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These two mutual funds will pay dividends to its investors.

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Unlike regular equity securities that pay dividends, mutual funds make or pay distributions. Though the name may differ, the substance is the same.

The only difference is that the declaration and payment of dividends by companies is optional as it depends on the management of the company to decide to declare and pay dividend or to plough back the money into the company’s business, whereas, in mutual funds,most laws require that distributions be made at least once a year and most fund prospectuses contain information on the frequency of payment.  

So, when you invest in mutual funds, you are almost always sure to receive a distribution each year, unlike equity investments.

Unfortunately, not all mutual funds in Nigeria have lived up to that avowed obligation. One of those that have been faithful with distribution payment is the DV BALANCED FUND.

In its latest distribution notice, the fund manager announced that it has decided to pay a distribution of ₦23 per unit to unit holders whose names appear in the register of unit holders of the fund as at 5.00 pm on Tuesday April 24th, 2018.

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Consequently, the register would be closed at 5.00 pm on Tuesday April 24th, 2018 in preparation for the payment scheduled to take place on Friday, April 27th, 2018. The fund had paid ₦2.00 as interim distribution earlier in the year.

It will be recalled that the fund made a final payment of ₦.02 per unit in June 2017 after an interim payment of ₦.50 per unit in February same year. In 2016 also, the fund paid ₦.10 in December as final payment.

About DV Balanced Fund

The DV Balanced Fund is an open-ended mutual fund that seeks to invest in a range of securities, including quoted equities, fixed income securities and money market instruments. Using an asset mix strategy that aims to achieve consistent growth primarily from a well-diversified portfolio of stocks and mitigate volatility associated with Nigerian equities market, the fund places itself in a strategic position to keep up the distributions.

The fund launched on August 26th, 2014 at a price of ₦100 per share but is now valued at ₦112.24, representing an inception to date unrealized capital gain of 12.43%.  If you had invested in the fund at launch date, you would have recovered ₦25.62 of your initial investment through the distributions.

The fund, whose investment strategy is the selection of securities based on a detailed investment policy focused on value investing, return/yield maximization, prudent diversification and risk management, is suitable for prudent investors with medium risk appetites who wish to achieve capital appreciation over time, especially investors with medium to long term investment horizons. The fund charges a 1.5% management fee and a 1% penalty if you redeem within 90 days of investment.

ACAP Income Fund Too

In the same vein, ACAP Income Fund, for the third consecutive quarter, distributed 13% income to existing shareholders for the quarter ended December 31st, 2017 in fulfillment of the fund manager’s commitment to deliver a minimum of 13% payout to fund holders. For those holders whose registrations are not up to date, the distribution would be reinvested into the fund for them.

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About ACAP Income Fund

ACAP Income Fund is managed by Alternative Capital Partners Limited and it invests in guaranteed fixed income and money market securities. Its objective is to encourage savings and investment culture with competitive returns above conventional savings products. It takes ₦5,000 to invest in ACAP income fund.

The fund recorded a performance of 81% in 2017 and is currently returning 4.2% in 2018. ACAP Income Fund was originally known as BGL Nubian Fund, but was taken over by Alternative Capital Partners Limited following approval from shareholders in March 2017.

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Uchenna Ndimele is the President of Quantitative Financial Analytics Ltd. MutualfundsAfrica.com and mutualfundsnigeria.com (both Quantitative Financial Analytics company website) is a leader in supplying mutual fund information, analysis, and commentary on African mutual funds. We provide reliable fund data; and ratings information that will add value to fund managers, the media, individual investors and investment clubs.

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FG releases new details on MSMEs support scheme, budgets N200 billion for loans

The Bank of Industry will also join to coordinate the implementation of the scheme.

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FG releases new details on MSMEs support scheme, budgets N200 billion for loans

The Federal Government has released new details on the Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) support scheme being rolled out under the National Economic Sustainability Programme.

