seen as an essential service that should have special consideration in financial matters.
He clarified that the operators have no joy in increasing fares, but that it has become necessary for them to avoid shutting down and running out of business.
“In the industry, it is expected that you will gain some here and lose some there, but the biggest challenge indigenous operators are having is that the cost of everything is high.
“You source money from the commercial bank rates. You source money from the black market. No moratorium for your loans and the banks and AMCON are quick to jump on you”, he explained.
Corroborating this view, the Chief Operating Officer, Ibom Air, Mr. George Uriesi, said local airlines had reached a point in their operational cost that ‘something has to give in’.
“Something has to give in. It’s either the prices of fuel should come down, or the prices of airfares go up from where they are.
“So far, the airlines have tried very much to work within the airfares as they are. All sides of the divide are aware that the airlines have done the best that they can do.
“I don’t know what tomorrow holds but at some point, if the airline doesn’t survive, it goes down, to the detriment of everybody – the people who work for the airline, the people who fly on the airline, the country’s economy, everything goes down. So, airlines are just trying to be stable and patriotic. That’s where we are”, Uriesi said.
Uriesi, a former Managing Director of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, said it was difficult to tell how long the local carriers would be able to continue with the high operational cost.
‘Youths Key To Economic Advancement’
An economist, Prof. Pat Utomi, has stressed the need to invest in youths to enable them transform Nigeria’s economy.
Noting that youths have the capacity to reverse the dwindling fortunes of the economy, Utomi, who was the keynote speaker at the first International Conference on Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Business Management organised by the University of Lagos Business School (ULBS), said Nigeria is till being challenged.
“Our country is still challenged. We are the poverty capital of the world. According to a report, in the next 10 years, between us and Congo Democratic Republic,would produce 40 per cent of the world’s poorest people.
“Thus, we should invest massively in our young people to enable them transform the country and the economy. They have the capacity to change this country for good,” he said.
The Professor of Political Economy also underscored the importance of deploying technology in deepen entrepreneurship and growth.
He said through the tech space Africa would make over $14billion with youths, adding that 60 per cent of the cash would be for Nigeria.
Earlier, Vice Chancellor, University of Lagos, Prof. Oluwatoyin Ogundipe lauded the leadership of the ULBS for its performance.
He noted that plans were underway to build a mini-refinery for the institution’s Department of Petroleum Engineering.
Pioneer Executive Director, ULBS, Prof. Abraham Osinubi, said the conference was aimed at halting the disconnect between the academia and industry by creating an interactive avenue for new ideas to solve real life problems.
The event also witnessed the launch of the ULBS journal, Lagos Management and Business Review.
Thw Conference had as its theme: “Adapting to business landscape in disruptive times”.
Business5 days ago
Forex Operators Demand New Exchange Window
Business5 days ago
Household Consumption Spending Rises To N108trn -NBS
Business5 days ago
Oil Production Fell In Nigeria Over Poor Maintenance
Business5 days ago
Emirates Airlines Adopts Bitcoin As Payment Option
Oil & Energy5 days ago
Stakeholders Commend CBN For Power Sector Interventions
Oil & Energy5 days ago
Illegal Bunkering: NSCDC Returns Diverted 50,000 Litres PMS
Housing/Property5 days ago
10 Ships With PMS, LNG, Others Arrive Eastern Ports, Today …Lagos Port Hosts 5 Ships With Frozen Fish
Politics5 days ago
2023: Bayelsa PDP Delegates To Support Pro-Restructuring Aspirants – Diri