Nigeria’s top banks profiting from Naira’s woes

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The widening gap between Naira and dollar has helped Nigeria’s five big banks rake in N159 billion additional profit in nine months.

This is according to data compiled from the bank’s financials submitted to the Nigerian Exchange.

The amount made in 2021, is a 140 percent increase when compared to the N66 billion the banks made in the corresponding period of 2020.

The ‘big five’ otherwise referred to as Tier 1 include Access Bank Plc. Zenith Bank Plc., FBN Holdings Plc. (First Bank), United Bank for Africa Plc. (UBA), and Guaranty Trust Bank Plc. (GTBank).

Access Bank made the most gain as its foreign exchange revaluation income surged by 586.91 percent to N86.80 billion as at September 2021 from N12.63 billion as at September 2020.

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United Bank for Africa (UBA)’s foreign exchange gains spiked by 78.83 percent to N35.55 billion in September 2021 from N19.88 billion as at September 2020.

Guaranty Trust Bank Plc. (GTBank) earned N14.8 billion compared to N12.1 billion made in 2020.First Bank’s foreign exchange income also rose to N5.9 billion compared to N624 million loss recorded in 2020.

Zenith Bank also recorded N15.4 billion but this was a drop when compared to N20.5 billion income made in 2020.

Explaining how banks made their money, Johnson Chukwu, CEO and managing director of Cowry Asset Management Limited said: “When you are holding assets in foreign currency rather than liability, you tend to make money during devaluation.”

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