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Spotlight Stories

Private Equity, Buyouts Are The Most Important Avenues For Africa-Bound Arab Money

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Private equity funds, purchase of private equity businesses, direct buyouts or minority share acquisitions represent the most significant modes of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) entry for Gulf investors interested in Sub-Saharan Africa.

So says a study, produced by the Dubai Chamber of Commerce & Industry in collaboration with The Economist Intelligence Unit, which analyzed Gulf investment into Africa.

The report says that investors from the gulf region mostly either co-invest with Private Equity funds, purchase private equity businesses, and participates in direct buyouts.

It also says that excluding South Africa, stocks and shares remain of limited interest to Gulf investors.

The study finds that malls and hypermarkets are emerging in a handful of countries.

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According to it, East Africa was the most appealing region for non-commodity investment from the Gulf, with retail and hypermarkets, automotives, commercial banking and tourism considered key sectors. Manufacturing in Ethiopia, leisure, retail and tourism in Mozambique and Kenya, and education in Uganda were also popular with Gulf investors.

A number of factors that make gulf investment into these sectors particularly attractive: Demographic trends, growing consumer markets, economic stability and an improving business environment, as well as a resilience that has allowed it to withstand global recession and the current commodity price slump.

The study drew attention to the role Gulf airlines have played in opening Africa to international tourists, with Gulf investors owning around 20 hotels and resorts in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Points highlighted by the report:

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  • Gulf firms provided US$2.7bn in foreign direct investment into Sub-Saharan Africa in the first half of 2015,  and a total of US$9.3bn from 2005-2014
  • Nigeria, South Africa, Kenya and Uganda have attracted the largest number of Gulf investors—between 10-25 firms each
  • Financial services, retail, tourism and logistics represent the most favored sectors by Gulf investors
  • Gulf investors own 20 hotels and resorts in Sub-Saharan Africa
  • Sub-Saharan Africa’s population will host a third of humanity by the end of the century
  • National Bank of Abu Dhabi, National Bank of Qatar amongst the most notable investors in financial services sector; MAF Group and Landmark in retail
  • Rani Investments and Kingdom Holdings of Saudi Arabia, as well as Kuwait’s IFA group are the most notable investors in tourism sector
  • DP World, Kuwait’s Agility, and Aramex are the most active in the logistics sector; Julphar, Abraaj, Kuwait’s Al Bader group in manufacturing.

 

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Business

Lagos to enforce restriction of trucks, trailers and others to night operations

The Lagos State Government has announced plans to enforce the restriction of trucks and articulated vehicles to night operations.

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Lagos to enforce restriction of trucks, trailers and others from night operations

The Lagos State Government has concluded plans to start implementing the restriction of trucks and long vehicles to night operations on certain routes within the next 30 days.

This decision follows the heavy traffic gridlock and fatalities caused by these articulated vehicles on roads in the state.

According to a report from the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), this disclosure was made by the Lagos State Commissioner for Transportation, Dr Frederic Oladeinde, at a Stakeholders Meeting on Implementation of Trucks and Long Vehicles Restriction to Night Time Operations and Dedicated Routes in the state.

At the meeting which was organized by the Lagos State Ministry of Transportation, Oladeinde said the development is part of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s continuous efforts to curb consistent road crashes caused by the activities and operations of trucks and trailers on Lagos roads.

What the Lagos State Commissioner for Transportation is saying

Oladeinde in his statement said, “This is in line with the state government’s THEMES Agenda especially as it relates to Traffic Management and Transportation and the ease of doing business in the state. Restrictions of containerized trailers and trucks on our roads will now be from 9:00 pm to 6:00 am.

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“Containerized trailers are not allowed to travel during the day, it has to be at night time between 9 pm and 6 am. They have to abide by this timing in accordance with the Transportation Law, 2018,” he said.

He pointed out that the state in partnership with law enforcement agencies, the Department of Petroleum Resources and other critical stakeholders, will ensure the implementation of some of these strategies in a month’s time.

Oladeinde said the government had defined dedicated industrial and boundary routes for trucks and trailers.

