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CORPORATE ACTIONS: An Exit and Less Sugar

Oando Plc’s exit from Axxela Limited, and a decline in Dangote Sugar results were some of the key corporate actions on the NSE last week.

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Corporate Actions

Corporate actions are decisions taken by companies’ boards of directors or management teams, that could have impacts on the firms themselves or shareholders.  

Examples of corporate actions include the release of quarterly and full year results,  payment of dividends, closing of shareholders’ registers, announcing qualification dates and Annual General Meeting (AGM) dates.  

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Here is a review of corporate actions that took place last week,

Less Sugar 

Dangote Sugar released its full-year 2018 results. Topline and bottom line dipped significantly.

Management blamed this on smuggled sugar, the logjam at Apapa, and to a minor extent communal crisis.

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The company has declared a final dividend of N1.10 per share, N0.65 lower than the N1.75 paid in 2017.

Fidson Healthcare Plc 

Fidson Healthcare Plc released its results for the 2018 financial year. The company also held a “Facts behind the figures” session at the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE). Management attributed the  N97.4 million loss to high operating and finance costs.  

Cheers at May

 May and Baker Plc also released its full-year 2018 results. The company made a profit after tax of  N342 million and declared a dividend of N0.20 per share.  Qualification date is the 19th of April, 2019.  

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Multi-millionaire transporter Samuel Onyishi has also taken a stake in the firm and is now one of the largest individual shareholders.

Secure losses continue 

Secure Electronic Technology Plc released its Q1 2019 results. The company remains loss-making with a loss after tax of N21.8 million. In 2018, it recorded a full year loss after tax of N152 million. 

More losses at Morrison 

Morrison Industries Plc released its full-year 2018 results. Turnover decreased while the company recorded a loss for the fifth consecutive year.  

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Delayed results   

Several firms issued notices that they would be delaying the release of their full-year audited financial statements which should have been due March 31st, 2019, as well as Q1 2019 results.  

Cornerstone Insurance, in its notice to the NSE, stated that it would file its 2018 audited results on or before 30th of June 2019. As such, the release of its results for the first quarter ended March 2019 would also be delayed.  

Daar Communications, in its notice, stated that the delay behind the filing of its full-year 2018 results was due to the request of its external auditors to review the company’s trade receivablesin line with IFRS 15.  

First Aluminum attributed the delay in filing of its full-year 2018 results to an ongoing audit process. The firm, however, expects to send the results on or before the 30th of April, 2019.  

FBN Holdings has had to delay the submission of its results since several of its subsidiaries are yet to obtain final regulatory approval. The company, however, expects to file its results on or before the 30th of April, 2019.  

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FTN Cocoa Plc has attributed the delay in the submission of its full-year 2018 results to an ongoing restructuring exercise.  

Omoluabi Mortgage Bank has delayed the release of its 2018 results due to the implementation of IFRS9 on its financials. The bank will submit its results on or before the 30th of June, 2019.

AG Leventis Plc has attributed the delay of its full-year 2018 results on the need to conclude audit-related matters. The firm, however, stated it would do so on or before the 30th of April, 2019.

Agenda 2021 

In a notice to the NSEGSK Consumer Nigeria disclosed a review of its operating model effective Q3 2021. Its Agbara plant will be shut down and its operations moved to third-party manufacturers under a contract basis.    

An exit 

Oando Plc disclosed it had sold a minority 25% stake it held in Axxela Limited (formerly Oando Gas and Power) to Helios Investment Partners, for $45 million. Helios had in 2016 bought a 75% stake in the firm.

Departure  

UAC of Nigeria Plc announced the resignation of Mrs Omolara Elemide from the board of the company, effective April 1, 2019.  Prior to thisElemide was Executive Director, Corporate Services and had a stint as Acting Group Managing Director of the conglomerate 

 

Patricia

Onome Ohwovoriole has a degree in Economics and Statistics from the University of Benin and prior to joining Nairametrics in December 2016 as Lead Analyst had stints in Publishing, Automobile Services, Entertainment and Leadership Training. He covers companies in the Nigerian corporate space, especially those listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE). He also has a keen interest in new frontiers like Cryptocurrencies and Fintech. In his spare time, he loves to read books on finance, fiction as well as keep up with happenings in the world of international diplomacy. You can contact him via [email protected]

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Currencies

Analysts predict outlook for naira as forex unification plans gain momentum

The exchange rate could strengthen this week based on a positive set of assumptions.

