03 Apr

Daily Watch – CFOs think naira ‘fair value’ is ₦250, Oil tankers begin strike today

  • Oil tanker drivers will go on strike from today over low wages and poor roads, said a labour union official on Sunday, threatening to choke off supply until their requests are met. The oil tanker drivers from NUPENG, one of Nigeria’s two major oil labourers’ unions, have not set an end date for their strike, said Cogent Ojobo, a regional chairman for NUPENG. “Tanker drivers across the country will not work tomorrow so there is bound to be a scarcity of petrol, diesel and kerosene,” said Ojobo, adding that petrol stations may later join the strike. NUPENG had been in talks with the government since last year but the last week’s deadline for an agreement was not met, said Ojobo.
  • Legislation paving the way for the eventual listing of shares in the NSE should be passed this year with the government supporting the move, the bourse’s CEO Oscar Onyema said on Friday. The bourse, which is owned by stockbrokers and some institutional investors, announced on Thursday it had been given a green light by its members to become a publicly listed company. Firstly, parliament has to introduce legislation to transform the bourse into a company limited by shares, Onyema said on the sidelines of an event at the London Stock Exchange. “Once the law and the rules and the corporate structure has been approved by the regulators and legislators we can de-mutualise and get a second member vote and then move forward,” he said, adding he was confident the listing would happen before 2020. “We are going to decide if we need to raise money, and then how to raise money – whether by listing or strategic partnership or private equity,” he said. The bourse’s primary listing would be in Lagos, with the option of a secondary one abroad, Onyema added. The second-biggest bourse in sub-Saharan Africa after Johannesburg has around 200 listed companies, all included in its benchmark share index.
  • Agip will begin to receive commercial proposals this month for the development of its Zabazaba deepwater project, which is estimated to gulp $13.5 billion. The Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board, which disclosed this in a statement on Sunday, said the request for commercial tenders from bidders followed the finalisation of the technical evaluation for the main package of the project by the NCDMB and the NAE, with the aim of maximising local content. It said the package included the floating, production, storage and offloading units, subsea, installation and rigs.
  • Dangote Sugar has announced a profit after tax of ₦14.4 billion for the financial year ended December 31, 2016, representing an increase of 29.26 percent. This was disclosed by audited result issued by the company on Sunday. The report indicated that the profit was against the ₦11 .14 billion reported in the corresponding period of 2015. “The profit before tax stood at ₦19.61 billion compared with ₦16.16 billion achieved in the previous year, an increase of 21 percent. “The company’s revenue appreciated to ₦167. 72 billion against the ₦101.06 billion recorded in 2015, representing a growth of 68 percent. “Seasonal sugar production at Savannah 17,122 tonnes (2015: 6,610 tonnes) Full year refinery production at Apapa 791,800 tonnes (2015: 740,350 tonnes) Group sugar sales volume 778,518 tonnes (2015: 782,000 tonnes.” The report, however, stated that the board of directors recommended a dividend of 60k per share to all its shareholders in contrast with 50k paid in 2015. Commenting on the development, Abdullahi Sule, the company’s acting Group Managing Director, attributed the performance to improved sales in spite of the current macroeconomic challenges.
  • A survey of CFOs of major organisations in Nigeria conducted by the BusinessDay Research and Intelligence Unit indicates that a majority think the fair value of the naira should be below ₦300 to the US dollar. The survey was conducted at a conference organised by the Chartered Global Management Accountants (CGMA) Institute for CFOs and Chartered Accountants of major organisations in Nigeria and was attended by over 100 top private organisations. 46 percent of attending CFOs picked ₦250 as the fair value of the naira, based on standard metrics and industry experience. But 21 percent picked between ₦251 and ₦350 to a US dollar, while 33 percent are of the opinion that the naira’s fair value should be above ₦350 to the US Dollar. The survey did not ask the CFOs to justify the basis for their choice. The naira currently trades at about ₦306 for official transactions, but at about ₦360 for retail customers and about ₦385 in the black market. Respondents to the BRIU survey came from different sectors cutting across banking, insurance, manufacturing, power, telecoms, food and beverages, oil and gas and consulting. On their outlook for the Nigerian economy, 18 percent of responding CFOs had a negative outlook on the economy but 44 percent said the outlook is positive while 38 percent needed more time to predict the direction of the economy.
  • South Africa’s Tiger Brands is still interested in investing in Nigeria despite pulling out of a flour milling business it acquired that never turned a profit, local conglomerate UAC said on Friday. UAC’s chief executive Larry Ettah said its partnership with the food company was paying dividends and in recent conversations, the South African firm had said Nigeria remained important as it looked to expand abroad. Tiger bought 49 percent of UAC’s food business in 2010 but since then it has had to sell its 65.7 percent stake in its loss-making Nigerian flour division for $1 to Dangote Industries, owned by Africa’s richest man Aliko Dangote, having bought it for $200 million in 2012. “We have had conversations with our partners … and they made us understand that Nigeria is still important to them,” Ettah told an analysts’ call discussing its full-year earnings. The joint venture company UAC Foods posted a pretax profit of ₦1.14 billion last year, down from ₦1.43 billion, though Ettah said the company “was still paying dividends”. Shares in UAC, which have lost 23 percent so far this year, closed flat last week at ₦13.65. They fell 19 percent last year. The group posted a 0.52 percent rise in pretax profit and declared a dividend of ₦1 per share.