Tuesday, 30 April 2013

FCMB Declares N16.3bn Profit, Issues Bonus Shares

2003N.FCMB-Building.jpg - 2003N.FCMB-Building.jpg
FCMB office
Shares in First City Monument Bank (FCMB) Plc fell by 8.5 per cent yesterday as investors reacted to non-payment of cash dividends by the bank for the year ended December 31, 2012.

The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) made the audited results of the bank available on the trading floors yesterday showing a profit before tax of N16.25 billion in 2012, compared with a loss of N10.68 billion in 2011.
Despite the improved fortunes, the directors of the company did not recommend any cash dividend payout for the shareholders. Instead, a bonus issue of one new share for every 25 shares already held was recommended.

‘We believe strongly in the power of entrepreneurs to transform Africa’

Malik Fal
Omidyar Network Africa CEO
As of March 2013, Omidyar Network has committed more than $611 million to for-profit and non-profit companies that foster economic advancement, including entrepreneurship. In a chat with BusinessDay Industry Analyst, NONSO NDUMANYA, on the sidelines of the just concluded ‘Accelerating Entrepreneurship in Africa’ forum, Malik Fal, Omidyar Network Africa CEO, shares on how entrepreneurship can be leveraged on, to transform Africa. Excerpts.
Why interest in entrepreneurship?
As a philanthropic investment firm, we are dedicated to harnessing the power of markets to create opportunity for people to improve their lives. We believe strongly in the power of entrepreneurship, to transform Africa, hence we invest in and help scale innovative organisations to catalyse economic and social change.
In 2012, your firm launched the Accelerating Entrepreneurship in Africa Initiative. What led to that, and what were your findings?
We needed to better understand the state of entrepreneurship in Africa. In executing the multi-phase research project, we partnered with the Monitor Group, a global consulting firm, and together we set out to identify the challenges facing African entrepreneurs and pinpoint the most trenchant barriers that inhibit high-impact entrepreneurship. The first phase of the initiative commenced with a survey of 582 entrepreneurs in six sub-Saharan African countries: Ethopia, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa and Tanzania. That survey, in turn, was augmented by 72 in-depth interviews and then benchmarked against 19 global peers. The second phase of the initiative brought together business and thought leaders to analyse the survey findings. The sessions which held in October at the inaugural Entrepreneurship in Africa Summit in Accra, Ghana, drew more than 300 relevant leaders from both private and public sectors to participate in a solutions-driven dialogue on fostering high-impact entrepreneurship across the continent. We are happy to report that a culture of entrepreneurship is growing in sub-Saharan Africa, with indicators related to entrepreneurial motivations at least on par with or higher than global peers.

Germany to invest more in Africa

Germany is SA's 3rd largest trading partner and its 2nd largest investor.

africaGermany is to increase its economic investment in South Africa and other African states, Foreign Affairs Minister Guido Westerwelle said in Pretoria on Monday.
His country was seeking partners in Africa to do business with as equals, he told reporters after meeting his South African counterpart Maite Nkoana-Mashabane in Pretoria.
"This is a strategic decision of the government in Germany to seek new opportunities in Africa, especially in South Africa. We think Africa is a continent of opportunities.
"We need investments. We need to trade and establish partnerships between equals. We need partnerships in skills development, vocational training, education and science."
Westerwelle is leading a Germany business delegation which has toured Ghana and will be heading to Mozambique.

Africa’s stocks beckon, but there's a hitch

Africa’s economy is getting a lot of upbeat coverage these days, no doubt intriguing investors who are looking for the next big thing in emerging markets.

But even as Africa shows increasing promise, most investors will find their options limited to the point where it remains more of a spectacle than a realistic money-maker.

Mohamed El-Erian, best known as the chief executive of Pacific Investment Management Co. LLC, the $2-trillion (U.S.) asset manager, gushed over Africa in the latest issue of Foreign Policy.

He argued that the region is moving beyond its reputation as an operations base for multinational commodity producers and is now seeing economic diversification in the form of homegrown small-and medium-sized enterprises.

Nigeria: CBN's Regulatory Framework Permitting Derivatives Stimulates The Capital Market In Nigeria

The attitude of investors in developed economies towards risk has evolved from the initial position of diversifying risk exposures between varying portfolios of assets into the treatment of risk as an asset eligible for trading on regulated markets.

The extent to which an investor is willing to take up risk is now being given particular attention in the form of risk packaging such that various risks associated with an item or asset is separated and the risk packages are sold to investors willing to take up such risks in accordance with their risk appetite.

Simply put, in a credit transaction, the creditor is ordinarily accustomed to seek a guarantee to protect itself from any risk of default; In effect, if the debtor defaults, the guarantor owes an obligation to the principal to make up the default to the extent of the guaranty. It is almost often a tripartite contract. However, with a derivative, the creditor may simply enter into a separate and independent contract with the aim of mitigating or hedging his risk exposure.

Blue chips shed weight, market cap falls

0502-NSE-Building-Lagos.jpg - 0502-NSE-Building-Lagos.jpgTransactions on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) opened for the week on Monday on a negative note with major equities recording price depreciation.

The All-Share Index declined by 128.26 points or 0.39 per cent to close at 33,030.82 against the 33,159.08 achieved on Friday. Also, the market capitalisation dropped N41 billion to close at N10.560 trillion compared with N10.601 trillion posted on Friday.

Total topped the losers’ table, dropping N15 to close at N142 per share. Lafarge Wapco came second on the losers’ table with a loss of N5.01 to close at N71.99, while Dangote Cement lost N2.73 to close at N156.12 per share.

