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Nigerian Banks explain why they won’t take provisions on 9Mobile loans

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Nigerian banks have confirmed that a deal is now in place to allow 9Mobile run smoothly pending an equity injection from a new investor(s). The deal ostensibly allows banks to avoid taking a provision on 9Mobile loans.

A consortium of Nigerian banks who lent 9Mobile about $1.2 billion in 2013 put pressure on its former owner and technical partner, Etisalat UAE to bail out its Nigerian affiliate, after it had defaulted in meeting its repayment obligations.

This led to a series of negotiations that ended in a dead lock and eventually, Etisalat UAE had to pull out, effectively writing off all of its investment in its Nigerian entity and severing all ties including brand usage. Etisalat UAE shares was transferred to a Trustee, management by United Capital Plc.

Before now, Nigerian banks which had lent Etisalat money had been coy at providing more details regarding the state of the loans following the pull out of Etisalat UAE.

In an analyst call during the week, the CEO of First Bank, Adesola Adeduntan, explained to investors that 9Mobile’s cash flows were enough to avoid any impairment by the bank.

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“On the part of lenders, we are trying to re-position the company till we find new investors. With the level of cash flow we believe there will be no need for impairment,”

A Reuters report also claims FCMB revealed that the banks had agreed to extend the $1.2 billion loan in what looks like a restructuring deal pending when a new investor is secured.

Likely Implication

By restructuring the loans, it appears Nigerian banks may have extended the tenor of the facility to accommodate the telco’s cash flow thus ensuring a debt service obligation that is compatible with the cash generating capability of 9Mobile.

If this is the case, then most banks will avoid taking specific provisions on the 9Mobile loans as it will considered as performing by their regulator, the CBN.

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The CBN is also directly involved in this debacle, having stepped in with the NCC to avoid a liquidation of the telco and further job losses. The CBN is yet to confirm if it provided bail out funds to 9Mobile, prior to the restructuring of the loans.

Banks involved in the loan deal include;First Bank, Zenith Bank , GT Bank, , UBA , Access Bank, Ecobank, FCMB, Fidelity Bank, Stanbic IBTC Bank and Union Bank. GT Bank with $138 million in outstanding loans to 9mobile and Access Bank with $131 million are among the most exposed.

Nairametrics is Nigeria's top business news and financial analysis website. We focus on providing resources that help small businesses and retail investors make better investing decisions. Nairametrics is updated daily by a team of professionals. Post updated as "Nairametrics" are published by our Editorial Board.

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Companies

Fidelity Bank to raise N50 billion in bonds in Q4 to refinance existing debts

The new issue will be made to redeem the existing N30 billion bond which was issued at 16.48%.

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Fidelity Bank Plc ,CEO Nnamdi Okonkwo, Fidelity Bank Plc growth plan, SMEs funding

One of Nigeria’s second-tier commercial banks, Fidelity Bank Plc, has concluded plans to issue up to N50 billion ($131.3 million) in local bonds by the fourth quarter of 2020, in order to refinance existing debts as the yields drop.

The disclosure was made by the Chief Operations and Information Officer, Gbolahan Joshua, during an analyst call on Tuesday, September 8, 2020.

The crash of crude oil price globally, which was triggered by the novel coronavirus pandemic, has led to a decline in bond yields on the local debt market. This has made foreign investors to dump their local assets, leaving excess liquidity in the money market. This has also put a lot of pressure on the foreign exchange market as they look for dollars to repatriate their funds.

READ: Guinness Nigeria finding it hard to refinance its loans due to dollar scarcity

The Fidelity Bank top executive disclosed that the new issue will be made to redeem the existing N30 billion bond which was issued at 16.48%.

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The global economic situation has seen yields in the debt market drop from as high as 18% about 3 years ago to less than 5% for the one-year treasury bill.

READ: GTBank, Zenith Bank, UBA record losses, investors down by N12.2 billion

Fidelity Bank had revealed that it expected to see a 15% drop in profit this year when compared to 2019 result due to the coronavirus pandemic. Its profit after tax increased by 21.9% to N12 billion for the half-year 2020.

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The second-tier bank also disclosed that its income declined in the second quarter due to a downward review of lending rates on loans as a result of the economic downturn.

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Companies

Heineken buys more units of Nigerian Breweries Plc

The Dutch firm has invested N276 million in NB since August, to increase its stake in the Brewer by 0.10%.

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Heineken scoops more Nigerian Breweries shares in insider disclosure

The major shareholder of the largest brewer in Nigeria, Heineken Brouwerijen B.V, has increased its stake in Nigerian Breweries, with the purchase of 233,110 additional units of Nigerian Breweries shares. This was disclosed by the company in a notification sent to the Nigerian Stock Exchange, which was seen by Nairametrics.

According to the notification, which was signed by the Company’s Secretary, Uaboi G. Agbebaku, the purchase was made on the bourse over two transactions on the 2nd and 3rd of September.

This disclosure is a regulatory requirement that must be reported to the Nigerian Stock Exchange, especially when a major shareholder or director of a publicly quoted company purchases shares in the company they own.

