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N100bn Dangote Cement’s bond oversubscribed

By Chris Ndibe

Dangote Cement has reported the successful issuance of its N100 billion Series 1 fixed rate senior unsecured bonds due April 2025.

Mr Michel Puchercos, its Chief Executive Officer of the company, said in Lagos that the N100 billion bonds under its N300 billion bond programme, were 1.5 times oversubscribed.

Puchercos said book building with respect to the issuance commenced on April 3, following the approval of the Securities and Exchange Commission, and closed on April 15 at a coupon rate of 12.50 per cent.

He stated that the total order book amounted to N155 billion, noting that the landmark transaction was the largest ever bond issuance by a corporate organisation in Nigeria.

“Despite current market headwinds due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the transaction was extremely well received and attracted significant demand from a wide range of high-quality investors including domestic pension funds, asset managers, insurance companies, banks and international fund managers.

“The transaction represents the largest corporate bond issuance in Nigeria’s debt capital markets, reflecting Dangote Cement’s strong credit quality as well as the resilience of the Nigerian debt capital market despite current global challenges,” Puchercos said in a statement.

According to him, the transaction would enable the company to lower its average cost of debt and extend the average maturity of its debt.

He stated that the net proceeds of the offer would be used to refinance existing short-term debt previously applied towards cement expansion projects, working capital and general corporate purposes.

“It allows us to further broaden our sources of funding by accessing long-term debt at competitive costs from the capital market and builds further on the success of our domestic commercial paper programme.

“The success of this transaction, in the current challenging environment, illustrates investors’ continuous confidence in Dangote Cement’s strategy, strong cash generation and solid credit profile,” he added.

Puchercos said the bonds would be listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange and the FMDQ Securities Exchange.

He explained that for the first time in the history of the Nigerian debt capital markets, investors would have the option of lodging securities with either the Central Securities Clearing System or the FMDQ Depository.

Stock market makes improvement

By Chris Ndibe

Trading on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) closed upbeat on April 22, 2020 following gains in blue chips stocks with the All-Share Index advancing by 0.66 per cent, thereby reversing two days downward trend.

Specifically, the All-Share Index increased by 150.38 points, representing a gain of 0.66 per cent to close at 22,780.30 compared with 22,629.92 recorded on Tuesday.

Similarly, the market capitalisation which opened at N11.793 trillion rose by N79 billion to close at N11.872 trillion.

The uptrend was impacted by gains recorded in large and medium capitalised stocks, amongst which are; Lafarge Africa, Zenith Bank, BUA Cement, Guaranty Trust Bank and PZ Cussons.

Analysts at Afrinvest Limited expected trading to remain mixed for the rest of the week.

Market breadth closed positive with 19 gainers in contrast with four laggards.

NEM Insurance recorded the highest price gain of 10 per cent, to close at N2.20 per share.

Lafarge Africa followed with a gain 9.66 per cent to close at N11.35, while Livestock rose by 7.69 per cent to close at 70k per share.

Transcorp rose by 7.35 per cent to close at 73k, while PZ Cussons appreciated by 6.25 per cent to close at N4.25 per share.

On the contrary, Skyway Aviation Handling Company led the losers’ chart in percentage terms, dropping by 8.16 per cent, to close at N1.80.

Union Diagnostic & Clinical Services followed with a decline of 6.45 per cent to close at 29k per share.

Guinness Nigeria lost 6.40 per cent to close at N19, while Caverton shed 4.26 per cent to close at N2.25, per share.

In spite of the growth in market indices, the total volume of shares traded dipped 25.61 per cent with an exchange of 186.23 million shares worth N1.85 billion traded in 3,446 deals.

This was against a turnover of 186.23 million shares valued at N1.85 billion transacted in 3,446 deals on Tuesday.

Transactions in the shares of Zenith Bank topped the activity chart with 30.96 million shares worth N420.53 million.

FBN Holdings accounted for 30.72 million shares valued at N130.49 million, while Guaranty Trust Bank traded 25.77 million shares worth N486.79 million.

United Bank for Africa sold 19.99 million shares valued at N115.54 million, while Lafarge Africa transacted 17.11 million shares worth N192.51 million.

Osinbajo meets with officials of IMF, World Bank

By Tanko Mohammed

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo in Abuja held an online meeting with representatives of the International Monetary Fund(IMF) and the World Bank through videoconferencing  to discuss how the agencies could collaborate with Nigeria in the planned additional economic stimulus to address the fallout of COVID-19 pandemic.

President Muhammadu  Buhari on March 30, set up the Economic Sustainability Committee(ESC) headed by the vice president  to  develop a clear economic sustainability plan  until 2023.

The committee was tasked with identifying fiscal and monetary measures to enhance oil and non-oil revenues in order to fund the plan; develop a stimulus package and come up with measures to create more jobs while keeping existing ones.

Buhari had also approved an initial economic stimulus package of N500 billion.

The global economy is expected to go into recession in 2020 while the IMF has predicted that Nigeria will go into recession to a level of negative 3.4 per cent.

The ESC had expressed optimism that with the plans it had drawn, Nigeria would be able to return to positive growth by 2021.

Fidelity Bank bridges finance gaps for women entrepreneurs

Fidelity Bank has expressed commitment to continuous support and development of women entrepreneurs to address the short-term financing needs of Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).