FCMB returns to profit in Q1 2013 at 2.7% after 252.6% decline in 2012 and zero dividends

WorldStage Newsonline—The Nigerian Stock Exchange on Monday published the fourth quarter (Q4) 2012 and first quarter 2013 results of FCMB with profit after tax (PAT) after minority interest in Q4 2012 put at N4.296 billion; N14.756 billion in full year 2012, at 252.6% decline when compared to the previous year; but N4.160 billion positive in Q1 2013 at 2.7%.
However for the second year in a row FCMB did not make provision for a dividend.
The bank’s interest income went up 4 per cent to N20.674 billion in Q4 2012; which added up to N87.021 billion in full year at 39.3% and N25.090 billion in Q1 2013 at 27.0%.
The bank made provisions of N11.994 billion in Q4 2012 at 50.6% out of the N12.698 billion in full year at 54.1%, but only N411 million in Q1 2013, a 181.2% improvement over the same quarter in 2012.
Notably the bank's Operating expenses jumped to N3.936 billion in Q4 at 53.7%, out of the N43.769 billion in the whole year at positive 35.5%, and further increace at N14,006 billion in Q1 2013 at positive 16.7%
However, the bank grew non-interest income in Q4 2012 to N11.054 billion at 1819.4%; N29.214 billion in full year at 138.0%, but declined to N6.138 billion in Q1 2013, a 3.6% lower than in same quarter in 2012.
According to analysts from FBN Capital, i”rrespective of any clarification from management on some of the trends in Q4, the absence of a dividend for 2012 is likely to dominate the market’s reaction to these results. This marks the second year in a row that FCMB will not pay a dividend.
“We do not understand the rationale behind the 1 for 25 bonus issue announced. We were looking for FCMB to propose a token dividend of 9 kobo. The writing was on the wall in Q3 2012 because the bank’s reserves, out of which any proposed dividend would have been paid, were still negative.
“As of the end of last week, FCMB shares had gained 25.3% vs the ASI’s 18.1%. Beyond any negative reaction to the zero dividend for 2012, we think the shares are likely to trade sideways going forward. If we annualise the Q1 2013 ROAE, the result (12.4%) is still well below our cost of equity assumption of 20.8%. As such, we may see only limited multiple expansion beyond the 0.7x 2012 P/B multiple that the stock is trading on currently. Our estimates are under review. “

Investing in Nigeria - the new face of Interpreneurship

Nigerian FlagIf you haven’t been in the West African airspace recently, you may not know of the ecstatic new buzz of the town- it’s got everyone talking and investors listening.

It’s the catchy innovations of Nigeria’s finest interpreneurs.

Nigeria in the past decade or two has gradually been losing its predominance as an investment hub, due to the tight competition of her West African neighbors, but now, the 160 million strong nation is coming back with very interesting investment opportunities for the more new and invigorated investors, and she is doing it in her information technology sector.

To restate the potency the internet has accrued in the past decade or two would be to be-labor the point. However, not many nations of the world have deemed it fit to invest in the development of the information technology sector. The same could be said of Nigeria, but very quickly, the state of that is changing.

The government of Nigeria has steadily and consciously been involved in the research and development of the countries telecommunication industry, leaving it in the hands of the most competitive and profitable telecommunication conglomerates in the region. As a result, there has been a steady development and improvement in the quality of data services being offered to the Nigerian populace.

Monday, 29 April 2013

SEC suspends Vision Trusts, AIMS Asset from capital market operations over fraud

WorldStage Newsonline-- Nigeria’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), said it has suspended Vision Trusts and Investment Limited and AIMS Asset Management Limited, from participating in capital market activities by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
The capital market regulator said the suspension also affected individuals sponsored by the companies.
In a notice posted at its website, SEC said that Vision Trust and Investment Limited was suspended as a result of its sale of 131, 868 and 44, 400 units of United Bank for Africa shares belonging to the estate of Animashaun Anjorin without mandate.
The commission pointed out that the firm was given several opportunities to restore the shares to the owner, but it failed to do so, hence the suspension.
Also, AIMS Asset Management Limited was suspended for non-refund of the sum of N300, 000 deposited by an investor under a portfolio investment agreement.

Foreign portfolios hit N4.3tr at stock market

0502-NSE-Building-Lagos.jpg - 0502-NSE-Building-Lagos.jpgForeign investors staked about N4.3 trillion on quoted shares on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) between 2007 and March 2013, The Nation’s investigation has shown.
The latest report showed that foreign investors gradually and consecutively increased their investments in Nigerian equities from about 15 per cent of total market turnover in 2007 till a high of about 67 per cent in 2011.
Foreign portfolios were, particularly, the main drivers of transactions on the NSE in the past two years, with foreign investors accounting for average of two-thirds of equity transactions between 2011 and last year.
Nigerian investors have, however, made strong rebound this year, displacing foreign portfolios as the main drivers of stock market’s transactions. Compared with the situation in 2011 and 2012, when foreign investors accounted for 67 per cent and 61 per cent of total turnover on the NSE, foreign investors accounted for about 43 per cent.

Stock Market Close Firmer Despite Profit-taking

0502-NSE-Building-Lagos.jpg - 0502-NSE-Building-Lagos.jpgThe Nigerian equities market reversed the prior week's negative performance to close last week on a positive note, helped by traders’ positive response to the first quarter earnings results released by the banks. However, the performance during the week was not spectacular as profit-taking activity persisted.

The previous week, the much-awaited rally in the earnings season did not materialise as the market closed the week in red despite stronger-than-expected results released by some banks.
Trading resumed on a strong note last Monday as stock prices returned northward, sustaining the gain momentum that started at the end of the prior trading week. The positive momentum was driven by speculative investors and securities traders’ positive response to the first quarter earnings results released by the banks. The impressive earnings results rekindled investors’ purchase interests for the banking stocks.

Stock prices however fell on Tuesday, snapping the gains of previous trading days as investors’ buy actions were not enough to sustain the momentum. At the close of business that day, only the banking index witnessed a slight gain because investors were still positively responding to the impressive first quarter earnings results.

 The market returned northward on Wednesday as trading activities increased by 16 per cent in relation to volume as investors bought 365.823 million shares worth N4.615 billion in 5,476 deals compared to 316.105 million units of shares worth N4.030 billion exchanged in N5.247 deals on Tuesday.

Why African entrepreneurs need to be thinking about ‘Conscious Capitalism’

“I am a complete capitalist.” This is how John Mackey, CEO of Whole Foods, opened his talk on Conscious Capitalism (also the title of his recently launched book) at this year’s SXSW.