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Central Bank Continues intervention in Forex market to stabilize Naira, Naira to depreciate slightly over $1.52 billion maturing contracts expires, Naira hits N388.84 to $1 at the currency spot market, Investors and Exporters (I&E) window, Naira weakens against the dollar by 1.14% amidst uncertainty, Naira gains against the dollar at I&E window, forex liquidity up by 242%  

The exchange rate between the naira and dollar may move in the positive for Nigeria’s local currency, according to views of a cross section of traders and analysts interviewed by Nairametrics.

Last week, Nairametrics reported that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) had increased the bid price for FX at its Secondary Market Intervention Sales (SMIS) window by 5.6% to trade at N380 to $1. This was in line with the apex bank’s plans to unify the exchange rate towards the NAFEX rate.

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As traders mulled the implication of the latest move by the CBN, the naira depreciated against the dollar at the parallel market to trade at N461.00 to $1, while gaining against the US dollar to trade at N386 to $1 at the I&E window. However, the exchange rate could strengthen this week based on a positive set of assumptions.

READ MORE: NSE Lists LAPO Microfinance Bank’s N6.2billion bond

A treasury dealer at Nigeria’s biggest bank by assets told Nairametrics about the Central Bank’s continual intervention in the currency spot market and outlook for the naira. He said:

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“The CBN will sustain its interventions in various windows with injection of $100million to Invisibles and Small and Medium-scale Enterprises (SMEs) segment at ₦384 to a dollar. Also, the CBN will inject c.$250million through the Retail SMIS on Friday.

“With the increase in base rate at last week’s Retail Auction to $/₦380 from the $/₦365, I expect similar revision of the official rate from $/₦361 to IEFX level in line with rate unification exercise which would boost Naira revenue from crude oil sale and qualify the CBN to draw-down from the IMF/World bank loan.

“The paucity of funds that IEFX window has experienced since the start of the Q2 will persist this week. Though, I expect the CBN to come up with plans to clear the backlogs of FX demands estimated at c. $5bn for offshores investors just like it did in 2016. Nevertheless, I expect Naira to trade at sub $/₦400 levels throughout the week.

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READ ALSO: Forex liquidity up by 315% as Naira gains marginally at I&E Window

“With this move in unifying the exchange rate system, it is also expected that the present converging of the rates estimated at N387 to $1 (I &E Window) will boost revenues for the federal government which could see a gain of N20 on every US dollar earning in oil.”

Whilst the debate rages on about what the true value of the naira is, several factors are at play. The CBN Governor had alluded to the fact that the lull in business activities suggested that forex demand should be low, thus calling into question the pent-up demand being highlighted by several market analysts.

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The Central Bank governor suggested that the black-market rates being reported were likely not representative of what the real demand was, but rather driven by speculative forces.

Michael Nwakalor, Macroeconomist at CardinalStone Research, in a phone chat interview with Nairametrics expressed optimism on the naira appreciating at the black market this week. He said:

“Amid purported pressure from multilateral organizations for a unified exchange rate, the naira has noticeably weakened at both the NAFEX and parallel markets in recent weeks, with reports of a devaluation at the SMIS window from N360/$ to N380/$.

“We expect a possible unification to converge towards the NAFEX rate of N385/$ and if supported by increased FX supply and clear body language by the CBN, we may also see a steep recovery in the parallel market towards that rate. In the absence of this, we expect a characteristically quiet week in the FX market.”

Conversely, market analysts believe that the reluctance of the CBN to fund liquidity shortages at the I&E window is the reason why the black market has depreciated to about N461/$1. They claim legitimate transactions have already taken place in the parallel market, especially for businesses that have obligations to meet but cannot access forex from official windows.

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Thelma Ugonna Ohiri-Anyanwu, CFA, a leading financial expert in a Nigerian tier-1 bank, was also optimistic about the naira stabilizing this week. She said:

“With the CBN devaluing the currency by 5.3% from N360 to N380 at its latest currency auction, this saw the market close at about N389 to a dollar. This I believe is in a bid at unifying the rate at the various windows.

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“In the coming week, with little or no significant activities to stimulate the market and no fundamental change, the naira will be relatively stable.

“The I&E window will likely trade around N388-389/$ levels. While the parallel market at N460 to 461/$ levels.”

CBN’s foreign reserves fell slightly during the week as FX outflows outpaced inflows. Data from Nigeria’s central bank showed that its foreign reserves stood at about $36.2billion.

