Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Investing in Africa pays off in longer term, says expert

SOUTH African investors and developers looking at investing in Africa need to partner with locals and be involved for the longer term as returns might not be attractive initially, according to Fergus Mackintosh, head of real estate for Africa at Standard Bank.

He said in an interview last week there was a lot of development taking place in Africa. "If you look at Mozambique, Angola, there is a lot of activity taking place.

"We have built a team on the ground. There is a need for renewal and new stock, and our job is to provide to developers and investors wanting to invest in Africa."

South African retailers are driving commercial development in Africa. As they expand so does the need for retail and office space in cities such as Lagos, Ghana, Nairobi, Maputo and others. "If you look at Lagos and Ghana the buildings around these cities are old and derelict and were built in the 1960s," Mr Mackintosh said.

AfDB In Talks To Design Infrastructure Fund For Africa

AFDBVENTURES AFRICA – The African Development Bank (AfDB) is in talks with its affiliates aimed at designing a massive infrastructure fund for Africa, sources told Reuters this week.

This confirms what AfDB President, Donald Kaberuka, reiterated in an article published in Ventures Africa Magazine’s first issue of this year.

In the article, Kaberuka was quoted as saying improving the infrastructure in the African continent played a critical role in economic growth and poverty reduction.

“When I assumed the Presidency of the Bank, this was one of the areas where I intended to make a steep change,” Kaberuka was quoted as saying.

AfDB has valuated the requirements for infrastructure in the continent to be running at $100 billion each 12 months for current 10 years.

Entrepreneurs like Helen Jackson adding new lease of life to Black Business Expo

Expo vendorDirect marketer Helen Jackson will celebrate her 70th birthday next week, but she is proud to go make up free and still looks 20 years younger.

Jackson, is part of a nationwide army of consultants for Soul Purpose, a natural beauty and wellness product brand, and was one of the 70 entrepreneurs featured in the returning Black Business Expo this Memorial Day weekend, held in "The Hanger" at the West Angeles Cathedral.
According to Jackson, Soul Purpose — founded by Nadine Thompson — sells a range of products that help you feel better and give you energy from the inside out.

“The range of products are nature based,” she said. “Our scrubs exfoliate the dry skin and then we moisturize with our Shea butter. I guarantee you will look 20 years younger. We’re celebrating our sixth year and are very excited. Nadine, who is a friend of mine, is a modern C. J. Walker. She started out with five Black women selling the brand and now she has thousands, mainly on the East Coast.”
The Expo opened its doors on Friday with an opening ceremony officiated by Executive Director Harold Hambrick, which honored 103-year-old retired Pullman Porter Lee Gibson and 99-year-old entrepreneur Leon Garr.

Fear of fraud stifles Nigerian dotcom growth

Entrepreneurs get creative in attempt to do business online while Yahoo-Yahoo boys try to make a living through scams

Fear of fraud stifles Nigerian dotcom growth
Nigeria, with its commercial capital, Lagos, has a thriving consumer sector,
but parallel online growth has been stifled by deeply rooted fears about online scams. Photo: Reuters

In Nigeria, internet shopping is not all that it might seem. Take Sheffy Bello-Osagie's recent purchase of a hair product. Instead of punching in her card details online, she emailed the seller for account details. Then she went to the bank to deposit the sum in cash.

"The only thing I buy online in Nigeria is airline tickets, and that's because the walk-in option isn't exactly appealing," said Bello-Osagie, referring to the chaotic queues that are inescapable for most people in Nigeria.

Nigeria, forecast to become the world's fourth most populous nation by 2050, has a growing middle class and a thriving consumer sector. But parallel online growth has been stifled by deeply rooted fears about online scams.

NIRSAL: Channelling Needed Fund To Drive Agriculture

The importance of the agriculture sector to a country cannot be overemphasised, especially one like Nigeria where about 42 per cent of the GDP is contributed by agriculture. Prior to the birth of the oil fortune, agriculture was contributing about 70 per cent of the GDP. One can only look back now and say those were the good old days.

However, the concentration on oil fortunes have become the misfortune of the sector and it became more difficult for a farmer to access funds from banks. Subsequently, Nigeria’s agricultural export gradually fell and according to figures made available by the Central Bank of Nigeria, accounts for only one per cent of the country’s exports.

Knowing the essence of agriculture to the survival of the nation’s economy, the CBN had come up with various ways of getting funds to farmers as well as those in the agric value chain. One of such funding vehicles is the Nigerian Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System For Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL).

Africa’s most promising entrepreneurs get special fundraising opportunity

Venture Capital for Africa (VC4Africa), the large African entrepreneur and investor community, launched an opportunity for promising African entrepreneurs to raise capital.

Entrepreneurs selected to be a part of VC4Africa’s June 2013 Cohort will receive three months of targeted coaching, personal introductions to angel investors and principals at key investment firms. Application closes Wednesday 12 June and selected entrepreneurs will be announced on Wednesday 19 June.

Entrepreneurs who apply must have a solid business plan, clear market strategy, a working pilot, and a skilled and experienced team. A chamber of commerce registration and complete documentation is a must.

Saskia Reus, VC4Africa’s Head of Investor Relations expands, ‘Bottom line, we need to believe in your business opportunity in order to explain the opportunity to investors. We need to be convinced to such an extent that we would want to invest our last money in your company.’

To apply, ventures have to register on the VC4Africa platform and express an intention to raise a round of funding between US$10 000 and US$1-million. Selected entrepreneurs will receive targeted coaching to reach their fundraising goal.

VC4Africa community representative, Rebecca Enonchong, says that there are few channels entrepreneurs can use to get access to investors.

“This is a great opportunity for the teams with regional and pan-African potential. Few entrepreneurs are fundable out of the gate. The VC4Africa team really makes the difference in getting teams to that next level,” says Enonchong.

The opportunity was announced at this week’s Global Forum in South Africa, at which a number of high potential entrepreneurs listed on the VC4Africa platform are pitching their business plans.

Source: Ventureburn

Ashburton Africa Equity Opps launches with Nigeria bias

Ashburton has unveiled an African equity fund which has a bias to Nigeria at launch and avoids investing in South Africa.

