The last two years have seen losses for Kuda MFB, a neobank with a Nigerian microfinance bank license.
According to the company’s financial report, reviewed by TechCabal, it lost $6,092,554,866 ($14,214,681) by the conclusion of the 2021 fiscal year, an increase of 602% over the $2,025,295 loss it suffered in 2020.
The financial report indicated that the company’s revenue increased by 4,315% from ₦72,649,000 in 2020 to ₦3,207,177,570 in 2021. However, after every expense had been deducted, the company closed the year at a net loss, with high credit loss/impairment charge and operating expenses contributing the most to the loss.
TechCabal reached out to Kuda for comment, but the neobank hasn’t responded at the time of publication.
Bad loans delivered the hardest stroke
The report said that “the nonperforming loan (NPL) recorded by the firm is too high for the comfort calculated at 69%”, and this, as expected, drove the neobank to a high impairment rate—valued at ₦2,258,698,669. For context, loans are considered impaired when, based on current information and events, it is probable that the creditor will be unable to collect all interest and principal payments due according to the contractual terms of the loan agreement.
Specifically, in the analysis part of the report, the impairment is said to have eroded 96% of the interest income made from the loan offer. What this means, in general, is that Kuda extended a lot of bad credit through its overdraft product and that ate into its balance sheet.
Kuda, a few days before it announced its $25 million Series A round in March 2021, started piloting its overdraft product with over 2,500 users who “have been using their Kuda accounts actively”. By June, it claimed that the product had hit 50,000 users weekly. The company once said in a statement that at the end of the second quarter of 2021, they had disbursed $20 million worth of credit to over 200,000 qualified users, with a 30-day repayment period.
In fact, the company’s co-founder and CEO Babs Ogundeyi once claimed that the neobank has seen “minimal” default because of its approach. “We use all the data we have for a customer and allocate the overdraft proportion based on the customer’s activities, aiming for it not to be a burden,” Ogundeyi said in that statement.
The overdraft feature was received with mixed feelings. According to a risk analyst who spoke to TechCabal anonymously, Kuda needs to revamp and build more risk assessment into its overdraft offering or scrap it entirely. “But,” he added, “scrapping the offering would be unwise as lending if done right, has the potential of pushing the company’s bottom line to a high net positive.”.
It’s worth mentioning that traditional banks generate a big part of their revenue from lending. In fact, while Kuda’s NPL ratio ended the year at 69%, the average ratio in the traditional banking industry dropped to 4.8% in the same period. Traditional banks mostly extend credit to a few low-risk businesses with substantial collateral that already mitigates defaulting, while Kuda only works with users’ activities on its app. Still, the difference between the two ratios is disturbing.
The aforementioned financial report analysis similarly stated that “the firm’s risk appetite, criteria, and strategy relating to retail and business loan calls for immediate restructuring.”
The Reason Nigeria’s Central Bank is debiting Banks
“For failing to satisfy the required minimum cash reserve ratio, 15 banks have been debited 838.32 billion by Nigeria’s central bank.”
For failing to satisfy the required minimum cash reserve ratio, 15 banks have been debited 838.32 billion by Nigeria’s central bank.
First Bank, Zenith Bank, Access Bank, Union Bank, United Bank for Africa, Polaris Bank, and Keystone Bank are a few of the banks that are impacted.
In an effort to stop inflation and currency devaluation in the nation, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) declared in September that the CRR will be raised to 32.5%.
As a result of 15 banks failing to satisfy the required minimum cash reserve ratio (CRR) standard, the Central Bank of Nigeria has debited them 838.32 billion.
Zenith Bank (270 billion dollars), Access Bank (205 billion), United Bank for Africa (134 billion dollars), FCMB (90 billion dollars), First Bank (33 billion dollars), Union Bank (29 billion dollars), Keystone Bank (14 billion dollars), Titan Bank (11.6 billion dollars), Polaris Bank (10 billion dollars), Nova (5.5 billion dollars), Unity Bank (one billion dollars), Heritage Bank (470 million dollars), FBN Microfinance Bank (460 million dollars), and Suntrust Bank (92 million dollars) are among the affected banks.
The amount of customer deposits that must be held with the Central Bank is known as the CRR. Commercial banks are required to deposit 325 for every 1,000 that their customers deposit at the present rate of 32.5%.
Godwin Emefiele, the governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), said at a meeting of the monetary policy committee in September 2022 that the bank was increasing its CRR from 27.5% to 32.5% as part of its efforts to control rising inflation in the nation.
The benchmark interest rate was also hiked by the CBN to 15.5% in addition to the CRR.
He said that failing banks would be prohibited from using the foreign currency market until they comply with the new rule. The CBN Governor added that one of the causes of the rising inflation rate and currency depreciation was the economy’s increased liquidity.
An effective way to control the flow of money through an economy is to raise the CRR. It has an impact on banks’ access to capital as well as their capacity to extend loans. Additionally, banks’ interest rates can rise as a result of this.
It also guarantees that banks will have a sizeable reserve to fall back on if clients demand their money.
Africa’s GDP at 35% risk to Climate Change
“The president and chief executive officer (CEO) of the Africa Finance Corporation (AFC) stated during a panel discussion at the Reuters Impact climate conference on October 3rd in London that the continent’s gross domestic product (GDP) is at danger by up to 35% due to climate concerns.”
