08 Sep

Daily Watch – India raises appetite for Nigerian crude, Only 110k join the 4G revolution

  • The Debt Management Office on Thursday started a national road show in Lagos in preparation for the issuance of a highly anticipated ₦100 billion non-interest bearing Sukuk bond. The DMO, in a statement issued in Abuja, said the road show led by the Director-General, Patience Oniha, would also be held in Kano, Kaduna and Port Harcourt. It said the team would be accompanied by its financial advisers, Lotus Capital Financial and FBN Merchant Bank. The roadshow is to create awareness about the sovereign Sukuk and sensitise target investors about its features and benefits. The DMO had announced its intention to issue a sovereign Sukuk in the domestic market as part of measures to fund the 2017 budget deficit. According to the DMO, to make it accessible to a wide spectrum of Nigerians, the minimum amount that an investor can purchase has been fixed at ₦10,000 only. The DMO said that proceeds from the Sukuk issuance would be used to finance specific road projects.
  • The National Council on Privatisation (NCP) approved the revocation of the concession of the Lagos International Trade Fair Complex. The concession of the Lagos trade fair complex to Aulic Nigeria Limited in 2008 had been roundly criticised by various trade groups in the country. The council, chaired by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, also approved the commencement of the privatisation process of the Afam power plants 1-5 to inject more power into an ailing national grid, a statement from Laolu Akande, Osinbajo’s spokesman said. The NCP, which is the highest decision-making body on policies relating to the privatisation and commercialisation policies of the federal government, also approved the commencement of fresh privatisation of the Yola Electricity Distribution Company. “These approvals, the council noted, were aimed at giving traction to key infrastructural facilities in the country that are presently under concession, but have been adjudged to be performing sub-optimally,” Akande said.
  • Only 110,000 of the 151 million active telecom subscribers in the country have upgraded to the fourth Generation/Long-Term Evolution technology, more than 10 months after its commercial launch in the country by the four mobile operators, the Daily Trust reports. The huge number of phone users on third generation (3G) technology has experts said, made 4G tech, which is designed to provide up to ten times the broadband speeds of 3G for mobile devices may have started sluggishly in Nigeria, portending a business risk for the telecom operators. About 92 million of the 151 million subscribers are active internet users, and they depend on data provided by the telcos to access the web and social media, NCC data shows. The paper quotes an industry source as saying that of the 110,000 on 4G networks, MTN had about 50 percent of market share, with Glo holding about 40 percent while Airtel, 9mobile, Ntel and other smaller operators make up the remaining 10 percent. South Africa (63 percent 4G coverage), Morocco (60 percent 4G coverage) and Tunisia (54 percent 4G coverage) are the leading African countries in adopting the new technology, according to OpenSignal, a global broadband advocacy group.
  • The African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) is offering up to $300 million in depositary receipts to private investors to boost capital for lending to industries on the continent, a top executive of the bank said on Thursday. George Elombi, the bank’s executive VP for governance and legal, said the fresh capital will help Afreximbank to secure further funds through borrowing, to lend to investors who wish to process African commodities. Cairo-based Afreximbank, which focuses on boosting trade in and with Africa through financing, has assets of $12.46 billion, with $10.84 billion of that being loans. It is owned by a range of shareholders including African governments and central banks.
  • West African crude oil sailing for Asia is expected to reach a seven-month high in September as shipments to India rise substantially and Chinese purchases edge to a fresh high, a Reuters survey of traders and shipping data indicated. September loadings are expected to hit at least 2.2 million barrels per day (bpd), up slightly from the previous month and the highest since February. The increase was due in part to plans for higher refinery runs in October and November in advance of winter fuel demand. China’s bookings showed that buyers are again enthusiastically purchasing West African oil after a lull earlier this year. India’s purchases were also elevated because of the nation’s need to replace some of the cargoes of Iranian oil it had been buying, analysts said. State refiner Indian Oil Corp was the primary buyer, taking cargoes from Gabon, Democratic Republic of Congo and Angola in addition to its more common purchases of Nigerian grades such as Qua Iboe and Agbami. One cargo, the Ice Transporter, was expected to load Nigeria’s Agbami for Australia, while Indonesia will load Okono and Bonny Light.