Paul Clark
Paul Clark
The Ashburton Africa Equity Opportunities fund has 40 per cent of its invested portfolio in Nigeria, around 20 per cent in Egypt and the rest in Kenya, Tunisia, Mauritius, Morocco and Ghana.
Fund manager Paul Clark says: “Nigeria is the second biggest economy in Africa after South Africa, with strong growth and the largest population in Africa. This is therefore the biggest country in the fund’s investable universe and one with enormous growth potential.”

The fund excludes South Africa because, as an emerging market, it is outside of the portfolio’s frontier market focus.

EU members pledge 31.5 billion euros for poor countries

BRUSSELS: EU ministers agreed on Tuesday to allocate 31.5 billion euros ($41 billion) in development funding to African, Caribbean and Pacific countries over the next seven years, a slight rise in support despite the domestic austerity in many EU member states.

 EU development ministers meeting in Brussels pledged the sum through the European Development Fund (EDF), which pools aid from member states for countries in Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific (ACP) and is overseen by the European Commission.

The funding, providing investment capital as well as grants, will run along the EU budget timeline of 2014-2020, though it is not part of the development funding of the long-term EU budget.

The seven-year EU budget agreed in February had the first net reduction in the bloc's history, though the EDF allocation agreed on Tuesday marks a slight increase on the last round, in 2008. The largest contributors to the fund are Germany, France, Britain and Italy.

Monday, 27 May 2013

Chike-Obi: Why We Want to Commence Sale with Enterprise Bank

Mr. Mustafa Chike-Obi
The Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) has offered insights into its decision of the corporation to start the sale of its three banks - Enterprise Bank, Keystone Bank and Mainstreet Bank with Enterprise Bank. AMCON describes Enterprise as the best step forward for a successful divestment programme.

The corporation has said Enterprise Bank’s lean and clean structure provided the best platform to start the divestment transactions of its three wholly-owned banks,

AMCON recently announced the beginning of the final process for the sale of its wholly-owned bridge banks, indicating it would start with the sale of Enterprise Bank and then followed by the other two - Keystone and Mainstreet Banks. AMCON expects to complete the sale of the three banks by September 2014.

Ovia, Elumelu May Return to Zenith, UBA This Year

B0205212-Jim-Ovia.jpg - B0205212-Jim-Ovia.jpg
Jim Ovia
There are strong indications that the former Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer (MD/CEO) of Zenith Bank Plc, Mr. Jim Ovia, and his erstwhile counterpart at the United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc, Mr. Tony Elumelu will return to their respective financial institutions as either chairmen or non-executive directors by the second half of this year or early next year.

The Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) rule on tenure limit for bank CEOs stipulates that the former bank chiefs can only hold board positions in any bank or its subsidiaries three years after their exit expires.
Elumelu and Ovia retired from their respective banks on July 31, 2010.

 For both men to make a re-entry to boards of their banks, THISDAY gathered that the directors of UBA and Zenith Bank would have to convene extraordinary general meetings to ratify their anticipated appointment as directors of the banks’ boards.

Sunday, 26 May 2013

Enterprise Bank is Up for Sale

B21102-Emeka-Onwuka.jpg - B21102-Emeka-Onwuka.jpg
Mr. Emeka Onwuka, Chairman, Enterprise Bank Limited
~ As AMCON names financial adviser in 2 weeks’ time

By putting Enterprise Bank Limited first among the three bridged banks to be sold, the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) may be testing the waters of privatisation with the doctrine of the smaller the size, the smaller the risk, reports Festus Akanbi

 From all indications, the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) is having a smooth sail in its bid to hand over the three bridged banks- Enterprise Bank Limited, Keystone Bank Limited and Mainstreet Bank Limited- to prospective buyers latest by the third quarter of next year.
Enterprise Bank was created from the defunct Spring Bank, while Keystone Bank Limited and Mainstreet Bank Limited emerged from the ashes of defunct Bank PHB and Afribank respectively in 2011 by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) following the expiration of the deadline given to a number of sick banks to get buyers.
The corporation had acquired them in August 2011, after the intervention by the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) and the CBN.

Housing Deficit: FMBN Needs N200bn Capital To Bridge Gap

HOUSING ESTATEIn order to make meaningful impact in addressing the housing deficit in the country, the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN) has urged the Federal Government to increase its capital base from the current N5 billion to N200 billion.

The bank presently has a share capital of N5 billion out of which the federal government has paid up its own share of N2.5 billion representing 50 per cent, while the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the National Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF) have not paid up their 30 per cent and 20 per cent share respectively.

Managing Director of the Bank, Mr Gimba Ya’u Kumo who made the appeal in Abuja at a forum organised by the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) said addressing the over 17 million housing deficit in the country would require aggressive injection of funds by the Federal Government.

MPR: Fear over Liquidity Risks Persists as CBN Maintains Statusquo

Central Bank Governor, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) last week continued with the culture of rate tightening as it voted for the retention of the existing Monetary Policy Rate (MPR) at 12 percent. Analysts, however, share in the fear of the CBN that the prevailing political and economic conditions could trigger unrestrained spending with the attendant strains on the economy, reports Festus Akanbi

Up till Tuesday when the Central Bank Governor Sanusi Lamido Sanusi announced the decision of the apex bank’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) at the end of its meeting, opinions were divided as to whether or not the time was ripe for the committee to soften its stance on the prevailing Monetary Policy Rate (MPR), the benchmark rate for banks to lend to their customers. This is because for almost one and a half years, the statusquo had been an MPR of 12 per cent with a corridor of +/-200 basis points around the midpoint.

 However, with a vote of seven members to three, the committee did not only retain MPR at 12 percent, it also left the Cash Reserve Requirement (CRR) unchanged at 12 per cent and Liquidity Ratio at 30 per cent, with the Net Open Position at 1.0 per cent.

CBN’s Explanations
The CBN Governor, who faulted the claims that the existing MPR was a constraint to lending because of the corresponding high interest rate, listed the ongoing military action in three states in the North-east and the attendant increase in spending as one of the reasons why the financial regulators has to be firm as far as the monetary policy is concerned.

