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FX repatriation programme requires right mechanisms to thrive — LCCI DG

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The race to US$200billion in foreign exchange repatriation (RT200 FX Programme) needs the right policies and other mechanisms to achieve desired results, Dr Chinyere Almona, Director-General (LCCI) has said.

Almona said this in a statement issued to newsmen on Monday in Lagos, following the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) announcement of the scheme, which is exclusively from non-oil exports and over the next 3-5 years.

Commending the scheme, Almona said it requires critical export infrastructure, international trade diplomacy, and adequate funding.

She said there is the need to also enlighten the public, especially experienced and potential exporters, on the terms and conditions around these facilities and programmes to enhance the participation of the business community.

“One major challenge in Nigeria’s export chain is the unstructured procedures that cause delays, corruption, and rejection of exports.

“These facilities should be well directed to process targeted products in which Nigeria has some comparative advantage such as sesame, cashew, cocoa into finished goods.

“The reason for the low FX revenue from exports is due to the export of primary unprocessed commodities.

“Nigeria must take bold steps to establish a trading system that supports the seamless flow of trade.

“It must establish the necessary infrastructure, create needed awareness toward exploring the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA),” she said.

The LCCI DG, however, urged the CBN to exercise caution in its interventions in various sectors of the economy as this indicated an element of a dysfunctional economic system.

She noted that under the CBN’s targeted credit facility, the apex bank had intervened with more than N2trillion support to agriculture.

Almona explained that more investment should be made in critical infrastructure to ensure the repayment of these facilities.

“Currently, there are many credit facilities extended to farmers and manufacturers that may suffer non-repayment due to the high cost of production.

“Beyond the loans to support value addition to our exports, there is an urgent need to improve the export infrastructure at our ports.

“There is the need to create more digital platforms to reduce the human interface for exports and formulate the right policies.

“To this end, we urge the government to accelerate the plan to build domestic export warehouses by the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC).

“The concern of the Chamber is that without infrastructure, the grants may end up as lost ventures.

“There should be deeper stakeholder consultation and collaboration with the organised private sector in the implementation of this programme,” she said.

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Naira depreciates by 0.17% against dollar at official market

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The Naira on Thursday slightly depreciated at the official market trading at N1,476.24 to the dollar.

Data from the official trading platform of the FMDQ Exchange, revealed that the Naira lost N2.58.

This represents a 0.17 percent loss when compared to the previous trading date on Tuesday when it traded at N1,473.66 to the dollar.

Also, the volume of currency traded reduced to $92.68 million on Thursday down from $385.91 million recorded on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, at the Investor’s and Exporter’s (I&E) window, the Naira traded between 1,500 and N1,400 against the dollar.

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Money market

GTCO issues Notice of Proposed Offering

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By Seun Ibiyemi

Guaranty Trust Holding Company Plc (GTCO PLC) has filed a preliminary “red herring” prospectus (Red Herring Prospectus) with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in connection with a proposed offering for subscription of ordinary shares of 50 kobo each in its share capital (the Ordinary Shares) to raise gross proceeds of up to N500 Billion (the Proposed Offering).

The number of Ordinary Shares to be offered and the price range for the Proposed Offering have not yet been determined.

According to the notice cited, the notice is issued in reliance on Rule 283 of the Rules & Regulations of the Securities & Exchange Commission, Nigeria. The notice read in part, “This notice does not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy any securities. Any offer, solicitation or offer to buy, or any sale of securities will be made only by a prospectus duly registered by the Securities and Exchange Commission, Nigeria (SEC) in accordance with the provisions of the Investments and Securities Act, No. 29, 2007 (the Act) and the rules and regulations of the SEC made pursuant to the Act (the SEC Rules).

