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MTN has plans to drastically streamline its operation

MTN Group Limited said it plans to sell off some of its assets totalling $1.05 billion in valuation, over the next three years.

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Africa’s biggest telecoms company, MTN Group Limited, said it plans to sell off some of its assets totalling $1.05 billion in valuation, over the next three years.

The move would see the leading telco review its market presence in some African and European countries, as well as investments in some e-commerce companies. The ultimate aim is to streamline the company into a focused operator in high-growth markets in the Middle East and Africa.

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Already, MTN Group Limited has reached an agreement with some unknown buyers to divest its stake in the Botswanan wireless company, Mascom. The stake has been valued at $300 million.

“The group has committed to the portfolio review realising more than 15 billion rand over the next three years excluding any proceeds from its 23 billion rand position in IHS.”-MTN Group

Meantime, the Group performed well in 2018 despite Nigerian troubles

According to reports, MTN Group’s headline EPS increased by 85% to 337% in the year ended December. This notwithstanding, the bottomline is still not up to half of what the Group reported back in 2015, just before it began having difficulties in Nigeria.

2018 was probably MTN’s toughest year yet. As Nairametrics reported, several indictments were leveled against MTN, including illegal repatriation of funds to the tune of $8 billion, and a default on tax payment to the tune of $2 billion.

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While MTN had agreed to settle the illegal repatriation case for $53 million last year, it is still in court over the $2 billion back taxes case.

NSE listing is still on course

Despite everything, MTN still plans to list its Nigerian unit on the Nigerian Stock Exchange before the first half of this year. The company said this will be achieved via a listing by introduction and will be followed by a public offer once market conditions are conducive. For now, the process is still subject to regulatory approval.

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Emmanuel holds an MSc. in International Relations and a B.A in Philosophy & Logic, both from the University of Ibadan. He is a communications professional. As a Lead Business Analyst at Nairametrics, he focuses mostly on quoted companies, their products/services, and the economy in which they operate. Emmanuel is also experienced in the areas of corporate communication, brand communication, corporate storytelling, public relations, business research, management/strategy, etc. You may contact him via his email- emmanuel.abara@nairametrics.com.

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Economy & Politics

How N400 billion ecological funding can save Nigeria’s coastline

The waves of current from the ocean have become more violent, eroding the nation’s coastline which poses a serious threat.

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How N400 billion ecological funding can save Nigeria’s coastline

With the higher rainfalls predicted for the year 2020, states in Nigeria may have to worry about something more serious than a flood – the erosion of the coastlines.

According to Mr Kabiru Abdullahi, Lagos State Commissioner for Water Front Infrastructure Development, the waves of currents from the ocean have become more violent, eroding the nation’s coastline and compounding environmental degradation, and flooding.

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This development is already posing serious threats to several parts of Lagos state, which is known to be a coastal city.

According to NAN, the state government had already constructed 18 groins to wade off the violent currents from the oceans, but Abdullahi admitted that given the current situation, there is a need to construct at least 60 more groins.

These groins, he explained, would act as breakers, trapping sand from moving down the beaches.

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(READ MORE:Lagos State conducts social media poll on whether to lock down or not.)

What can N400 billion do to save the situation

Coastline erosion is a seasonal problem which will always occur when there is a rise in sea level, as is expected during the rainy season. If the government does not armour the shorelines with seawalls, jetties and groins, there could be more property and land losses.

How N400 billion ecological funding can save Nigeria’s coastline

According to the commissioner, N400 billion would be just enough to construct groins to cover another 60 kilometres in addition to the 7.2 kilometres done so far.

“On the Eko Atlantic City Project, so far, 18 groins have been constructed at 400 metres intervals covering a distance of about. We still have about 60 kilometres to go which is estimated to cost about N400 Billion,” he said.

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The Ecological fund is an intervention fund set up by the Federal Government to address the various environmental challenges in communities across the country, but interestingly, the Lagos state government has not accessed any ecological fund on this project so far.

