Business News in Brief

Oil Prices Steady after Stock Markets Plunge

Oil prices steadied on Thursday, recovering from an early sell-off after Asian and European stock markets plunged in the wake of Wall Street’s biggest daily decline since 2011.

Brent crude oil LCOc1 fell 82 cents, or 1.1 percent, to a low of $75.35 before recovering to trade around $76.32, up 15 cents, by 0910 GMT.

The global benchmark has lost more than $10 a barrel since hitting a high of $86.74 on October 3.

U.S. light crude CLc1 was unchanged at $66.82 after touching an intraday low of $65.99, down 83 cents.

Airtel Africa raises $1.25b from six global investors

Airtel Africa Ltd, a subsidiary of India’s Bharti Airtel Ltd, said on Wednesday it raised $1.25 billion from six global investors including SoftBank Group Corp, Warburg Pincus LLC and Temasek Holdings (Private) Ltd.

It also said it was looking to go public on an international stock exchange, Reuters reports.

The fundraising, through a primary equity issuance, now values the company at $4.4 billion and will be used to reduce existing debt of about $5 billion and grow its Africa operations, Airtel Africa said.

Dec Exports of Nigeria's four major crude grades to hit 8-month high

Exports of the four largest grades of Nigerian crude oil will rise to 879,608 barrels per day in December, the highest since April this year, according to loading schedules seen by trading sources on Wednesday, Reuters reports.

The four largest grades of Nigerian crude oil are the Forcados, Bonga, Bonny Light and Qua Iboe crude streams.

$8.1b Row: MTN in Discussion with Nigerian Officials

Telecoms firm MTN says it is holding talks with Nigerian officials to find a “mutually acceptable solution” to a dispute over the alleged transfer of 8.1 billion dollars.

MTN made this known in a statement on Tuesday in Johannesburg.

MTN said that further announcement on the issue would be made in due course.

“Shareholders are advised to continue to exercise caution when dealing in the company’s securities until a further announcement is made,” MTN said.

Oil Prices Dip after Rally

Oil prices have dipped after sharp gains in the previous session, weighed down by a surprise increase in U.S. crude oil inventories and expectations that OPEC and other producers could decide to increase output at a meeting in June.

The overnight increase came despite the possibility of rising supplies from OPEC and Russia, and some analysts see market fundamentals as supportive.

Google Earmarks $2m for Project in Nigeria

Google on Wednesday launched the Google Impact Challenge (GIC) Nigeria 2018 aimed at empowering the citizens to drive community impact.

The Google Country Marketing Manager, Affiong Osuchukwu, said at the unveiling in Lagos that Google would commit two million dollars into the project in form of grants to non-profits using technology to reach their goals.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that a non-profit is dedicated to furthering a social cause or advocating a viewpoint.

Nigeria’s GDP Rises 1.95%

The oil sector’s contribution to Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) remains below 10 per cent in Q1 figures of the nation’s GDP released by the National Bureau of Statistics in Abuja today..

According to the NBS, the nation’s GDP grew by 1.95 per cent year-on-year- in real terms in the first quarter of 2018.

Although the nation recorded some growth in the oil sector during the period, the contribution formed only 9.61 per cent of the total, with the non- oil sector accounting for the rest.

PayPal Snaps Up iZettle for $2.2b

PayPal has bought iZettle, a Swedish mobile payments company that sells a card-reader aimed at small businesses, for $2.2bn (£1.6bn).

The move boosts PayPal's in-store presence at a time when competition in the online payments sector is increasing, BBC reports.

The takeover comes less than three weeks after iZettle said it would list shares in Stockholm.

At the time the firm said the listing would help it raise money and expand.

SEC Reiterates Commitment to Improve Investors’ Confidence

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has reiterated its commitment to improve investors’ confidence in the market.

The Acting Director-General, Ms Mary Uduk, who stated this when she was honoured by the West African Students Union Parliament (WASUP) for Exemplary Leadership in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital explained that the Commission would continue with the implementation of policies that would deepen the market and boost the Nigerian economy.

AfDB Approves $100m Loan for Nigeria's Indorama Eleme

The African Development Bank has approved a $100 million loan for Nigeria’s Indorama Eleme Fertilizer & Chemicals aimed at helping it boost fertilizer production, the bank said in a statement on Thursday, according to Reuters.

The company, a unit of Singapore-based petrochemical producer Indorama, is seeking to double annual output of urea fertiliser from 1.4 million tonnes to 2.8 million tonnes, the statement said.