Business News in Brief

World Bank: Support to Nigeria, Others Hit $14b

The World Bank Nigeria Country Director, Mr Rachid Benmessaoud, says that the Bank’s support to fragile states, including Nigeria has hit 14 billion dollars.

The support which came through the International Development Association (IDA) arm of the bank, double in the last one year says the Bank’s country representattive.

Benmessaoud said this on Tuesday in Abuja at a conference with the theme, “Ideas forAction Africa’ being hosted by the bank, in conjunction with the African University of Science and Technology and the University of Lagos.

CBN Injects $210m to Boost FX Market

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has injected 210 million dollars to boost the inter-bank foreign exchange market and to meet customers’ requests in various segments of the market.

The Bank’s acting Director, Corporate Communications, Mr Isaac Okorafor, in a statement on Monday in Abuja said the fund would ensure that legitimate demands for foreign exchange were met.

He said that the CBN offered 100 million dollars to authorised dealers in the wholesale segment of the market, while the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) segment got 55 million dollars.

2018: Customs Target ₦1.3tr Revenue not ₦1.5tr

The Public Relations Officer of Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Mr Joseph Attah, said that the service had set N1.3 trillion revenue target for 2018.

Attah told the News Agency of Nigeria on Sunday in Abuja that the Service recorded its highest revenue collection ever of over N1 trillion as against N770 billion targeted in 2017.

He said that this was contrary to the speculation in the media that the Service had fixed N1.5 trillion target for 2018.

Facebook to Open Digital Training Hubs in Europe

Facebook said on Monday it will open three new centres in Europe to train people in digital skills and committed to training one million people over the next two years, part of the social media giant’s drive to show its contribution to the bloc.

The U.S. company - which has faced regulatory pressure in Europe over issues ranging from privacy to antitrust - said it would open three “community skills hubs” in Spain, Poland and Italy as well as investing 10 million euros ($12.2 million) in France through its artificial intelligence research facility.

Lesotho finds $40m Diamond, World’s Fifth Biggest

A diamond thought to be the fifth largest of gem quality ever found has been discovered in Lesotho, miner Gem Diamonds said Monday, and could be worth as much as $40 million.

The company unearthed the D-colour stone at the Letseng mine in the landlocked southern African country and described the 910-carat find as of “exceptional quality”.

“Since Gem Diamonds acquired Letseng in 2006, the mine has produced some of the world’s most remarkable diamonds, including the 603 carat Lesotho Promise,” Gem Diamonds chief executive Clifford Elphick said in a statement.

China makes $832b from Tourism in 2017

China  generated 5.4 trillion yuan, about 832 billion U.S. dollars from tourism last year, according to Li Jinzao, head of the China National Tourism Administration (CNTA).

Li gave the figure at a tourism conference in Xiamen in east China’s Fujian Province Monday. It covered spending by local and foreign tourists.

On average, every Chinese person made 3.7 trips last year, Li said.

Union Bank Raises ₦50b via Share Sale

Nigeria’s Union Bank has raised 49.7 billion naira ($163 mln) through a rights issued which it said was 120 percent subscribed, Reuters reports.

The mid-sized lender launched the share sale last September at a ratio of five new shares for every seven held at 4.10 naira each.

Union Bank, set up 100-years ago, had said it planned to spend 80 percent of the funds to enhance its regulatory capital and boost working capital.

Fitch: T-Bill Supply Slowdown May Hurt Nigerian Bank Profits

Nigerian banks may find it more difficult to sustain profitability given the decline in net treasury bill (T-bill) issuance in Nigeria's 1Q18 issuance programme, Fitch Ratings says.

The slowdown in T-bill issuance marks a change of strategy as the government looks to increase its financing from external sources and longer-dated domestic issuances, Reuters reports. Record T-bill issuance in 2017 helped support the Central Bank of Nigeria's strategy to maintain naira exchange-rate stability.

IPMAN Advocates More Investment in Modular Refineries

The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) on Tuesday, urged the Federal Government to invest more in modular refineries as a way to end fuel scarcity.

Debo Ahmed, the Chairman, South-west zone of IPMAN, gave the advice in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Lagos.

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo two days ago in Lagos, confirmed that 10 modular refineries were at advanced stages of development in the Niger Delta.

The 10 modular refineries are located in five out of the nine states in the Niger Delta region.

AfDB hits 100% Investment in Renewable Energy

The African Development Bank (AfDB) achieved a 100 per cent investment in renewable energy in 2017.

According to the President of the bank, Dr Akinwumi Adesina, this is a major landmark in the commitment to clean energy and efficiency.

Power generation projects with a cumulative 1,400 megawatts exclusively from renewables were approved during the year, with plans to increase support for renewable energy projects in 2018 under the New Deal on Energy for Africa.