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by Editor

December 4, 2017 | 1:29 am
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Hundreds of thousands of people who have survived modern slavery or risk becoming enslaved in nations including Bangladesh, Nepal and Nigeria will receive support through a 40 million pound ($54 million) aid package, the British government said on Friday.

Half of the money will be split between tackling forced labour among women migrant workers from South Asia and cracking down on human trafficking from Nigeria, often of women and girls into sex slavery, said Britain’s foreign aid department (DFID).

The rest will go to the U.S.-based Global Fund to End Modern Slavery, a public-private partnership seeking $1.5 billion to combat the crime globally by targeting problem sectors from the garment industry to fisheries and construction


N117 billion

Nigeria raised 117.17 billion naira at a treasury bill auction on Wednesday after allocating almost 90 percent of the debt to longer maturities, traders said.

The central bank sold 103.07 billion naira of one-year debt at a rate of 15.57 percent, 23.04 billion naira more than it had initially offered to sell in that maturity.

Investors bid as high as 18 percent for the one-year paper. However, the government has been offering debt at lower yields to track declining inflation, which fell for the ninth month in October to 15.91 percent.

The bank then sold 7.89 billion naira and 6.21 billion naira respectively in three- and six- months maturities at 12.95 percent and 15 percent. Total subscription stood at 133.79 billion naira.

N131.65 billion

Lafarge Africa will use part of the proceeds of a 131.65 billion naira ($415 million) rights issue to cut debt by around $270 million, almost halving its foreign currency exposure, the cement maker said in its offer document.

The local unit of Franco-Swiss group Lafarge Holcim is offering five new shares for every nine held at 42.50 naira, a 12.4 percent discount to its closing price of 48.50 naira on Wednesday.

The rights issue is the first injection of new equity in the company in more than a decade, the offer document said.

The parent firm owns a 71.4 percent stake in the Nigerian unit and is backing the cash call. Lafarge Holcim aims to convert 92.96 billion naira of debt in the Nigerian entity into shares as part of the sale.

Lafarge Africa inherited $507 million in shareholder loans and $88 million of third-party foreign currency debt when it acquired Nigeria’s third-largest cement manufacturer United Cement Company of Nigeria (UNICEM) in 2015, the offer document said.

This debt exposed the company to a significant foreign currency loss after Nigeria’s naira lost more than a third of its official value since the central bank floated the currency last year.

“The proposed rights issue of up to 131.65 billion naira … will resolve the equivalent of (about) $270 million of the debt effectively, almost halving the foreign currency exposure,” Lafarge Africa said.

The cement maker announced a pre-tax loss of 22.82 billion naira last year, weighed down by foreign currency debt amid weak sales in an economy which has just emerged from a recession.

Since the naira was floated, the central bank has created multiple rates to mask pressure on the naira, which has stabilised across various markets.

Several multinational firms have turned to the local market to raise funds, reducing reliance on offshore parent company dollar funding, which caused most of them to post losses after the currency weakened.

Guinness Nigeria, which posted its first loss in 30 years last year, has sold shares in the local market and Unilever raised 58.85 billion naira in October.

Shares in Lafarge Africa, which have gained 29 percent this year, fell 2 percent on Wednesday, giving it a market value of 270.4 billion naira ($884 million).

by Editor

December 4, 2017 | 1:29 am
  |     |     |   Start Conversation

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