South African based Pick n Pay Stores Ltd. announced plans to enter Nigeria after posting a 26 percent increase in full-year profit.
The company said it agreed to partner with Nigeria Stock Exchange listed AG Leventis & Co. to enter the Nigerian market because of its over 90 years’ experience doing business in Nigeria.
“A key part of the group’s strategy is to establish a second engine of growth in markets in the rest of Africa,” the company said in a statement on Tuesday. Pick n Pay will hold 51 percent of the operation in Nigeria, “which will roll out a combination of large and smaller formats to meet consumer needs.”
Currently, South African retailers are experiencing weak domestic consumer confidence, a weak currency and rising interest rates. The central bank cut economic growth forecast for South Africa to 0.8 percent this year, the slowest pace since the 2009 recession.
While speaking to the press after the company’s year-end results, CE Richard Brasher said:
“The opportunity presented by Nigeria is well-known: a population of 180m, an economy worth US$500 billion, and GDP growth of around 5% a year. Some analysts forecast that by 2030 Nigeria could have 160m households with sufficient incomes for discretionary spending, and a consumer goods market worth more than US$1 trillion.
“The development of modern shopping malls since 2005 in a few major cities reflects rising incomes and changing lifestyle options enjoyed by middle class Nigerians. Existing formal players in this market have relatively little scale.
“Nigeria is a country and a market which Pick n Pay cannot ignore in its quest for long-term sustainable growth. The challenge of course is how to succeed in Nigeria. We can all point to examples which have not worked.
“I set three pre-conditions for success in the Nigerian market:
- First, we need to understand local consumer needs and how these are evolving in the country. We have done an enormous amount of research on-the-ground over the past two years to get this right.
- Secondly, given the complexities of the Nigerian market, we believe a joint venture with an experienced local partner is the right approach. I am delighted with our decision to enter Nigeria with AG Leventis, which has nearly 90 years’ trading experience in the country. AG Leventis has huge expertise in supply chain logistics from their activities in the FMCG, motor vehicle, logistics and real estate sectors, and notable FMCG capabilities through Leventis Foods.
- Thirdly, as elsewhere in Africa, our growth must take place in a deliberate, planned, and unhurried way, without putting the business under undue risk.
“Leventis is a family business with a similar operating ethos to that of Pick n Pay and I am confident that we have the right decision, the right partner and the right plan.”
AG Leventis Group Executive Vice Chairman and CEO Michael Economakis said:
Union Bank Announces the Appointment of Aisha Abubakar as Independent Non-Executive Director
Union Bank of Nigeria Plc (“Union Bank”) has announced a change to the membership of its Board of Directors with the appointment of Ms. Aisha Abubakar as an Independent Non-Executive Director effective 9th September 2021, following the approval of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
Ms. Abubakar joins the Board of Union Bank following her tenure as Nigeria’s Honourable Minister for Women Affairs and Social Development from 2018 to 2019. Prior to this, she also served as the Honourable Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment between 2015 and 2018. At the start of her career, Ms. Abubakar worked at Continental Merchant Bank Ltd., African Development Bank and African International Bank.
She is an accomplished public sector administrator with over three decades of professional experience in Public Service and Pension Administration, Investment Banking, SME Finance/Rural Enterprise Development and Micro-Credit Administration.
Ms. Abubakar is a Fellow of the International Professional Managers Association (IPMA-UK), and the President of the International Experts Consultants (IEC-UK).
Commenting on the addition to the Board, Mrs. Beatrice Hamza Bassey, Union Bank’s Board Chair said: “On behalf of the Board of Directors, I welcome Ms. Aisha Abubakar to the Board. She brings many years of robust experience which will be invaluable in supporting our efforts to steer the Bank forward and deliver on our strategic objectives.”
Also commenting, Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Emeka Okonkwo said: “I am pleased to welcome our new Independent Non-Executive Director, Ms. Aisha Abubakar to the Board. We look forward to drawing from her wealth of experience and fresh perspectives as we continue to execute our vision to be Nigeria’s most reliable and trusted partner.”
AfDB Approves $50M Trade Finance Deal with Standard Chartered Bank
The African Development Bank Group has approved a $50m Trade Finance Unfunded Risk Participation Agreement (RPA) for StandardChartered Bank.
This was contained in a statement titled ‘African Development Bank approves a $50m Multinational Trade Finance Risk Participation Agreement facility for Standard Chartered Bank’ published on the bank’s website on Wednesday.
The statement said, “The board of directors of the African Development Bank Group has approved a $50m Trade Finance Unfunded Risk Participation Agreement facility between the African Development Bank and Standard Chartered Bank.”
The essence of this agreement is to promote intra-Africa trade, ensure regional integration and lessen the trade finance gap in Africa.
“The agreement is expected to boost intra-Africa trade, promote regional integration, and contribute to the reduction of the trade finance gap in Africa, in line with implementation aspirations of the African Continental Free Trade Area,”
The bank’s Director for Financial Sector Development, Stefan Nalletamby, stated that “We are excited about finalising this facility with Standard Chartered Bank as it offers us the flexibility to use our strong AAA-rated risk-bearing capacity to increase access to trade finance and boost intra/extra-African trade on the continent, in support of the AfCFTA.
“This partnership is expected to catalyze more than $600m in value of trade finance transactions across multi-sectors such as agriculture, manufacturing and energy over the next three years.”
Director-General of the bank’s Southern Africa region, Leila Mokadem, was quoted to have said, “The advent of COVID-19, coupled with stringent regulatory/capital requirements and Know Your Customer compliance enforcement, has seen many global banks reduce their correspondent banking relationships in Africa, while some are exiting the market altogether.
“There is, therefore, an urgent need for financing to reenergise Africa’s trade, which requires more participation of institutions like the African Development Bank.”
The parties in the agreement are expected to share the default risk on a portfolio of eligible trade transactions originated by African Issuing Banks and indemnified by Standard Chartered Bank.
Beneficiaries of this facility are issuing banks in Africa with the ability to grow their trade finance business has been constrained by inadequate trade confirmation lines from international banks.
Other beneficiaries are small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and domestic firms which rely on these issuing banks to fulfill their trade finance commitments.
The RPA facility is aligned with the AfDB’s High 5 priority goals which are: light up and power Africa, feed Africa, industrialize Africa, integrate Africa, and improve the quality of life for the people of Africa.
Standard Chartered Launches Flexible ‘Smart Business Loan’ Product To Support SMEs
Standard Chartered on Wednesday launched its Smart Business Loan (SBL) product to support Small and Medium Scale Enterprise (SMEs) in Nigeria.
David Idoru, Head of Consumer, Private and Business Banking, of the bank in Nigeria, said in a statement in Lagos that SBL was an unsecured installment/term loan available to SME clients within key target sectors.
“Qualified SMEs would be able to access up to N20million loan, without providing tangible security/collateral to purchase asset, finance business expansion and other capital expenditure needs.
“This loan was designed to help SMEs meet their short to medium-term needs.
“As a Bank, our purpose is to drive commerce and prosperity in the locations we operate in. This is done through offering cash, lending, trade and wealth management solutions that specifically drive economic growth,” he said.
Idoru said that the bank was constantly looking for ways to ensure SMEs get access to the needed support to enable their businesses to thrive, adding that prior to the product launch, clients were required to provide full collateral cover to access loans from the bank, but SBL had been designed to provide the necessary flexibility to the clients.
“It is accessible to new and existing clients of the Bank with no waiting period, including small and medium scale organisations, who can access up to N20million in loans without collateral for a maximum tenure of two years,” he said.
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