Business News in Brief

$14b Order Book shows Investors still crave African Bonds

Kenya’s series of meetings with some of the world’s biggest bond investors in the U.S. and London last week revealed it was in a midst of a political crisis.

On the day the roadshow started, Moody’s Investors Service downgraded the nation’s credit, and then the International Monetary Fund (IMF) divulged that the government had lost access to an emergency $1.5 billion facility after missing fiscal targets.

Bond Auction Raises ₦80b, Less than Amount on Offer

Nigeria raised 79.62 billion naira ($260.20 million) at an auction of government bonds on Wednesday, less than it originally planned, after it got fewer subscriptions for the most liquid five-year debt, traders told Reuters on Thursday.

The Debt Management Office (DMO) initially intended to raise 100 billion naira. It got subscriptions of 117.58 billion naira, more than half skewed towards the 10-year bond.

Telcom Regulator to Ensure Financial-health Checks of Operators

Nigeria’s telecommunications regulator said tougher financial-health checks on the country’s biggest mobile-phone companies could prevent a repeat of last year’s collapse of debt-laden Etisalat and help stabilize the industry.

The Nigerian Communications Commission has compiled reports on the financial well-being of the local units of Johannesburg-based MTN Groups Limited, the market leader with 52.3 million customers, Bharti Airtel Limited. and Lagos-based Globacom Ltd., NCC Executive Vice-Chairman Umar Garba Danbatta said in an interview.

Japan Optimistic of Improved Trade Relations with Nigeria

Japan on Monday expressed optimism of an improved trade relation with Nigeria as Nigerian Government intensifies efforts at implementing the Economic and Recovery Growth Plan (ERGP).

The Trade Commissioner, Japan External Trade Organisation (JETRO), Mr Taku Miyazaki, expressed the optimism in an interview with reporters in Lagos.

According to him, Nigeria’s economy is on the path of rebound due to stable oil price, more forex liquidity and government efforts at implementing ERGP.

Dogara woos Swedish Investors

Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr. Yakubu Dogara, has urged Swedish investors to invest in Nigeria to create job opportunities for its teeming population.

Mr. Dogara said this when he received the Swedish Ambassador to Nigeria, Mrs Inger Ulvedt, who led a delegation to his office on a courtesy call, Voice of Nigeria reports.

He noted that the country is the second largest trade partner with Sweden in Africa and has an existing cordial relationship that it values and hopes to deepen more for the overall citizens in both countries.

Nigeria Raises ₦176b in Treasury Bills on Lower Yields

Nigeria has raised 176 billion naira ($576 million) worth of treasury bills at an auction on Wednesday, traders told Reuters.

The central bank offered 6 billion naira of three-month paper, 30 billion naira of six-month bills and 140 billion naira of one-year notes.

The bank issues treasury bills twice a month to help the government to finance its budget deficit, curb money supply growth and provide an avenue for lenders to manage liquidity.

Central Bank Injects $326m into Currency Market

Nigeria’s central bank said on Friday it had injected $325.64 million into the interbank foreign exchange market as part of efforts to boost liquidity and reduce dollar shortages.

Nigeria, an OPEC member which has Africa’s largest economy, fell into recession in 2016 largely due to low crude oil prices. Lower oil receipts led to dollar shortages since crude sales are the country’s main source of dollars.

Warning: World Bank Compares Cryptocurrencies to Ponzi Schemes

The World Bank warned and compared cryptocurrencies to “Ponzi schemes”.

The warning is the latest financial voice to raise questions about the legitimacy of digital currencies such as Bitcoin.

“In terms of using Bitcoin or some of the cryptocurrencies, we are also looking at it, but I’m told the vast majority of cryptocurrencies are basically Ponzi schemes,” World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim said Wednesday at an event in Washington.

“It’s still not really clear how it’s going to work.”

NPA Generates ₦299b Revenue in 2017

The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) has generated N299.5 billion revenue in 2017, General Manager, Corporate and Strategic Communications, Abdullahi Goje, said in a statement in Lagos.

He said that the figure exceeded the N162.2 billion generated in 2016 by 84.65 percent.

Goje added that the 2017 figure was the highest generated revenue by the Authority in the past five years.

“In 2013, the NPA generated the sum of N154.50 billion. This increased to N159.30 billion and N180.50 billion in 2014 and 2015 respectively.

AfDB Approves $10m Loan to Boost Africa’s Portfolio

The Board of African Development Bank (AfDB) has approved a 10-million dollar loan for African Local Currency Bond Fund (ALCBF) to boost its portfolio in Africa.

Mrs Olivia Ndong-Obiang, the Principal Communications Officer in AfDB, disclosed this in a statement in Abuja on Tuesday.

She said that the ALCBF was also approved by the Bank to promote the development of domestic capital markets in Africa and had a tenor of seven years with a two-year grace period.