NCB hikes dividend 29%

NCB hiked dividend to 90 cents from 70 cents in 2018.

NCB Financial hikes dividend 29 percent, to $2.2 billion or 90 cents per share, as profit from ongoing operations jumped 40 percent in the first quarter to December last year to $5.7 million before taxation.
Profit after taxation and one-time gains, resulted in net profit of $7.4 billion for the first quarter of the 2019 financial year, slightly lower than the prior year’s results that included a gain (negative goodwill) of $4.4 billion relating to the acquisition of Clarien Group. Profit for the latest quarter, includes a gain of $3.3 billion from the disposal of 326,277,325 JMMB Group shares at $28.25 per share.
The strong improved results climbed on the back of 24 percent in net income, to $20.7 billion from $16.7 billion in 2017, offset by a 21 percent increase in expenses. Included in expenses is loan loss provision of $1, up from just $146 million in 2017 and seems tied to the need to adjust loan provisioning in line with new Accounting Standards. Depreciation and amortization cost almost doubled to $1.3 billion, from $667 million in 2017. Other operating expenses jumped 29 percent to $6 billion from $4.7 billion in the prior year. The big improvement in revenues flowed from increases in net interest income from $7.55 billion to $9.85 billion, an increase of 30 percent, while exchange trading delivered a third more, at $4.2 billion.
Retail and Small Business Banking segment profit grew a strong 36 percent to $1.34 billion, but Payment Services fell just 2 percent to $1.2 billion. Corporate Banking jumped sharply by 76 percent to $1.25 billion, Treasury and Correspondent Banking was up by just 14 percent to $1.65 billion. Wealth, Asset Management and Investment Banking, grew attractively by 39 percent to $1.2 billion, Life Insurance & Pension Fund Management rose 29 percent to $1.3 billion while General Insurance moved from a loss of $107 million to a profit of $227 million.

NCB giving back to the community.

The Group’s loans and advances, net of provision for credit losses, rose 16 percent to $373.5 billion. NCB stated that “the growth was driven by our Jamaican that increased by 22 percent or $50.4 billion. Non-performing loans totalled $18.5 billion as at December 2018 (December 2017: $15 billion) and represented 4.9 percent of the gross loans compared to 4.6 percent as at December 2017.”  Customer deposits grew just 7 percent to $461 billion. The varied growth rate between loans and deposit is a strong positive for profit as the revenues climb faster than cost.
The group re-launched a revised take-over to acquire up to 32.01 percent of the outstanding shares of Guardian Holdings which, when combined with NCB’s existing 29.99 percent holding will bring the total to 62 percent. The profit of the group will get a further boost from this acquisition. IC has updated the earnings per share for 2019 to $14 from continuing operations and with the stock price at $145, the PE is just over 10 times earning making the stock BUY RATED with a 2019 target price of $225.

NCB & LascoFin close acquisitions

NCB Financial and Lasco Financial are reporting conclusion of the acquisition of their new subsidiaries.
NCB Financial acquisition of the majority shares in Bermuda’s Clarien Bank that was subject to regulatory approval by the Bermudan authorities is concluded.
Clarien has assets just over U$1.16 billion and reported profit of US1.2 million for 2016 before incurring an overall loss when other comprehensive loss is factored in, netting a loss of US$572,000 for the year. Results were weighed down by impairment losses on loans amounting to US$8.6 million in the year compared to US$9.2 million in 2015.
Lasco Financial advised that Scotia Group Jamaica has completed the transfer of Scotia Jamaica Microfinance Company Limited to the company. No details of the purchase price is mentioned but Scotia Group reported on the balance sheet as of October, assets held for sale amounting to $664 million which most likely represent the assets of CrediScotia.

NCB Group goes for 62% of Guardian

NCB set to increase shares in Guardian Holdings.

NCB Financial Group announced the launch an offer and take-over bid to acquire up to 74,230,750 ordinary shares in the Trinidad based Guardian Holdings at US$2.35 each, through its wholly-owned subsidiary, NCB Global Holdings Limited.
Guardian Holdings, a publicly-traded company listed on the Trinidad and Tobago Stock Exchange, and last traded at TT$16.55 around US$2.45. Guardian has 231,899,986 ordinary shares in issue with NCB Group holding approximately 69,547,241 units acquisition of the stated shares would take their holdings to 62 percent of the company and thus return the company back to Jamaican majority ownership which it had in the 1990s.
The offer, if successful, would result in NCBFG acquiring a controlling 62 percent interest in GHL following the 2016 acquisition of a 29.99 percent interest. Unless extended, the Offer period will close on January 12, 2018. Full acceptance of the Offer would result in a cash payment by NCBFG of the sum of up to approximately US$174,442,262 to the shareholders of GHL who accept the Offer.
Arthur Lok Jack Chairman of Guardian was one of the original sellers of Guardian shares to NCB and would have sold more at the time, but if NCB had acquired more then, it would have triggered the take over bid rule of the TTSE, requiring them to offer to buy the majority.
Guardian Group profit attributable to shareholders for the nine months ended September 2017 amounted to $254 million, a decline of $6 million compared to the corresponding period last year $260 million. NCB Group made profit of $19.1 billion for 2017, up from$14.45 billion in 2016.
The Offer will be conditional upon NCBFG acquiring control of GHL and obtaining regulatory and other approvals required to acquire the GHL Shares in Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica as well as all other jurisdictions in which GHL and its subsidiaries are regulated.
According to President and Group CEO Patrick Hylton, “We believe that this partnership will not only support our strategy to expand regionally, but will provide numerous growth opportunities for both NCB and GHL. The successful completion of this Offer will be a significant milestone for our business and we anticipate the great potential that this presents.”
Last week NCB announced the acquisition of the majority stakes in Clarien Bank in Bermuda.

NCB Buying 50.1% of Bermudan bank

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NCB Financial Group today announced the acquisition of majority shares in the Clarien Group, a Bermudan based financial group in which Portland Private Equity holds 17.92 percent interest.
Edmund Gibbons Ltd with retain 31.98 percent of the shares. The transaction has received approval from Bank of Jamaica and the Bermuda Monetary Authority provided a no objection letter, the release from NCB states but final approval is subject to the Ministry of Finance. James Gibbons a director of the group expresses the view that the linkage will enable expansion of their offering locally and globally.
In 2016, Portland Private Equity pumped in B$$12.6 million into Clarien to meet capital needs based on tighter regulatory capital requirements as well as a swelling bad debt position amounting to 14 percent of their loan portfolio. The bank is said to have made B$$500,000 profit in 2015.
According The Royal Gazette, Clarien said its loan portfolio had shrunk by $66.8 million in 2015 to $809.7 million by the end of the year. This was attributed to a trend of borrowers paying down mortgage debt.
Clarien has more than eight decades of banking history in Bermuda and is said to be the largest bank in the country.
NCB recently raised US$250 million on the local market for regional expansion, this acquisition seems to be one that was on their radar when the funds were being raised, but based on the amount Portland injected the acquisition by NCB could cost around US$40-50 million, a mere dent in the amount they raised in the summer of 2017, but with earnings of $500,000 in 2015, unless profits picked up considerably since, which seems unlikely with the acquisition by NCB, the amount paid is most likely considerably far less.
For the fiscal year to September NCB made profit of J$19.1 billion or US$146 million up from J$14.45 billion in 2016. Gross revenues for 2017 fiscal year amounted to J$75.7 billion.