Patricia
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Coronavirus

COVID-19 Update in Nigeria

On the 5th of July 2020, 544 new confirmed cases and 11 deaths were recorded in Nigeria bringing the total confirmed cases recorded in the country to 28,711.

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The spread of novel Corona Virus Disease (COVID-19) in Nigeria touched a new milestone as the latest statistics provided by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control reveal Nigeria now has 28,711 confirmed cases.

On the 5th of July 2020, 544 new confirmed cases and 11 deaths were recorded in Nigeria, having carried out a total daily test of 2,933 samples across the country.

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To date, 28,711 cases have been confirmed, 11,665 cases have been discharged and 645 deaths have been recorded in 35 states and the Federal Capital Territory. A total of 151,121 tests have been carried out as of July 5th, 2020 compared to 148,188 tests a day earlier.

COVID-19 Case Updates- 5th July 2020

  • Total Number of Cases – 28,711
  • Total Number Discharged – 11,665
  • Total Deaths – 645
  • Total Tests Carried out – 151,121

According to the NCDC, the 544 new cases were reported from 19 states- Lagos (199), Ebonyi (65),Oyo (47), Ondo (46), Ogun (31), Edo (30), FCT (28), Katsina (25), Plateau (15), Bayelsa (11), Kaduna (10), Adamawa (10), Akwa Ibom (8), Gombe (7), Kano (4), Taraba (3), Rivers (2), Abia (2), Ekiti (1).

Meanwhile, the latest numbers bring Lagos state total confirmed cases to 11,244, followed by Abuja (2,181), Oyo (1,513), Edo (1,383), Kano (1,268), Delta (1,227) Rivers (1,183), Ogun (1,005),  Kaduna (865), Katsina (604), Borno (528), Gombe (520), Bauchi (516), Ebonyi (503), Ondo (456), Plateau (436), Abia (385), Enugu (372), Imo (352), Jigawa (318).

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Kwara state has recorded 269 cases, Bayelsa (245), Nasarawa (225), Osun (165), Sokoto (153),  Niger (122), Akwa Ibom (112), Adamawa (99), Benue (97), Kebbi (84), Zamfara (76), Anambra (73), Yobe (61), Ekiti (44), Taraba (22), while Kogi state has recorded 5 cases.

 

READ ALSO: COVID-19: Western diplomats warn of disease explosion, poor handling by government

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Lock Down and Curfew

In a move to combat the spread of the pandemic disease, President Muhammadu Buhari directed the cessation of all movements in Lagos and the FCT for an initial period of 14 days, which took effect from 11 pm on Monday, 30th March 2020.

The movement restriction, which was extended by another two-weeks period, has been partially put on hold with some businesses commencing operations from May 4. On April 27th, 2020, Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari declared an overnight curfew from 8 pm to 6 am across the country, as part of new measures to contain the spread of the COVID-19. This comes along with the phased and gradual easing of lockdown measures in FCT, Lagos, and Ogun States, which took effect from Saturday, 2nd May 2020, at 9 am.

On Monday, 29th June 2020 the federal government extended the second phase of the eased lockdown by 4 weeks and approved interstate movement outside curfew hours with effect from July 1, 2020.

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READ ALSO: Bill Gates says Trump’s WHO funding suspension is dangerous

