Companies are positioning for 2023 through appointments, other moves

Companies are positioning for 2023 through appointments, other moves


Happy New Year and welcome to our first Corporate News Roundup for 2023. It’s a brand new year full of opportunities for everyone. Let the business begin! 

The last week of 2022 was characterised by strategic positioning and appointments – from GTBank’s new FX policy to the appointment of WEMA Bank’s new CEO and more. Here’s a recap of the major stories. 

Strategic positioning by GTBank, Southern Sun Hotel, others

Amid the crunching Forex crisis across the country, Guaranty Trust Bank shocked its customers last week with the announcement that they will no longer be able to use their naira-denominated Mastercards for international transactions. The policy took effect on December 31st, 2022.

The ramification of this move is huge; customers won’t even be able to use their naira Mastercards for simple transactions such as renewing their Netflix subscriptions.

As you may know, the FX shortage across the country means that banks are having to ration dollar sales, prioritising only requests for essential transactions.

The move by GTBank and other banks is also an indication that the forex crisis is set to worsen in 2023. 

One of the top 5-star hotels in Nigeria, Southern Sun Ikoyi Hotels, has rebranded as Mövenpick following an acquisition by Kasada Albatross Holding. Nairametrics reported that the rebranding exercise began last month after Southern Sun Africa (SSA) disposed of its 75.55% majority shareholding in Southern Sun Ikoyi Hotels. 

The acquisition was an expensive one, valued at about $30.4 million. Also, as part of the terms of the agreement, the new owners will retain most workers of the former Southern Sun Ikoyi Hotels.

Real estate company, Veritasi Homes and Properties Limited, announced that it has redeemed its debut N2.5 billion and N3 billion Series 1 and 2 commercial papers.

The commercial papers were issued on the FMDQ under Veritasi’s N10 billion issuance programme and matured on December 30th, 2022 after a 270 days duration. The redemption happened on December 28th, a few days before their scheduled maturity. 

Smile Communications had reason to ‘smile’

Nairametrics reported that Smile Communications gained 19,294 new subscribers between January and October 2022, bringing its total subscriptions to 333,968 from 314,674 in December 2021. The company outperformed Ntel, its rival in the Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) segment, according to the latest data released by the NCC. 

Specifically, Ntel lost 7,315 customers in the period under review, reducing its total subscriptions to 20,481 from 27,799 in December last year.

Popular nightclub, Quilox, was shut down by the Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency (LASEPA) for failing to comply with directives on organising events. 

The nightclub failed to obtain a sound control permit from the agency. And the shutdown was partly necessitated by complaints by residents of the part of Lagos where the club is located.

The appointments

Wema Bank Plc appointed Moruf Oseni as its Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, effective from April 1st, 2023. Nairametrics reported that Oseni would replace outgoing CEO Ademola Adebisi who is set to retire on march 31st 2023.

In 2012, Moruf Oseni joined Wema Bank as an Executive Director. He has over 25 years of experience, with more than 16 years at Senior and Executive Management levels. He is currently the Deputy Managing Director of the bank.

Stanbic IBTC Holdings Plc appointed new directors across the group, following the receipt of necessary regulatory approvals. A statement seen by Nairametrics said the appointments were in line with the company’s succession plan. 

Among those appointed is Mr Babs Omotowa as an Independent Non-Executive Director, Olu Delano as an Executive Director, and Okechukwu Nwoke as Non-Executive Director, among others.

Meanwhile, Zenith Bank Plc announced the retirement of two Executive Directors, Ummar Shuaib Ahmed and Dennis Olisa, from its board effective December 28th 2022.

This was contained in a corporate disclosure that was signed by Company Secretary Michael Otu and seen by Nairametrics.

Vitafoam’s FY 2022 result and Geregu Power’s outstanding stock roundoff

Vitafoam Plc released its full-year 2022 audited financial statements last week, reporting a pre-tax profit of N7.214 billion. This represents a 2% decrease from the N523.503 million the company reported during the same period in 2021.

The company’s revenue for the period under review shut up by 31% to N46.310 billion from N35.404 billion in FY 2021.

Geregu Power Plc witnessed investors’ positive sentiment following the announcement that Afreximbank is set to acquire a minority stake in the company.

The company’s share price gained 33% or N86.75 billion in the last three trading sessions of the year. 

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