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MTN Group considering sale of its 40% stake in Jumia

The company is said to be in need of money to offset its $4.8 billion worth of debts.

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MTN Nigeria

MTN Nigeria’s parent company, MTN Group Limited, is reportedly thinking about selling off its equities in one of Africa’s most dominant e-Commerce platforms, Jumia.

This is coming at a time when the South Africa-based telecoms operator is equally considering an initial public offering (IPO) on either the New York Stock Exchange or NASDAQ.

Meanwhile, MTN Group has yet to release any official statement on this matter. A spokeswoman for the company had earlier today stated that the company “currently has no plans to dispose of its investment in Jumia in the short term.” But Bloomberg reports that other sources close to the company can authoritatively confirm that the developments are taking place.

MTN Group currently holds 40% stakes in Jumia which is arguably Africa’s biggest online retailer. The company is present in about 14 African countries, including Nigeria where it is in competition with Konga and other smaller e-commerce operators.

With its capital base of $1 billion, Jumia is also one of the most valued e-commerce companies on the African continent. According to Bloomberg, Jumia’s revenue has grown steadily since 2012 when it was established.

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With all these in perspective, It, therefore, becomes puzzling why MTN Group is even thinking of disposing of its shares in the company.

The South African wireless carrier is not the only company thinking of offloading its shares in Jumia as smaller investors such as Rocket Internet SE is also said to be mulling said.

However, this situation plays out, one thing can be guaranteed – Jumia will be just fine. The company still has the likes of Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Millicom International Cellular SA and Orange SA as shareholders.

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Note that Jumia was established six years ago in Lagos Nigeria, by two French entrepreneurs – Jeremy Hodara and Sacha Poignonnec.

Why would MTN Group even think about disposing of its shares in Jumia?

According to the report, the telco is heavily indebted and in constant need of money to offset said debts. The company’s debt volume stood at $4.8 billion as at June 2018.

The company operates in 21 countries across Europe, Middle East, and Africa. Nigeria is one of its strongest markets, with MTN Telecommunications Nigeria Limited being the biggest telecoms operator in the country.

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As we reported yesterday, MTN Nigeria signed a ₦200 billion loan deal with 12 banks in efforts to raise money and expand its business. The company has yet to pay up the ₦330 billion fine imposed on it by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), neither has it carried out its highly anticipated initial public offering on the floor of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE).

Emmanuel is a professional writer and business journalist, with interests covering Banking & Finance, Mergers and Acquisitions, Corporate Profiles, Brand Communication, Fintech, and MSMEs. He initially joined Nairametrics as an all-round Business Analyst, but later began focusing on and covering the financial services sector. He has also held various leadership roles, including Senior Editor, QAQC Lead, and Deputy Managing Editor. Emmanuel holds an M.Sc in International Relations from the University of Ibadan, graduating with Distinction. He also graduated with a Second Class Honours (Upper Division) from the Department of Philosophy & Logic, University of Ibadan. If you have a scoop for him, you may contact him via his email- [email protected] You may also contact him through various social media platforms, preferably LinkedIn and Twitter.

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Hospitality & Travel

Just-in: Air Peace to recall some sacked pilots after Minister’s intervention

Air Peace had trained over 80 pilots, giving its staff the best remuneration package.

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Boeing 737 Max crash, Air Peace crash, Ethiopian Airlines crash, Lion Air crash, Allen Onyema, Chairman and CEO Air Peace

Air Peace would soon recall some of the pilots that were sacked recently. This coming after the Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika had intervened.

This was disclosed by the Ministry of Aviation via its Twitter handle on Tuesday.

The recall was the fall-out of an intervention meeting called by the Minister between the airline management and the leadership of the National Association of Airline Pilots and Engineers (NAAPE) held in his office on Tuesday.

Back story: Nairametrics reported as Nigerians woke up to the news that Air Peace had sacked about 70 pilots under its employment across its fleet and also reduced staff salaries by 40%. The airline said the exercise was due to the devastating impact of the Coronavirus pandemic on its business.

It added that the move was made to protect the majority of the existing jobs and the possibility of creating new ones in the future, as well as ensuring the survival of the airline.

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In the verbal agreement, Chairman, Air Peace, Chief Allen Onyema acceded to the Minister’s appeal for the recall of the maximum number of pilots that the airline can accommodate without going under.