DateConfirmed caseNew casesTotal deathsNew deathsTotal recoveryActive casesCritical cases
July 5, 2020287115446451111665164017
July 4, 202028167603634611462160717
July 3, 2020275644546281211069158677
July 2, 2020271106266161310801156937
July 1, 2020264847906031310152157297
June 30, 202025694561590179746153587
June 29, 20202513356657389402151587
June 28, 20202486749056579007149957
June 27, 20202407777955848625148947
June 26, 20202329868455458253144917
June 25, 20202261459454977822142437
June 24, 20202202064954297613138657
June 23, 20202137145253387338135007
June 22, 20202091967552577109132857
June 21, 202020242436518126879128477
June 20, 202019808661506196718125847
June 19, 202019147667487126581120797
June 18, 20201848074547566307116987
June 17, 202017735587469145967112997
June 16, 202017148490455315623110707
June 15, 20201665857342445349108857
June 14, 202016085403420135220104457
June 13, 20201568250140785101101747
June 12, 20201518162739912489198917
June 11, 2020145546813875449496737
June 10, 20201387340938217435191407
June 9, 2020134646633654420688937
June 8, 2020128013153617404084007
June 7, 20201248626035412395981737
June 6, 2020122333893429382680657
June 5, 20201184432833310369678157
June 4, 2020115163503238353576467
June 3, 2020111663483151332975227
June 2, 20201081924131415323972667
June 1, 20201057841629912312271579
May 31, 20201016230728714300768687
May 30, 2020985555327312285667267
May 29, 202093023872612269763447
May 28, 202089151822595259260647
May 27, 202087333892545250159787
May 26, 2020834427624916238557107
May 25, 202080682292337231155247
May 24, 202078393132265226353607
May 23, 202075262652210217451317
May 22, 2020726124522110200750337
May 21, 2020701633921111190748987
May 20, 202066772842008184046377
May 19, 202064012261921173444757
May 18, 202061752161919164443407
May 17, 202059593881826159441837
May 16, 202056211761765147239737
May 15, 202054452881713132039544
May 14, 202051621931683118038154
May 13, 202049711841646107037374
May 12, 20204787146158695936704
May 11, 202046412421521090235894
May 10, 202043992481421777834794
May 9, 202041512391271174532784
May 8, 202039123861181067931154
May 7, 20203526381108460128184
May 6, 20203145195104553425071
May 5, 2020295014899548123704
May 4, 2020280224594641722912
May 3, 2020255817088240020702
May 2, 20202388220861735119522
May 1, 20202170238691035117512
April 30, 2020193220459731715562
April 29, 2020172819652730713692
April 28, 2020153219545425512322
April 27, 20201337644102559942
April 26, 20201273914152399942
April 25, 20201182873632229252
April 24, 202010951143312088552
April 23, 20209811083231977532
April 22, 2020873912931976482
April 21, 20207821172631975602
April 20, 2020665382311884662
April 19, 2020627862221704362
April 18, 2020541482021663562
April 17, 2020493511841593172
April 16, 2020442351311522772
April 15, 2020407341211282672
April 14, 202037330111992632
April 13, 202034320100912422
April 12, 20203235100852282
April 11, 202031813103702382
April 10, 20203051770582402
April 9, 20202881471512302
April 8, 20202742260442262
April 7, 20202541661442042
April 6, 2020238650351982
April 5, 20202321851331942
April 4, 2020214540251850
April 3, 20202092542251800
April 2, 20201841020201620
April 1, 2020174352091630
March 31, 202013982091280
March 30, 2020131202181210
March 29, 2020111221031070
March 28, 20208919103850
March 27, 2020705103660
March 26, 20206514102620
March 25, 2020517102480
March 24, 2020444102410
March 23, 20204010112370
March 22, 2020308002280
March 21, 20202210001210
March 20, 2020124001110
March 19, 20208000170
March 18, 20208500170
March 17, 20203100030
March 16, 20202000020
March 15, 20202000020
March 14, 20202000020
March 13, 20202000020
March 12, 20202000020
March 11, 20202000020
March 10, 20202000020
March 9, 20202100020
March 8, 20201000010
March 7, 20201000010
March 6, 20201000010
March 5, 20201000010
March 4, 20201000010
March 3, 20201000010
March 2, 20201000010
March 1, 20201000010
February 29, 20201000010
February 28, 20201100010

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FEATURED

COVID -19 saving Nigerians millions in wedding and burial costs 

As long as the pandemic persists, the ‘new normal’ is for ceremonies to remain subdued.  

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It was a sunny Saturday in May and like it had been for the better part of 8 weeks, the new normal was in force in Nosa’shousehold. The lockdown induced COVID-19 meant that all the hustle and bustle of giving attention to side hustles on weekends had all evaporated. Now he spent more time with his kids watching TV and playing video games. Whilst he has had to endure multiple weekends of lost revenue, staying indoors meant that his personal finance was still intact. But things would change dramatically this weekend. 

Nosa got a call that he had just lost his aged mother to a brief illness. He had been battling with a terminal illness for years, but things seemed to be under control so her death came as a surprise. Even as he grappled with the thought of losing his mother, Nosa knew that he had to start making preparations for the expenses that are bound to come with burials in an African setting.  

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Thanks to the pandemic, and rules that came with it, Nosa ended up spending much less than he would have for his mother’s burial with most of the funds going towards mortuary expenses, transport and the direct cost of the actual burial itself.  

READ ALSO: Post COVID-19: The Challenges Ahead

“This COVID-19 is bad but it has saved me millions of naira that I would have spent in this burial,” he remarked.  

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“I wanted to give my mom a befitting burial but these are hard times and I may have borrowed money just to fund this. But with COVID-19 and social distancing in place I did not have to do any of this,” Nosa informs our reporter.  

