Items filtered by date: Friday, 26 April 2019
Friday, 26 April 2019 18:41

AfDB signs $50m agreement with Natixis

The African Development Bank (AfDB) has signed a 50 million dollars Risk Participation Agreement (RPA) with investment and corporate bank Natixis to boost trade finance in Africa.

A statement by the Communication and External Relations Department of AfDB on Thursday indicated that 50/50 risk-sharing agreement covered a portfolio of commercial transactions totalling 100 million dollars.

Natixis is the international financing institution, investment, asset management, insurance and financial services division of Groupe BPCE, the second-largest banking group in France, with 31 million customers through its two networks, Banque Populaire and Caisse d’Epargne.

Natixis has expertise in four business areas: Asset and Wealth Management; Corporate and Investment Banking; Insurance; and specialized financial services, it supports its financial institutions and institutional investors’ clienteles around the world.

It explained that the agreement would support commercial operations worth 600 million dollars in Africa over the next three years.

According to the statement, the AfDB’s Director of Financial Sector Development, Stefan Nalletamby, the RPA will meet the growing demand of African markets for trade finance in key economic sectors such as agribusiness, health, services and industry.

“In addition, it will promote the diversification of the economy, generating growth, jobs and additional tax revenues for several African states.

“The agreement will notably benefit African commercial banks as well as SMEs on the continent, by guaranteeing them better access to financing for their foreign trade operations.

“Today’s signing is important as it responds to our desire to develop financial partnerships with strong non-regional banks, to boost trade finance in Africa and further support intra-African trade, as outlined in our Trade Finance Programme endorsed in 2018.

“This agreement will allow us to extend our support to African SMEs, but also to local banks in French-speaking countries and some transition states,” it said.

The statement also quoted Mr Marc Jaskowiak, Senior Banker, who signed the agreement on behalf of Natixis as saying “this historic agreement allows us not only to better support our clients in Africa but also to further strengthen the strategic relationship that we have the privilege of developing with the AfDB.”

Published in Bank & Finance

Social media giants, Facebook said it could face a fine of up to $5 billion as the result of an investigation by the Federal Trade Commission, US Today reports.

The agency has been investigating Facebook for possible privacy violations but has not announced any findings yet.

The company set aside $3 billion in its quarterly earnings report Wednesday as a contingency against the possible penalty.

The one-time charge slashed Facebook’s first-quarter net income considerably, although revenue grew by 25% in the period.

The FTC has been looking into whether Facebook broke its own 2011 agreement promising to protect user privacy.

Investors shrugged off the charge and sent the company’s stock up nearly 5% to $190.89 in after-hours trading.

Facebook has had several high-profile privacy lapses in the past couple of years.

The FTC has been looking into Facebook’s involvement with the data-mining firm Cambridge Analytica scandal since last March.

That company accessed the data of as many as 87 million Facebook users without their consent.

Published in Telecoms

After being the first nation to successfully perform a soft landing on the half of Earth’s neighbor, Asian giants China is pledging to focus on what would surely be one of its greatest scientific accomplishments to date: building a lunar base.

China’s state-run Xinhua news agency first reported the declaration, which was made by the head of China’s National Space Administration, Zhang Kejian, during a speech at China’s Space Day celebration.

The country’s immediate plans include launching the successor to the Chang’e-4 lander, called (predictably) the Chang’e-5, which will collect samples of lunar material and then return back to Earth.

That mission is expected to get underway by the end of 2019, and a Mars probe mission is also slated for 2020.

Plans for a base on the Moon are a bit more vague, however, with the country stating that it plans to build a “research station” near the South Pole of the Moon in order to facilitate exploration and make new discoveries.

China’s space agency says it will accomplish this within about ten years.

Published in World

The Federal Government has begun talks with Saudi Arabia national oil company, Aramco for investment in the country’s refineries.

The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr Ibe Kachikwu, disclosed tis on Wednesday while speaking with ‘Bloomberg Daybreak: Americas’ on the sidelines of the Financial Sector Conference, at Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

This is coming after repeated attempts at revamping the nation’s moribund refineries that performed grossly below capacity over the years.
The country has also almost solely on imported petroleum products to fuel the economy.

“We are looking at cooperation along very multi levels. For example, we are asking for some investments into four of our refineries,” Kachikwu said.

