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Afreximbank, CDP sign MoU for €200m facility to support food security interventions across Africa

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Cassa Depositi e Prestiti S.p.A (CDP) Italy, the official Italian financial institution for international development cooperation and Africa Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) have signed a new financing facility worth €100 million to support the Bank’s interventions in food security and climate-smart agriculture in Africa.

The financing adds to an initial commitment from CDP of €100 million, lifting the total financing from CDP to €200 million. The two financial institutions also entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to foster synergies between Italian and African companies.

The partnership was announced during the inauguration of CDP’s new office in Cairo, the first operational headquarter of the Italian institution in Africa. Executive Vice President of Afreximbank, Haytham ElMaayergi, and Chief Executive Officer of CDP, Dario Scannapieco signed the agreement.

The new financing from CDP will be used to provide support, either directly to eligible African enterprises, or indirectly through local financial intermediaries. Some of the projects that will be financed will include those related to local production and import of essential soft commodities such as cereals and fertilisers.

Commenting on the event, Mr. ElMaayergi said that the facility would support Afreximbank’s drive to increase food production in its member countries and would also help Africa to achieve food security through private sector intervention. Additionally, it will support the development of alternative food channels, including increasing investments in climate-smart agriculture, to increase food yield and provide resilience to businesses in the food and agriculture space.

He added that “the MOU will promote collaboration between Italian and African enterprises and will bring Africa and Italy closer with the aim of promoting intra and extra-African trade.”

“The collaboration,” he said, “includes co-financing of eligible transactions with sovereigns, corporates and financial institutions in Afreximbank’s member countries, and the organisation, participation and promotion of matchmaking events with African stakeholders and local business communities in Italy, or any of Afreximbank’s member countries.”

On his part, Mr. Scannapieco said, “Food security and the resilience of agricultural supply chains are key issues for the development of the African continent, as also highlighted by the initiatives undertaken by the Italian government with the Mattei Plan.

“Through collaboration with Afreximbank, CDP will be able to guarantee resources to local SMEs operating in these sectors, while at the same time favouring the creation of opportunities for Italian companies. This commitment will further be reinforced through the opening of our new office in Cairo, which confirms the centrality of Africa in CDP strategy.”

This new facility will enable Afreximbank to provide timely and necessary support to its member countries through businesses in the food security space and bolster management of supply chain crises, particularly around soft commodities. This will in turn contribute to the stabilisation of food security and the diversification of supply sources in Africa.

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Fidelity Bank opens N127.1bn combined rights, public offer to investors

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Fidelity Bank Plc, on Thursday opened its offer for Rights Issue and Public Offering of its shares by way of combined subscription, totaling N127.1 billion, to meet the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN’s) recapilisation directive.
Dr Nneka Onyeali-Ikpe, the Managing Director of Fidelity Bank, announced this at the Bank’s Facts Behind The Combined Offers, presented to capital market stakeholders on Tuesday in Lagos.
Onyeali-Ikpe said that the acceptance and application lists for the rights issue and public offer, which opened on June 20, would close on July 29.
She explained that under the rights issue, 3.2 billion ordinary shares of 50 kobo each was offered in the ratio of one new ordinary share for every 10 ordinary shares held as of Jan. 5, 2024, at N9.25 per share, totalling N29.6 billion.
For the public offer, the managing director stated that 10 billion ordinary shares of 50 kobo each was offered to the general investing public at N9.75 per share, totalling N97.5 billion.
“Fidelity is the first to launch this offer out of the many, following the recapitalisation announcement by the CBN in march.
“The bank has already started the process of raising additional capital ahead of the CBN’s directive, requiring banks to raise minimum capital base of N200 billion for national banks.
“Also, N500 billion for banks with international operation like ours, amongst other capital requirements.
“This did not come as a surprise to us. Our capital raising process was practically initiated after obtaining approval from our shareholders in August 2023.
“The exercise is part of our strategic growth plan to raise additional capital to meet our growth needs,” she added.
The managing director lauded the CBN recapitalisation directive, adding that it presented a significant opportunity for a stronger and more resilient banking industry.
Onyeali-Ikpe said that the proceeds from the capital raise would be instrumental in achieving the bank’s strategic growth plan.
According to her, the proceed will  expand the bank’s s footprints within and outside Nigeria to serve as a product customer base and  unlock new market opportunities.
She said that the financial institution was also committed to leveraging proprietary technology to improve operational efficiency and deliver exceptional customer service.
By investing in IT infrastructure and product distribution channels, Onyeali-Ikpe said that the bank aims to diversify its earnings base through digitalisation and business expansion.
“The offer will increase our capacity to support our customers and their businesses.
“In summary, this capital raise will help our customers to grow their businesses to thrive, and the economy to prosper.
“We appreciate the NGX for their continued support and for providing us a platform to raise capital to achieve our goals,” she said.
Commenting, Mr Ahonsi Unuigbe, Chairman, NGX, lauded the bank’s board and management on the capital raise initiative, saying it underscores its dedication in enhancing its operational efficiency and market presence.
Unuigbe said that the combined offer was a testament to Fidelity Bank’s unwavering commitment to strengthening its own capital base and ensuring sustainable growth.
He added that NGX, as a business enabler, is committed to providing platform that supports issuers and market participants in achieving their business objectives.
In his address, Mr Jude Chiemeka, Acting Chief Executive Officer, NGX, commended the bank for choosing the platform to communicate its financial performance, operational developments and strategic plans to undertake the capital raise.
Chiemeka stated that such accurate, accessible and timely information was essential to stimulate market activity and underscored the bank’s dedication to providing relevant information to the market.
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DMO re-opens 3 bonds worth N450bn for subscription by auction