John Mackey, CEO of Whole Foods

However, as Mackey explains, we tend to forget that capitalism has not been around that long. Two hundred years ago it didn’t even exist and 85% of the world lived on less than a dollar a day — that figure is now 16%. Despite this, there is a massive paradox, because although business and capitalism has helped lift humanity up, it is intensely disliked.

In America, the two least trusted institutions are big business and congress. In South Africa, we can relate to this on a broader scale. Our myriad of public and private enterprise issues, from telecommunications and basic service delivery to mining and food company collusion, have spread to a severe mistrust — and sometimes even hatred — of large companies and parliament.

Jonathan’s administration is dragging Nigeria back into debt trap – CNPP

1 GEJ CARTOONThe Conference of Nigerian Political Parties, CNPP, has said that the country was inching back into what it called “debt trap”, DailyPost can report.

In a statement on Sunday, CNPP Publicity Secretary Osita Okechukwu, said that the coalition was enraged that the “President, Goodluck Jonathan’s regime is rapidly rail-loading Nigeria back into Debt Trap, irrespective of the unprecedented oil and gas, FIRS Tax and Customs Duty revenues, decked with Excess Crude Account”

According to him, “When in 2006 Nigeria doled out $12.4 billion, which could have been used to provide electricity, to pay the odious Paris and London Clubs loan, we rejected it and we were assured by the present Minister of Finance, Dr Ngozi Okonjo Iweala, that Nigeria was out of the Debt Trap. Especially when we pointed out that the loans she paid for were fraudulent loans obtained through corrupt and unjust methods by unconscionable civilian regime military dictatorship.

East Africa: African MPs Want Transparency in Land Deals

East African Legislative Assembly

African lawmakers have resolved to strengthen existing laws at the national and regional level to prevent fraudulent land deals on the continent.

This was one of the resolutions announced on Saturday at the end of a two-day workshop organised by the Pan-African Parliament (PAP) and the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA), in Kigali.
Held under the theme: "Making Agricultural Investment Work for Africa: A Parliamentarian's response to the land rush," the meeting was also attended by MPs from the Economic Community of West African States (Ecowas), and the Central African Economic and Monetary Community.

"We commit to work towards transparency of all investment contracts and treaties, whether by local or foreign investors, by making them available to the public in a timely manner," MP Isabelle Ndahayo (Burundi), the Chairperson of the EALA's Committee on Agriculture, Tourism and Natural Resources, said.

"We commit to mobilise public opinion and governments on the question of land grabs and raise awareness among citizens through public campaigns and special parliamentary debates."

Africa Investing in Africa

Richard Attias
Founder, The New York Forum
Richard Attias

I recently wrote about foreign direct investment in Africa and the prospect of engagement among developing nations and the BRICS. But in order for sustainable development to be achieved across the continent, smart input from Africa's own entrepreneurs and institutions must also occur. The question of intra-regional African investment is therefore a large one -- and an increasingly urgent one.

Last year in the Economist Magazine, Nigeria's minister of finance, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, suggested that in 2013 "'Africa investing in Africa' will become an important slogan." This is our hope.

Currently, intra‐African trade stands at around 10 percent, in contrast with 60 percent, 40 percent, and 30 percent intra‐regional trade in Europe, North America and ASEAN.

More good news for Africa: Consumer spending and private investment is up

africaConsumer spending, which accounts for more than 60 % of Africa’s GDP, remained strong last year according to a World Bank report.

The trend was driven by declining inflation across the continent and improved access to credit in Angola, Ghana, Mozambique, South Africa, Nigeria and Zambia. In addition, interest rates were much lower in 2012 than in 2011 and we witnessed a spectacular rebound in agricultural income thanks to stable weather conditions. Especially Guinea, Mauritania and Niger experienced good rains compared to 2011, but less crops failed in general across the continent compared to the previous years.

We also have to add the steady remittance inflows to the good news coming from Africa, currently estimated at $31 billion.

Not to be sneezed at are the increased investments that are supporting the region’s growth performance. In 2012, for example, net private capital flows into the region increased by 3.3 % to a record $54.5 billion; and foreign direct investment inflows to the region increased by 5.5 % in 2012 to $37.7 billion.

The World Bank report also mentioned that exports are increasingly helping the continent’s growth and that the traditional destination of these goods over the last decade is also changing. Since 2000, the overall growth of sub-Saharan exports to emerging markets and other African countries has surpassed that to developed markets. Africans are increasingly selling to and buying from other Africans, which is the best news of all.

BP’s $555.6mn investment ‘a leverage’ for Southern Africa

Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe has welcomed Petroleum giant British Petroleum’s announcement that it would invest $555.6 million in Southern Africa – with most of it in South Africa – as a “statement of confidence” in the region, APA can report Sunday.“It reconfirms the commitment of a major investor in our country and we are also happy that in the course of normal business they are making a contribution towards our skills development programme, in education, so they are an important corporate citizen of South Africa,” Motlanthe said.

While meeting with Motlanthe, the company’s group managing director and chief executive of refining and marketing, Iain Conn, said part of the reason for the confidence in this investment was the National Development Plan and its direction. The plan sought to reduce inequality and eliminate poverty by 2030.

Nigerian Equities on the Rebound

Oscar-Onyema-18.jpg - Oscar-Onyema-18.jpg
NSE DG, Oscar Onyema
Goddy Egene reviews the performance of the stock market in the last five years, predicting that with the reforms initiated by the financial system regulators, on the back of support of the Goodluck Jonathan administration, the Nigerian bourse is expected to make a full recovery of its 2008 and 2009 losses by the end of this year

From all indicators, the Nigerian stock market is forecast to end 2013 positively and is expected to continue to recover the losses it suffered in 2008 and 2009. The market had lost over half of its value (60 per cent) by the end of 2009 as the contagion from the global financial crisis spread to the Nigerian economy and a local banking crisis combined to end an unprecedented two-year bull run.

