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Lafarge Africa’s rights issue closes today after extension

The N89.2 billion rights issue by Lafarge Africa Plc, will finally close today after its initial closure date was extended.

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Lafarge Factory Plant, Lafarge Africa right issue

The N89.2 billion rights issue by cement manufacturer, Lafarge Africa Plc, will finally close today after it was extended beyond the January 23rd date it was initially planned to end.

As Nairametrics earlier reported, the company’s latest right issue entails six new shares for every seven shares already held by shareholders as at 4th December 2018, which was set as the qualification date. In total, about 7.4 billion units of shares were issued at ₦12 per share.

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As The Nation has observed, this is the second rights issue by Lafarge Africa Plc in the past fourteen months. In November 2017, about 3.1 billion units of ordinary shares (valued at 50 kobo each) were issued at N42.50 per share.

The latest issue is said to be structured in the same way as the November 2017 issue, including a convertible deal which can allow Lafarge Holcim, the company’s main investor, to convert debts into equities.

While speaking earlier on the latest rights issue, the company’s Chairman, Mr Mobolaji Balogun, had stated that the capital raise would enable Lafarge Africa to reduce its level of indebtedness, whilst ensuring the expansion of its operations.

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He also expressed optimism for a favourable pricing economic conditions in Nigeria, even as the South African arm of the company continues to struggle to find its footing.

Also, the company’s Chief Executive Officer, Mr Michael Pucheros, stated that the right issue by Lafarge Africa Plc will facilitate future development efforts in Nigeria, which will ultimately ensure profitability.

Lafarge Africa Plc is a leading cement manufacturer which was incorporated on February 24th, 1959. The company, whose market capitalisation currently stands at N108,417,853,000.00, is listed on the NSE’s premium board.

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The company’s financial statement for the third quarter period ended September 30, 2018, shows that revenue increased from ₦223 billion in 2017 to ₦234 billion in 2018.

The company, however, reported a loss after tax of ₦10.3 billion as against a profit after tax of ₦937 million made in the corresponding period of 2017.

The company’s stock is currently trading at N12.5 on the floor of the Nigerian Stock Exchange.

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Patricia

Emmanuel covers the financial services sector for Nairametrics. Do you have a scoop for him? Well then, contact him via his email- [email protected]

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Business

Shoprite to leave Nigeria After 15 years

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Shoprite’s sales drop by 8.1% in Nigeria in H2 2019 over Xenophobic attacks

South African retailer, Shoprite International Limited says it will consider the potential sale of the majority stake of its Nigerian holdings, Retail Supermarkets Nigeria Limited.

This was disclosed in the company’s operational and voluntary trading update that was published this morning.

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more details later

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Gold prices soars following resurging COVID-19 caseloads

Gold futures gained 0.46% to trade at $1983 at about 6.41 am GMT.

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Gold Up as U.S. hits Record Number of COVID-19 Cases, Gold stands firm above $1,800 over increasing virus fears and weaker dollar , Gold stands firm above $1,800 over increasing virus fears and weaker dollar

Gold started the first trading week on a bullish note at London’s trading session. This is coming on the heels of growing concerns about the ravaging Coronavirus pandemic, triggering gold traders to increase their bullish bet.

Gold futures gained 0.46% to trade at $1983 at about 6.41 am GMT

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Spot bullion surged 11% in July, the biggest monthly gain since 2012, as investors weighed a weaker dollar and record low U.S. real yields.

READ MORE: Exxon Mobil, Chevron record their worst losses in history

Why the sudden rush for gold?                                                     

The current global health crisis has prompted unprecedented amounts of stimulus being unleashed by the central banks in most emerged markets. There have also been other dovish monetary policies, including lower rates. All of these have combined to boost gold bulls in solidifying their bullish position on the short term.

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In addition, Stephen Innes, the Chief Global Market Strategist at AxiCorp in a note to Nairametrics buttressed the macros supporting the yellow metal’s bullish run he said

READ MORE: How the Coronavirus has impacted Forex trading

“Investors will continue to have a favorable view of gold partly on ongoing Covid-19 concerns.

“While gold demand shows few signs of retracing, the yellow metal could face fierce short-term resistance at $2000 given the growing view we could be at the end of the runway for the US yields to fall further. And the US Treasury is running out of the exorbitant privilege of the stronger dollar and safe haven flow.”

