02 Oct

Daily Watch – AMCON under fire over Aero, Osinbajo lends Emefiele a hand

  • The Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) may have lost up to N25 billion after taking over the debts of Aero Contractors, this, according to a source who claims the assets were overpriced and worth less than N4 billion at the time of the takeover. The bad bank had paid N29 billion. “The money AMCON paid was enough to float at least five new airlines with each one operating not less than five Boeing 737 aircraft on lease”, the report, which was quoted in ThisDay newspaper, said. Out of about 10 aircraft in Aero’s fleet, only five are operational while the others need maintenance.
  • The Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, has given support to the CBN’s currency controls, saying that the country cannot change its forex rules to satisfy portfolio investors. The government wasn’t “unduly worried” by a decision from JP Morgan Chase & Co to remove the nation’s bonds from its emerging-market bond indexes. Nigeria’s inclusion in the indexes in 2012 had attracted “hot money” into the economy, which has now reversed, he said. While the controls have helped to stabilize the currency, it put CBN Governor Emefiele at odds with investors and even fellow central bankers, who say the naira is overvalued.
  • A London-based venture capital firm, TLcom, has appointed former Minister of Communications and Technology, Omobola Johnson, as lead partner as it kicks off its West African operations. The company, which opened its first Africa office in Nairobi, Kenya, two years ago, is ramping up its investment in African start-ups through its TLcom TIDE (Technology and Innovation for Developing Economies) Africa Fund which could see it raise as much as $100 million. The focus of the investments, which could range from $500,000 to $10 million, will be on e-commerce, energy, health and education technology startups which have a potential for fast growth.