Nosa’s gains translate to massive losses for a whole chain of service providers in the event management industry. Similar occurrences over the last few months have resulted in the loss of revenue for such businesses.  

Events in Nigeria often cost anywhere between half a million naira to over N100 million depending on the financial muscle of those spending. Burials, weddings, naming ceremonies and birthday parties, make a burgeoning industry that spans several sectors of the economy.  

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From mortuaries to casket makers, event planners, event Halls rentals, professional mourners, caterers, confectionaries, party rentals, photographers, video editors, tailors, newspapers , etc, its an entire value chain of businesses that provide one service or the other for this industry. 

Each of these events cost millions of naira to organize hosting as many people as the budget can support. According to a CNN article quoting a report from TNS Global, Nigerians spend as much as $9,460 for a wedding ceremony. The report also indicates the party industry could be worth as high as $17 million based on statistics in 2017. 

The math can be easily deducted. Assuming 50,000 ceremonies every weekend at an average cost of N1 million that is a N50 billion per weekend or N2.7 trillion ($6.75 billion) per annum. GDP data from the National Bureau of Statistics indicates sectors that support the ceremonies market in Nigeria, telecoms, transportation, Arts and Entertainment is worth a combined N18.4 trillion. 

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Technology Ceremonies 

Chuks, a Partner at a top consulting firm in Nigeria admits were it not for the pandemic his wedding could have cost him about N15 million personally and another N20 million spent by family, friends, colleagues and well-wishers. He is in his forties and his wedding had been much anticipated. He went ahead with his wedding last weekend with less than a dozen people in attendance and over 140 others logging on via Zoom. He claims while he ended up not spending millions on food, drinks, wedding halls and other logistic costs, he still achieved his goal of getting married.  

Necessity they say is the mother of invention and has millions stay locked in their homes, they have resorted to apps such as Zoom, Instagram Live, Microsoft Teams to hold virtual events. These days Zoom themed parties now have their own rules and conventions. Friends from all parts of the world log in with each person taking turns to say nice things about the celebrants. Games are conducted to spice up the event and stories told by the celebrant. Music is also played by the Zoom host with participants dancing and having fun.  

“It is like watching a live movie and also being part of it as the audience and participant” a wedding planner informed Nairametrics. Whilst one cannot underrate the connection physical socializing brings, virtual meetings are gradually becoming a lifestyle and the longer social distancing continues its cultural significance will only continue to increase.  

AderonkeAdebamibola, CEO of  Unik Ushering Agency, an Event management firm, confirmed to Nairametrics that business has really slowed down in the last few months. “Even though the NCDC has now given rules to guide weddings and other events, the budget now is way less than it used to be due to the cap on numbers of guests” she explained.  

Now, most events are kept within the premises of family residences, depriving hall rentals, the money they could have made from leasing out their halls. Venue decorators also have much less on their hands to do, as they no longer have to decorate big halls.  

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According to Adebamibola, every single business in the chain has been affected, from caterers to ushers.  

“Now, we even have to convince them to use one or two ushers for their events because they believe they don’t need ushers for 20 or 30 guests. Caterers cannot even cook a half bag of rice now because of the number of guests. This means that they are also paid less for their services, even if they expend the same energy and time” she said.  

The new normal in this industry means that the things that used to be prioritized are no longer priorities. Hand sanitisers, face masks and hand washing equipment are now compulsories in events, while the hand-shaking, and hugs that would have characterized such weddings.

READ MORE: Governor David Umahi of Ebonyi tests positive for COVID-19

Due to the nature of the industry, a large percentage of the staff are kept on contract basis, so the reduction has not really translated into lay-offs. However, the industry revenue has been badly hit. A contract staff with NPU Events, who preferred anonymity, noted that in the last three months, she has only been called twice for events.  

Since this forms a major part of her income, it has caused a major dip in her resources. COVID-19 has brought unwanted hardship to the Nigerian economy with small businesses and workers in the informal sector suffering the most.  

A recent World Bank report indicates the Nigerian economy might contract by as much as 3% in GDP growth rate this year. This informed government’s latest decision to inject about N2.3 trillion into the economy to spur economic growth. The funds will be targeted at small businesses through non-collateralized low-interest loans.  Whilst all these initiatives are geared towards stimulating the economy, the spending power of Nigerians will remain pivotal and as long as the pandemic persists, ceremonies will remain subdued. 

 

 

Patricia
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