Thursday, 23 May 2013

Nigeria: GTB, Zenith Bank, 11 Others Raise U.S.$1.2 Billion for Etisalat

Guaranty Trust Bank Plc (GTB), Zenith Bank Plc, the United Bank for Africa Plc (UBA) and 10 other banks have arranged a total of $1.2 billion Medium Term Facility (MTF) for Etisalat Nigeria.
Other banks involved in the deal are First Bank of Nigeria, Fidelity Bank Plc, Access Bank Plc, Ecobank, Keystone Bank, First City Monument Bank Plc, FSDH Merchant Bank, Mainstreet Bank, Stanbic IBTC Bank and Union Bank of Nigeria. UBA Trustees is the Trustees for the facility.
 The seven year financing deal is divided into two tranches. The syndicated loan would be used to refinance an existing $650 million loan and bolster Etisalat Nigeria's network expansion in the country. The company also said the fund would support it ambition to introduce innovative products and services to its over fifteen million subscribers.

A breakdown of the amount showed that Zenith Bank, being the lead arranger and major contributor to the facility raised about $245 million in tranche A and would also raise another $30 million in tranche B for the telecommunication company. Also, UBA contributed N24.3 billion to the deal.
Commenting on the transaction, the Chairman, Etisalat, Mr. Hakeem Belo-Osagie described the feat as another step in the company's development.

Surveys reaffirm 'Africa rising' trend

africaAN updated report by KPMG has found that foreign direct investment (FDI) into Africa would continue to increase and what was seen currently was only the 'tip of the proverbial iceberg'. Africa would continue to be one of the largest FDI destinations and hold the fastest-growing economies, said KPMG chair Yunus Suleman in a Polity report.

The survey, African Emergence: Rise of the Phoenix, released ahead of the twenty-third World Economic Forum on Africa held late last week, said Africa 'rode the wave' of the global financial crisis better than most other economies and the continent was likely to help the now-struggling developed countries emerge from the remnants of the meltdown through investment opportunities.

FDI from emerging markets into Africa outpaced that from developed markets in 2012, but the number of new FDI projects into the continent fell 12% from the previous year. Money Control reports that this is according to Ernst & Young who said that despite this drop, which came amid a 15.2% global decline of FDI, Africa's share of global FDI rose in the past five years to 5.6% in 2012. Ernst & Young's 2013 Africa Attractiveness Survey said that African greenfield investments from emerging markets such as China and United Arab Emirates increased in 2012, while those from developed markets declined.

Nigeria abandons securities lending dream

nseThough the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) announced plans to begin securities lending back in July 2011, it has been reported that the country has given up on the programme.  In July 2011, Oscar Onyema, chief executive officer of the NSE, said the exchange was collaborating with industry participants to ensure a smooth launch of the new instruments. CEO of the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria Mustapha Chike-Obi, who was involved in developing the rules, promised that rules were being forwarded to the Securities and Exchange Commission in Nigeria for approval. One year later, the Chartered Institute of Stockbrokers (CIS) announced that it would send some of its members from Nigeria to the UK for training on securities lending in preparation.

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

‘Only CBN Will Hold AMCON’s Bonds By 2014’

Billionaire debtors again!The Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) has planned to pay off all outstanding AMCON obligations to all private sector investors by December 2014 leaving the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) as its only creditor.

Governor of the CBN, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi explained that the apex bank has reached an agreement with AMCON for the ‘bad bank’ to retire all existing bond series maturing in 2013 and 2014 and to reissue a new a N3.6 trillion bond to be held by the CBN under a new refinancing and restructuring arrangement within a period not exceeding ten years at single-digit interest rate.

The Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) commended the CBN over the repayments and refinancing arrangements saying it would have no adverse monetary policy implications, but would increase confidence in the financial system.

Recapitalisation: Stallion Home, Mutual Alliance Plan Merger

Naijaparrot.comAs operators in the primary mortgage banking industry move to beat the December 31, 2013 recapitalisation deadline by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Stallion Homes Savings and Loans Limited and Mutual Alliance Savings & Loans Limited have commenced merger talks.

 The two mortgage banks recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on the proposed business combinations, which would ultimately give birth to a mega national mortgage bank.

To actualise the proposal, a four-member steering committee was formed, comprising two each from both firms. The committee is saddled with the responsibility to put together necessary documentations as prescribed by the recapitalisation guidelines for submission to the CBN for approval.

Full Text of Central Bank of Nigeria Communiqué No. 89 of the Monetary Policy Committee Meeting of Monday and Tuesday, May 20 and 21, 2013

Naijaparrot.comThe Monetary Policy Committee met on May 20 and 21, 2013 with 10 out of the 11 members in attendance. The Committee reviewed the conditions and challenges that confronted the domestic economy in the first five months of 2013, and reassessed the short-to-medium term monetary policy options in the light of the fragile global economic and financial environment. The Committee noted that one of the members, Professor Sam Olofin has left the Board of the Central Bank and, therefore, ceases to be a member of the MPC. The Committee recognized his tremendous contributions to its deliberations over the years and thanked him for his services.
International Economic Developments
Global economic recovery continues to be fragile due to suppressed growth and weakness in key financial markets, including the euro area and Japan. However, the emerging market economies and Sub-Sahara African (SSA) countries continued to show resilience.

Nigeria Central Bank Keeps Benchmark Interest Rate at 12%

The Central Bank of Nigeria left its benchmark interest rate at a record high, concerned by a drop in oil output and the threat of higher spending as the government combats Islamist insurgents in the northeast.

Seven of the 10 members at the Monetary Policy Committee meeting voted to keep the policy rate at 12 percent for a 10th consecutive meeting, Governor Lamido Sanusi told reporters today in the capital, Abuja. That was in line with the forecasts of 11 economists surveyed by Bloomberg.

The military of Africa’s largest oil producer began an air and ground offensive last week against Islamist militants in the northeast after President Goodluck Jonathan imposed emergency rule in the states of Borno, Yobe and Adamawa on May 14. That may prompt additional spending, adding to pressure on inflation (NGCPIYOY)as the currency weakens.