The president and chief executive officer (CEO) of the Africa Finance Corporation (AFC) stated during a panel discussion at the Reuters Impact climate conference on October 3rd in London that the continent’s gross domestic product (GDP) is at danger by up to 35% due to climate concerns.
He asserts that the number will continue to rise as long as Africa lacks climate change-resistant infrastructure.
The AFC, according to Zubairu, thinks that Africa has a chance to seize the moment and develop ecosystems of adaptation because of the difficulties associated with the energy transition, the energy crisis, and the food crisis that Africa and the rest of the world are experiencing.
Africa must create ecosystems that enable reforestation so that trees may absorb carbon and provide women with access to cleaner cooking options because the use of firewood as a cooking fuel depletes the forests, which serve as carbon sinks. Only 1% of the world’s finest solar resources are used, even though 60% of them are in Africa. The underdeveloped hydropower and natural gas resources of Africa could be a major factor in the current global difficulties, according to Zubairu’s statement.
To achieve a just energy transition, Zubairu stressed to the guests of the Reuters Impact conference the importance of dependable access that is affordable for the great majority of people.
In addition, he pointed out that up to 900 million Africans lack access to clean cooking, making up 80% of the world’s population without access to power.
“Just transition for us is access to energy that is affordable, energy access that does not compromise economic development in Africa, and energy access that allows for the key challenges around financing, and adaptation to be resolved at the same time as economic development.
“When we look at projects and opportunities, we are trying to see how we can build an ecosystem along value chains that allow for carbon neutrality as we go along but the focus is on economic development,” Zubairu says.
Numerous parties have urged to cast doubt on the philosophy underlying the Global North’s advice to Africa not to exploit its natural gas resources. Zubairu contends that asking individuals to stop using gas while imports of fuel oil or the use of coal are options is inappropriate. He claims that the AFC built Cape Verde’s first wind farm, which provides 20% of the island’s energy needs.
The company is also constructing the first independent power project (IPP) in Djibouti to replace fuel imported from Ethiopia, a gas-fired plant in Ghana to replace fuel imported in the form of fuel oil and diesel, as well as a gas plant in Senegal to use Senegalese natural gas. He claims that each of these initiatives lowers carbon emissions.
Zubairu urges Africans to be practical in his appeal for a consensus between the continent’s political and commercial elites to address the continent’s current energy poverty concerns.
He claimed that focusing on emissions reductions, to which Africans contribute the least, is not the most sensible course of action. Instead, emphasis should be placed on increasing capacity for solar energy, using electric vehicles, and altering how resources are extracted from the continent.
He claims that after mining, the minerals are sold to Asia, where they are processed before being exported to other regions of the world. He claimed that this could not go on and that Africa needed to process its mineral resources as well so that value could be captured before exports and that it could increase its mining capability.
Africa has to increase its mining capability, more minerals should be found, mined, and processed on the continent, according to Zubairu. Infrastructure capacity will rise with increased investments in adaptation.
Sudanese philanthropist Mo Ibrahim spoke forcefully for energy justice during the same panel discussion. He explained to the audience that a country’s carbon emissions increase with its level of development.
“You cannot discuss environmental justice without addressing energy justice,” he asserts.
Despite being the lowest contributors to CO2 emissions, Africans are the ones most impacted by climate change. Desertification causes disputes between farmers and herders throughout Africa; these conflicts are distinguished by violence in Sudan and Nigeria due to environmental implications.
Africans are suffering as a result of external causes which Zubairu says he finds absurd that some people traveled to Glasgow last year and made the decision to stop funding worldwide fossil fuel projects. 600 million people in Africa lack access to electricity.
On the continent, there would be no jobs, no healthcare, and no education. Without regard for what the global South needs, the global North constantly discusses and makes decisions.
We are not allowed to use our gas, even though Europe receives half of the natural gas produced in Africa. This type of injustice must end; without Africans’ participation at the table, no one should discuss justice, he alleges.
Heineken Invites Graduates for Finance Mgt Program in Cairo
“Graduates are invited to apply for Heineken’s Finance Management Trainee Program in Cairo.”
Graduates are invited to apply for Heineken’s Finance Management Trainee Program in Cairo.
The Heineken Finance Management Trainee Program is now taking applications, and young graduates who are eager and ambitious are encouraged to apply. Graduates will have a variety of professional opportunities as a result.
The program is designed to provide you early responsibility and enable you to get started right away. Additionally, a portion of your time will be dedicated to job-specific training to ensure that you have the skills you need as an employee for our organization.
Graduates of the trainee program will have the opportunity to receive regular feedback as well as training from knowledgeable coaches.
The program going by its details takes place in Cairo, Egypt; the North section of Africa and its basically centered on those in the Finance field with a Bachelor’s degree qualification. The program is intended to run for 2 years with the application date closing 30th November 2022.
The Heineken scheme covers people of different nationalities.
Rotations among the Finance department’s duties are part of the Management Trainee Program. To guarantee that the joiners have access to a variety of learning and development opportunities, you will be given a specific assignment for each role.
To apply, click here
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