He said, “There will be routes where trailers will be restricted. Trailers can no longer travel across the whole of Lagos, we will make sure that we provide the essential infrastructure. We must keep our roads safe.

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“The number of trailers that fell on our roads is very alarming. It is important that we protect the people of Lagos state and it is important that we protect their property.”

Going further Oladeinde said the state government would enforce the maximum capacity of 45,000 litres as what tankers can lift from tank farms.

He said, “We have experienced a lot of tankers carrying 90, 000 liters and had to break down on the road. Any tanker that carries more than 45, 000 liters will be confiscated. We will also ensure sanctions on defaulters.’

On his own part, a Director in the Lagos State Ministry of Transportation, Mr. Abdul-Hafiz Toriola, explained that trucks and trailers were banned from plying Ojota, Maryland, Palmgroove, Fadeyi, and Western Avenue to Apapa.

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He said such long vehicles from Lagos-Ibadan Expressway will ply Alapere-Ogudu-Gbagada-Oshodi Apapa Expressway to Apapa and follow the same route out of Lagos.

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  • Although this policy is a welcome development considering the traffic gridlock these articulated vehicles cause and the dangers they pose on Lagos roads due to their activities, it is yet to be seen how the Lagos State Government can successfully implement this.
  • Previous attempts to implement such policies have not been successful as the trailers and tankers have continued to operate 24 hours and to worsen the whole situation, park indiscriminately on major roads and highways.
  • Despite the setting up of a Presidential Task Force on Apapa gridlock and congestion, the heavy articulated vehicles still park illegally on bridges, highways and major roads.

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Coronavirus

President Buhari signs COVID-19 Health Protection Regulations 2021

President Buhari has signed the COVID-19 Health Protection Regulations 2021 policy.

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Buhari sacks DG National Directorate of Employment, Nasiru Argungu

President Muhammadu Buhari has signed the COVID-19 Health Protection Regulations 2021 policy, citing powers conferred to the Presidency, by Section 4 of the Quarantine Act, Cap. Q2 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2010, “…and in consideration of the urgent need to protect the health and wellbeing of Nigerians in the face of the widespread and rising numbers of COVID-19 cases in Nigeria.”

The signing of the regulations was disclosed in a statement by the FG on Wednesday evening.

The law, which comes in 5 parts, includes; Part 1- Restrictions on Gatherings; Part 2- Operations of Public Places; Part 3- Mandatory Compliance with Treatment Protocols; Part 4 – Offences and Penalties; Part 5 – Enforcement and Application; and Part 6 -Interpretation and Citation.

Restrictions on Gatherings

The regulations require that physical distance of at least two metres shall be maintained at all times between persons. No gathering of more than 50 persons shall hold in an enclosed space, except for religious purposes, in which case the gathering shall not exceed 50% capacity of the space.

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“The provisions of these Regulations may be varied by Guidelines and Protocols as may be issued, from time to time, by the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on Covid-19 on the recommendation of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC)”

Operations of Public Places 

  • No person shall be allowed within the premises of a market, mall, supermarket, shop, restaurant, hotel, event centre, garden, leisure park, recreation centre, motor park, fitness centre or any other similar establishment except the person is using a facemask and has washed hands.
  • Managers of hostels, boarding houses, nursing homes, correctional centres, remand homes, holding cells, military detention facilities, and such centres for care and custody of persons, shall ensure compliance with the provisions of these regulations.
  • Managers of such facilities shall ensure that suspected cases of Covid-19 are promptly and appropriately separated from others and are reported to medical officers of the State Ministry of Health for necessary action.

Mandatory Compliance with Treatment Protocols 

  • Persons confirmed to have tested positive to COVID-19 by an NCDC accredited laboratory, may not refuse isolation and or admission to a designated health establishment for management of the disease.
  • All public secondary and tertiary health facilities shall designate a space or holding bay for the initial triage or assessment of suspected persons with COVID-19 in line with the approved protocol for case management.
  • All public secondary and tertiary health facilities shall establish sample collection centres, where test samples from suspected cases can be collected and transmitted to an accredited testing laboratory in the State.