READ: GTBank revenue for H1, 2020 rises to N225.14 billion

The analysis of these transactions indicates that the purchase consideration for the 233,110 additional units of Nigeria Breweries shares at an average price of N39.94 is put at N9.3 million.

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This purchase and previous purchases further cement Heineken Brouwerijen B.V’s status as a major shareholder; the company has accumulated a total of 7,720,236 since 30th June.

READ: Vitafoam’s 2020 oncourse to make light–work of 2019

As of June 30th, when Nigerian Breweries released its Half-year financial results and reviewed its shareholding pattern, the company had exactly 7,996,902,051 outstanding shares, with Heineken Brouwerijen B.V being the majority shareholder with 3,019,363,804 units, which amount to 37.76% of the total shares of the company outstanding. 

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Hence, with the current purchase of 233,110 additional units, and previous purchases in August and September 1, which amount to 7,487,126 units, Heineken’s ownership percentage of Nigeria Breweries is now put at 37.85%.

Insider transactions, both sales and purchases, are often an indication of how shareholders perceive a company’s valuation. It could also mean a possible capital raise or that the majority shareholders are strengthening their existing holdings.

READ: Heineken scoops more Nigerian Breweries shares in insider disclosure

In like manners, the purchase of the shares of Nigerian Breweries by Heineken and other majority shareholder has mopped up stray volumes on the bourse, and pushed the stock price higher by 29% or N9, from N31 it closed at on the 3rd of August to its current value of N40 with 38.2x earnings.

About the company

Nigerian breweries is the largest brewing company in Nigeria. It engages in the brewing and marketing of lager beer, stout and non-alcoholic malt drinks, and the bottling of the Schweppes range of soft drinks and Crush Orange. Its brands include Star, Gulder, Legend, Heineken, Maltina, Amstel Malta, Fayrouz, Climax, Goldberg, Malta Gold, and Life. These products are mainly sold in Nigeria and other neighbouring countries.

READ: Flour Mills and its diverse challenges

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Key takes on NB’s financials

Nigerian Breweries was affected by the disruption in the global and domestic demand and supply chain, as profit after tax of the largest brewer dropped by as much as 58%, at the back of the adverse impact of the sharp contraction in economic activities.

The knock-on effect of the COVID-19 lockdown, which affected the trade segment of the business, affected the company sales and this triggered the 11% drop in revenue in the first half of the year.

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Companies

Nestle’s parent company increases stakes in Nestle Nigeria in August

The purchase consideration for the 748,047 additional shares at an average price of N1,174.74 is put at N878.8 million. 

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Nestle releases FY financial statement for 2019, proposes huge dividend, Nestlé S.A buys additional shares of Nestlé Nigeria worth N287 million

Nestle S.A, Switzerland, the parent company of Nestle Nigeria Plc and the majority shareholder of the company, has increased its stake in the Nigerian subsidiary, as it purchased about 748,047 additional shares in August.

This was disclosed by the company in a notification sent to the Nigerian Stock Exchange, which is seen by Nairametrics.

According to the document, which was signed by the Company’s Secretary, Bode Ayeku, the purchase was made on the bourse over two transactions on 20th and 26th of August. 

This disclosure is a regulatory requirement which must be reported to the Nigerian Stock Exchange, especially when a major shareholder or director of a publicly quoted company purchases shares in the company they own.

The analysis of this development shows that the purchase consideration for the 748,047 additional shares at an average price of N1,174.74 is put at N878.8 million. 

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Importantly, this purchase increases the ownership percentage of Nestle S.A, this adds significantly to the multinational’s investment in the company as the parent company now owns 66.27% of Nestle Nigeria Plc.

The 66.27% ownership share of Nestle S.A. total amounts to 525, 307, 504 ordinary shares worth N617 billion out of the 792, 656, 252 shares outstanding.

Meanwhile, insiders’ transactions both sales and purchases are often an indication of how shareholders perceive the company’s valuation. It could also mean a possible capital raise or the majority shareholders strengthening their existing holdings.

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About the company

Nestlé Nigeria PLC is one of the largest food and beverage companies in Africa. Nestlé Nigeria Plc engages in the manufacturing, marketing and distribution of food products including purified water. It also exports some of its products to other countries within Africa.

It has three product segments: Food, Beverages and seasoning. The Food segment engages in the production and sale of Cerelac, Nutrend, Nan, Lactogen and Golden Morn. The Beverages segment engages in the production and sale of Milo, Chocomilo, Nido, Nescafe and Nestlé Pure Life. While the seasoning segment engages in the sale of Maggi cubes.

Key takes on Nestle financials

Nairametrics had earlier published after perusing through the company’s half-year unaudited financial report that the increase in the cost of sales, Administrative expenses, low finance income coupled with high costs coloured the bottom line of the company as earnings per share dipped from N33.11 to N27.53.

This shows the knock-on-effect of the pandemic on a giant like Nestle, despite grappling hard to keep revenues flat year on year, the increase in key costs still ebbed earnings. 

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