According to estimates provided, the sum of N50 billion will be used to provide payroll support, N200 billion for loans to artisans, and N10 billion support to private transport companies and workers

The government disclosed in a tweet on the official handle of the government, the support scheme will include a Guaranteed Off-take Scheme for priority products, and an MSMEs Survival Fund.

READ ALSO: Covid-19: Timeline of every pronouncement made by Nigeria to support the economy

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Modalities for the take-off scheme

The first track is a Guaranteed Off-take Scheme which will ensure continued local production and safeguard 100,000 existing small businesses to save 300,000 jobs.

Priority products include processed foods, personal protective equipment, hand sanitizers, face-masks, face-shield, shoe-covers and pharmaceuticals.

The implementation committee chaired by Ambassador Mariam Katagum, Minister of the Federal Ministry of Industry Trade and Investment, will collaborate with private sector MSME associations to verify and screen applications from bidding MSMEs, define quantity and price of products required, and also get participants to join in the procurements.

READ MORE: How to access new N75 billion Nigerian Youth Investment Fund

SME survival fund

With a budget of N15 billion, the SME survival fund is expected to sustain 500,000 jobs in 50,000 SMEs.

Major sectors to benefit from the SME survival fund include hotels, restaurants, creative industries, road transport, tourism, private schools and export-related businesses.

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The committee will identify eligible SMEs and screening and verification for this fund will be based on company registration, and tax registration. The implementation committee will approve disbursements through microfinance banks and fin-tech credit providers.

MSMEs that are unregistered will receive support to complete registration with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), and all participants will be expected to make payments based on signed agreements.

The Bank of Industry will also join to coordinate the implementation of the scheme.

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The scheme will last 3 months with Ambassador Mariam Katagum as Chairman, while Ibukun Awosika, Founder of The Chair Centre Limited (TCCL), and First Bank Nigeria will serve as the Vice Chairman.

More details are to be released subsequently from the Implementation Committee.

The Backstory

In July 2020, the Federal Government announced plans to roll out a N2.3 trillion stimulus package and survival fund for Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) to stay afloat amid the economic challenges imposed by the pandemic.

The Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, who also heads the Economic Sustainability Committee, announced it at the 2020 edition of the Micro MSMEs Awards held virtually in July.

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To benefit from the scheme, MSMEs would have to go through a rigorous and painstaking verification process which will be based on certain criteria.

MSMEs that have between 10 to 50 staffs are qualified for this fund. The businesses must make their payroll available to the government for verification while applying for the fund. Once qualified, the MSMEs will be eligible to have their staff salary paid directly from the fund for 3 months.

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Brewery sector: A quarter to forget

Beer makers saw their revenues plummet in the second quarter of 2020 as the economic shut down extinguished sales.

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Nigeria Breweries Plc, Guinness, International Breweries

The quarter ending June 2020 will be one to forget for Nigeria’s struggling brewery sector. Whilst the negative effect of COVID-19 is still being reported across every sphere of the economy, the brewery sector was always one of those that were expected to suffer the most.

The latest results from two of the industry giants, Nigeria Breweries and International Breweries confirm our worst fears. Combined revenues for both companies was N93.9 billion, representing a 22% drop year on year. Both companies reported revenues of N120, 4billion in the corresponding quarter of 2019.

Disaggregated, Nigeria Breweries reported a 21% drop to N68.6 billion and International Breweries 24% drop in revenues to N25.2 billion. Guinness is yet to release its quarter ending June 2020 results which happens to be its year-end. Ahead of its release, the company issued a profit warning as it anticipated the worst. The drop in revenues recorded in the Brewery sector is not a surprise. With most parts of the country in complete economic lockdown, beer sales are expected to drop significantly.

READ MORE: Nigeria’s triangular beer war on the rise with the arrival of Budweiser

As expected, the fall in revenues crashed margins significantly. While Nigeria Breweries was able to eke out a tiny N70 million in pre-tax profits, International Breweries lost N4.2 billion. Nigeria’s Breweries actually fared worse when you consider that they reported a N7.9 billion in 2019 and N12.3 billion in 2018. Could it get any worse?

