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E-Dividend: Banks Dare SEC, Charge Investors N3,150 Verification Fee

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Commercial banks in the country are flouting the directive of Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on the e-dividend iportal nitiative. While SEC directed that registration on the portal will be free for investors in the first 90 days, investigations reveal that some banks are charging investors as high as N3,150 to register on the portal. Financial Vanguard investigations reveal that some banks as at Friday, charged investors as high as N3,150 for verification and stamp on mandate form.

For example, Ecobank charges N3,150; First Bank N1,050; Zenith charges N1,000 while UBA and Union Bank charge no fee. The Director General of SEC, Mounir Gwarzo who expressed satisfaction with the level of success recorded so far with the enlightenment programme boost awareness about the portal. He urged investors to take advantage of the service and visit their registrars or banks to register.

“We have all agreed that this is the way to go. It is now left for the investors to go and register. We have agreed with all the stakeholders that for the first 90 days the registration is going to be free. After 90 days, anyone that wants to register will pay N100” “Once the e-dividend is in place, the issue of stale warrant will be of the past, the issue of travelling from one place to another to deposit the warrant will be a thing of the past; the issue of change of address will also be eliminated.

“The era of proceeds not being remitted for shares sold will be a thing of the past. The e-dividend platform with the use of BVN is what will give us that. Once we register for e-dividend, we will also benefit from the Direct Cash Settlement. Another advantage of the e-dividend is that it will provide a very robust KYC to the operator.

“It is because of lack of KYC that we find a lot of infractions in this market. With the BVN platform which the e-dividend is leveraging on, the KYC will now be very robust. People will not be able to use all sorts of identifications to claim what does not belong to them” “The era of stale dividend and huge unclaimed dividend in the market will be a thing of the past with the launch of e-dividend payment platform. The commission will conduct intensive training for bankers and registrars on the usage of the new portal,” Gwarzo stated.

E-dividend refers to the payment of cash dividend into a shareholder’s nominated bank through a direct credit rather than issuing a cheque or warrant. The e-dividend portal which was launched by SEC on July 29 last year has been designed for the use of banks and registrars to digitise the manual process of verification of shareholders’ account details and ensure efficiency in the enrolment process for e-dividend payment.

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and Investing.com, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.

Finance

Global Deal Activity Down by 4.5% in October 2020

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A total of 6,304 deals were announced globally during October 2020, which is a decrease of 4.5% over the 6,598 deals announced during September, according to GlobalData, a leading data, and analytics company. An analysis of GlobalData’s Financial Deals Database revealed that the deal volume during October remained below the monthly average of Q3 2020.

Aurojyoti Bose, the Lead Analyst at GlobalData, comments: “After demonstrating growth for four consecutive months, the deal volume shrank in October. The decline in deal activity could be attributed to inconsistencies across different regions. The APAC region remained a weak spot, while deal activity remained mostly flat in North America, and the Middle East and Africa (MEA) region witnessed growth in deal activity.”

North America attracted the highest number of investments, followed by APAC, Europe, the MEA, and South, and Central America.

The uncertain global economic landscape lowered the deal volume in October for major markets such as the US, Germany, Australia, France, India, and China compared to the previous month. On the contrary, the UK, Japan, South Korea, and Canada saw growth of 15.6%,14.9%, 3.8%, and 2.2%, respectively, in October as compared to September’s deal volume.

Bose continued: “Most of the deal types witnessed a decline in volume during October compared to the previous month. Private equity, equity offerings, venture financing, debt offerings, and partnership deals volume decreased by a respective 2.4%, 9.1%, 9.8%, 14.6%, and 24.6% – while the deal volume for mergers and acquisitions (M&A) increased by 7.2%.”

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Investment

Japaul to Invest in Chinese Firm H&H to Deepen Mining and Exploration Business

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Japaul Gold & Ventures Plc (Japaul), formerly known as Japaul Oil and Maritime Services Plc, announced it has gotten approval in principle from H&H Mines Limited to invest in or acquire shares in the company once it concluded its fundraising exercise.

According to a statement released through the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), H&H Mines Limited has several licenses, which include two major Mining Leases for 25 years renewable.

The statement noted that extensive exploration has been done on the Mining properties and the last lap of the exploration works is core drilling. This, it said will allow Japaul knows the measured Minerals Reserve contained in the Mine, which it claimed contain Gold, Silver, Lead, Zinc, etc.

Japaul further explained that the need to get the drilling done was what led H&H Mining to engage the services of Xiang Hui International Mining Company Nigeria.

“Since Japaul will eventually be part of H&H Mines Limited, it was necessary that Japaul is carried along on the kind of Contract of Drilling to be entered into, and that was why the signing of the Drilling Contract between the Chinese Company and H&H Mines Limited was concluded at Japaul’s Head Office,” the company stated.

The drilling is expected to be concluded in the next 12 months and within this time, Japaul is expected to have concluded the Fund Raising and formalise her involvement in the Mining.

The company added that Canadian reports revealed that there are huge gold, silver, lead, etc deposits, but it is drilling that will show the actual reserve.

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Africa Investment Forum (AIF) Rescheduled to Hold in 2021 – AfDB

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Investment Forum to Now Hold in 2021 in a Bid to Curb Possible Second Wave of COVID-19  

The Africa Investment Forum scheduled to hold in November 2020 in Johannesburg, South Africa has been rescheduled to hold in2021 as a result of the ongoing global health pandemic.

This announcement was made in a statement by AfDB on Wednesday. The African Development Bank (AfDB) and the Africa Investment Forum founding partners agreed to the postponement of the annual three-day investment market place.

Considering the negative effect of Covid-19 on the global economy, agreement by the two bodies was made after a careful assessment of the impact of COVID-19 on global travels, investments, observing the social distancing rules and curbing the likely possible risk of a second wave.

In the statement, the bank stated that through the forum innovative digital platforms, it would track investments, source for new deals, progress on financial closure of transactions and other existing deals.

“At the 2019 Africa Investment Forum, 57 deals valued at $67.7bn were tabled for discussions. Fifty-two deals worth $40.1bn secured investment interest.

“In July this year, the AIF Founding partners pledged to strengthen strategic partnership engagement and commitments for Africa Investment Forum Market Days 2021, to help ‘reboot investments in Africa.’ They underscored the need to boost local manufacturing while leveraging the continent’s vast resources to unlock investment.”

In the statement, Africa Investment Forum objectives are achieved through the forum’s four pillars; Closing, Connecting, Engaging and Investment Tracking.

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