Prior to the crash, the boom period chiefly buoyed by the banking consolidation exercise and repeated capital raising exercises by the banks, had seen the NSE All Share Index (ASI) rise by 37.8 per cent in 2006 and 74.7 per cent in 2007, while market capitalisation rose by 67.5 per cent and 140.83 per cent respectively during the same period.

Stakeholders urge merger of Nigerian airlines to survive

FOR Nigerian airlines to survive in the face of harsh economic reality, they have been told to shun the stand-alone ideology, as the idea is no longer realistic.

That was the verdict of experts from Europe, United States and Nigeria at the Nigerian Aviation Summit, with theme: “A dozen world airlines…Nigeria challenges”, held in Lagos at the weekend.

They explained that all over the world, bigger airlines are merging, forming alliances to remain in business and helping one another as global airline business has become competitive.

African airlines, particularly Nigerian airlines, are in serious financial dire straits as they are bogged down by heavy debts, harsh operating environment and sometimes, government’s policies that are not favourable to them.

The carriers’ precarious situation forced the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to organise a N100 billion worth of rescue operation the airlines have not repaid.

Nigeria: Enterprise Bank Profitability Rises 316 Percent to N11 Billion

Enterprise Bank rolls out prepaid MasterCard
Enterprise Bank Limited has recorded 316 per cent growth in its profitability to N11.3 billion for its operating year ended December 2012.

Enterprise Bank is one of the bridge banks that emerged on August 5, 2011 following the takeover by the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) of the defunct Spring Bank Plc and its subsequent recapitalization and ownership by the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON).

In its first five months of operation which ended December 2011, the bank recorded a loss of N5.2billion hence the N11 billion profits recorded represents a growth of 316.6 per cent during the period. The sharp increase in profitability was occasioned by 283.9 per cent growth in gross earnings to 40.4billion as at year ended December 2012 from N10.5billion achieved in the five-month period ended 2011.

The bank's deposit also grew from N162.6billion to N208.4billion between the year ended 2011 and 2012 respectively. This represents a growth of about 28.2 per cent. Total assets also experienced a growth of 31 per cent between the periods from N198.5billion as at end of 2011 to N261.1billion as at the end of 2012.

Friday, 26 April 2013

P. Diddy Rap's Richest

Sean �Diddy� Combs
Sean “Diddy” Combs
The music mogul tops Forbes' list of hip-hop's wealthiest.

Sean “Diddy” Combs rose to mainstream fame in the late 1990s rapping about his desire for Benjamins, otherwise known as $100 bills. A decade and a half later, he might need to consider some larger denominations—McKinleys, Clevelands and Madisons, perhaps—to express his wealth.
Diddy ranks No. 1 on this year’s Forbes Five, our list of hip-hop’s wealthiest artists, with an estimated net worth of $580 million. The bulk of the Bad Boy Records founder’s wealth comes from non-musical ventures, namely his deal with Diageo’s Ciroc. The agreement entitles him to eight-figure annual payouts and a nine-figure windfall if the brand is ever sold—and Ciroc’s value has never been higher.

“It is one of the fastest-growing brands within vodka,” says Jack Russo, an equity analyst at Edward Jones & Co. “Consumers are feeling a little bit better about their situation, and with that, they’re willing to spend more on premium products.”

The No. 2 spot goes to Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter, with a net worth of $475 million. He’s still rolling in cash from megadeals like his $204 million Rocawear sale in 2007 and his $150 million pact with Live Nation the following year. He continues to hold stakes in Roc Nation, Carol’s Daughter, the Brooklyn Nets—and, more significantly, the Barclays Center itself—while adding new partnerships with the likes of Duracell, Budweiser and Bacardi’s D’ussé Cognac.

Where are the women in African tech?

The clamour for innovation in the African society today is loud. In the era where there is a lot happening in ICT, innovation and entrepreneurship, why are there still very few women involved in these areas? Past research reports and workshops have openly addressed female participation issues and the need to build more capacity of women in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics); to give them a chance to contribute to the growth of the economy.

According to an ongoing study conducted by iHub Research on ICT Hubs, it’s evident that there are still very few women in co-working spaces such as ICT Hubs/Labs developing innovative ideas or working on challenging science related projects. Even if the women are there, they take up the non-STEM jobs such as: sales and marketing, receptionist or administrator, etc.

Few ladies participating:

I recently, attended a USSD workshop by Weza Tele, where they called upon developers, technologists and other tech practitioners to be part of the workshop. It was disheartening to find that out of the 32 people who applied, only two women took part (one lady + me). Is it that the event was not well communicated or are women disinterested in learning practical knowledge on new technologies?

One of the ladies who attended the USSD workshop, in a practical session

Women often tend to shy away:

Thursday, 25 April 2013

FG spends N158bn on N’Delta amnesty

Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi
Federal Government of Nigeria has so far expended over $1 billion (N158 billion) on the amnesty programme since 2009. Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, disclosed this yesterday, while delivering a lecture at the first Ochendu Youth Empowerment Series, held at the Michael Okpara Auditorium, Umuahia, Abia State.

At the lecture, titled: ‘Youth Empowerment as Panacea to Insecurity in Nigeria’, Sanusi regretted that Nigeria, like most developing nations, is faced with numerous socio-economic challenges, which include unemployment, poverty, insecurity and conflicts. He, therefore, recommended youth empowerment for their active participation in economic activities, as part of the solution to these challenges. The Federal Government proclaimed and granted unconditional amnesty to Niger Delta militants in 2009 and pledged its commitment to institute programmes to assist their disarmament, demobilization, rehabilitation and re-integration of repentant militants.

$100m foreign investments coming

$100m foreign investments comingA consortium of foreign investors has told the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) that it plans to invest $100 million in Nigeria soon.

The news was broken when the team and their Nigerian technical partners visited the CBN in Abuja.

The ten-man delegation led by Chief Tony Osagie Hicks of Anita Energy limited, told the Deputy Governor, Financial System Stability (FSS), Dr. Kingsley Chiedu Moghalu, that the visit would bring massive investments in the region of $100 million to the country.

