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Economy

MTN finally lists on NSE, rises by 10% on first trading day

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The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), on Thursday achieved a milestone with the listing of MTN Nigeria Communications Plc 20.35 billion shares at N99 per share lifting the market capitalisation by N1.83 trillion.

News Agency of Nigeria reports that the stock appreciated by N9.00 at the first trading day to close at N99 per share, having traded 5.5 million shares worth N545.59 million in 15 deals.

Speaking at the listing, Mr Ferdi Moolman, the company’s Chief Executive Officer, said that the company would contribute to the growth of the nation’s bourse.

Moolman said that the listing would afford Nigerians the opportunity to owe 20 per cent of the company’s shares.

He noted that the company would float an Initial Public Offering (IPO) at a later date, adding that the IPO would depend on market conditions.

Moolman said that ownership of the telecommunications firm was expected to increase to around 35 per cent from the present 20 per cent after the IPO.

He explained that the parent company was willing to dilute its shareholding from the present 78.8 per cent to 65 per cent to enable the local unit be at par with that of other multinationals listed in Nigeria.

Moolman said that the company would further establish brand leadership and legacy by becoming the first Mobile Network Operator to list on the exchange.

He said that Nigeria remained a major asset for the company being the largest African economy, largest telecommunications market in Africa as well as leading mobile market.

On issue of delisting, Moolman assured the stockbroking community and investors that the company had come to stay.

“We believe in this market and we are here to stay,” Moolman said. ”

Earlier, Mr Oscar Onyema, NSE Chief Executive Officer, said that the company was the first telecommunications network provider to be listed on the NSE Premium Board.

Onyema said Premium Board was a listing segment for the elite group of issuers that meet the Eexchange’s most stringent corporate governance and listing standards.

“This Board features Dangote Cement Plc, FBN Holdings Plc, Zenith International Bank Plc, Access Bank Plc, Lafarge Africa Plc, Seplat Petroleum Development Company Plc and United Bank for Africa Plc,” he said.

“We are delighted to welcome MTN Nigeria to the Exchange. Today’s listing is a promising development in the country’s telecommunications sector and we encourage other players in the sector to explore the different opportunities in the capital markets for raising long term capital.

“As a listing platform of choice, today’s listing will add to our bouquet of diverse investment offerings to the public. Having MTN Nigeria listed in our market is a testament of The Exchange’s commitment to building a dynamic and inclusive market and creating channels for sustainable investment.

“This listing will promote liquidity for MTN Nigeria, enhance its value and increase transparency, as our platform remains one of the best avenues for raising capital and enabling sustainable growth for national development”, he added.

Commenting on the listing, Mr Bolaji Balogun, Chief Executive Officer, Chapel Hill Denham, said that Chapel Hill acted as a joint financial adviser with Stanbic IBTC Capital in the historic listing.

Balogun said that the “two houses have basically been responsible for leading this transaction process over the last few months and I am delighted to get it over the line.”

He described the listing as very significant, having added N1.8 trillions to NSE market capitalisation.

“It would be the second largest company by market capitalisation on the exchange and more importantly, it will also bring more of Nigeria’s best companies on to the exchange and give a wider group of Nigerians the opportunity to participate in its share holding.

“There are very few companies in Africa today that generate one billion dollars of free cash flow and this is one of those special companies and I am really pleased we have it on the stock exchange.

“This listing would encourage many other large unlisted companies both within that sector and as well as other sector to start to think about the Nigerian stock market,” Balogun said.

 

Economy

NIMPORT seeks connectivity with inland dry port to ease cargo traffic

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The Nigerian International Maritime Ports and Terminals (NIMPORT), a port and terminal promotion body, has appealed to the Federal Government to ensure seamless connectivity for cargo and human traffic.

NIMPORT Chairman Mr Fortune Idu made the appeal in an interview with the Nigeria News Agency in Lagos on Saturday.

“The focus should be full connectivity, from the port to the hinterland.

“There should be full and seamless connectivity for cargo and human traffic as it will actually help the country achieve its potential.

“The Minister of Transportation should not relent in moving the sector forward.

“There should not be politicking about connectivity, about decongesting Lagos as the focus is actually on the western axis.

“We can achieve the decongestion of Lagos and pull people out of Lagos into neighboring states such as Ogun and Oyo states by making the railways work.

“The rail project should be completed as quickly as possible.”

Idu pointed out that the sector was hoping and aspiring to see a Lagos without container traffic, saying that having containers dropping off bridges in a busy and populated city like Lagos was appalling and unthinkable.

He urged the Lagos State government and the Federal Government to work closely and ensure that Lagos is rid of container traffic.

“I expect that bulk breaking of container content should be done outside the main commercial city of Lagos and that can only be achieved with real connectivity and where you have inland terminals and rail stations around Lagos.

“With rail stations in Ogun State, Lokoja or even between Ibadan and Lagos, containers could be immediately moved out of Lagos the moment they are offloaded from the ship to places where they could be bulk broken.

“Then you have the distribution network by road.

“Having a full container load traveling on the bridges is not good at all,” he said.

He spoke of the need to ensure that rivers in the country were navigable.

According to him, once the rivers are navigable, containers could be moved from Lagos across the rivers in batches.

CAN/YEE

(Edited by Emmanuel Yashim)

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Economy

DPR sanctions 2 retail outlets, 2 gas plants in Delta

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The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), Warri Zonal Office, says it has sanctioned two petrol stations and two gas plants in Delta over alleged sharp practices.

