The Nigerian Stock Exchange has addressed growing frustrations from retail and portfolio investors about their inability to lay their hands on MTN shares. Investors across the country, eager to own shares in arguably the most profitable company in the country are reeling as they see the stock gain a whopping 30% in just three days of trading.
NSE Response: The Nigerian Stock Exchange issued a press release on Monday addressing all the concerns sent to it by frustrated investors. As usual, Nairametrics provides a guide to each of the talking points.
On MTN’s listing: In a Listing by Introduction, however, no shares have been offered for subscription by the company prior to listing. Thus, without any intervention, it is possible that there will be no shares available for trading on the listing date. Indeed, currently, no rule of The Exchange compels shareholders in a listed company to tender their shares for trading. Shareholders are at liberty to trade their shares at any time and price suitable to them. Thus, in order to stimulate trading in the shares of companies that List by Introduction, the NSE’s practice is to urge the company to make shares available on the day of listing. In the case of MTN Nigeria, the NSE had requested the Company as part of the listing process to make shares available and The Exchange expects the company to do that.
Meaning: The exchange also insists that there is nothing it can do as MTN has not contravened any of its listing rules and cannot compel the company to offer new shares for subscription.
Difference between listing and IPO: MTN Nigeria Listed by Introduction. Where a company lists following an Initial Public Offering, shares are expected to be available for trading on the day of listing. In a Listing by Introduction, however, no shares have been offered for subscription by the company prior to listing. Thus, without any intervention, it is possible that there will be no shares available for trading on the listing date. Indeed, currently, no rule of The Exchange compels shareholders in a listed company to tender their shares for trading. Shareholders are at liberty to trade their shares at any time and price suitable to them. Thus, in order to stimulate trading in the shares of companies that List by Introduction, the NSE’s practice is to urge the company to make shares available on the day of listing. In the case of MTN Nigeria, the NSE had requested the Company as part of the listing process to make shares available and The Exchange expects the company to do that.
Meaning: In a nutshell, The Exchange is explaining the difference between an IPO and listing of shares. An IPO is an Initial Public Offering where a company decides to raise capital by offering its shares to the public. A listing, on the other hand, is a company listing its shares on the stock exchange allowing its shareholders to sell shares directly to the public. The underlying difference being that in an IPO or Public Offer or Rights Issue, its the company selling shares to (or in) the public while a listing by introduction is shareholders of the company looking to sell their shares to (or in) public. Thus, in the case of MTN ( a listing) shares will only be available if shareholders wish to sell.
On who are the people still buying and selling: Since the listing of MTN Nigeria on Thursday, May 16, 2019, a total of 105,301,759 shares valued at N12,231,997,316 have traded in three (3) days. These trades were carried out by ten (10) Dealing Member Firms in 134 cross deals/negotiated deals. According to the Rulebook of The Exchange, when a Dealing Member or Authorized Clerk has an order to buy and an order to sell the same security at the same price, the Dealing Member or Authorized Clerk may “cross” those orders at a price at or within The Exchange’s best bid or offer. A variant of this is the negotiated deal, which describes a situation where a cross deal is executed between two Dealing Member Firms at a price which may be within The Exchange’s best bid or offer or with the approval of The Exchange, outside the best bid or offer. Because cross deals involve clients of the same Dealing Member Firm on both sides of a trade, significant issues have been raised that Dealing Members who have not been involved in the cross deals have been unable to trade on behalf of their clients. The Exchange is not unconcerned about this state of affairs. Indeed, Council members of The Exchange urged brokers to discuss with their clients about possible sales of shares.
This is critical: The exchange basically acknowledges that despite the fact that MTN’s trades have been over N12.2 billion most of the deals are between clients of the same stockbroking outfit. Basically, the buyer and seller of the shares all reside with the same stockbroker. In this case, the buyer and seller could be related parties. This also means clients in other stockbroking outfits don’t even stand a chance to bid for their own clients shutting them out of any fees they may have been able to earn. The exchange also suggests it is looking into these claims as they are valid.
Bottom Line: Stockbrokers and investors looking to be part of the MTN listing transaction are frustrated because they have not been able to trade. Their motives are not altruistic, to say the least. They all want to “make a kill” from the MTN listing and being able to do that is frustrating.
Winners and losers: The NSE, Dealing Members who have traded MTN shares, MTN and of course the shareholders of MTN who have sold above the listing price and poised to ride the wave for months to come.
CBN “Naira 4 Dollar Scheme” Explained
What the CBN’s Naira 4 Dollar scheme means for your money.
In what appears to be an attempt to incentivize dollar remittances by all means possible, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) released a circular to Deposit Money Banks (DMBs), International Money Transfer Operators (IMTO), and the General Public, advising that remittances paid into a bank account will attract an additional credit alert for every USD$1 received!
Yes, you read that correctly. The CBN will facilitate a special additional credit alert of N5 for every USD$1 received. In other words,
- if someone sends you $10,000, you get an additional special credit alert for N50,000.
- If someone sends you $100,000, you get an additional special credit alert for N500,000.
Who is eligible?
To be eligible, the diaspora remittances need to be processed and received from one of the registered IMTOs and funds received into a Bank account operated by the DMBs. (So, if you are receiving funds via Crypto sorry you are not eligible).
Additionally, the circular says this “incentive runs from Monday 8th March 2021 to Saturday 8th May 2021″. So, if you have plans to receive dollars, you can plan accordingly.
The circular is not clear how exactly the commercial banks will know which account to pay the extra special credits into. Although, that may be a question diaspora funds recipients will need to ask their DMB accounts officers to clarify for them.
