The African Development Bank (AfDB) and Fortis Microfinance Bank (Fortis) yesterday signed an agreement for a N1 billion facility to be used for lending to small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Nigeria.
A statement from the AfDB explained that the partnership with Fortis is expected to boost Nigeria’s private sector development through financing of projects that are strategically aligned to the country’s development agenda.
AfDB Country Director in Nigeria, Dr. Ousmane Dore underscored the importance of strengthening micro finance initiatives, adding: “Unless those at the bottom of the pyramid have access to finance, poverty will remain a major development issue.’’
He re-affirmed the bank’s commitment to promote inclusive, private sector-led growth and employment creation in Nigeria and across the continent.
Speaking during the signing, Fortis Managing Director and CEO, Tiko Okoye said the deal was significant as it underscored the firm’s desire to empower SMEs in the country.
“The collaboration with the AfDB has added a significant boost to the realisation of our dreams of empowering more Nigerian households through the SMEs.
“SMEs across all climes are the engine of most economies, Nigeria and Africa inclusive. A more formidable SMEs sector will lead to a stronger Nigerian economy,” he added.
China’s State-Owned Lenders Allocate $8 Billion to Revitalize Property Market
China’s state-owned lenders have committed a substantial $8 billion in loans to rejuvenate the country’s beleaguered property market, aligning with Beijing’s directives to bolster the sector.
Agricultural Bank of China Ltd. disclosed approving over 40 billion yuan of loans for real estate projects on predefined white lists, signaling a proactive approach towards supporting the housing market’s recovery.
China Construction Bank Corp. also joined the effort, extending 3 billion yuan to five property projects, with plans to greenlight over 20 billion yuan in loans soon.
Industrial & Commercial Bank of China Ltd. and Bank of China Ltd. are among the institutions offering financing assistance, although the exact loan amounts remain undisclosed.
This initiative follows Beijing’s recent call for local authorities to enhance financing support for developers and curate lists of eligible projects.
In response, the big four state lenders pledged to meet reasonable financing demands from developers and projects identified under the coordination mechanism.
However, China’s property market faces challenges despite these measures. New home sales plummeted 34.2% year-on-year, underscoring the ongoing slowdown.
While existing home transactions surged during the Spring Festival holiday, new home sales remained subdued, prompting a cautious outlook among buyers.
The infusion of $8 billion aims to instill confidence and stimulate activity in the property sector, potentially heralding a gradual recovery amid persisting market uncertainties.
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Nigeria’s One-Year Treasury Bill Oversubscribed by 300%
Nigeria’s one-year treasury bill was oversubscribed by 300% during the recent Primary Market Auction conducted by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on Wednesday.
The auction, aimed at rolling over maturing Nigerian Treasury Bills worth N1 trillion, saw unprecedented demand for the one-year T-bill.
Investors offered a total of N1.87 trillion for the N600 billion on offer, indicating a significant appetite for government securities. Out of the total subscriptions, N908.75 billion was allotted, with stop rates set at 19%.
The auction covered maturities across three different tenors: 91-day, 182-day, and 364-day bills, with varying amounts on offer.
While the 91-day bill received N39.90 billion in offers, all were sold, and the 182-day bill garnered N76.83 billion subscriptions, out of which N51.35 billion was allotted.
Managing Director of Arthur Steven Asset Management, Tunde Amolegbe, attributed the remarkable performance of the one-year bills to investor confidence in the current government and its reform initiatives.
He highlighted investors’ preference for higher rates due to signals from the CBN indicating tightening monetary policies amid accelerating inflation.
Experts view the oversubscription as a testament to investors’ trust in the government’s reforms and management of the country’s debt obligations.
The auction reflects a move by the CBN to address liquidity in the financial system while managing Nigeria’s debt obligations effectively.
The significant oversubscription signals robust investor confidence and highlights the attractiveness of Nigerian government securities despite prevailing economic challenges.
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