Stating the purpose of the proposed offering, the notice further read that, “The net proceeds of the Proposed Offering will be used for (i) the growth and expansion of the GTCOPLC Group’s businesses. Such planned growth and expansion will be effected through investments in technology infrastructure to fortify existing operations, the establishment of new subsidiaries and selective acquisitions of non-banking businesses; and (ii) the recapitalisation of Guaranty Trust Bank Limited”.

Identifying the target investors, the notice read that, “The Proposed Offering is structured as an institutional offering targeted at eligible investors and a retail offering within Nigeria (the Nigerian Tranche) and a private placing to persons reasonably believed to be qualified institutional buyers outside Nigeria (the International Tranche)”. The Proposed Offering is anticipated to open by July, 2024.

The filing of the Red Herring Prospectus was undertaken with a concurrent filing of a preliminary universal shelf registration statement. The universal shelf registration will permit GTCOPLC to establish a multi-currency securities issuance programme (the Programme) to issue various types of securities, or any combination of such securities, in one or more offerings, from time to time, to raise proceeds in an aggregate amount of up to U.S.$750 million (or equivalent amount in Nigerian Naira) in the Nigerian/international capital markets during the validity period of the Programme.

The Proposed Offering is expected to be the first issuance under the Programme.

For a caveat, the notice read that, “This notice does not constitute an offer of securities for sale in the United States or to U.S. persons (“U.S. persons”), as such term is defined in Regulation S promulgated under the United States Securities Act of 1933, as amended, (the U.S. Securities Act). The Ordinary Shares being offered have not been, nor will be, registered under the U.S. Securities Act or any state securities laws, and may not be offered or sold in the United States or to U.S. persons absent registration or an applicable exemption from such registration requirements”.

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NDIC lists Heritage Bank’s head office, other assets for sale

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The Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation has listed the head office in Lagos and branches of failed Heritage Bank across the country for sale in its role as liquidator of the bank.

NDIC announced the sale of the bank properties numbering 48 and its chattel including vehicles, office equipment, plant, and machinery in another 62 locations across the country in an advertorial published on Thursday.

“The Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation in the exercise of its right as Liquidator of failed Deposit Money Banks hereby invites interested members of the general public to buy the assets (landed property and chattels) of defunct Heritage Banks through public competitive bidding,” part of the advertorial read.

The head office of the bank and its annex located at 143 Ahmadu Bello Way and 130 Ahmadu Bello Way, Victoria Island, Lagos was listed for sale (buildings, chattels, generator, and motor vehicle). Also listed for sale were six other branches in Lagos, four branches in Abuja, four in Rivers States, and the others spread across the country.

Interested parties are invited to come for an inspection and subsequently put in bids on the assets to be submitted to the NDIC office in Lagos.

Bids are expected to come in with 10 percent of the bid amount in Certified Bank Draft. Successful bidders will be required to pay the balance of the bid price within two weeks of notification.

Earlier, the corporation announced the commencement of the verification and payment of the depositors of the bank with N5m or less in their accounts. This category of customers makes up about 99 per cent of the bank customers.

The Managing Director of the NDIC, Bello Hassan, at a media briefing on the liquidation of Heritage Bank in Abuja last Wednesday, put the total depositors at Heritage Bank at 2.3 million.

Hassan noted that the total bank deposits at Heritage Bank stood at N650 billion  while its loan portfolio was about N700 billion.

In announcing the revocation of the licence of Heritage Bank, the apex bank in a statement signed by the Acting Director of Corporate Communication, Sidi Ali, said, “This action has become necessary due to the bank’s breach of Section 12 (1) of BOFIA, 2020. The board and management of the bank have not been able to improve the bank’s financial performance, a situation which constitutes a threat to financial stability.

“This follows a period during which the CBN engaged with the bank and prescribed various supervisory steps intended to stem the decline. Regrettably, the bank has continued to suffer and has no reasonable prospects of recovery, thereby, making the revocation of the licence the next necessary step.”

Stakeholders in the sector have gone on to express confidence in the decision of the CBN in the overall interest of the sector.

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