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Beer companies have always posted some of their best revenues in the second quarter of the year and struggle in the third. With results this bad already in the second, things could only get worse in the third quarter. Though, economic activities are gradually picking up, entertainment life which it heavily relies on remains in comatose.

The industry has been struggling with dwindling sales and thin margins for years as younger Nigerians ditch beer for spirits, which are often cheaper, do not bloat the stomach and are quicker to intoxicate. Increase in beer sales are also seemingly positively correlated with an uptick in social events such as weddings, parties and birthday ceremonies. Hotels, bars, clubs and most entertainment centres remain shut since March. Some are expected to reopen in the coming weeks as the government eases lockdown. But till then, beer making companies are clutching on straws.

READ ALSO: Guinness Nigeria boss reveals factors pulling company’s profit

COVID-19 could be blamed for the industry’s woes, but a changing demographic still poses an existential threat to the sector. In fact, COVID-19 only showed how urgently they need to pivot away from relying on outdoor events to drive sales. Beer drinking is purely consumer product and needs to be pitched as such.

Rather, than advertise beer as a drink for bars during live events, it should be sold as a “must-have” beverage in the evening during family time. It should also be pitched as a must-have staple for house parties and close family gatherings or even casual remote working settings. The packaging should also gear off for a makeover. Beer dispensers anyone?

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Currencies

FX utilization fell to its worst on record in April

Forex Utilization in Nigeria fell by a whopping 80% in April as the economic shuttered in reaction to the covid-19 pandemic.

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FOREX, Dollar scarcity worsens as exchange rate falls to N472/$1 at black market 

Forex Utilization in Nigeria fell by a whopping 80% in April as the economic shuttered in reaction to the COVID-19 pandemic. According to data from the central bank, Nigeria’s forex utilization fell to just $1 billion in April, the month where Lagos State and the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, shut down economic activities and movement.

The CBN reports forex utilization in terms of the amount of forex utilized for invisible and visible imports. In April 2020, only $713 million dollars was used for visible imports from major sectors such as Industrials, Mineral, Manufacturing, Agricultural, Oil sector and transport. This compares to about $1 billion in March. The Industrial, Food and Manufacturing sector alone gobbled up $548 million compared to $791 million in March.

READ MORE: Explained: CBN’s powers to seize bank account of criminals

Worst hit was the invisible sector, which includes financial services, business services, health and the general services sector in general. it is termed the invisible sector because the forex is utilized for payment of services unlike the visible sectors where forex is utilized for importation of equipment, assets and other physical products.

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The invisible sector reported a forex utilization of $361 mullion in April compared to $4.3 billion in March and $3.6 billion in February. This is the worst drop since 2008 the earliest date we have for this dataset. Whilst the drop was recorded across all sectors, the worst hit was the financial services sector. Forex utilization fell from $4.2 billion to just $331 million. The sector constitutes a bulk of forex utilized monthly.

READ ALSO: Nigerian firms expect to start employing again in August – CBN survey

What this means: Forex utilization is a function of how much forex is available for businesses to use for their transactions with counterparties across the world. The economic shutdown in April affected currency markets as forex sales fell across all forex windows.

The impact in April is severe and is probably remained worse throughout May, June and July. The CBN is one of the largest forex suppliers in the country but has staved off any pressure to sell citing limited economic activity in the country and around the world. Pent up demand for forex is thought to be between $1.5 -$5 billion.

READ MORE: Quick Take: SWOT analysis of Nigeria’s financial sector according to Fitch Solutions

Whilst there is a recorded drop in forex utilization as officially recorded, it is likely that some of the demand may have passed through the black market. It is also no surprise that forex utilization also fell between April 2016 and January 2017 as Nigeria faced a currency crisis before it devalued to N307/$1 and launched the NAFEX window.

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