04 Dec

Daily Watch – Nigeria exempted from OPEC cut extension, Olisa mounts Interswitch saddle

  • OPEC has agreed to extend oil production cuts to the end of 2018. This decision was made on Thursday at the 173rd OPEC conference which held in Vienna. “I am pleased to announce that the decision has been unanimous. It’s a solid decision… which is to roll over and extend the deal through the end of December 2018,” said Khaled al-Falih, Saudi Arabia’s energy minister. It was also agreed that Nigeria and Libya should still be exempted from production cuts but both countries were advised to cap production. Both countries had been exempted from the agreement, which was first decided on in December 2016 but took effect in January 2017, because their production levels were unstable as a result of internal unrest. Bijan Zanganeh, Iranian oil minister, told reporters that a figure was not agreed on but the meeting advised them to keep production at 2017 levels. The agreement was reached as part of efforts to end a global oil glut that saw oil prices drop to as low as $29, a dip that OPEC Secretary General Mohammad Barkindo, described as the worst in the history of the industry. Russia, a non-OPEC member who joined in the agreement, had expressed willingness to exit the agreement in 2018 on fears of a market deficit or that US shale production would make up the difference.
  • The NDIC says it has paid ₦105 billion to 442,651 depositors of closed DMBs as at the end of September 2017, as part of its mandate of guaranteeing depositor’s savings. MD Alhaji Umaru Ibrahim, speaking at the NDIC Day at the ongoing 38th Kano International Trade Fair, said his firm also paid out ₦2.88 billion to 525,009 depositors of closed MFBs and ₦60 million to closed mortgage banks account holders within the current fiscal year. He said the NDIC will continue to be at the forefront of implementing the National Financial Inclusion Strategy to reduce the number of adult Nigerians that do not have access to financial services from 46.3 percent in 2010 to 20 percent by 2020.
  • Affleka SA, the majority shareholder in Seven-Up Bottling Company, has offered shareholders of the company ₦112 per share to buy up the ordinary shares held by other shareholders. According to a notice sent to the NSE, the percentage of the shares to be bought is 26.78 percent. “Affleka, the majority shareholder in SC, has informed the board of the intention to acquire all the outstanding and issued shares that it currently does not own,” the notice read. The company said the transaction will be executed through a Scheme of Agreement and the proposed scheme consideration represents a 15 percent premium on the trading price on 28 November 2017.
  • Interswitch has announced the appointment of Kenneth Olisa as its new Chairman, succeeding Adedotun Sulaiman. His appointment follows the recent minority investment by TA Associates in Interswitch in March, TA’s first in Africa. Helios Investment Partners, which invested in the company in 2011, remains the majority shareholder. Of Nigerian heritage, Kenneth Olisa built a career in technology that commenced at IBM and spans well over four decades, founding the technology merchant bank Interregnum as well as Restoration Partners, an independent boutique technology merchant bank, He is also a Director at Thomson Reuters. Founded in 2002, Interswitch dominates the Nigerian payments space, currently processing over 4 billion unique transactions yearly, with a value of over $38 billion and also operating in Kenya, Uganda and Gambia.
  • Nigerian e-commerce giant, Konga has reportedly laid off over 60 percent of its workforce, in what many see as a drastic move to cut operational costs. According to Quartz, “CEO Shola Adekoya informed staff of the cuts yesterday November 30 and said the company will adopt a leaner business model”. There are also speculations that founding ex-CEO Sim Shagaya may be returning to his role, from which stepped down almost 2 years ago. While there was no statement from the company about the mass layoff, Shola Adekoya alluded to an “internal restructuring” in a recent Medium post in which he also happened to announce another major decision; Konga’s shift to a prepay-only model, essentially ending its Pay on Delivery service. Konga will also be ending it warehousing service for merchants on its platform.