Union Bank Gets ‘A-‘ Rating

Agusto & Co. has assigned an “A-” rating on Union Bank of Nigeria Plc’s series 1 and series 2 combined N13.5 billion fixed rate senior unsecured issue.

The issue was under the bank’s 2018 registered N100 billion Debt Issuance Programme.
According to a statement from the Pan-African rating agency, the issue was senior to other unsecured obligations by the bank.

“The issue is adjudged to offer adequate safety of timely payment of interest and principal. The assigned rating reflects the Issuer’s good capitalisation, ability to refinance, good brand equity, as well as an experienced management team.

“Favourable interest rates for borrowers, lower than the prevailing rates recorded between 2015 and 2017, have spurred a number of banks and other corporate entities to embark on debt issuance exercises in the year thus far.

“Agusto and Co. notes that such rates will not tarry for long, with upticks already being seen in Q3 2018. These upticks are largely driven by higher political uncertainty, larger government spending and increased government borrowing, alongside an increase in key benchmark rates in the United States of America.
“We expect interest rates to start to taper down from Q2 2019 – post elections, baring no political impasse,” it explained.

Marriott Rewards Loyal Customers

Marriott International recently celebrated its unified loyalty programs – Marriott Rewards, The Ritz-Carlton Rewards and Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG), with a new points promotion that will allow members to earn bonus points across 6,700 hotels at all 29 participating brands for the very first time.
“MegaBonus in More Places,” offers members the broadest opportunity to earn bonus points ever.
The new offer rewards members for stays of two nights or more and for exploring new brands.

According to a statement by the company, the Marriott Rewards and SPG members would earn 2,000 bonus points on all stays of two or more nights and 1,000 bonus points per brand, starting with their second brand.
The promotion is valid at participating Marriott Rewards, SPG and Ritz-Carlton properties.

“Under the recently unified loyalty programs, Marriott Rewards, The Ritz-Carlton Rewards, and SPG members can combine their accounts giving them one account number, one elite night and points balances to travel all over the world further, faster and easier than ever before. “Together, the unified programs are richer and packed with new member benefits.

Members can seamlessly book, earn, and redeem points at all 6,700 hotels in our portfolio across all Marriott International channels, achieve Elite status faster, and more quickly earn points that can be redeemed at properties spanning 130 countries and territories.

“Plus, members earn on average 20 per cent more points per dollar spent and have their Elite status recognized consistently at every hotel across the portfolio. In addition to redeeming points for hotel stays, all Marriott Rewards, The Ritz-Carlton Rewards and SPG members can redeem points to pursue their passions wherever they travel by choosing from a wide array of curated special experiences,” it added.

Intermarc Appoints New MD
The Board of Directors of Intermarc Consulting Limited has announced the strategic repositioning of the company which is expected to launch the organisation into its next phase of growth and expansion.
The firm in almost two decades has focused on electronic business with emphasis on e-banking and e-payment intermediation in Nigeria and across Africa by providing cutting-edge solutions through consultancy services.

According to a statement, in continuation of the fulfilment of its vision of consistently providing world class skill acquisition, advisory and strategic solutions, the company has now repositioned to focus on Digital Financial Services (DFS) through consulting, specialised research, training and workshops, conferences as well as project management.

This, it stated was in line with the company’s partnership with Microsave – the global leader in DFS consulting.
Jacqueline Jumah has now joined the board and management of the company to lead the implementation of the company’s business strategy as the Managing Director.

Jumah, is a renowned Digital Financial Services Specialist who brings to the table her years of experience in the DFS space, most recent of which is her role at Microsave as a senior management staff of the company.
Jumah, holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Applied Statistics and a Master of Science Degree in Finance and Banking, University of Nairobi, Kenya.

Her professional skills include Strategic operations in agent distribution network deployment and scale-up, DFS Business Strategy Development, DFS Product Development, Market Research and Risk management gathered over years of work in banks and in the financial services sector and across several countries such as Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Uganda, Sierra Leone, Malawi, India, Pakistan, Tanzania, Rwanda, Zambia, among others.

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