He said the investment “is expected to add value to the transformation agenda of the oil and gas infrastructure, power generation, fast speed train, telecommunications and the establishment of a Merchant Bank.

Nigeria: No Cause for Alarm On Nigeria's Economy - Okonjo-Iweala, Sanusi

Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo Iweala and Governor Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Mallam Lamido Sanusi have told the International Monetary Fund, IMF, that there is no cause for alarm over Nigeria's economy.

The duo had led the Nigerian official delegation to the just concluded 2013 IMF/World Bank Spring Meetings to a meeting with the Managing Director IMF, Christine Lagarde over some observations made in the recent IMF Article IV Conclusion report on Nigeria.

Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala stated that macroeconomic fundamentals of Nigeria are strong but with equally strong vulnerability arising from the drop in crude oil output and price, noting that should the trend continue, Nigeria could be losing on average, about $1billion monthly.

She further told the IMF MD, that there was no cause for alarm, stating that Nigeria already accumulated a buffer of about $7billion which had become handy in cushioning the expected revenue shortfall, stating that the budget remains on course.

She reminded the head of the IMF that Nigeria would be rebasing its National Income Account and requested the Fund to work with the Nigerian official on the project and to set up an advisory board to supervise the process in order to instill global credibility.

On his part, Sanusi, in response to the recommendation of the IMF report that the Assets Management Corporation of Nigeria, AMCON, should be closed, argued that the Corporation should be allowed to complete the designed 10-year timeframe required to complete its operations. He explained that the model used in establishing AMCON shows that the Nigerian banking system would be able to recover the debts under 10 years.

Source: Vanguard

How To End Insecurity In Nigeria – CBN Governor

The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)
Sanusi Lamido Sanusi
The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Sanusi Lamido Sanusi on Wednesday said huge spending on security and use of guns by security forces would not guarantee security of lives and property of Nigerians.

The governor said this in a lecture paper he delivered at the Abia Youth Empowerment Summit in Umuahia.

He called for a more proactive measure to curb insurgency in the country, stressing that government owe it a duty to provide means of livelihood for the citizens.

“No matter how much we spend in security, no matter how many guns we give to security forces, there will not be security until these people have food on their table.

“Addressing security problems without addressing the fundamental economic causes is only a short-term measure.

“Yesterday it was Niger Delta militancy, today it is Boko Haram, tomorrow it will be something else. We have to address the problem of youth and their future across the country.”

He also advocated “difficult” structural reforms to grow the nation’s economy to scale.

He noted that more than 90 percent of religious, social, and political crises in the country had their roots in the economy.

“It’s about unemployment; it’s about poor infrastructure; it’s about an economy that is essentially dysfunctional; this is a country that imports what it can produce and exports what it does not produce.
“So the solution is simple. It’s about the difficult structural reforms that are required to grow the economy on scale.”

The dignitaries at the event included former Senate President, Adolphus Wabara and the Minister of Labour and Productivity, Emeka Wogu, among others.

Source: Channels

SA’s dismal entrepreneurial record

A new study has shown that South Africa's entrepreneurship levels are not only at their lowest in three years, but also the lowest in Sub-Saharan Africa.

SA’s dismal entrepreneurial record

A new study has shown that South Africa’s entrepreneurship levels are not only at their lowest in three years, but also the lowest in Sub-Saharan Africa.

The latest Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) report has shown that entrepreneurial activity in South Africa fell to 7.3% in 2012, compared to 9.1% in 2011, and 8.9% in 2010.

The study, which was conducted through face-to-face interviews with 2,298 South Africans, and gauges the percentage of the population of working age (18 – 64) about to start a business, as well as “new firms” which have been in operation for 3.5 years.

When it comes to these “new firms”, only 2% – the lowest rate in the region – make it past their formative years into established businesses, which does not paint a pretty picture for country’s aims to boost job creation.

Nigerian video streaming service iROKOtv signs deal with Nokia

Nigerian video streaming service iROKOtv has signed a deal with Nokia to launch a free mobile app for the Lumia range of Windows 8 Phones. The deal allows Nollywood fans to access the service’s full catlogue of Nigerian films on the go.


According to iROKO Partners, the company behind the service, the app is built with the same functionality as www.irokotv.com, giving users total control over their viewing experience and the ability to search the catalogue of thousands of movies by genre and actor, as well as select movies to “watch later”.

“The iROKOtv app is a fantastic addition to the ‘Nokia Collections within the Widows Phone Store’. Content is king, access is key and this app encapsulates this perfectly; awesome content, available on-demand, accessible on a mobile phone. Nollywood at your fingertips, wherever you are,” says Adibeli Nduka-Agwu, Head of Business Development for iROKO Partners.

Silicon Valley-style Accelerator Heading To East Africa

A new fund has been started in East Africa to provide seed capital for promising web and mobile entrepreneurs.

Called the Savannah Fund, the project has collected $10 million US to create a Silicon Valley-style accelerator for East African countries such as Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi, East Africa. Chosen start-ups will get about $25,000 and in exchange will give the fund equity of 15 percent.

“They will then have three to six months to prove themselves. Successes will have a chance of follow-on funding in the region of $100,000 to $200,000,” said one of the fund’s founders, Mbwana Alliy of Tanzania.

The start-up capital for the fund came from investors in Africa and America’s Silicon Valley.

Malik Fal Analyzes Strategies and Goals For Entrepreneurs in Africa

Malik Fal
Right around the time Omidyar Network released its Accelerating Entrepreneurship in Africa report, we had an opportunity to talk to Malik Fal, managing director of Omidyar Network Africa.

Fal has a finger on the pulse of entrepreneurship in Africa. He leads Omidyar Network’s investment strategy and operations on the continent, and for the last 15 years has been involved with social entrepreneurship, business, and development, primarily in the African context.

In this monster one hour interview Fal tells us why he is naturally skeptical about co-creation as a model for innovation in Africa, which country is most likely to become Africa’s tech hub in the next five years, the truth about multinational interest in African startups, bootstrapping and misconceptions about fundraising, Africa’s me-too mentality, the biggest challenges African entrepreneurs and its incubators face, and why Africa will lag in overcoming them.

