Regulatory approvals by the Central Bank of Nigeria have left investors with no choice but to wait for weeks to see the half-year results of some of Nigeria’s largest banks. GT Bank (now GT HoldCo), UBA, Stanbic IBTC and Fidelity bank are yet to publish their audited half year results as they await approval from the central bank.
Nigeria’s central bank approves audited financial statement of banks before they are published on the Nigerian Stock Exchange giving the bank clearance on how it classifies its non-performing loans, determine its regulatory ratios such as capital adequacy ratios, cash reserve requirements etc. It also approves the dividend payments.
Whilst the review of company results and subsequent approval are done to instill investor confidence, the delays affect decision making and ruins investment opportunities for some investors who rely on results to take bets on stocks. But the central bank is not all to blame.
A review of the filing of some of the banks reveals they held their board meetings in August to approve the results tabled before the management of the banks about 30 days after the end of the first half of their financial year. For example, GT HoldCo communicated to the public on August 25th that its board had approved the results on July 28th, 2021, and subsequently submitted the results to the CBN. UBA disclosed on August 13 that its board met on August 12 to consider and approve the half-year audited accounts which they subsequently approved and also submitted to the Central Bank.
Stanbic IBTC on the other hand notified investors that it was experiencing “slight delays” in the release of its results delays due to anticipated CBN approvals. On June 22nd it initially informed the investing public of its desire to audit its half-year results and targeted August 29th as the date it expected to receive it from the CBN.
Fidelity Bank, another bank yet to release its results disclosed on August 27th that its board approved the results on August 5th but was still awaiting CBN approval.
While banks await regulatory approval, their share prices were left depressed in the month of August 2021. GTB and Fidelity closed the month 2% and 4% down respectively while Stanbic IBTC and UBA closed flat. Zenith and Access Bank who both recently released results also closed flat in August at -1% and -2% respectively. However, FBN and FCMB who have released their results reported slight gains of 1% and 2% respectively. As of the 27th of August, the banking All Share Index was down 0.62% and is expected to close negative when the Exchange releases its end of month performance. A recent Nairametrics report indicated FUGAZ stocks lost a whopping N7.6 billion last week alone in market value.
Whilst these losses may not be directly linked to regulatory delays, analysts strongly believe this may have contributed to the poor performance of the stocks of the banks. Investors are apprehensive about purchasing stocks without seeing the results of the banks. A hasty move might result in buying an overvalued stock or miscalculating the basis for making or not making a move on time.
Nairametrics anticipates the results to be published anytime soon and will not be surprised if some gets published today, September 3rd, 2021. However, the impact has already been felt with billions lost in market value somewhat due to regulatory delays.