28 Jun

Daily Watch – IHS shifts IPO over #Election2019, Visa on arrival hits hurdle

  • The FG plans to raise $2.8 billion of debt offshore as part of its 2018 budget and will explore all options to lower costs, the head of the Debt Management Office told Reuters. Nigeria, approved a three-year plan in 2016 to borrow more from abroad so that 40 per cent of its loans would come from offshore in an attempt to lower borrowing costs. It now has around 23 per cent of its debt from abroad, up from 16 per cent when it approved the plan. The debt office has sent a request for a proposal to banks for an international bond offering, IFR reported, citing sources. Nigeria raised $2.5 billion through a dual-tranche Eurobond offering in February, selling a 12-year note at 7.1 per cent to raise $1.25 billion and a 20-year tranche at 7.7 per cent. The National Assembly needs to approve the new borrowing.
  • Some Nigeria insurers have received refunds worth ₦1 billion from the FIRS following complaints of excessive taxation. This was disclosed by the Chairman of the Insurance Association of Nigeria, Eddie Efekoha, who told journalists in Lagos that the erroneous taxation occurred after the 2007 recapitalisation of the insurance industry. He said the association was working with the FIRS and the Federal Ministry of Finance to effectively “work out an amicable solution to spur the robust growth of our industry.” A 2014 report by Nairametrics quoted the then Minister of Communication and Technology, Mrs Omobola Johnson, to have admitted that about 70 per cent of investments by Nigerian telecom companies are typically used for the payment of taxes to the different tiers of government, a deterrent to growth.
  • Shell says its Afam VI power plant will deliver 624MW of electricity to the national grid barring any restrictions from the regulator of the power market. In a statement, Managing Director Osagie Okunbor said the intervention has come at a time power generation has suffered a deep plunge following an outage of some thermal power stations. He said the Afam VI power plant, located in Afam village in Oyigbo LGA, Rivers, uses combined cycle gas turbine technology that burns 40 per cent less gas than plants using older open cycle technologies.
  • The Nigeria Immigration Service has suspended the issuance of biometric visa-on-arrival to foreigners arriving into the country indefinitely. The exercise was suspended because of controversies concerning charges. The exercise, which was introduced on 12 June, costs $110. At present, the NIS issues the ordinary visa-on-arrival to visitors coming into the country. “It is not true that the NIS is collecting money from foreigners coming into the country for the issuance of biometric visas,” a source told NAN. “The fees for the biometric visa-on-arrival is being collected by Online Integrated Services and New Works, who are service providers appointed by the ministry of interior to collect the charges. However, there were complaints from people who have already paid to obtain visas before coming into Nigeria and were now also being required to pay for the biometric visa upon arrival. The issue was brought to the notice of the [Comptroller-General], who directed that the policy should be suspended until further notice,” the source said.
  • Africa’s leading telecom infrastructure provider, IHS Towers has shifted its IPO valued at $10 billion, fearing that the sale may be too close to Nigeria’s general election next year. The company is seeking to raise about $1 billion on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). According to Bloomberg, if the tower operator goes ahead with the sale next year, MTN could sell its stake in the company where it currently owns an about 29 per cent stake. MTN’s CFO Ralph Mupita said his company’s stake in IHS Tower has been earmarked as an asset for sale. The telco giant has a total debt of $4.8 billion according to its FY 2017 results. In its financial statements for FY 2017, it classified its investment in IHS as ‘Available For Sale’. The company could rake in over $2 billion such a sale.