Should African startups prioritise sound business models over innovation?

NSE index up 1.04%, as MRS, Ikeja Hotels, Capital Hotels shed weight

WorldStage Newsonline-- In spite that most blue chips dominated the losers' table, transactions on the floor of the Nigerian Stock Exchange closed Wednesday in an impressive note.
Market capitalisation rose by 1.04 per cent or N111 billion from N10.576 trillion Tuesday to N10.687 trillion today, while 22 stocks advanced and 34 declined.
The All-share index increased by 1.04 per cent from 33,086.29 Tuesday to 33,432.68, while turnover of 365,823,426 shares worth N5 billion exchanged hand in 5,476 deals.
On the gainers’ table, ABC Transport led with a gain of N0.06 kobo to close at N0.67 kobo per share, Learn Africa gained N0.18 kobo to close at N2.01 kobo per share and NAHCO plc gained N0.40 kobo to close at N6.00 kobo per share.
On the flip side MRS led by shedding N2.01 kobo to close at N18.15 kobo per share, Ikeja Hotels Plc shed N0.07 per share to close at N0.64 kobo per share and Capital Hotels shed N0.50 kobo per share to close at N4.59 kobo per share.

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Zambia: Remove Barriers for Female Entrepreneurs - - Kaseba

Zambian First Lady, Dr. Christine Kaseba
FEMALE entrepreneurs in the country are overlooked and undervalued, while in many instances they have to grapple with low levels of financing, First Lady Christine Kaseba has said.

Dr Kaseba said women entrepreneurs were faced with collateral constraints, technical deficiencies of entrepreneurship, legal and regulatory issues as well as weak policy coordination.

Speaking when she officiated at the joint commissioning of African Women Entrepreneurship Programme (AWEP) secretariat at Lusaks's Show Grounds yesterday, Dr Kaseba called on the Government to play a leading role in further examining the gender barriers that cause exclusion from mainstream entrepreneurship.

"Despite the positive strides in strengthening an entrepreneurship culture in Zambia, Government should play a leading role in further examining the gender specific barriers that cause exclusion from mainstream entrepreneurship," Dr Kaseba said.

SA’s entrepreneurial spirit is languishing

The entrepreneurial spirit fostered by the 2010 soccer World Cup has faded and is now at a new low, which the UCT Graduate School of Business attributes to the loss of an innovative spirit and to a “complicated cocktail of problems”.
Mike Herrington, the executive director of the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM), said this cocktail included the poor education system, difficult labour laws, crime, government corruption and nepotism and generally unfavourable conditions for people starting a business.
According to research, total early-stage entrepreneurial activity (TEA) dropped to 7.3 percent last year from a high of 9.1 percent in 2011. This represents almost a 20 percent drop over the year and is the lowest level in four years.
“Any impact [on entrepreneurship] of the soccer World Cup is gone,” he said, noting that there had been a boost in entrepreneurial activity, particularly of small business.

BP investing billions in South Africa

BP will invest nearly R5 billion in South Africa as a sign of its faith in the direction the country is heading, the energy company said.

"With the improving investment climate, especially policy stability... being presented in Southern Africa, BP has decided to invest significantly for the benefit of all of our stakeholders," British Petroleum (BP) refining and marketing chief executive Iain Conn told reporters in Johannesburg.

"It gives me great pleasure to announce that BP will be investing in excess of R5bn in Mozambique and South Africa over the next five years, commencing in 2013, which will be new plant and infrastructure upgrades."

It would be funded from BP cash reserves. Conn said R800 million would be invested in Mozambique, and R4.7bn in South Africa.

"This investment is designed to improve safety, customer experience, operational efficiency, help with government to improve energy security, and enable the transition towards cleaner fuels."

IFC to Issue U.S. $1 Billion Climate Bond Annually - - Promises Nigerian Entrepreneurs Better Deal

File:International Finance Corporation Building.JPG
The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, expects to issue at least $1 billion in green bonds a year to support private sector investment in renewable energy, energy efficiency, and other climate-friendly sectors.

Proceeds from the bonds are earmarked for projects that reduce greenhouse emissions--for example, by rehabilitating power plants and transmission facilities, installing solar and wind power, and providing funding for new technologies that result in significant reductions in emissions.

"Climate change is one of the most urgent development challenges of our time, and only markets can mobilize the investment necessary for mitigation and adaptation," said IFC EVP and CEO Jin-Yong Cai.

Cai said: "We are ramping up our Green Bond program to meet the growing demand for this asset class and enable investors to support climate-smart investment in developing countries."

iROKOtv CEO Joins NSE Alternative Securities Market As Growth Ambassador

Jason Njoku
Jason Njoku
VENTURES AFRICA – CEO of the world’s largest online distributor of Nigerian movies, Jason Njoku has been confirmed as an official Growth Ambassador for the Alternative Securities market (ASeM), a specialised board for listing small and mid-sized companies with high growth potential and is part of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE)

Njoku, who is CEO and co-founder of iROKO Partners, started his business in 2010, streaming Nollywood movies for free. Today, his company, iROKOtv, is the world’s largest distributor of African movies online.

He was nominated as a Growth Ambassador, thanks to his track record in building a successful, global Nigerian tech company and promoting business best-practice.

At 32, Njoku is the youngest member of the Growth Ambassador programme for the ASeM and will be working with advisors to look at how Nigeria’s young, budding entrepreneurs, notably in the technology and Internet sphere, can access funding and mentorship from business veterans and investors.

Nigeria: Small Scale Farmers to Get N450 Billion Loan

The Federal Government has reiterated its commitment to support small scale farmers across the country with a N450 billion facility from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

Information Minister Labaran Maku said this when he led the National Good Governance Tour team on an inspection of the Labana Rice Processing Mill in Birnin Kebbi, Kebbi State.

Maku, who said the Goodluck Jonathan administration has set 2015 as target on the ban of rice importation, said the idea is to save foreign exchange and to encourage farmers in rice producing states to increase production that will eventually lead to exportation.

