Carlos Slim had a tough year, the worst among the wealthiest people of the world.
Since the start of 2015, the Mexican executive lost almost $20 billion, or about the size of Honduras’s economy, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. The shares of his America Movil SAB telecommunications giant are heading for their biggest decline since 2008. The company has suffered under regulatory pressures in Mexico, where it’s now forced to share the infrastructure that allowed it to dominate the mobile and fixed-line market for more than a decade.
Among conditions working against Mexico City-based America Movil are: a dismal outlook for Brazil’s economy, its second-biggest market; stronger competitors at home; and limited opportunities to expand in Europe. Slim, now the fifth-richest person in the world — down from third earlier this year — owns 57 percent of the company. The stock, down 18 percent this year, lost its long-held position as the most-weighted stock on Mexico’s benchmark index, making Slim the biggest loser among the world’s 400 wealthiest individuals.
“There really isn’t anything near-team to get investors excited so the focus has turned to the deteriorating profitability in the Mexican market,” Kevin Smithen, an analyst with Macquarie Securities USA Inc., said in an interview from New York. “You really need to see a more credible expansion strategy in Europe or evidence of a financial turnaround in Brazil” to boost stock prices.
An America Movil press official declined to comment.
The telecommunications company has relied on Brazil, Austria and the U.S. to expand, as regulation weakens the competitive advantage America Movil has enjoyed in Mexico, where it controls about 70 percent of all mobile phones and 62 percent of fixed lines. On top of that, AT&T Inc. bought two rival businesses in Mexico — NII Holdings Inc.’s Nextel Mexico business and Grupo Iusacell SA — pressuring prices and increasing the battle for users in its home market.
Mexico’s profit margin shrank to 40.3 percent in the last quarter from 44.8 percent a year earlier, based on earnings before interest, taxes, amortization and depreciation, and is estimated to fall again next year, according to a Credit Suisse Group AG report in December. While America Movil’s decision to spin off about 11,000 wireless towers for rent earlier this year is likely to lower debt, it’s small relative to the company’s size, according to the report.
“The change in telecom regulations in Mexico attracted competition, and now AT&T is investing heavily to create a strong mobile player in the country,” Credit Suisse analyst Daniel Federle said in the note. “Competition will get tougher in the following years.”
Nigeria Appoints Four Global Banks To Oversee Eurobonds Issuance
Nigeria on Wednesday appointed four global lenders, JPMorgan, Citigroup, Standard Chartered and Goldman Sachs as book-runners for its forthcoming Eurobond issue, according to the Debt Management Office (DMO).
The debt office also appointed Chapel Hill Denham as Nigerian bookrunner and FSDH Merchant Bank as a financial adviser.
It said in a statement that the Transaction Advisers emerged from an Open Competitive Bidding Process as outlined in the Public Procurement Act, 2007 (as amended).
According to the debt office, 38 institutions jostled for the transaction advisers but chose to select eight after “rigorous evaluation to ascertain the technical capacities of the responders to execute the Transaction.”
The Eurobonds are aimed at raising the external borrowing portion of the N5.6 trillion deficits in the 2021 budget put at N2.34 trillion.
“Whilst the government expects a successful outing, it will be mindful of costs and risks in terms of tenor and pricing in determining the amount of Eurobonds to issue,” the DMO said.
The DMO said proceeds from the bond sale will be used to fund various projects in the budget with the resultant inflow of foreign exchange into the country which will boost Nigeria’s dollar reserves and support the naira.
Nigeria had planned a Eurobond issue early last year after its sixth sale in 2018 where it raised $2.86 billion. But it decided to defer the 2020 sale due to the turmoil caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The National Assembly last month approved the external borrowing of about $6.2 billion through the issuance of a Eurobond.
The government has said it wanted to moderate debt servicing costs by accessing relatively cheaper funds abroad, as global interest rates fall below 2020 levels while local rates rise.
Nigeria emerged from its second recession since 2016 in the fourth quarter of last year, but growth is fragile.
The government expects a 2021 budget deficit of N5.6 trillion to be financed largely from foreign and local borrowings in equal proportion.
Nestle Nigeria Plc Appoints Two New Directors
Nestle Nigeria Plc has appointed Mrs Adebisi Lamikanra and Mr Ibukun-Okun Ipinmoye as non-executive director and executive director respectively.
According to a statement signed by the Company Secretary, Bode Ayeku, Lamikanra, whose appointment was approved by the board, has over 30 years of professional experience providing advisory and consulting services to various public and private sector entities within and outside Nigeria.
The statement said before her appointment, Lamikanra was the head of the advisory practice of KPMG Nigeria consisting of management consulting, deal advisory, technology advisory and risk consulting business units. She had also led the financial services sector across Africa.
Lamikanra has a degree in economics and is a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria. She attended various leadership programs over the years at Instead, Lagos Business School, Harvard Business School, Kellogg and many others.
She is currently the co-chair of Women Corporate Directors in Nigeria and the thematic leader for the non-banking sector for the Nigerian Economic Summit Group. She is a promoter of an NGO which focuses on providing employability training to Nigerian graduates.
On his part, the statement said Ipinmoye was currently the factory manager at, Agbara factory. He is a certified professional coach and a fellow of the Institute of Management Consultants.
He had joined Nestle Nigeria as a graduate trainee in 1993 and was appointed in 2016 to be the factory manager, Flowergate Factory, where he effectively built and sustained a high-performing culture at the factory.
He holds an M.Sc degree in biochemistry from the University of Ilorin and an M.Sc degree in management from Commonwealth Open University, United Kingdom.
FrieslandCampina Re-Launches Olympic, Coast Milk Brands
FrieslandCampina WAMCO, Nigeria’s foremost dairy company and makers of Peak and Three Crowns milk, has re-launched Olympic, Coast, and Nunu milk brands into the Nigerian market through the ‘Word twist’ campaign.
The new ‘Word twist’ campaign requires consumers to compose meaningful sentences with Coast, Olympic, and Nunu for a chance to win fantastic prizes.
For example, “You can now Coast to natural goodness like the fastest man alive cruises to Olympic medals with one Nunu milk a day in your meal.”
Omolara Banjoko, marketing manager, FrieslandCampina disclosed that the campaign became necessary following FrieslandCampina WAMCO’s acquisition of PZ Nutricima and its brands; Olympic, Coast, and Nunu.
“These brands have an existing portfolio across different formats with varied strengths in the different regions of the country. Hence, with this campaign, we plan to strengthen the perception of the brands leveraging FrieslandCampina WAMCO’s strong heritage” Banjoko said.
She further explained that FrieslandCampina is committed to bringing affordable and readily available quality dairy products to Nigerians and with the acquisition, it will be able to meet the growing demands of its consumers.
“Coast Milk promises natural goodness and therefore it is a perfect match that will work well with consumers who wish to stick to natural-made products.
“Adults have a myriad of responsibilities to attend to daily and with Olympic milk, they are assured of getting the right nutrients that will cater to their energy needs and active lifestyle,” she said.
“Nunu offers nutrient-rich milk that can conveniently be used by consumers and businesses looking to upgrade their everyday meal and intermediate products. Olympic, Nunu, and Coast milk are back like they never left and we encourage people to look out for the brands in their neighborhood” Banjoko added.
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