In a bid to ensure a smooth application process for its loans and as well provide adequate financing for Lagos businesses, the Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSETF) has launched an upgraded online portal embedded with loan tracking capabilities for improved application experience for applicants of its loan programmes.
In addition, the website (www.lsetf.ng) has a more visually appealing look and feel as well as easier navigation for a better user experience.
In like manner, the portal has also been redesigned to aid easier online loan application process that is now trackable to the point of disbursement to the beneficiaries. There is also improved information sharing, communications and transparency on the loan programmes and other programmes being implemented by the LSETF.
Commenting on the development, the Executive Secretary of LSETF, Akin Oyebode said; “the revamped LSETF portal goes beyond enhanced visual appeal; it is rather a comprehensive enhancement that further deepens our commitment to transparency and actualisation of our merit-based processes for applicants of the LSETF loans or any other party seeking to engage with us. In line with advancements in online capabilities that have greatly improved user experience, I am pleased that every applicant to the LSETF loan programmes can now easily track the progress of their applications within the comfort of their offices or homes.
“We have also included new features that will make the portal a repository of useful educative resources for our stakeholders. Visitors will benefit from the up-to-date information and trainings to guide them in making better business decisions. The resources to be hosted on the site will include guides on business regulations in Lagos which include local government taxes and levies and advert rates by Lagos State Signage & Advertisement Agency (LASAA).
Most importantly, Lagos residents are to experience improved access to our customer service team, who give immediate response to their queries within 24 hours. The newly improved site is in an expression of our commitment to serve Lagos residents better.”
The Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (“LSETF”), was established by The Lagos State Employment Trust Fund Law 2016 to inspire the creative and innovative energies of all Lagos residents by providing access to financial and institutional supports to enterprises and by building capacity for unemployed youths for wealth and employment creation.
With a ₦25Billion seed fund provided by the Lagos State Government for four years, the Fund aims to support about 100,000 MSMEs; create at least 300,000 direct & up to 600,000 indirect jobs by 2019.
To achieve its mandate the LSETF launched three key programmes:
THE LOAN SCHEME -. Through this scheme Lagos residents who are promoters or owners of small business can apply to access very affordable loan financing to grow their businesses. Micro Enterprise start–ups can get a loan of up to N250,000; existing Micro-businesses can get a loan of up to N500,000; while small scale businesses can get a loan of up to N5,000,000, all at 5% interest rate per annum and with zero collateral.
THE EMPLOYABILITY PROGRAMME – The LSETF’s Employability Programme, which is in partnership with United Nations Development Fund (UNDP) aims to train and secure jobs for 10,000 unemployed and under-employed youths in Lagos. They are trained to provide skilled labour to the key sectors of the Nigerian economy such as manufacturing, construction, hospitality, entertainment, healthcare services and garment making.
THE LAGOS INNOVATE -. With Lagos Innovate, the Fund aims to sustain Lagos’ status as Africa’s most vibrant tech hubs by providing support and funding to the Lagos based tech ecosystem. Under this programme, founders and operators of co-working spaces and innovation hubs will be able to apply for one of its first three programmes: Workspace Vouchers, Hub Loans and Events Sponsorship, through open, merit-based, online applications processes.
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%.
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.
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%.
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.
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.
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.
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%.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.