Business News in Brief

Naira Gains More Against Dollar

The Naira on Friday in Lagos consolidated its position against the dollar at the parallel market, ending the week stronger.

The Nigerian currency on Friday afternoon exchanged between N380 (buying rate) and N390 (selling rate), stronger than N400 recorded on Thursday, while the pound sterling and Euro closed at N490 and N430.

At the Bureau De Change (BDC) window, the Naira was sold at N399 to the dollar, while the pound sterling and the Euro were sold at N500 and N400.

Federal Roads Expenditure: States to be Refunded

The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola, on Thursday pledged the commitment of the Federal Government to refund expenditure on the execution of federal roads to state governments.

Fashola, who stated this in Ado-Ekiti during a courtesy visit to Gov. Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti state, said the planned refund followed request by several state governments.

The minister said he was in the state to inspect ongoing Federal Government road projects.

Zenith Bank shelves plans to raise ₦100b due to weak economy

Nigeria's Zenith Bank has shelved plans to raise 100 billion naira ($318 million) via a combination of bonds and share sales due to weak capital markets, it said on Thursday.

The bank had expected market conditions to improve when it announced plans to seek approval for the funds last month, said Zenith's head of investor relations Michael Anyimah, but the lender cancelled them due to the struggling economy.

Water Supply: Osun Secures $65m Islamic Bank Loan

Governor Rauf Aregbesola of Osun has said the state government has secured a $65 million loan from Islamic Development Bank (IDB) to be used to improve water supply in the state.

The money would be used for the construction of water treatment plant, 17km transmission line from Kajola to Ilesa, booster pumping station and three water reservoirs on the hill.

“The state will provide counterpart fund of about 40 million dollars for the construction of water distribution system and sanitation,” he said.

Stanbic IBTC: Atedo Peterside to Step Aside

Stanbic IBTC Holdings has announced that its chairman of board, Atedo Peterside, will be resigning from board of Stanbic IBTC Holdings with effect from March 31.

According to Reuters report, Peterside will however remain non-executive director on boards of both Standard Bank Group Ltd and The Standard Bank of South Africa Ltd.

The company’s board of directors will appoint a new chairman at its meeting scheduled to hold in April 2017.

AMCON sells Keystone Bank to local investors

Nigeria's state-backed 'bad bank' AMCON has sold the nationalised Keystone Bank to a consortium of local investors called Sigma Golf Nigeria Limited and Riverbank Investment Resources, it said on Monday, according to Reuters report.

Keystone Bank was the last of the lenders nationalised in Nigeria, which state-backed AMCON was seeking to sell. It was one of three banks nationalised following a $4 billion central bank bailout that saved several lenders from near bankruptcy in 2009.

Consumer Protection Council Probes Bottling Company Over Products

The Consumer Protection Council (CPC) says it has launched a “detailed investigation” into the alleged danger of mixing Fanta or Sprite with Vitamin C.

CPC’s Director-General, Mrs Dupe Atoki, announced this in Abuja on Thursday.

“The Consumer Protection Council is keenly interested and extremely concerned about the questions that have arisen from and on account of this judgement.

“As such, the discoveries therein the CPC is launching a broad and detailed investigation as a matter of urgency.

Aero Contractors sacks 900 workers

Aero Contractors Airline, which is under the management of the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON), has sacked about 900 workers representing 60 per cent.

Letters of redundancy were issued to the affected employees during the week.

Media Consultant to the 58 year-old airline, Mr Simon Tumba, who confirmed the development in a statement issued on Thursday in Lagos, said the workers would be paid their pension and gratuity.

'GTB not looking to refinance Eurobond due 2018'

Nigeria's Guaranty Trust Bank (GTB) is not looking to refinance its Eurobond due next year because it does not see opportunities to grow its dollar loan book, its chief executive said on Wednesday.

Segun Agbaje said the bank expected naira loans to grow 10 percent this year, down from 15.8 percent last year, largely due to a currency devaluation.

He said the bank expected a 168 billion naira ($550 million) pretax profit for 2017, up from 165 billion the year before.

Exposure to Etisalat Loan

Dangote to mine coal in Tanzania

Aliko Dangote is now a coal miner as Tanzania has offered his Dangote Cement Company in the southeastern town of Mtwara, land to mine coal for its operations.

Tanzania’s Ministry of Energy and Minerals at the weekend handed a 10-square-kilometre plot of land to the $500 million cement factory set up in 2015 by Aliko Dangote, Africa’s richest man.

The factory has an annual capacity of 3 million tonnes.

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