16 Nov

Daily Watch – Abuja runway inserted in #Budget2018, Dangote sells noodle plants to Indomie

  • Annual inflation in Nigeria slowed for the ninth month in a row in October, easing to 15.91 percent, the NBS said on Wednesday in a report. A separate food price index showed inflation at 20.31 percent in October, compared with 20.32 percent in September. “The rise in the food index, in October 2017 was caused by increases in prices of bread and cereals, meats, oils and fats, coffee tea and cocoa, milk cheese and eggs vegetables and fish,” the statistics office said in its report. Last month, CBN Governor Godwin Emefiele said he expected inflation rates to fall at a faster pace and reach high single-digit rates by the middle of 2018.
  • Eurobonds made up more than a fifth of Nigeria’s $15.35 billion foreign debt portfolio as of September and more than half of interest paid in the third quarter, the DMO said on Wednesday. Foreign debt stood at $11.58 billion a year earlier. Africa’s biggest economy is planning a roadshow to London and the United States from Thursday to market up to $2.5 billion of Eurobonds to investors after the National Assembly approved the issue on Tuesday. It aims to issue the bonds by mid-November, the DMO has said, adding that it also wants to refinance $3 billion of domestic treasury bills with dollar loans. The DMO said Eurobonds and Diaspora bonds accounted for 21.5 percent of total offshore borrowing and 53 percent of debt service payments in the third quarter.
  • The FG has set aside ₦8.3 billion for the second runway of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja in the 2018 appropriation bill, according to Budget and National Planning minister, Udoma Udo Udoma. Speaking at the 2018 budget public presentation, Udoma said the project is necessary to avoid a repeat of an airport shutdown. Earlier in the year, the FG closed down the airport for six weeks to enable the reconstruction of the airport’s only runway. The second runway project was first included in the 2017 budget but was rolled over to 2018 due to a budget deficit.
  • The Nigerian Ports Authority’s managing director, Hadiza Bala Usman says there will be no new approvals for tank farms in Apapa as part of plans to de-congest Lagos’ port district. Apapa has experienced chronic traffic gridlock for over a decade mostly because of the rapid growth of so-called tank farms — depots for imported fuel where marketers come to load their tanks. Usman, speaking on Tuesday after a government-private sector meeting on how to resolve the Apapa traffic gridlock, also said all empty containers will be taken to a holding bay as part of the new measures, reiterating the “full commitment of Dangote [Group] to complete the reconstruction of Apapa Wharf Road by June 2018.”
  • Dangote Noodles says it has sold two of its production lines in Ikorodu and Calabar to De United Foods, makers of Indomie noodles. The transaction is valued at ₦3.75 billion. De United said it has signed an agreement with Dangote Noodles to buy the plants. It would also buy stock options worth ₦383.94 million. The deal comes after Dangote sold a small stake in its cement business to foreign investors in a one-off stock market deal valued at ₦27 billion. Dangote Flour Mills said it wanted to quit noodles manufacturing to focus on pasta and flour production. De United has a market share of around 70 percent of the Nigerian noodle market and is seeking to consolidate its position. Dangote Group, which has interests in agriculture, real estate and truck assembly, bought back the flour unit it sold to Tiger Brands, a South African company, for $1 in 2015 after the company posted losses. A banking source close to the deal said that De United would continue to produce noodles under the Dangote brand for two years after the acquisition.