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The Debt Management Office (DMO), on Thursday announced a re-opening of three FGN savings bonds worth N450 billion for subscription by auction.

Announcing the offer in Abuja, the DMO said that the bonds were offered at N1, 000 per unit subject to a minimum subscription of N50 million and in multiples of N1, 000 thereafter.

The first offer, as announced by the DMO, is an April 2029 FGN bond valued N150 billion, at an interest rate of 19.30 per cent per annum. (Five-year re-opening)

The second offer is a February 2031 FGN bond worth N150 billion at 19.50 per cent interest rate per annum. (Seven-year re-opening)

There is also the May 2033 FGN bond worth N150 billion at an interest rate of 19.89 per cent per annum. (nine-year re-opening)

According to the DMO, the auction date is June 14, while the settlement date is June 26.

It said that interest was payable semi-annually while bullet repayment (principal sum) would be made on maturity date.

“For re-openings of previously issued bonds, successful bidders will pay a price corresponding to the yield-to-maturity bid that clears the volume being auctioned, plus any accrued interest on the instrument,” It said.

The debt office said that FGN bonds were backed by the full faith and credit of the Federal Government, and charged upon the general assets of Nigeria.

“They qualify as securities in which trustees can invest under the Trustees Investment Act.

“They qualify as government securities within the meaning of Company Income Tax Act and Personal Income Tax Act for tax exemption for pension funds amongst other investors.

“They are listed on the Nigerian Exchange Limited and FMDQ ODC Securities Exchange,” the DMO said.

It also said that FGN bonds qualified as liquid assets for liquidity ratio calculation for banks.

The N450 billion FGN bond offer constitutes the local component of the government borrowing plan, to bridge the nine trillion Naira deficit in the 2024 budget.

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Kerosene price stood at N1,450.35 in May — NBS

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The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) says the average retail price of a litre of kerosene increased from N1,439.64 recorded in April 2024 to N1,450.35 in May 2024.

The Bureau said this in its Kerosene Price Watch for May 2024, released in Abuja on Wednesday.

It said the May price of N1,450.35 represented a 0.74 per cent increase compared to what was obtained in April 2024 at N1,439.64

The report said the average price per litre of kerosene increased on a year-on-year basis by 20.26 per cent from N1,206.05 recorded in May 2023 to N1,450.35 in May 2024.

On state profile analysis, the report showed that Benue recorded the highest average price of N1,790.92, followed by Kaduna at N1,769.65 and Cross River at N1,722.94.

“On the other hand, the lowest price was recorded in Katsina at N1,230.81, followed by Kwara at N1,260.07 and Jigawa at N1,263.91.”

The NBS said the analysis further showed that the North-Central recorded the highest average retail price per litre of Kerosene at N1,534.12, followed by the South-West at N1,488.97.

It said the North-East recorded the lowest average retail price per litre of kerosene at N1,408.41.

The report said the average retail price per gallon of Kerosene paid by consumers in May 2024, was N5,196.69, indicating a 0.43 per cent increase from the N5,174.23 in April 2024.

“On a year-on-year basis, the average price per gallon of kerosene increased by 23.49 per cent from N4,208.27 recorded in May 2023.

On state profile analysis, it showed that Kano recorded the highest average retail price at N6,900.28, followed by Adamawa at N6,295.63 and Yobe at N6,140.17.

On the other hand, the report said Kwara recorded the lowest price at N4,235.42, followed by Delta and AkwaIbom at N4,320.39 and N4,362.81, respectively.

Analysis by zone showed that the North-East recorded the highest average price per gallon of Kerosene at N5,951.06, followed by the North- West at N5,560.03.

“The North-Central recorded the lowest average price per gallon of kerosene at N4,659.73 ,” the NBS said.

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