Continuing, the minister said: “We are looking at the potential for Liquefied Natural Gas investment. We are looking at some straight trade deals in terms of our DSDP programme, to see how they (Saudi Arabia) can participate and bring in products into the country.”

The direct sale of crude oil and the direct purchase of products started in 2017. Under the DSDP model, selected overseas refiners, trading companies and indigenous companies are allocated crude supplies in exchange for the delivery of an equal value of petrol and other refined products to the NNPC.

A tweet by the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, confirmed on Wednesday that Kachikwu and the President of Saudi Aramco had discussed investment options in the mid and downstream sector.

The ministry, on its Twitter feed, said Kachikwu and Aramco officials including its president discussed “areas of shared investment interests and existing viable investment options in the midstream and downstream sector.”

The ministry also tweeted that Kachikwu held talks with Saudi Arabia’s energy minister to “cement the budding interest to support Nigeria’s infrastructure development in the oil sector.”

Published in Business

The Bank of Agriculture (BoA) is to receive a facelift as the Federal Government plans to inject N10 billion in repositioning it.

This was disclosed by the management of Lead Capital Consortuim, the consortium tasked to provide financial advisory and policy that will support the Federal Government, regarding the recapitalisation of the bank.

The consortuim is to also ensure that good control and governance is instituted in BoA.
Speaking during a visit to the bank on Thursday, the Managing Director, Lead Capital Consortium, Dr Wale Adewunmi, said the bank would also undergo several restructuring to meet up with modern technological advancement in banking sector.

This is even as the Managing Director of the Bank, Kabir Mohammed Adamu, said the bank has recovered over N7billion as part of outstanding debts owed it by borrowers.

Adewunmi said, “Upon completion of restructuring the bank over the next 14 weeks, the Federal Government will recapitalise it with over N10 billion and subseqently, the process will continue through public funding”.

Adewunmi further explained, “The first funding will come form Federal Government, then the subsquent one will be from the public.

“The objective is that , the consortium has been tasked to provide financial advise and policy options as well that will support the Federal Government of Nigeria, regarding the recapitalisation of the Bank of Agric and also ensure that good corporate governance is instituted into it.

“The bank is at the verge of receiving fresh capital, so it needs to really deal with issue of corperate governance , so that there will be proper management of resources going forward.

“The second objective is also to have the BOA to catch up on the gaps it currently has in its operations. For instance, it is still not having a license perse as a bank. This will be sorted out at this point so that it’s now properly licensed at this point by the CBN.

Published in Agriculture

The Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Wednesday, continued its intervention in the internet-bank segment of foreign exchange market as it injected another $210 million.

According to the CBN, authorised dealers in the wholesale segment of the market got $100m, while those in the Small and Medium Enterprises segment were offered $55m.

Similarly, customers purchasing foreign exchange for invisibles such as tuition fees, medical payments and Basic Travel Allowance, among others, were offered $55m.

Confirming this, the Director, Corporate Communications Department, CBN, Mr Isaac Okorafor, said that the CBN would continue to ensure the availability of foreign exchange in order to ensure continued stability in the markets.

The apex had last week Thursday intervened in the retail secondary market sales segment with $254.8m and CNY34.8m.

Published in Bank & Finance

American multinational technology giant, Microsoft, on Thursday reached a valuation of one trillion dollars for the first time.

The company becomes the third company to hit the threshold after Apple and Amazon passed it last year.

Microsoft’s shares rose almost 4pc in early trading to more than $130.50, the stock needed to hit the trillion dollar mark.

This feat is coming barely twenty four hours after the company declared that its profits in the quarter to March 31 rose 19 per cent to $8.8 billion on revenues of $30.8 billion, an increase of 14 per cent from the same period a year earlier.

Published in Business

Singapore-based agriculture company, Olam International Limited is set to buy Dangote Flour Mill Plc for an enterprise value of N130 billion.

According to the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Olam Grains and Animal Feed, K.C.Suresh, the acquisition of Dangote Flour Mills Plc supports the strategy of the Grain and Animal Feed business, one of its prioritised platforms for growth in Nigeria.

“We are confident about the growth prospects in this country and this acquisition, doubling our installed capacity here, is evidence of our long-term commitment to the Nigerian economy,” K.C.Suresh said.

In a notice to the Nigerian Stock Exchange on Tuesday, Dangote Flours Mills informed its shareholders and the investing public of receipt of the offer from Olam International Limited to acquire all of the outstanding and issued shares of Dangote Flour Mills “that are not currently held by Olam or its subsidiary, Crown Flour Mills Limited.”

