17 May

Daily Watch – Forcados leaks again, ARM overtakes FSDH in FM arms race

  • Nigeria has awarded a $6.68 billion contract to the China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation for work on a major segment of a railway linking Lagos and Kano, Xinhua reports. “The signing of the … segment contract agreement today (Tuesday) concludes all outstanding segments of the Lagos-Kano rail line,” the Chinese state news agency quoted Nigeria’s transport ministry as saying. The work is expected to take two or three years. CCECC, a subsidiary of Chinese state rail builder China Railway Construction Corporation, has been involved in other parts of the Lagos-Kano rail project, which started in 2006 and was broken into segments for implementation. The railway line is also receiving funding from China. In April, China Exim bank approved a $1.231 billion loan for the network’s modernisation programme.
  • The Trans-Forcados pipeline which exports the Forcados crude oil is shut down for repairs to inspect a leak, a source with knowledge of the matter told Reuters. The pipeline was shut about five days ago, the source said with trading sources saying that loadings were delayed by at least a week. The pipeline transports about 200,000 to 240,000 barrels per day of crude. Terminal operator SPDC, a Royal Dutch Shell subsidiary and pipeline operator Heritage Oil declined to comment.
  • Smile Communications may lose its place as the second preferred bidder in the ongoing 9mobile sale. According to Thisday, the telecom firm’s failure to disclose that its Nigerian shareholders have an ongoing debt challenge with a consortium of banks is threatening its position as the reserve bidder for the embattled 9mobile, Nigeria’s fourth largest mobile network provider. Smile’s partners and shareholders are said to be indebted to banks to the tune of $125 million, a material fact ought to have disclosed during the bidding process and also stand accused of attempting to derail the 9mobile sale by the lead financial adviser, Barclays Africa. The company has denied the allegations.
  • Asset & Resource Management Company has overtaken FSDH Asset management as Nigeria’s third largest fund management company by assets, riding on the back of significant inflows to its ARM Money Market Fund. ARM Asset Management now controls 8.67 percent of total mutual fund assets, according to Quantitative Financial Analytics, placing it behind Stanbic IBTC Asset Management Company which possesses a 45.53 percent market share and FBN Asset Management with 20.17 percent. FSDH has a current market share of 6.33 percent of mutual fund assets, a steep drop from the 15.5 percent of assets it oversaw in February 2017. The top three largest fund managers manage the three largest money market funds in the industry, a reflection of the popularity of money market funds in Nigeria.