The affected stations are: Akpos Petroleum Limited, G-Palash Nigeria Limited and Onejire Gas Plant all located in Ughelli as well as Somil Energy and Gas Ltd.

Mrs Gladys Idahosa, DPR Assistant Director, Operations, led a team of the regulatory agency on the routine surveillance on behalf of the Warri zonal Operations Controller, Mr Antai Asuquo.

Idahosa, briefing newsmen shortly after the exercise, said the stations were sealed over offences bordering on under-dispensing, operating without valid licences, expired fire extinguishers and uninstalled gas leakage detectors.

She said that the agency would continue to intensify awareness through routine

surveillance to curb anomalies in the downstream sector.

“In some of the gas plants we visited, we observed that some do not install gas leakage detectors, nor do they recharged their fire extinguishers.

“However, some are up to date; they operate in a friendly environment while only one gas plant sealed was for safety reasons.

“A lot of the gas plants and filling stations are complying with the DPR rules that is why we could only sealed very few ones,” she said.

Idahosa said that the team’s visit to retail outlets regularly was to take measurements of quantity of fuel being dispensed.

According to her, anyone that goes above the accepted “deviation range” were sanctioned.

“We call the marketer to get a technician to fix it and we go and verify that the machine is dispensing accurately before we unsealed such station,” she said.

The assistant director operations urged the consumers to always notify DPR whenever they noticed a shortfall in the petrol they bought from the filling stations.

She also appealed to the marketers to cooperate with the regulatory agency and abide by its rules and regulations.

“We are not witch-hunters; the marketers should cooperate with us by complying with our rules so that we can work as a team.

“Our intention is to ensure that they work safely and in a safe environment,” he said.

The Nigeria News Agency recalled that the regulatory agency had in July sealed 11 petrol stations and two gas plants in two separate operations.

However, a manager at Akpos Petroleum Limited, who pleaded anonymity, promised to call a technician to rectify the problem as soon as possible.

The manager said that the station’s pump measured 10.92, while another measured 10.72 as against the maximum measurement of 10.30.

EDI/GOK

Edited by Olagoke Olatoye

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Economy

Moghalu decries Nigeria’s continued dependence on oil

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Prof. Kingsley Moghalu, a presidential candidate for the Young Progressives Party (YPP) in the 2019 presidential election, has expressed concern about the nation’s reliance on oil as a major source of revenue generation.

He recommended technology and innovation as alternatives, citing the examples of developed countries.

He stated this in Abuja, at the 10th Nigeria Meritorious Service Award and Nigeria Political Achievers Award organised by the Federation of West African Freelance Journalist Association.

The event, which ended late Friday night, was organised to honour some Nigerians who distinguished themselves in politics and other fields.

Moghalu, a former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), said that oil belonged to ”the distant age; the world today is of technology, innovation and science”.

According to him, the country needs government that will give youths a sense of purpose and employment to achieve their destinies.

“In the future, we don’t have to continue the political system the way it has always been,” Moghalu said.

He observed that political leaders should be judged by their achievements in office in terms of job creation and economic growth.

”To have the desired change in the country, every Nigerian most change the way they think and act,” he advised.

He also advised that the CBN ought to be truly independent to ensure enhanced performance.

According to him, when independent institutions such as the CBN gets directives that may serve transient political purpose, the long term effect may not be the best for the country.

Edited by Kayode Olaitan

——-

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Economy

CBN injects $297.92 into secondary market

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The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), has injected  297.92 million dollars into the retail Secondary Market Intervention Sales (SMIS).

The bank’s Director, Corporate Communications Department, Mr Isaac Okorafor made this known in a statement in Abuja on Friday.

Okarafor disclosed that CBN also injected CNY21.2million in the spot and short-tenured forwards segment of the inter-bank foreign market.

According to him, the United States dollars-denominated transactions are to meet requests in the agricultural and raw materials sectors, while those in Chinese Yuan are for Renminbi-denominated Letters of Credit.

The director reiterated that the bank’s management was satisfied with the continued stability in the foreign exchange market.

He assured that the CBN remained committed to meeting  foreign exchange needs of all sectors of the economy.

Meanwhile, N358 was exchanged to a dollar, while CNY1 exchanged at N46 at the Bureau De Change (BDC) segment of the foreign exchange market on Friday.

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Economy

No electricity tariff increase has been approved yet —— NERC

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The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), says no tariff increase has been approved by the commission yet.

In a statement, Mr Usman Arabi, NERC’s General Manager, Public Affairs, however,  in a statement on Friday in Abuja said it was still consulting with stakeholders.

He said that the commission  wished to notify the public that no tariff increase had been approved by the commission contrary to the impression in some quarters.

“However, the commission in the discharge of its statutory responsibilities enshrined under the  Electric Power Sector Reform (EPSR) Act, shall continue to undertake periodic reviews of electricity tariffs in accordance with prevailing tariff methodology.

`In all instances of such reviews and rule-making, the commission shall widely consult stakeholders and final decision shall be  taken with  due regard of all contributions,” he said. .

Arabi said that the commission wished to provide guidance that the minor review implemented by the commission was a retrospective adjustment of the tariff regime released in 2015

He said that this was to account for changes in macroeconomic indices for 2016, 2017 and 2018, “thus providing certainty about revenue shortfall that may have arisen due to the differential between tariffs approved by the regulator and actual end-user tariffs,” he said

 

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