Denmark Supports African Entrepreneurship: Startup Africa Lifts Off in Cape Town

""Startup Africa in Cape Town, organized by Africa 2.0 in the margin of the World Economic Forum on Africa, concluded on Saturday 11 May. During the finale ambitious South African entrepreneurs gathered to present their Start-up business ideas, after an intensive three day planning and refining marathon. Startup Africa was subsequently featured on SABC.

Funded by Denmark, the Startup Africa event in Cape Town provided three days of mentoring and incubation fundamentals to sixty South African entrepreneurs, selected from a thousand applicants. At the end of the event, the entrepreneurs competed to pitch their business ideas to a panel of expert judges, including Alan Knott-Craig, former CEO of Mixit and Ezra Ndwandwe of “The Big Break Legacy” TV program.

Danish Ambassador to South Africa, René Dinesen, said of the Danish engagement:
“We are very happy to be a part of Startup Africa. Denmark considers job creation vital for Africans in both South Africa and on the rest of the African continent. Denmark knows that modern Africa is a dynamic continent, full of ambitious young people eager to work hard for a better life, and as a nation, Denmark would like to help Africa harness this immense potential by promoting entrepreneurship and innovation.”

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Nigeria: Foreign Investors Take U.S.$2.7 Billion Out of Nigeria in Three Months

Foreign investors took $2.74 billion out of Nigeria in the first three months of 2013. This was indicated by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in its economic report for the first quarter of 2013. According to the report, foreign exchange outflow from the economy in the first was $6.54 billion.
This outflow was dominated by foreign exchange outflows for 'invincibles'. Invincible represents money took out of the economy by foreign investors as dividend payment or liquidation of portfolio investment (bonds, equities, treasury bills).

A top foreign exchange and foreign trade expert who spoke to Vanguard on condition of anonymity said that this development indicate serious capital flight out of the country.

This notwithstanding the economy recorded more foreign exchange inflow than outflow in the first quarter.

Skye Bank to inject $150m into power sector

Skye Bank to inject $150m into power sector
Group Managing Director
Mr. Kehinde Durosinmi-Etti
Skye Bank on Monday said that it had concluded arrangements to inject about $150 million (N24 billion) in the power sector in 2013.

Its Group Managing Director, Mr. Kehinde Durosinmi-Etti, disclosed this at the bank’s pre-Annual General Meeting media briefing in Lagos.

Durosinmi-Etti said the bank would invest between $100 million to $150 million in the power sector, while 17 per cent of its loan portfolio would be invested in the upstream sector.

He also said the bank was planning to raise N50 billion tier one capital for long-term investment purpose.

The group managing director, according to the News Agency of Nigeria said the bank had commenced upgrading of its hardware and software which would be concluded in 2013 to ensure efficient service delivery to all its customers.

He said the bank would open 12 new branches and 12 new cash centres across the country to improve its operational efficiency.

The group managing director also said the bank had divested from all its non-bank subsidiaries in line with the directive of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

Speaking on the bank’s performance for the 2012 financial year, he said that gross earnings grew by 25 per cent to N127.78 billion from N102.48 billion recorded in 2011.

According to him, the bank’s profit before tax rose by 481 per cent to N16.52 billion from N2.84 billion recorded in 2011.

Source: The Nation

African Entrepreneurship

Capital: What does Omidyar Network Africa do and why are you visiting Ethiopia?
Malik Fal:
Omidyar Network Africa is an investment firm that is particularly interested in, not just investment opportunities for the company, but also entrepreneurship in general. We know there is a lot of interest in entrepreneurship around the world. We know Africa is at a critical juncture of its history, because of the boom in resource, and governments are beginning to understand the challenges entrepreneurs face.

Even though there is a lot of interest in this area, there is actually very little information [good quality information] about what to do to improve the opportunities for Africans and improve the economic performance of the continent. We therefore commissioned a study, along with the Monitor Group, to do research across six African countries and understand the challenges and the whole situation of entrepreneurship in those countries.

Yahoo! Hopes to Profit From Tumblr Without Ruining It

Yahoo!’s (YHOO) announcement that it had acquired Tumblr for $1.1 billion came with an immediate promise not to screw it up. In a post on Tumblr’s staff blog, founder David Karp also opened on the defensive, writing that “before touching on how awesome this is, let me try to allay any concerns.”
Marissa Mayer, chief executive officer of Yahoo!, in Davos, Switzerland, on Jan. 25, 2013
Yahoo CEO: Marissa Mayer

Both companies are responding to the clear strain of anxiety among Tumblr users about the acquisition. WordPress Chief Executive Officer Matt Mullenweg noted on Sunday that Tumblr users had imported more than 72,000 posts in a single hour that day, up from 400 to 600 posts in a normal hour, though he later clarified he was not predicting a Tumblr exodus. In part, this skepticism is driven by Yahoo’s reputation for ruining startups it acquires. (See: Geocities; also, Flickr.) But it also mirrors the fears of Instagram users when that company was acquired by Facebook (FB), and Goodreads’ users when Amazon (AMZN) bought the social cataloging site. Both Instagram and Goodreads continue to operate pretty much unchanged—for now, at least.

Digital Innovation Is Booming in Africa

 Pushing Change

Pushing ChangeDon’t call Africa a charity case. In recent years, it’s become a testing ground for breakthrough ideas, innovative high-tech products, and disruptive startups. As the world’s fastest-growing mobile phone market, it’s no wonder so many multinationals, entrepreneurs, and educators are looking to tap the continent’s potential, one of the world’s youngest and most tech-savvy cultures. You can glimpse the future in certain parts of Africa where children are learning to read on tablet computers, where super-cheap solar power is lighting off-the-grid rural communities, and where more than 55 million Africans use their mobile phones to settle debts, take out insurance policies, and collect payment. Here are some of the leapfrog technologies pushing change.

A Mobile Banking Revolution
A Mobile Banking RevolutionThere is no more disruptive African-born business than M-Pesa. Launched in 2007 by carriers Safaricom and Vodacom (VDCMY), M-Pesa has spawned 150 copycat mobile money services across the developing world, and old Europe is next. With a simple text message, an M-Pesa customer can pay off a loan or collect on one, ideal for a part of the world where bank accounts are rare, but mobile phones are everywhere. Africa’s mobile money market topped $61 billion in 2012—greater than the amount of money sent via mobile in Europe and North America combined.

