02 Aug

Daily Watch – Nigeria exports fall as Asia gets oil hungry, Cape Town outshines Lagos on tech

  • West African exports of crude oil to Asia reached their highest level this year in July, thanks largely to more favourable shipping economics and a major buyer, India seeks to replace Iranian supply that will soon be unavailable, a Reuters survey of traders and shipping data showed on Thursday. Loadings for Asia rose marginally to 2.44 million barrels per day in July from the roughly 2.43 million bpd in June, and May’s 2.085 million bpd. This is the highest since January this year and 24 per cent above last July’s 10-month low. Some 613,000 bpd of West African crude went to Indian last month, up from 600,000 bpd in June. This was the largest amount since April 2015, when Indian refiners bought 1.08 million bpd. However, Nigerian exports fell to their lowest level this year in July, below 1.45 million bpd, thanks to outages in a couple of major streams, such as Bonny Light and Forcados, extending a longer-term decline that has also been fuelled by key consumers in China, India, Taiwan or Indonesia opting to take light, sweet U.S. barrels rather than Nigerian.
  • The Transmission Company of Nigeria has received FG approval to manage the proposed ₦72 billion investment in the electricity DisCos. TCN Managing Director, Usman Mohammed, told journalists in Abuja that the planned investment is aimed at upgrading the distribution networks of the DisCos to provide stable electricity to consumers. On Tuesday, 11 DisCo investors said they were yet to turn a profit from their $1.4 billion (₦427 billion) investment, five years after they acquired distribution assets during the sector’s privatisation.
  • A new report commissioned by the Cape Innovation and Technology Initiative, Wesgro, and the Allan Gray Orbis Foundation says Cape Town’s tech ecosystem is much larger than those of Lagos and Nairobi combined. There are 450 to 550 entrepreneurial companies employing between 40-50,000 people in the city compared to Lagos and Nairobi, which both employ 9,000 and 7,000 people respectively. Also, 30 percent of founder-to-founder mentorship in the city is drawn from Cape Town companies, compared to only 12 percent in Lagos and four percent in Nairobi. Naspers, oft-called Africa’s highest-valued tech company because of its valuable stake in China’s Tencent, is based in Cape Town.
  • Transcorp says it plans to convert its Oil Prospecting License 281 asset into an Oil Mining Lease for commercial production by Q2 2019. This was confirmed by CEO Adim Jibuno, during Transcorp’s Investors conference on Tuesday in Lagos. The conversion of OPL 281, located in Delta State, will boost the company’s profitability, further diversify income streams, and translate into higher dividends for shareholders, according to the company. OPL 281 is an onshore block covering an area of 138km², 25 kilometres away from the Forcados Crude Export Terminal. The block, with nearly 4 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, was reinstated to Transcorp in April 2011.
  • Dutch brewing giant, Heineken announced a profit jump of 9.1 per cent to €950 million (₦393 billion) for H1 2018, while revenue hit €10.8 billion, up 4.2 percent from the same period last year. The company also reported double-digit volume growth in Nigeria, South Africa, and other six countries. According to a 2018 half-year results presentation, Heineken revised downwards its outlook for the year as a whole, predicting a 20 basis point fall in operating profit margin for 2018. In the half-year financial reports, net revenue increased from €10.8 billion from €10.3 billion while net profit also increased from €871 million in the H1 2017 to €950 million in H1 2018. The company said sales were boosted by UEFA Champions League football and Formula 1 sponsorships.
  • Forte Oil released its H1 2018 financial statements, reporting revenue of ₦61.83 billion compared to ₦46.70 billion in H1 2017, a 32 percent increase. Profit before tax was ₦390.82 million for the period, a 42 per cent decrease compared to ₦677.43 million in H1 2017. The company’s profit after tax was ₦95.55 million, a 71 percent decrease compared to a profit of ₦333.74 million in H1 2017. The oil company, however, reported earnings per share of 154 kobo for the period ended June 2018 as against earnings of 105 kobo reported for the comparative period in 2017.