READ MORE: Naira: Analysts expect rate to hover around N440

Gold has moved through its all-time highs as the story continues to be the Federal Reserve’s money-printing coupled with the potential USD1 trillion fiscal stimulus packages for pandemic relief. Real rates continue to trend lower, and the dollar continues to weaken. Therefore, the environment should remain supportive of gold.

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Data war: MTN takes over, gains 1.7 million subscribers, as Glo outshines Airtel in June

MTN gained 1.74 million data subscribers in June against the 882,458 it recorded in May 2020.

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Data War: MTN edges our Airtel for first time in 5 months as 493,556 subscribers dump Glo, 9mobile , MTN is winning the data war, as 1.88 million subscribers dump Glo, 9mobile, Data War: MTN gains 8.18 million subscribers in 2019, as Airtel edges Glo, 9mobile

Although competition in the Nigerian telecommunication space has always been stiff, latest data seen by Nairametrics indicated that the competition is getting stiffer.

Telecommunications operators, especially in the data section, are giving each other a hot chase. Gone are the days when the biggest telecommunication firm automatically retains the top position. Recently, companies that were once described as fringe players are catching up really fast in terms of attracting new subscribers every month.

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For instance, in May 2020, Glo took other operators by surprise, dwarfing them to lead the chart as the telco with the highest number of subscribers in a month when it gained 8.302 million data subscribers. The indigenous telco grew from 28.934 million in December 2019 to 37.236 million by the end of May 2020, while MTN gained 4.75 million data subscribers. Airtel, which used to be the second-highest in subscriber growth after MTN, recorded 2.795 million. Unfortunately, 9mobile lost 812,827 subscribers within the same period.

READ MORE: Airtel loses over 100,000 subscribers in one month, as Glo chases MTN’s market share

MTN regains top position

According to data released by the Nigerian Communication Commission for the period ending June 2020, Nigeria’s largest mobile telecommunication company, MTN, gained 1.74 million data subscribers against the 882,458 it recorded in May 2020.

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Also, at the end of June 2020, the total number of data subscribers on MTN data network rose to 60.60 million from the 58.86 million it recorded in May. This means the telco added 1.74 million data subscribers.

READ MORE: Non-Performing loans hit 4-year low as Banks recover N496 billion

Glo attracted more subscribers, outshining Airtel (subscribers base) for the first time in years

Despite a challenging year for Globacom in terms of its data subscriber base, the telco took industry watchers by surprise, as its subscriber base chased, met and overtook Airtel’s In June 2020.

For the first time in years, the once second largest telco (subscribers base) lost its position to the indigenous company as the latter increased its base from 34.24 million in May to 37.97 by the end of June 2020. The Indian-owned telco only managed to increase its base from 37.32 million to 37.57 million within the same period.

On the other hand, 9mobile ended the month without attracting any data subscriber. According to the NCC data, 9mobile continues its steady decline, as a total of 16,000 subscribers dumped the network for others when it fell from 7.26 million subscribers to 7.10 million within the same period.

 [READ MORE: MTN wins data war, as 1.88 million subscribers dump Glo, 9mobile)

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In terms of market share, Glo is now trailing behind MTN, as the latter expanded its overall market share in June.

At the end of June 2020, MTN’s total data market share rose further to 60.60 million subscribers. On the other hand, Glo had 37.97 million, followed by Airtel’s 37.57 million and 9mobile’s 7.10 million.

Internet remains slow in Nigeria despite the advent of 4G network

The advent of 4G/LTE in the global telecom industry was accompanied by the expectation of fast internet speed. The 4G is the fourth generation of wireless mobile telecommunications technology, succeeding 3G. Potential and current applications include amended mobile web access, IP telephony, gaming services, high-definition mobile TV, video conferencing, and 3D television.

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READ MORE: Exxon Mobil, Chevron record their worst losses in history

While GSM companies continue to jostle for market share, it has often come at the expense of poor service and lack of accountability. Quite frankly, as an average internet user in Nigeria, one is usually left at the mercy of poor mobile internet services which frustrate one to seek limited alternatives.

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Nigeria’s internet download speed remains among the slowest in the world, and while the telcos continue to rake in heavy gains from data sales, consumers continue to groan for lack of fast and affordable internet services.

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