Africa's Richest Man, Aliko Dangote, Is Just Getting Started

Photograph by Michael Prince/Forbes Collection/Corbis Outline
Six years ago, Aliko Dangote paid a visit to Tanzania, on Africa’s eastern coast, and shared his dream of having an African-run business empire that would manufacture products all over the continent. To assorted government and business leaders, he announced that he was prepared to make an investment of $600 million to build a cement factory in southern Tanzania, alleviating the shortage in that country’s domestic cement supply. The Tanzanians were skeptical. “They didn’t believe us at all. They thought I was one of these ‘Nigerian 4-1-9’ scammers who try to go and scheme people out of their money,” Dangote says. “Or just one of these clever Nigerians who would come and be lying to them.”

The Tanzania story is clearly one Dangote relishes telling—not least because of how it’s turning out. Not long after his visit, his name appeared on a list of the world’s wealthiest people, and the Tanzanians realized they had been negotiating with Africa’s richest man. As founder and chairman of Dangote Group, he’s worth an estimated $16.3 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. “They pieced the two together,” Dangote says, sitting in his expansive Lagos office in late January. The room is so gigantic it appears nearly empty, even with tall plants, a conference table, and a large-screen television. Three months ago, Dangote Cement signed a final agreement there, with plans to produce 3 million tons of cement a year.

In Africa, It’s Boom Time for Bonds

Quite the juxtaposition of headlines to start May: Bloomberg reported that the world’s 200 richest people added $45 billion of collective net worth in the week, as the Dow Jones industrial average hit 15,000. At the same time, the capital markets of sub-Saharan Africa, which has some of the poorest nations on earth, are feeling a financing boom unlike anything they’ve ever experienced, according to Chris Kay, a Bloomberg News reporter in Nigeria.

Street scene near Makola Market in downtown Accra, Ghana
Street scene near Makola Market in downtown Accra, Ghana

Both phenomena can thank central banks in the developed world for keeping rates painfully low, forcing investors into risk assets in search of return.

The largely unintended consequence of sub-Saharan Africa’s large borrowing window could not come at a better time. Excluding more-developed South Africa, the countries of the region are placing $7 billion of debt this year, more than in the past five years combined, at yields double that of U.S. Treasuries but still lower than what these economies have ever paid. International investors are grabbing for yield and growth. The International Monetary Fund sees the subcontinent posting growth rates of 5.6 percent this year, vs. the developed world’s 1.2 percent. But the region is losing upwards of 2 percentage points of growth because of woefully inadequate infrastructure such as bridges, power generation, roads, and wastewater treatment.

Nigeria Sovereign Wealth Fund to Start Investing in June

Before Sovereign Wealth Fund takes offNigeria’s $1 billion sovereign wealth fund will start investing in June, as its board has approved the investment policy statements for the three funds it includes, Chief Executive Officer Uche Orji said.
The SWF, inaugurated in October, was set up to invest savings made from the difference between budgeted oil prices and actual market prices. Africa’s biggest oil producer relies on crude exports for more than 90 percent of foreign income and about 80 percent of government revenue, according to the central bank, making it vulnerable to swings in prices.

The future generations fund and the infrastructure fund will each account for 32.5 percent of total holdings, Orji told reporters today in Abuja, the capital. The stabilization fund will receive 20 percent of savings in the fund, he said.

Nigerians urged to get their tax identification number

The Joint Tax Board (JTB), in collaboration with the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) and the 36 State Boards of Internal Revenue (SBIRs) has identified the automation of tax registration activities in Nigeria and eradication of double/multiple taxation as some of the key benefits of the new electronic system of Taxpayer registration initiative called Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN).
Nigerians from all walks of life at both individual and corporate levels have been urged to go to their nearest tax office and collect their Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) immediately and start enjoying the privileges of having the TIN. 
The TIN will bring Nigeria's tax administration and practice in line with global best practice; enhance taxpayer identification and registration; minimize leakages in tax collection; facilitate information sharing between various tiers of Government; create a more conducive environment for investors and ultimately inspire greater confidence in Nigeria's taxation system.

Thursday, 16 May 2013

NSE index up 0.67%, as GT Bank, ETI, Dangote Sugar, Zenith Bank and FBN Holdings add weight

WorldStage Newsonline-- Trading activities on the Nigerian Stock Exchange closed on a positive note at the end of Wednesday’s trading, as the NSE All Share Index (ASI) appreciated by 0.67 per cent to close at 36,236.49 points, compared with the appreciation of 0.11 per cent recorded Tuesday.
The Year-to-Date (YTD) return currently stands at 29.05 per cent. The rise in the Index is as a result of the appreciation recorded in the share prices of some highly capitalised stocks, such as GT Bank, ETI, Dangote Sugar, Zenith Bank and FBN Holdings. The Market Capitalization also appreciated by 0.67 per cent, to close at N11.58 trillion, compared with the appreciation of 0.11 per cent recorded Tuesday to close at N11.51 trillion.
The total value traded on the floors of the NSE was N4.72 billion, down by 11.48 per cent from N4.24 billion recorded yesterday. The total volume traded on the floors of the Exchange was 371.26mn in 6,122 deals.
The three most actively traded stocks were Fidelity Bank (39.83 million), Zenith Bank (28.71 million) and UBA (28.24 million), while the most actively traded sectors were Financial Services (249.25 million), Oil & Gas (27.55 million) and Conglomerates (23.87 million).

Guinness Nigeria records N95 billion revenue

GUINNESS Nigeria Plc, has recorded N95billion sales in the nine months ended March 31, 2013.
The results were indicative of a strong portfolio of consumer brands holding their markets whilst gaining significant share growth in a declining overall beer and malt market.

Commenting on the results, Seni Adetu, Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Guinness Nigeria Plc, said the strong performance of key brands like Guinness Foreign Extra Stout, Harp Lager and Malta Guinness, and the positive contributions from strategic innovations were major drivers of growth in net sales.