Chairman, NAAPE, Galadima Abednego explained that as a union it was a painful thing to see a large number of their members thrown into the labour market, and further appealed to employers of labour to see the union members as partners, and not adversaries.

On his own, Onyema expressed his sadness and disappointment over what he called the ingratitude of some of the airline’s pilots after everything is done to make them comfortable on their jobs.

He recalled how Air Peace had trained over 80 pilots and an equal number of aircraft engineers, giving its staff the best remuneration package within the sector only for them to disappoint at a time their understanding was needed.

He however commended Senator Hadi Sirika for providing the required leadership to the industry and promised his full cooperation in ensuring the growth of the aviation sector in Nigeria.

The Aviation Minister called for the understanding of everyone, especially the Labour unions, of the prevailing situation in the aviation industry, saying it was not the time for unnecessary upheavals.

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He commended Chief Onyema for his enormous contributions in developing the industry, but appealed to him to recall the maximum number of the sacked pilots that the airline can comfortably accommodate in the prevailing circumstances to which airline operator agreed.

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Coronavirus

WHO gives condition for approving Russia’s COVID-19 vaccine as the vaccine gets a name

Russia has named its first approved COVID-19 vaccine, Sputnik V for the foreign markets.

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Vaccine, COVID-19: Russia to roll out vaccine in September ahead of the West 

The World Health Organization (WHO) said that any form of approval of prequalification of the Russian vaccine will require rigorous review and assessment of all required safety and efficacy data.

This disclosure was made by the spokesman of the WHO, Tarik Jasarevic, during a United Nations briefing in Geneva about clinical trials.

He said that the UN health agency and the Russian health authorities are currently discussing the process for possible WHO prequalification for its newly approved COVID-19 vaccine.

Tarik Jasarevic, during the UN briefing in Geneva said, “We are in close contact with Russian health authorities and discussions are ongoing with respect to possible WHO prequalification of the vaccine, but again prequalification of any vaccine includes the rigorous review and assessment of all required safety and efficacy data.”

Meanwhile, in a related development, Russia has named its first approved COVID-19 vaccine Sputnik V and it is available for foreign markets. The name references the world’s first satellite, which marked a symbolic accomplishment for the USSR during the cold war and space race era. Now, the Russian Government basks in its success at becoming the first country to approve a vaccine for COVID-19.

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The head of Russia’s Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) pointed out that Russia had already received requests from more than 20 countries for 1 billion doses of its newly registered COVID-19 vaccine.

Nairametrics had earlier reported today the announcement of the registration of the first COVID-19 vaccine in what could be described as a step ahead of other vaccine developments. The Russian President, Vladimir Putin, who made the disclosure during a televised government meeting, said that Russia had become the first country in the world to grant regulatory approval to a COVID-19 vaccine after less than 2 months of human testing.

However, the speed at which Russia is moving to roll out the vaccine has prompted some western countries and international scientists to question whether the Russian government is putting national prestige ahead of solid science and safety.

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Business

Nigeria signs African Trade Insurance Agency agreement

The African Trade Insurance Agency was launched to provide risk solutions for investors.

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Nigeria signs African Trade Insurance Agency agreement, Xenophobia, FG returns tollgates sixteen years after Obasanjo scrapped it from federal roads

President Muhammadu Buhari has signed the instrument of accession agreement for Nigeria for the establishment of the African Trade Insurance Agency. This was announced by the Federal Government on Monday night.

READ ALSO: Kenyan Candidate emerges as strong contender to Iweala for WTO

READ MORE: Brent crude records minor gain as growing concerns over COVID-19 limit upside

The agreement is coming after the Federal Executive Council ordered that an instrument be prepared and forwarded for execution.

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The African Trade Insurance Agency was launched in 2001, to provide risk solutions for investors, after the East African economic Union (COMESA) executed a World bank funded study to discover why Africa does not attract more Foreign Direct Investments.

READ ALSO: GEEP provides COVID-19 palliative microloans to 87,614 traders

The organization said it added credit insurance to its portfolio in 2006 after its members identified global trade as a major pillar of growth in the continent which has seen it grow as a market leader for risk mitigation in Africa.  The ATI also attracts funding from the African Development Bank and World Bank

Nigeria joining the agreement would provide Nigeria with the necessary insurance financing to increase investment inflows into the country and improve economic productivity.

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