The prognosis for 2017 is that of another challenging financial year. The economy is still in recession though the assurance of the Federal Government of Nigeria is that the country will see signs of a rebound by the middle of 2017. Economic experts seem to share the optimism of the Government.
The militancy within the Niger Delta continues, with the resultant reduction in earnings of the Federal Government. However, it appears that the insurgency in the North East has been curtailed to a large extent and we hope that this would be accompanied by increased farm yields.
The price of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) may change, which will put upward pressure on inflation, as the government grapples with market depreciation of the Nigerian currency in the parallel market on one hand, and the increase in the global price of crude oil that is worsened by the inability of the government to refine crude oil locally on the other.
Foreign exchange volatility is expected to subsist and the high yielding government securities will still compete with the liquidity available in the market.
Despite this subdued outlook, FBN Merchant Bank is expected to create and sustain value in the 2017 financial year. The acquisition of the target companies combined with the expansion of selected businesses are expected to fuel the growth of the merchant banking and asset management group. Our task as the Board and Management of the Bank is therefore to assess the market, identify, and harness the opportunities to grow shareholder value.
I thank our shareholders, whose tremendous support has helped keep the Bank steady and able to retain customer confidence amid the ongoing uncertainties. To the members of the Board, I am pleased to be one of you, and acknowledge your commitment and dedication to the Bank. I look forward with excitement to your continued candour and vibrancy at our future deliberations.
I also extend my thanks to the Management and staff of our company for your tenacity and professionalism amid the ongoing changes. My charge to you is to stay on the quest for leadership in the 2017 financial year.