The Chairman of FSDH Merchant Bank, Mr. Femi Agbaje, has assured shareholders that the financial institution will continue with its conservative and robust risk management framework, leveraging modern digital platforms as it engages the various identiﬁed opportunities.
He said this recently during the virtual eight Annual General Meeting of the bank held in line with government’s regulation on social distancing.
In his address, the Chairman said, “despite the short-term risks in the economy, we still see a lot of opportunity for the medium to long-term, especially with regard to the potential in the expanded market that the AfCFTA will bring. “We will continue to partner with relevant stakeholders to develop innovative ﬁnancing and investment solutions to enable us exploit these opportunities and create shared prosperity for all stakeholders in 2020.’’
On her part, the CEO, FSDH Merchant Bank, Mrs. Hamda Ambah, pointed out that despite the tough operating environment, the Bank embraced the winds of change by carrying out a recent restructuring exercise to enhance the viability of its business model and sharpen its focus on meeting the needs of stakeholders.
In describing the organisation’s decision to restructure for growth, a statement quoted her as saying that, “since the discount house became a Merchant Bank in 2012, it operated at the helm of a group structure, providing oversight to subsidiaries of the FSDH Group including FSDH Asset Management, FSDH Securities and PAL Pensions.”
She added: “In June 2019 however, the FSDH Group concluded a restructuring that transferred the oversight of the four companies in the Group to a non-operating financial holding company. “This has enabled the bank to focus even more closely on its core operations, ensuring faster decision-making and business growth in a time of rapidly evolving regulation in the banking industry.’’
For the ﬁnancial year ended 31 December 2019, the bank realised a proﬁt before tax (PBT) of N5.183billion, slightly lower than the N5.186 billion recorded for the year ended 31 December 2018.
However, proﬁt after tax (PAT) declined by 18.14 per cent, from N4.41billion for the year ended 31 December 2018, to N3.61 billion for the period ended 31 December 2019.
The decline was attributed to a significant increase in the income tax figure by 103 per cent, from N775.05 million in 2018, to N1.57 billion in 2019.
According to the statement, the increase was as a result of a combination of factors, namely the fact that dividend tax was incurred twice in one financial year following the declaration of an interim dividend as well as the fact that a portion of the bank’s deferred tax assets was wound down.
“In spite of this, Earnings per Share (EPS) for the Bank stood at 197kobo, which is 39kobo higher than the 158kobo that was recorded in the ﬁnancial year ended 31 December 2018,” it added.
Ambah, noted that the resilience of the bank’s business model lays the foundation for the long-term prosperity of the Bank and would drive growth in the near-term in spite of shifting economic conditions.