Offences and Penalties

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  • Any person who contravenes the provisions of these regulations commits an offence.
  •  Any person who, without reasonable cause, contravenes a direction given under Parts 1 and 2 of these regulations commits an offence.
  • An offence under these regulations is punishable, on summary conviction, by a fine or a term of six months imprisonment or both in accordance with Section 5 of the Quarantine Act.

Enforcement and Application 

  • Personnel of the Nigeria Police Force, the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, the Federal Road Safety Corps, the Nigeria Immigration Service, the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria, and other relevant Local Government, State and Federal Government agencies are hereby directed to enforce the provisions of these regulations.
  • Any officer of the enforcement agencies who fails, neglects, or refuses to enforce the provisions of these regulations shall be subject to disciplinary action
  • State Governors may issue regulations on further steps as may be considered necessary.

On interpretations of the law, the FG said, “Offence” means any act, which may constitute a violation of the provisions of these regulations, while “Enforcement Agency” means any law enforcement or security agency vested with the statutory power to investigate and prosecute. The law also stated that the regulations would go into effect immediately and remain in effect until otherwise determined.

What you should know 

  • Nairametrics reported this week that the Federal Government had announced the extension of the guidelines of phase 3 of the eased lockdown by one month with effect from Tuesday, January 26, 2021.

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Market Views

iPhone users top 1 billion, Apple posts revenue of $111.4 billion

The company passed 1.65 billion total installed devices worldwide in the quarter, with the installed base of iPhone topping 1 billion.

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Apple iPhone 11

The world’s most valuable listed company, Apple, printed better-than-expected results for its fiscal first quarter on the basis that users acquired more Macs, iPads, iPhones, and other Apple products at a record pace. Apple’s sales also beat stock market experts’ expectations.

However, Apple shares were down on account that the company failed to provide guidance for the December quarter, which made some investors jittery, thereby shorting the stock.

  • On a conference call with stock market experts and journalists, Apple’s CEO, Tim Cook, disclosed the company passed 1.65 billion total installed devices worldwide in the quarter, with the installed base of iPhone topping 1 billion.
  • Overall, Apple printed a revenue of $111.4 billion, up 21% from the year-earlier quarter, and profits of $1.68 a share. That was well above the Wall Street consensus of $102.8 billion and $1.40 a share.

“This quarter for Apple wouldn’t have been possible without the tireless and innovative work of every Apple team member worldwide,” said Tim Cook. “We’re gratified by the enthusiastic customer response to the unmatched line of cutting-edge products that we delivered across a historic holiday season.”

The three months ended Dec. 31 were also strong for Apple laptops and tablets. For iPads, sales were $8.4 billion, up 41%, and ahead of the stock market expert prediction of $7.4 billion.

Apple sales gained about 12% in the Americas, 57% in Greater China, and 17% in Europe, with gains of 33% in Japan and 11.5% in the rest of Asia.

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The tech company’s wearables sales posted incredible numbers as well, with gains of 30% to $13 billion, ahead of the stock market experts’ prediction at $11.5 billion. And services revenue jumped 24% to $15.7 billion, ahead of the Street consensus at $15.2 billion.

“We are also focused on how we can help the communities we’re a part of build back strongly and equitably, through efforts like our Racial Equity and Justice Initiative as well as our multi-year commitment to invest $350 billion throughout the United States.”

“Our December quarter business performance was fueled by double-digit growth in each product category, which drove all-time revenue records in each of our geographic segments and an all-time high for our installed base of active devices,” said Luca Maestri, Apple’s CFO.

“These results helped us generate a record operating cash flow of $38.8 billion. We also returned over $30 billion to shareholders during the quarter as we maintain our target of reaching a net cash neutral position over time.”

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Apple’s Board of Directors has declared a cash dividend of $0.205 per share of the company’s common stock. The dividend is payable on February 11, 2021, to shareholders of record as of the close of business on February 8, 2021.

The most valuable tech company had posted gains of over 80% in 2020 as the Dow Jones Industrial Average, of which it is a component, has risen about 6%.

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