Mr Nnamdi Okonkwo, the bank’s Managing Director, stated this at its mentoring and networking engagement with women entrepreneurs in celebration of the 2020 International Women’s Day in Lagos.

Okonkwo said the bank’s long-running support for the growth and development of small businesses in the country was due to its recognition of SMEs as critical agents for economic development and transformation.

Okonkwo stressed that the bank was very passionate about supporting female entrepreneurs as well as SMEs development.

He noted that the bank had built structures and systems to channel low cost intervention and development funding to MSMEs, including women entrepreneurs, to tame ‘high-cost-of-funds’ challenge facing the sector.

He disclosed that the bank had disbursed about N1.7 billion to SMEs from the SME on-lending line from the Bank of Industry as at February 2020.

Okonkwo added that the bank got an offer from the Development Bank of Nigeria for a N28 billion on-lending line in 2018 for on-lending to players in key sectors.

He noted that about N18 billion had already been disbursed from the fund as at February 2020, noting that additional N6.8 billion had been approved and awaiting completion of documentation by customers.

“Recently,  we obtained a facility of 50 million dollars from the African Development Bank and about 30 per cent of this is dedicated to female entrepreneurs,” he said.

Okonkwo said that the bank would continue to expand the frontiers of funding for SMEs through its Fidelity SME Funding event series.

Mrs Tara Fela-Durotoye, Founder, House of Tara, attributed collapse of small businesses to lack of knowledge in support systems and policies.

Speaking on the Business Structure and Governance, Fela-Durotoye, said that small businesses must build brands that would outlive them to boost employment generation.

“Entrepreneurs today need to decide on businesses that will outlive them to create an impact.

“You must decide to build a business that will outlive you, its a national call to service.

“And by so doing, they are pulling people out of poverty and then the international world will stop looking at us as a country that cannot provide jobs for its people,”  she said.

Fela-Durotoye said entrepreneurs must separate their personal lives from their businesses in order to thrive by paying themselves salaries.

Also speaking, Linda Ikeji, the Chief Executive Officer, LIB TV, commended the bank for bringing the initiative of women empowerment.

Ikeji said more Nigerian women needed platforms like this to be able to thrive and scale up on their businesses.

“This is commendable and as you know that I am passionate about entrepreneurship as regards to women who want to be motivated, learn and be inspired.

“I definitely welcome that platform and so it is commendable that Fidelity Bank thought it very necessary to put something like this together and invite female entrepreneurs, myself and Tara to do some form of mentorship,” she said.

Ikeji stressed that entrepreneurs must put all their time and energy in what they were doing to scale up their businesses.

Speaking on the topic: ‘Scaling Up’, she said entrepreneurs must continue to fight and must never give up on their dreams.

According to her, entrepreneurs, especially start-ups, need to innovate what people really need and not just come up with businesses that will not thrive.

“Your business must satisfy a need and not a want for it to succeed,” she said.

Senate approves N346.4bn NDDC budget

The Senate has approved the sum of N346.4 billion as 2019 Budget for the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).

This followed the consideration of the report of the 2019 budget of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) as presented during plenary by the Chairman Sen. Peter Nwaoboshi.

Presenting the report, Nwaoboshi noted that President Muhammadu Buhari through a communication to the Senate, had presented a budget of N409.9 billion for the NDDC for 2019.

The breakdown according to the chairman included: Personnel Expenditure N22, 338,190, 000, Overhead Expenditure N13, 466, 810, 000, Internal Capital Expenditure N4, 083, 000, 000 and Development Projects N369, 995, 000, 000.

Nwaoboshi said that the committee while considering the report noted that the developmental aspect of the budget was basically a roll over of the 2018 Budget which was in furtherance of the drive to ensure completion of ongoing projects.

He said that the sum of N35 billion stated as unpaid arrears by the Federal Government was not considered as part of the commission’s revenue projection by the committee.

“This is because the amount was not approved in the 2019 Appropriations Act by the National Assembly.”

He further said that the lifespan of the budget would end on May 31.

Nwaoboshi further said that the the joint National Assembly Committee on NDDC, had unanimously resolved to recommend that the lifespan of the budget be extended to enable the commission achieve full implementation.

“Accordingly, the 2019 NDDC Budget is recommended to elapse on May 31,” he said.

Contributing, Chairman Senate Committee on Finance Sen. Solomon Olamilekan (APC-Lagos) observed that, “we are in 2020; the federal government has passed 2020 Appropriation Act into law, this is 2019 budget.

“If you look at the document soliciting the fund contribution of the federal government is about N120 billion and now we have returned government to January – December circle in terms of revenue.

“By now I believe what we should have before us is the 2020 appropriation bill of the NDDC.”

Also, Sen. Albert Akpan (PDP-Akwa-Ibom) said, the issue that was raised by Chairman Senate Committee on Finance was critical.

“How do you expect NDDC to earn from federal government’s 2020 Budget allocation in NDDC 2019, it is a legal issue.

“Unless the chairman of the committee is going to convince the chamber that he is already processing NDDC’s 2020 Budget. Outside that I don’t think they can earn anything from it.

“The federal government is running the 2020 Budget and they are bringing 2019 Budget in 2020.”

In his remarks, President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, urged the NDDC Committee to work on the 2020 Budget and report back to the Senate within two weeks to enable the upper chamber pass it on good time.

“At no time should NDDC or indeed any agency of government bring its budget later than Sept. when we receive the proposal from the President for the federal budget,” he said.