“Key brands continue to leverage their strong equities and connections with consumer passion points across premium and value segments to drive growth in net sales. This has also translated into significant market share growth for the brands in our portfolio as we extend our footprint in the market,” Adetu stated.

Index sustains hold on the bulls, up by 0.7%

Trading in equities continued on bullish note on the Nigerian Stock Exchange yesterday, as more investors took position on stocks.

Specifically, the All Share Index rose by 0.67 per cent to close at 36,236.49 points, compared to the increase of 0.12 per cent recorded the preceding day to close at 35,994.67 points.

Market capitalisation gained N8bn to close at N11.58trn, higher than the appreciation of N1bn recorded the preceding day to close at N11.50trn.

The Industry Goods index led the sectorial indices with 3.11 per cent to close at 2159.33 points, followed by the Oil and Gas index with 2.18 per cent to close at 189.68 points.

Lotus Islamic index rose by 1.65 per cent to close at 2501.09 points, while the Banking index appreciated by 1.05 per cent to close at 421.17 points.

The NSE 30-

Nigeria: Women Urged to Access CBN Financial Inclusion Fund

Nigeria - Empowering Illiterate Benue Women of Nigeria through Hair MakingWomen in Nigeria have been urged to take advantage of the Central Bank of Nigeria's (CBN) Financial Inclusion Strategy to access funds for their businesses.

Mr Yusuf Dembo, an auditor with Evangelical Church Winning All (ECWA) made the call in a paper titled: 'Challenges and Opportunities for Women Access to Finance', at the Church's Women Fellowship conference on Monday in Kaduna.

He explained that the strategy was designed to enable women and other excluded groups to have access to finance with which to enhance their businesses.

"Indeed, the financial inclusion strategy provides for reducing the exclusion rate of women from 54 per cent to 20 per cent by the year 2020.

"To achieve this, special incentives and provisions would be made available to financial institutions to develop products that would meet the needs of Nigerian women," he said.

Dembo said that under the Micro finance Development Fund, the CBN also intended to deploy 60 per cent of the fund to women, "in order to address their peculiar financial exclusion challenges".

According to him, cultural, religious, traditional and legal discriminations are inhibiting women from full participation in national economic development.

He was of the opinion that the initiative by the CBN would increase the number of new businesses run by women, which in turn would boost economic activities, productivity and growth.


CBN Partners IFC On Sustainable Banking

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) is teaming up with the International Finance Corporation to boost the compliance rate of Nigerian lenders on sustainable banking.

The special adviser to the CBN governor, Dr. Aisha Mohammed who disclosed this in Abuja, said the Bankers’ Committee in collaboration with the apex bank has already adopted the sustainable banking principle given in July, last year.

She adds that for banks to have the reputation and branding to be able to access fund from international financial institutions, there’s need to implement sustainable banking.

Sustainable banking is based on the principle of environmental and social issues, which requires banks to pay attention to poverty rate, population explosion, gender and unemployment, among others.

Source: Channels

South Africa ready to fund Zimbabwe elections if reforms implemented

Election expected in next two months after Mugabe rubber-stamps adoption of new constitution this week  

Zimbabweans register to vote during a registration drive in Harare. The public confirmation that South Africa would like to see more reforms introduced in Zimbabwe is good news for President Robert Mugabe’s political nemesis, Movement for Democratic Change leader Morgan Tsvangirai. Photograph: Reuters/Philimon Bulawayo
Zimbabweans register to vote during a registration drive in Harare. The public confirmation that South Africa would like to see more reforms introduced in Zimbabwe is good news for President Robert Mugabe’s political nemesis, Movement for Democratic Change leader Morgan Tsvangirai. Photograph: Reuters/Philimon Bulawayo
The South African government has agreed to help fund neighbouring Zimbabwe’s general elections this year, but the regional powerhouse has maintained that more reforms were needed before the poll takes place.

South Africa’s international relations deputy minister Ebrahim Ebrahim told reporters yesterday it was also the responsibility of the Southern African Development Community, which brokered Zimbabwe’s current powersharing arrangement, to ensure free and fair elections take place.

‘Free and fair’
“There is the question of Zimbabwe having enough funding to hold a successful election. If South Africa is requested to assist in any way, we will definitely assist. We will assist either through funding part of the election or through some logistical assistance. It is in our interest and that of the region to see a free and fair election taking place,” Mr Ebrahim said

Nigerian Business Aviation Conference celebrates a successful first event

Segun Demuren, MD of EAN, opens the first
Nigerian Business Aviation Conference.
The first ever Nigerian Business Aviation Conference hosted by Evergreen Apple Nigeria (EAN) on Tuesday the 7th May proved to be a resounding success for the organisers, delegates and speakers. Held at the prestigious Wheatbaker Hotel in Lagos over one hundred delegates registered to take part and listen to an international speaker and panellist line up.

The conference was designed to provide a platform for raising awareness of the growing business aviation industry in Nigeria and hosted by dynamic chair Alasdair Whyte provided attendees with a lively debate discussing a range of topics.

Segun Demuren, MD/CEO of hosts EAN opened the meeting outlining the need for a better understanding of the value of business aviation in Nigeria as an economic driver for the country and surrounding regions, and its significance in developing international business.

The finance session was led by Segun Agbaje, MD of one of Nigeria’s leading financial houses GT Bank, the platinum sponsor of the event, discussed the requirements of the bank when considering financing aircraft. Character and integrity of the customer is said to be as important as collateral and assets. Agbaje also noted that Nigeria had experienced “high octane growth” in the last few years making it the largest market for business jet purchase in Africa, even topping South Africa. “We are more used to financing rice and fish so aviation is a good way for us to expand business,” he commented.

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Big firms keen to invest in brand entrepreneurs

Picture: THINKSTOCKSOUTH African entrepreneurs are likely to soon see the benefits of enterprise-driven innovation — a concept making headway around the world. Large organisations with extensive reach and the means to finance innovation are investing in entrepreneurs to take their brands to new places.

Mondelez International and Unilever are among the big names putting aside money to get entrepreneurs innovating about their brands. According to Unilever chief marketing officer Keith Weed, the company does not have all the answers for taking its brands into the future and is calling on entrepreneurs to bring innovative ideas focused on its brands to the table.

