07 Jul

Daily Watch – Etisalat Nigeria has two ‘concrete’ takers, AshakaCem announces NSE delisting

  • The FG has announced that it has provided ₦40 billion to settle the reconciled outstanding electricity bills of its ministries and agencies. The Minister of Budget and National Planning, Udoma Udoma, stated this while addressing The Situation Room, a group of civil society organisations. He said the gesture was part of a strategy to revamp the power sector. Udoma added that the government would invest ₦9.5 billion in rural electrification projects in federal universities in its quest to build sustainable power capacity. He also announced ₦10 billion earmarked for the construction of a 3,050-megawatt hydropower plant at Mambilla as well as ₦10.02 billion for the completion of a power evacuation facility for the 400-megawatt Kashimbila hydropower plant.
  • The NNPC and IOCs operating in the country including independent oil companies lifted crude oil and condensate worth over $36.023 billion between March 2016 and March this year, according to NNPC April statistical report, a figure which translates to ₦11.005 trillion at an exchange rate of ₦304.5 to a US dollar. The IOCs, which include Chevron, ExxonMobil, Total, NAOC/Phillips, Shell and Addax, and also including 24 independent companies among them Seplat Petroleum, Pan Ocean, Newcross, Eroton, Neconde, ND Western, Elcrest, ConOil, Amni, Platform Petroleum and the Niger Delta Petroleum Development Company, along with the NNPC subsidiary, the NPDC, lifted a total of 458,754,086 barrels valued at $28,157,503,045 while NNPC lifted 165,079,126 barrels for the domestic and export markets valued at $7.8 trillion over the period. Of the total amount of oil lifted, 33,878,441 barrels were for export while 131,200,685 barrels was for the domestic market. The report showed that 85 percent or 247.231 million barrels of Nigerian oil found buyers in Western Europe, with Australia buying 644,729 barrels. The Netherlands remained the highest buyer of Nigerian crude with a total of 61.562 million barrels during the period, followed by Spain with 60.353 million barrels, France 45,018,319 barrels, the United Kingdom 33,295,315 barrels, Italy 16,238,271 barrels, Germany 11,408,525 barrels and Sweden 15,536,939 barrels.
  • Orange and Vodafone Group are in “strong running” to buy 65 percent of Etisalat Nigeria following Etisalat’s exit from the troubled operator, according to local sources. The Daily Trust quotes marketing PR agency Brandish as saying that “no fewer than five” companies have expressed interest in Etisalat Nigeria, although the two telco giants, who have significant operations in Africa, have shown “concrete interest”. The potential hurdle, the report said, was the restructuring of the debt which caused the current uncertainty for the business. The report also said the negotiators for Etisalat Nigeria – including representatives of its bankers and Nigerian regulators – are working to “mitigate any collateral damage and brand erosion” which could impact the new owners. Either way, a rebranding is likely to be an early priority for Orange or Vodafone if they become the successful owner, to shift away from the Etisalat name. After the Nigerian business defaulted on its loan repayments, Etisalat UAE was required to transfer its holding in the company to a consortium of lenders to the Nigerian operation and majority shareholder Emirati investment fund Mubadala pulled out of the country. Etisalat had been in talks with 13 Nigerians banks to restructure a $1.2billion trade facility after missing repayments, but the talks failed, leading to the resignation of the company’s boards.
  • The FG plans to sell ₦135 billion worth of bonds in its July 12 auction, the DMO has said. The offering circular, which was obtained from its website on Wednesday in Abuja, said it would sell ₦35 billion of bonds that would mature in July 2021 at 14.50 percent. It would also sell ₦50 billion at 16.28 percent to mature in March 2027, while another ₦50 billion of paper would be sold at 16.24 percent to mature in April 2037. All the bonds on offer are re-openings of previous issues, the circular said.
  • Ashaka Cement has voluntarily delisted from the Nigerian Stock Exchange for violation of the exchange free float deficiency provision of 20 percent. The company announced its voluntary withdrawal in a statement posted on NSE website by the company’s directors. “The Board of Directors of Ashaka Cement Plc has opted for a voluntarily delisting of the company from the NSE in violation of the Exchange’s Free Float Deficiency provision of 20 per cent,” the statement read in part. It stated that Lafarge Africa currently holds 84.97 percent of Ashaka Cement, bringing the free float that was tradable on the NSE to 15.03 percent, below the stipulated 20 percent. The company opted for voluntary delist to avoid NSE enforcement action of regulatory delisting because the free float deficiency was unlikely to be remedied.