It said, “The total consideration offered by Olam and being considered by the Board of DFM for the entire 5,000,000,000 issued shares of the company is N130bn. The consideration represents the enterprise value on a debt-free, cash-free basis, payable in cash at the closing of the proposed transaction.

“This consideration will be adjusted for the net working capital and net debt as of March 31, 2019 or any other later date that may be agreed by Olam and the Board of DFM to arrive at the final price payable to equity shareholders. The final price to be paid to the shareholders of the company would be adjusted downwards to exclude shares held by Olam through its subsidiary.”

It, however, maintained that the offer was subjective to the approval of shareholders, regulatory approvals and the sanction of the Federal High Court.

Upon meeting with the terms and conditions, the company would be delisted from the Nigerian Stock Exchange.

Published in Business

Nigeria’s House of Representatives is set to investigate the country’s loss of $27 billion oil revenue to International Oil Companies (IOCs) since 1999.

The development followed the lawmakers’ passage for the second reading, the Bill for an Act to Amend the Deep Offshore and Inland Basin Production Sharing Contracts Act, CAP D3 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004, to Review the Share of the Government of the Federation in the Additional Revenue Under the Production Sharing Contracts.

The existing Act authorising the sharing formula, stipulates that the IOCs are to drill crude and sell with the proceeds shared between them and the Federal Government on a 60/40 basis at $20 per barrel of crude.

The Rep members frowned that the companies have been keeping whatever excess revenue they generated from the increase in the price of crude and share based on $20 agreement not minding the current existing market price.

Deputy Majority Leader, Mr Idris Wase, who led the debate, urged the lawmakers to support the bill.

But, citing Order 12 Sub-Rule 3, Rep Uzoma Nkem-Abonta from Abia State said he and other lawmakers did not have  the hard  copies of the bill to allow them debate it adequately.

He was supported by Nicholas Ossai, from Delta State, who asked for the suspension of the second reading pending the availability of the copies of the bill to members.

However, the Deputy Speaker, Lasun Yussuf, prayed Yakubu Dogara, the Speaker who was presiding, to allow the debate to go on.

He meanwhile appealed for more legislative days to be set aside for the debate in order to give members enough time to exhaust their thoughts on the issue.

Noting that as an engineer who started his career in the oil sector, Lasun said he knew well that the Federal Government had little control over deep offshore oil exploration.

“The way things stand, we may end up being pushed out of the sharing formula in the future because the IOCs own the expertise and the funds, and they can even decide to apply international laws to claim the locations of the deep offshore wells.

“Like the Deputy Leader said, in order to encourage investment in the section of the industry, the government allowed the existing sharing formula because investment in that area is heavy. But should that be our approach to investment?” he said.

Published in Bank & Finance
The  Nigerian media run by mostly government and elitist sycophants, lazy, corrupt, and spineless men without principles has over the years, transformed itself into a deadly major weapon of falsehood, repression and mass destruction as potent and as virulent, pathogenic and invasive as the Ebola virus, doing more harm to the mostly battered psyche of Nigerians than the violent physical human catastrophes a combined effort of Al Qaeda and Boko Haram has done to humanity.
 
Nigeria cannot actualize itself with this kind of coerced and subdued news retail outlet called the "MEDIA" which its drivers mostly operate without principles because of their compulsive inordinate ambitions to make money at the expense of serving humanity through dissemination of factual information without bias anchored on ethical baselines hinged on global best practices.
 
The Nigerian news media is on a dangerous downward spiral and therefore, in need of an urgent reversal before it is too late. The news media in Nigeria should chase news and not the credible news begging it for attention even with money before they are considered for publication. 
 
The failure to report and or, the under-reporting of some news items in Nigeria because of the economics or otherwise of doing so, can create major catastrophes which could lead to avoidable loss of lives especially now when Nigeria is grappling with all kinds of violent criminal activities.
 
The media in Nigeria is fast losing its vitality as it has mostly become the mouthpiece  and vuvuzela of the Government and the elites who can pay them to spread falsehood or repress the people and the truth in apposition to its essence, and in the process, create real or imagined threats to the safety of the masses and its associated national security challenges.
 
 
Mr Itohoimo Udosen
Political/Public Affairs Analyst
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Published in Opinion & Analysis
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