There seem to be two opportunities emerging for entrepreneurs. First, organisations are providing the funds for existing entrepreneurs to innovate focusing on their brand/s. Second, organisations are providing funds for entrepreneurs to get their start-up off the ground by working on innovations for the brand. Either way, the entrepreneur can leverage off the expertise of a major brand while aligning with the brand, and the organisation gets focused innovation.

Dropifi becomes first African investment for Silicon Valley’s 500 Startups

Dropifi PictureDropifi, a smart widget that allows companies to better analyse incoming “contact us” messages, announced today that it has joined the sixth batch of companies to be taken up into the 500 Startups Accelerator Programme.

As we noted last year, the team behind Dropifi are re-imagining one of the web’s oldest and most resolute elements, the “Contact us” form. The Dropifi solution consists of a website plug-in, optional QR code (for print-outs) and an analytics tool.

The plug-in simplifies and speeds up contact form implementation on company websites and presents an unobtrusive interface to customers. The novelty QR code can be printed out and is a fun way of directing users to a company’s online Dropifi contact form. The final part of the solution allows companies to extract intelligence from messages received through their Dropifi contact forms and makes responding to incoming messages easy.

Intel partners Nigerian women entrepreneurs on digital literacy

AS part of its efforts to improve the quality of lives through extensive use of digital technology, global technology company, Intel Corporation Nigeria, has entered into a partnership with the African Women Entrepreneurship programme AWEP for the delivery of digital literacy training women entrepreneurs. Intel will conduct the training on a train-the-trainer basis.

Corporate Affairs Manager of Intel West Africa, Osagie Ogunbor said that the initiative would enhance the ability of the women to run more efficient businesses.

The training known, as Intel EASY STEPS is part of the corporation’s educational content for which the chip-making company has become reputable across the world.

Ogunbor noted that the training, which would be provided free of charge was also part of Intel’s “women friendly” corporate social responsibility initiatives.

He ex

Nigeria: 'Electronic transactions in Nigeria hit 80b naira daily'

Nigeria:Transactions On Electronic Platforms Hit Record N40bn

Electronic transactions in Nigeria - The total value of daily electronic funds transfer in Nigeria has risen to 80 billion naira, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) said, hailing the introduction of its cash-less policy for the rise (US$1=155 naira).

The local media on Tuesday said CBN Deputy Governor, Operations, Tunde Lemo, announced the figure, explaining that the Nigeria Inter-bank Settlement System (NIBSS) recorded over 20 billion naira daily transactions, while the Nigeria Electronic Funds Transfer (NEFT) conducts about 60 billion naira transactions daily.

NIBSS provides the infrastructure for automated processing, settlement of payments and fund transfer instructions between banks, discount houses and card companies in Nigeria and is jointly owned by all the licensed banks in the country and CBN, with substantial shares held by discount houses operating in the country.

The cash-less policy started in January last year with the phase one in Lagos, the nation's economic nerve centre.

'So, we have learnt all the ropes in phase one (Lagos) and we believe we are ready to roll out to other six locations in Nigeria (during phase two which starts 1 July 2013),' Lemo said.

Under the cash-less policy, the CBN pegged the daily cumulative cash withdrawal or deposit limit for individual accounts at 500, 000 naira per day and 3 million naira per day for corporate accounts.
Source: AfriqueJet

Nigeria's total debt hits $16.5bn

Prompting fear of economic collapse

THE country's debt profile has again become a serious cause for concern despite promises by the Federal Government to check it. Figures from the Debt Management Office (DMO) showed that the country's external debt rose by $143million in the first quarter of 2013 to $6.67billion from $6.527billion at the end of last year.

It rose consistently throughout 2012. For instance, as of March 31, 2012, it stood at $5.91 billion; by June 31, 2012, it rose to $6.03 billion, edging higher to $6.3 billion by September 31 before closing the year at $6.527 billion.

In spite of the calls from economists for caution, data obtained from the DMO showed that in one year, March 31, 2012 to March 31, 2013, the country's external debt rose by $758.32million.

As of December 31, 2012, the Federal Government's domestic debt stock was N6.537trillion with FGN bonds accounting for 62.41 per cent (N4.08trillion) of the figure, while Treasury Bills and Treasury Bonds accounted for 32.47 per cent (N2.12trillion) and 5.12 per cent (N334.56 billion), respectively.

FIRS: Banks Remit N77bn Tax in Five Years

B2507212-Kabir-Mashi.jpg - B2507212-Kabir-Mashi.jpg
Acting FIRS chairman, Mr. Kabir Mashi
The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) Monday disclosed that commercial banks in the country remitted N77 billion taxes over the past five year.

Acting chairman of FIRS, Mr. Kabir Mashi, stated this at a meeting with members of the House Committee on Finance to ascertain the level of compliance of the banks with the tax policy.
He explained that the sum of N83 billion was what was expected from the banks during the period under review.
According to Mashi, the FIRS, through its Tax Audit Unit, conducted audit on 23 banks between 2006 and 2012

 and found out what the companies were supposed to remit.
The FIRS has also signed an agreement with the banks on the modalities for remitting the taxes.

Nigerian Central Bank monitors banking transactions through E-FASS

-FASS is a software that helps banks to transmit their daily transactions to the CBN.

Naijaparrot.comThe Central Bank of Nigeria said it is monitoring all banking transactions in the country electronically through the Electronic Financial Audit Sub-System, E-FASS.

The Bank spokesman, Ugochukwu Okoroafor, said in Lagos on Tuesday that E-FASS was very effective in monitoring banking transactions electronically. E-FASS is a software that helps banks to transmit their daily transactions to the CBN.

“There is no way people can transfer illegal monies without the CBN being aware of it because those transactions are recorded in our customers’ books. If anybody does any illegal transaction, the E-FASS is there to monitor all transactions done among the banks,” he said.

Mr. Okoroafor said that it was now more difficult to transfer illegally acquired funds out of the country electronically.

“If such illegalities are perpetuated, we are duty-bound to expose such tendencies. Basically, if you are transferring any funds, you will have to buy foreign exchange to transfer such funds and such transactions have to fall under what we call eligible transactions.”