How will this be funded?
The circular notes that the “CBN shall through commercial banks, pay to recipients the N5 incentive for every USD$1”. In other words, it is the CBN funding the cost of this special extra credit.
- One would argue that given the costs of alternative incentives to attract dollars such as the special OMO window for FPI, this may be a cheaper alternative for the CBN.
- But we will need to see the volume of expected remittance to be certain of that. Nigeria attracts about $5billion per quarter in remittances and only trails oil in terms of foreign earnings.
Why this matter to Nigerians?
Following the collapse of US Dollar inflows into the country, the CBN initially tried to balance its current account deficits and avoid an official devaluation by tackling FOREX demand (Think ban of 41 items, etc).
- However, in recent times, CBN is now trying to address the challenge of FOREX supply. In 2019, CBN restricted OMO bills for FPIs, and this year, CBN directed all IMTOs to discontinue the practice of not remitting dollars into the country but keeping it overseas and sending Naira.
- Also, the IEFX rate has been allowed to continually diverge from the official rate. As at close of business on Friday 5th March 2021, the IEFX rate of N412.50 is 8.8% premium to the official rate of N379.
- Some may point out that, if the CBN is looking to have ordinary Nigerians enjoy some benefits from its ongoing FX subsidy largesse then maybe that is “arguably” more palatable than the prior focus on FPIs.
Finally, this short-term Naira-4-Dollar scheme will not be called an official Naira Devaluation. But a question is what do we call the new short-term price of N412.50 + N5.00? Maybe we can call it Naira Modulation.
Nigerian Breweries leveraging, but stacking cash through rising input costs
The marathon continues for Nigerian Breweries with its 2020 financials.
Humanity might need more booze to survive the increasingly daunting intricacies of life, but Nigerian Breweries 2020 financial statement is proof that even the best can get caught up in the reality of changing business lifecycles.
Nigerian Breweries Plc had floored the market providing both alcoholic and non-alcoholic premium quality beverages across the nation. But with brands like Star lager beer launched as far back as 1949, Gulder lager beer launched in 1970, and even the family-friendly Maltina introduced as far back as 1976, it is only natural that both the old and new generation competition gives them a run for their market share.
Much like other old money companies, Nigerian Breweries has done its bit to remain relevant in the industry from creating new variants of existing favoured brands to paying dividends consistently annually for the past few years. Yet within the same period, the company’s financial statements have been a testament to its streamlined market share and reducing profits. The marathon continues with its 2020 financials. The industry giant may as well be setting itself up for a debt quagmire peradventure its projections do not match the true reality of events.
2020 financials: A tale of higher costs & larger debts
2020’s unfavourable financial/ business environment led to the increase in the prices of raw materials and disruptions in logistics for many Nigerian-domiciled businesses including Nigerian Breweries. Raw materials and consumables witnessed a 17% increase despite the marginal growth in revenue.
While the group’s 2020 results revealed a 4.35% increase in revenue from N323 billion in the prior year to around N337 billion, these gains were curtailed by a higher-than-par increase in cost of sales which had risen by 13.9%, from the N191.8 billion expended in 2019 to N218.4 billion as its 2020 financials reveal and interest rates going way up.
The company’s lower operating expenses were not enough to salvage the disruption caused by the raging interest expense following increased charges paid on bank loans and overdraft facilities as well as the significant increase in overall debt. Between 2019 and 2020 alone, long term loans and borrowings increased by 974% from N4.8 billion to as much as N51.8 billion. Even trade and other long term payables increased by 35%.
In its financials, the company noted that it has revolving credit facilities with five Nigerian banks to finance its working capital. The approved limit of the loan with each of the banks range from ₦6 billion to ₦15 billion (total of ₦66 billion) and each of the agreements had been signed in 2016 with a tenor of five years. The Company had also obtained Capital and Working capital finance from the BoI in 2019.
It is no news that the company is involved in diversified lease arrangements. Following reclassifications made in 2019 to some of its lease assets, the 2020 asset base also witnessed significant increase in Right of Use Assets which increased by 288%% from N11.1 billion to N42.9 billion. Yet, the fact that in one year, interest expense on Lease Liabilities rose from N19.7 million in 2019 and to a whopping N4.171 billion shows that the company is taking way more debt than its books require.
But what’s it using all the cash for?
Beyond rising material costs, borrowing costs have been huge and the annual interest payment by virtue of these loans make the possibility of higher profits for the company a mirage. That said, the overall increase in total liabilities might not have been such a bad idea if the funds were being used to increase revenue and profits. But having a huge chunk of all that money in cash creates a different kind of challenge. Cash and bank values in its statement of financial position significantly increased by 377% from N6.4 billion in 2019 to N30.4 billion in 2020.
Is the cash being held to mitigate possible challenges of the volatile economy or are they being used to pay dividends? Even at a share price of N52 per share, the company’s price-to-book value sits at 2.5816, testament of its dire overvaluation. Consequently, there is an ardent need for the company to come up with newer ways to attract the wider market and keep its book in the green with a little less external funding.
Nairametrics | Company Earnings
Access our Live Feed portal for the latest company earnings as they drop.
- Seplat falls into a loss in FY 2020
- 2020 FY Results: Cornerstone Insurance Plc reports a 61.1% decline in profit
- Ellah Lakes increases operating expenses by 33.36% in HY 2020
- 2020 FY Results: Nigerian Breweries reports a 54.3% decline in profits in 2020
- Abbey Mortgage Bank projects N51.08 million profit in Q2 2020.