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(READ MORE:Fourth Mainland Bridge to begin before December)

Lagos state budget for 2020 was put at N1.17 trillion with environment getting N66.586 billion of the sum. With this sum, there is no way the ministry of environment can take on the task of funding a N400 billion project on coastline and shoreline protection, and this is only one of the numerous environmental challenges the state has to deal with. The state budget has even been reviewed downwards in view of the COVID-19 induced economic challenges.

Illegal dredging activities and land reclamation for urban development are also creating serious environmental issues for Lagos and left on its own, and without intervention funding from the federal government, the coastline situation could be left to deteriorate even further with the onset of the rain

As the commissioner suggested, the federal government might want to consider allocating some of the “recently released tranche of Abacha loot of about $313 million” for this purpose, as it no doubt qualifies as a critical infrastructure for the country.

 

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Economy & Politics

New OPEC+ output cut proposal may stall if Russia …

OPEC is weighing the possibility of continuing with the current level of OPEC+ production cuts till the end of the year in order to support the oil market.

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OPEC+ Alliance, US, Russia, Canada, Mexico reach historic deal to cut 13.4 million bpd, Oil market still uncertain over the OPEC+ deal as prices react positively, 7 oil producing countries most affected by covid-19, see where Nigeria is placed

Some members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Country (OPEC) and Saudi Arabia are considering extending the historic production cuts of almost 10 million barrels per day beyond June.

They are weighing the possibility of continuing with the current level of OPEC+ production cuts till the end of the year in order to support the oil market; however, they are yet to get the support of Russia.

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Russia could be a stumbling block to sustaining the output cut deal beyond June, though OPEC+ and top oil-producing countries had pledged in April to restrict production to 9.7 million barrels per day in May and June, and then 7.7 million barrels from July to December.

According to reports, Saudi Arabia is pushing for the deeper 9.7 million barrel per day output cut to be extended beyond June up to the end of 2020, in order to rebalance the oil market, which is still bedevilled by a lot of uncertainty and volatility.

(READ MORE: Now that Oil is back)

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Russia on its part, which is a key ally to OPEC has been non-committal on this plan. The Russian government on Tuesday approved a plan to increase oil production as soon as the OPEC+ deal ends. This they hope to achieve by having new oil wells drilled this year and in 2021 for 2022 production.

According to a report from oilprice.com, Saudi Arabia believes the oil market still needs support and wants to continue with the current output cut until the end of the year. Russia wants the same, but the major challenge is with the oil companies who had failed to reach any agreement at their meeting on Tuesday.

About half of the Russian oil firms support the extension of the current output cut while the other half are against the extension but rather calling for the continuation of output cut that was earlier agreed by OPEC+. As a result, Russia is typically non-committal and would wait to see how much oil demand will recover.

 

 

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Business News

MTN, Dangote Cement, Nestle, others top best dividend stocks in 2019

MTN Nigeria, Dangote Cement, Nestle Nigeria, Stanbic IBTC, GT bank and Zenith bank were the highest paying dividend stocks on the floor of the NSE in 2019. 

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Dividend payment is one of the very few ways available for investors to earn a constant stream of income. It is also the main reason shareholders hold unto their shares in a company. Therefore, it brings great satisfaction to investors when these companies declare dividends to their shareholders.

According to data gathered by Nairalytics, the research arm of Nairametrics, MTN Nigeria, Dangote Cement, Nestle Nigeria, Stanbic IBTC, GTBank, and Zenith bank were the highest paying dividend stocks on the floor of the Nigerian Stock Exchange in 2019.

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With a combined value of N691.23 billion, these six companies make up a diverse list that includes the telecommunication, food and beverage, industrial manufacturing, and banking sectors.