Mr. Okoroafor stressed that transfer of funds was strictly being monitored by the CBN.

Nigeria Generated $1.136 Billion From Non-Oil Sectors In Q1: CBN

VENTURES AFRICA – The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) said in its Economic Report for the first quarter of the year that within the period, the oil-rich country generated 179.5 billion naira ($1.136 billion) from the non-oil sector, with the industrial sector largely contributing to the revenue.

The report stated: “Total non-oil export earnings by Nigerian exporters stood at $1.136 billion at the end of the review period. This indicated an increase of 15.1 and 9.3 percent above the levels in the preceding quarter and the corresponding quarter of 2012, respectively.

“The development was attributed, largely, to the 66.9 and 70.3 percent rise in receipts from the industrial sector and manufactured products, respectively.”

It added, “A breakdown of the proceeds in the review quarter showed that industrial, manufactured, agricultural, minerals and food products earned $634.2 million, $322.6 million, $89.9 million, $67.9 million and $21.7 million, respectively.

FBNH, Zenith Bank, GTBank Diamond Bank, UBA top trading, as All-Share Index up 0.11%

WorldStage Newsonline-- Trading activities closed on a positive note Tuesday as major market indicators of the Nigerian Stock Exchange recorded slight appreciation.
The gains recorded in the market were boosted by activities in the FBNH; Zenith Bank, GTBank Diamond Bank, and UBA.
Thus, the market capitalisation of the listed equities gained 0.11 per cent or N12billion from N11,494ttrillion Monday to N11,506trillion today.
Similarly, the NSE All-Share Index declined by 0.11 per cent to close on Tuesday at 35,994.67 basis points, up from 35,956.05recorded Monday, while shares worth N4.2billion were traded.
At the close of trading activities, IPWA Plc led 31 other stocks on the price gainers’ chart rising by 10 per cent or N0.06 to close at N0.66 per share.
Eterna Plc followed on the chart, with a 10 per cent or 0.27kobo gain to close at N2.97 per share, Rtbriscoe Plc rose by 10 per cent or N0.18kobo to close at N1.98kobo per share.
Deap Capitals plc led 25 other stocks on the losers' chart by shedding 9.46 per cent or N0.14kobo to close at N1.34kobo per share, BOCGAS Plc shedding 9.09 per cent or N0.85 per share to close at N8.50kobo per share, Livestock plc shedding 6.90 per cent or N0.20kobo per share to close at N2.70kobo per share.

Imperial Holdings Acquires 49% Stake Of UACN’s Logistics Business

VENTURES AFRICA – UAC of Nigerian Plc. (UACN) has signed a strategic partnership with South African-based Imperial Holdings Limited for the later to acquire 49 percent equity in its wholly-owned subsidiary, MDS Logistics Plc.

This comes after UACN announced that it had sold a 51 percent share acquisition of Livestock Feeds Plc, a company that produces animal feeds and quoted in the Agricultural sub-sector of the Nigerian Stock Exchange’s Daily Official List.

MDS is Nigeria’s leading provider of integrated supply chain solutions such as warehousing, haulage, distribution and redistribution in over 600 cities and villages connected by a network of 50 distribution centres across Nigeria.

Nigeria’s UBA Jumps to Six-Week High on Profit: Lagos Mover

United Bank for Africa Plc, the Nigerian lender operating in 22 countries, rose for a third day to the highest in six weeks after saying first-quarter profit advanced 33 percent.

The shares climbed as much as 1.8 percent and traded 0.4 percent higher at 8.23 naira by the close in Lagos, the commercial capital where UBA is based, the highest since April 3. More than 33 million shares were traded, or 1.1 times the three-month daily average.

Net income for the three months through March increased to 16.3 billion naira ($104 million) from 12.3 billion naira a year earlier, it said yesterday in a filling to the Nigerian Stock Exchange. Revenue rose to 62.8 billion naira from 52.4 billion naira.

Return on equity was 29.5 percent, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. That figure “beats the 16 to 20 percent of most banks,” Bunmi Asaolu, an analyst at Lagos-based FBN Capital Ltd., said by phone today from Lagos.

The stock has risen 88 percent this year, outpacing a 23 percent increase in the Nigerian SE Banking Index, which tracks the nation’s 10 most-capitalized lenders.

Source: Bloomberg

IDC Plans $217 Million Development Investment Projects in Africa

Development financier the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) earmarked $217 million for investments in local resorts, attractions and hotels in the rest of Africa over the next five years.

Tourism business unit head Christine Engelbrecht said at the Tourism Indaba in Durban that the IDC shifted its focus from funding hotels in South Africa’s major centers due to the oversupply of rooms remaining from the 2010 Soccer World Cup.

With the goal of stimulating tourism domestically, the IDC was taking an approach driven by supply rather than demand.

The IDC is in the planning stages of 10 different projects, including a $65 million beach resort at the Nonoti River mouth in northern KwaZulu-Natal’s iLembe district. The feasibility studies and the environmental impact assessment had been done. The next step was to partner with an operator and other funding partners.

The resort would have a three-and a four-star hotel, as well as self-catering units. Development was set to begin in 2015, with construction lasting 18 months to two years.

Nigeria Seeks Economic Diversification in Agriculture Push

Nigeria's agriculture ministry has attracted $8 billion in foreign investment and aims to boost that to just over $10 billion by 2015, the country's minister of agriculture said this week.

Akinwumi Adesina told The Wall Street Journal that the country is seeking to boost investment in agriculture as part of a drive to diversify Nigeria's economy away from oil and gas, and to create more jobs and food security in the process.

Indonesian fertilizer company Indorama will invest $2.5 billion in new fertilizer plants, Mr. Adesina said on a visit to South Africa for the World Economic Forum on Africa. Dangote Group, run by Africa's richest man, Nigerian Aliko Dangote, is investing $3.5 billion in what Mr. Adesina says will be Africa's biggest fertilizer plant.

Major multinational agri-businesses are also moving in. Two weeks agao, the government approved a plan by Cargill Inc. to use cassava starch to make a sweetener that will be sold to Coca-Cola and Heineken, Mr. Adesina said.