Earlier, Labana Farms representative, Abdullahi Idris, told the team that the idea behind establishing the mill, which is solely a private initiative though supported by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture, is to create employment and to curb rice importation.

NSE Targets 17m SMEs with Alternative Market

0905F04.Aliko-Dangote.jpg - 0905F04.Aliko-Dangote.jpg
President of NSE, Alhaji Aliko Dangote
In a bid to elevate the over 17 million Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in Nigeria, providing jobs for over 32 million Nigerians to become global companies, the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), yesterday launched the Alternative Securities Market (ASeM).

The board, which is specifically designed for emerging businesses is expected to serve as a veritable platform for them to access the capital market for long-term funding.

Speaking at the launch of the ASeM, President of NSE, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, said no country achieves its developmental goals without providing enabling environment for SMEs to grow.

MTN Nigeria gets $3b loan from consortium of banks to expand network

R-L: The Deputy Managing Director of First City Monument Bank (FCMB) Plc, Mr. Segun Odusanya; Executive Director Regional Business, Diamond Bank Plc, Mr. Uzoma Dozie; Executive Director, Corporate Banking of UBA Plc, Mr. Emeke Iweriebor; Managing Director , Fidelity Bank Plc, Mr. Reginald Ihejiahi; Managing Director, MTN Nigeria, Mr. Brett Goschen and the Chairman of the company, Mr. Pascal Dozie, at the agreement signing ceremony of the $3 billion Medium Term Funding Facility provided by FCMB and other banks to MTN in Lagos on April 23, 2013.
WorldStage Newsonline—MTN Nigeria, a leading Information and Communications Company on Tuesday secured loan facilities of US$3 billion (about N470 billion) from a consortium of 24 local and international financial institutions to enable it further expand, modernise and improve its network infrastructure.
The loan which consists of US$1.8 billion in additional facilities and US$ 1.2 billion in restructured existing Local Facility was formally sealed by top officials and Board Members of the company and the participating banks at Eko Hotel, Lagos.
MTN CEO, Mr. Brett Goschen, said, the signing of the loan deal signposts another strategic collaboration between MTN Nigeria and local and international financial institutions, aimed at deepening telecommunications services in Nigeria.

South African Firms Have Weak Balance Sheets – le Roux

World MarketsVENTURES AFRICA – Rian le Roux, chief economist at Old Mutual Investment Group South Africa (OMIGSA), on Tuesday said South African companies have far less cash on hand than it is thought.

This is despite talk that South African companies are sitting on piles of cash and very unwilling to invest the money in the South African economy.

But le Roux said an examination of the SA Reserve Bank (SARB) deposit data revealed that rather than the total R1.34 trillion held as bank deposits by non-financial companies as at the end of November 2012, non-financial corporate deposits were o­nly R578 billion or 43 percent of this total.
According to le Roux, this meant that cash held by corporates was o­nly 18 percent of GDP, rather than the 41 percent of GDP commonly quoted (using the R1.34 trillion figure).

Africa's richest man to invest $8bn in Nigerian oil

Nigeria: Aliko Dangote And Nigeria's Accidental Billionaires
Aliko Dangote
Africa's wealthiest man, Aliko Dangote, says he aims to invest up to $8bn in a major new oil refinery that would almost double Nigeria's oil output, according to a report by the BBC.

Nigeria is Africa's biggest oil producer but lacks refining capacity and has to import most of its fuel.

Mr Dangote, 56, told Reuters news agency that those who should have invested in refineries were benefiting from Nigeria's lack of capacity.

Building a major refinery would help all of sub-Saharan Africa, he said.

The tycoon, who made his fortune in cement, flour and sugar, is worth an estimated $16bn (£10bn; 12bn euros) and has topped the Forbes list of Africa's richest men for the past three years.

FG seeks $3.4billion foreign loan for power projects

The Federal Government is looking beyond Nigerian banks to raise $3.4bn needed to fund power projects in the country because of high interest rates being charged on loans by local banks.

The Chairman, Presidential Task Force on Power, Mr. Beks Dagogo-Jack, said Nigerian banks had not done enough in terms of understanding how the ongoing reforms in the power sector worked.
He spoke with journalists on the sidelines of the Presidential Power Reform Transaction signing ceremony in Abuja on Monday.

According to him, the international financial institutions that will fund the Transmission Company of Nigeria’s projects are willing to provide the capital at competitive interest rates.

Dagogo-Jack said, “The banks and institutions mentioned by the Minister of Power are coming with interest rates that are very low. This is different from the over 20 per cent rates that our own banks give. There are also other issues, which banks in Nigeria do not understand about the power sector and they need to take time to know these issues.

South Africa's entrepreneurship falls to a new low

Almost three years after the FIFA Soccer World Cup, entrepreneurial activity in South Africa has dropped to an alarming new low.

Entrepreneurship in South Africa has fallen dramatically with economic experts worrying about the impact on the economy and job prospects for young South Africans.

According to research released by the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor at the University of Cape Town’s Graduate School of Business, Total Early-Stage Entrepreneurial activity (TEA) in South Africa dropped to 7.3 percent from a high of 9.1percent, an almost 20 percent drop from the previous year and the lowest in four years.

“This shows us that any impact of the Soccer World Cup is gone,” said Mike Herrington, executive director of the GEM, explaining that after an initial boost following gains in small business creation, most of the momentum appeared to have been lost, almost three years following the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Number-saving comes to Nigeria mobile phone market

— Associated Press

— To know what it is like to make a mobile phone call in Nigeria, ask anyone to turn out their pockets or upend their purses. One, two, three and sometimes even four phones tumble out into view, all with different carriers in hopes of being able to connect a call without it dropping out in Africa's most populous nation. Nigeria's four biggest telecommunications companies have faced federal fines and complaints from customers for years, though no one could drop their service out of fear of giving up their number. That changed Monday, when the Nigerian Communications Commission started a number exchange between the country's four main carriers, allowing customers to keep their number and switch carriers every 90 days for free.