Here’s a breakdown

MTN Nigeria Communications Plc posted a total dividend per share of N7.92k (interim – N2.95k, Final – N4.97k), summing up to N161.21 billion. A dividend payment was made on May 19, 2020, to shareholders whose names appeared on the Register of Members as at April 17, 2020.

(READ MORE: Why these companies remain on NSE’s delisting radar)

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The telco giant’s revenue of N1.17 trillion in 2019 against N1.04 trillion in 2018 represents a 12.6% increase. Profit after tax (PAT) also increased significantly by 38.7% from N145.7 billion in 2018 to N202.1 billion in 2019.

MTN, MTN, Dangote Cement, Nestle, others top best dividends stock in 2019

Dangote Cement Plc declared a total dividend payout of N272.65 billion. This breaks down to every shareholder of the company earning N16 on every share held. A payment expected to be made after the company’s annual general meeting is scheduled for June 16, 2020, with a qualification date of May 25, 2020.

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It is worth noting that the cement manufacturing giant posted a profit after tax of N200.52 billion, a 48.6% decline when compared to a profit of N390.33 billion recorded  in 2018.

Nestle Nigeria Plc declared a total dividend of N70 per share to its shareholders, indicating a total payment of N55.49 billion. The leading consumer goods maker generated N284.04 billion in revenue for the year ended December 2019.

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The multinational’s profit after tax stood at N45.68 billion, a 6.22% increase compared to N43.01 billion posted in 2018.

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(READ MORE: List of Dividends announced so far in 2020 (May))

The management of Stanbic IBTC Holdings Plc proposed a total dividend per share of N3 (interim – N1 and final – N2) per ordinary share of 50 kobos each, which summed up to N31.57 billion. The interim dividends (N10.47 billion) was paid on October 3, 2019, while the final dividend of N21.01 billion is expected to be paid by June 18, 2020.

The bank’s full-year result shows that the group’s gross earnings increased by 5.2% from N222.36 billion in 2018 to N233.81 billion in 2019.

Stanbic IBTC’s profit after tax for the period  recorded a marginal increase of 0.8% to N75.04 billion compared to N74.44 billion in 2018.

Guaranty Trust Bank Plc declared a total of N82.41 billion to shareholders on March 30, 2020 as dividends for the year ended 2019. This indicates a total dividend payment of N2.8 per 50 kobo ordinary shares to shareholders. Final dividend was paid on March 30, 2020 to shareholders whose names were registered in the company’s register of members as at March 18, 2020 which was the qualification date.

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GTBank, which is Nigeria’s most capitalized bank, posted a profit after tax of N196.85 billion, showing a 6.5% increase compared to N184.71 billion recorded in the preceding year.

GTBank declares dividend payment for FY 2019

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Zenith Bank Plc also paid N2.8 dividends per ordinary share to its shareholders, summing up to N87.91 billion (interim – N9.42 billion, Final – N78.49 billion) for the year ended 2019. The bank posted profit after tax (PAT) of N208.84 billion in the year under review.

(READ MORE: CFOs of FUGAZ and their 3-year performance record)

The final dividends were paid to Shareholder in March 2020 whose names appeared in the Register of Members as at close of business on 9th March 2020.

What is dividend?

A dividend is a payment by a company to its shareholders, which is paid at the end of a quarter or year. Note that dividends are usually cash payments, although they can sometimes be paid out in company stock.

(READ MORE: NSE Set to Host Sustainable Capital Markets Forum to Promote Green Finance in West Africa)

What to look out for in dividend stocks

The following are what you should look out for in dividend stocks:

Payout Ratio: The dividend payout ratio is the percentage of a company’s earnings it uses in paying out dividends. This is an important metric to use when digging into dividend stocks you are considering to buy.

Dividend History: This is simple. All a potential investor needs to do is to check the track record of the company. Many of the companies mentioned above have trackable and impressive track records, including long records of paying annual and interim dividends.

Industry Strength: Here, it is better to own shares in a decent company in a great and lucrative sector than owning shares of a great firm in a tough industry.

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