Customers and those in the business believe the new program will force the carriers to provide better service at the risk of losing their customers. And at greatest risk is South Africa's MTN Group Ltd., whose long dominance in the market could be challenged as it faces increasing problems with poor service and attacks on its equipment.

Nigeria emerging power house: Are firms ready to respond?

ECONOMICALLY and geopolitically, Nigeria’s international reach is continuing to broaden. It is the most populous country in Africa, currently accounting for 20 per cent of the continent’s total population - a figure that is set to grow to 1/4 by 2030. Based on International Monetary Fund economic growth forecasts, African countries will outpace their Asian counterparts over the next few years with annual GDP growth rates in Nigeria alone predicted to be in the region of six to seven per cent.

The operating environment for business in Nigeria is not without its challenges and the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business Ranking rates Nigeria a lowly 131 out of 185. But a closer look at the index shows that Nigeria lies above India (132) and below Brazil (130) - two of the BRIC countries that business are clamouring over one another to break into.

As an export market, Nigeria is a box of opportunity and open for business, which countries such as the UK are beginning to realise. In 2009, the UK exported £2.5 billion worth of goods to Nigeria. In 2011, that grew to £2.8 billion. The 2012 figure is set to continue this upward trend. A bourgeoning middle class with increasing disposable income is creating a new generation of consumers.

AMCON is Succeeding, Says Sanusi

Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi
Contrary to the suggestion by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) that the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) should wind down its operations, the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, has said the corporation is on track and is achieving its goals.

Sanusi, who said this at a press briefing by the Nigerian delegation on the outcome of the 2013 Spring Meetings of the IMF/World Bank in Washington DC, spoke alongside the Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala.
Part of the IMF’s 2012 Article IV consultation on Nigeria had recommended the winding down of the operations of AMCON over what it described as the need to curb moral hazard and fiscal risks.
But Sanusi noted that having taken over N4 trillion non-performing loans from Nigerian banks with huge risks, the ‘bad bank’ has helped in stabilising the banking industry.
To him, the success of the organisation should be viewed from its functions, which he said had so far been "amazing."

Import Duties: CBN Goes Tough On Defaulters

Importers who default in their payment of import duties to the federal government would henceforth be barred from accessing foreign exchange from the official Wholesale Dutch Auction System (WDAS), the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has warned.

The CBN gave the importers until April 30, 2013, to settle all duty taxes and other charges associated with their import transactions or risk severe sanctions, which include suspension from the foreign exchange market among others.

In a circular titled “Uncollected Risk Assessment Report (RAR)” signed by Director Trade and Exchange Department, Batari Musa, the apex bank said it has been noticed that many importers fail to collect their Risk Assessment Reports (RARs) from the processing banks, indicating that import duties may not have been paid by such importers, thus denying government of the revenue.

Diary of an Under 30 CEO: It is Easier to Make Money Here

makemoney“You can’t make an omelette without breaking a few eggs”. – Lenin

By Ola’ Jacob Ajayi

VENTURES AFRICA - I recently attended The Mobile Money West Africa Summit at Orientals Hotel, Lagos. While the summit was going on, I noticed a white chap in his late twenties replying mails and receiving calls on Samsung galaxy tab. He kept going in and out every 20 minutes with a big bag.

At the end of the summit, we exchange pleasantries and he went on to explain his mission to Nigeria. The dude is from Ukraine and works with a top Ukrainian company that focus on developing end user hardware for homes and businesses.

“In Nigeria, you people have the market, imagine 150,000,000 people? My CEO gave me a task to sell this product (pointing at his big bag) to just 1,000,000 Nigerians at N2400 each” – Please do the maths

11 quotes from people who made a difference

Ever wonder how you can help create positive change? Here is advice from 11 outstanding people in history whose lives and ideas made a difference in the world.

Fred Rogers hosted the children's program
"Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood" on PBS
from 1968 to 2001. (AP/File) 

1. Fred Rogers

'When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, "Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.” '

– Fred Rogers ("Mr. Rogers," 1928 -2003)
A crowd in the Santa Maria delle Grazie church in Milan,
Italy, views Leonardo Da Vinci's masterpiece
'The Last Supper.' (Antonio Calanni/AP/File)

2. Leonardo da Vinci

'I have been impressed with the urgency of doing. Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Being willing is not enough, we must do.'

Leonardo da Vinci (1492-1519)

An undated photo of Anne Frank,
the young Jewish girl who, with her family,
hid from the Nazis in Amsterdam,
Netherlands, during World War II. (AP/File) 

3. Anne Frank

'How wonderful that no one need wait a single moment to improve the world.'

Anne Frank (1929-1945)

Mother Theresa accepts the fellowship of the
Royal College of Edinburgh, its highest award,
at a ceremony in New Delhi, India, Feb. 23, 1991.
(Reuters/Kamal Kishore/File)

4. Mother Teresa

'We can do no great things – only small things with great love.'

Mother Teresa (1910-1997)

5. Margaret Mead

Margaret Mead was an American cultural
anthropologist. (AP/File) 

'Never believe that a few caring people can't change the world. For, indeed, that's all who ever have.'

Margaret Mead (1901-1978)

6. Robert F. Kennedy

'It is from numberless diverse acts of courage and belief that human history is shaped. Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring, those ripples build a current that can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.'

Robert F. Kennedy (1925-1968)

7. Mahatma Gandhi

'We must become the change we want to see in the world.'

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, commonly known as Mahatma Gandhi (1869-1948)

8. Charles Dickens

'Come out into the world about you, be it either wide or limited. Sympathize, not in thought only, but in action, with all about you. Make yourself known and felt for something that would be loved and missed, in twenty thousand little ways, if you were to die; then your life will be a happy one, believe me.'

Charles Dickens (1812-1870)

9. Ralph Waldo Emerson

'The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.'

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

10. William James

'Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does.'

William James (1842-1910)

11. Edward Everett Hale

I am only one; but still I am one. I cannot do everything; but still I can do something; and because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do the something that I can do.

– Edward Everett Hale (American author, historian, and clergyman, 1822-1909)

Source: The Christian Science Monitor