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NNPC Pledges to Promote Gas Development

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NNPC - Investors King

The Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Dr. Maikanti Baru, has said the corporation will ensure the maximisation of the nation’s vast gas resources by incentivising all parts of the gas value chain.

He said the NNPC would support the Nigerian Gas Association to achieve its objectives of ensuring that the country derives maximum benefit from its huge gas resource base.

The GMD was quoted in a statement to have stated this while receiving the NGA delegation led by its President, Mr. Bolaji Osunsanya, at the NNPC Towers, Abuja.

He said as the midwife of the nation’s premier gas association in 1999, the NNPC had a moral and strategic interest in ensuring the continuous existence and sustained growth of the association.

“The NGA is a reflection of the development of the gas industry in Nigeria and they have contributed to the government in terms of advocacy and advice,” said Baru.

He described the theme of the forthcoming NGA conference, ‘Nigerian gas roadmap: potential for domestic, regional and global influence’ as quite apt at this period, especially with the country’s interests in the West Africa Gas Pipeline, Nigerian LNG Limited and the challenges in the power sector in the country.

Baru thanked the NGA for its advocacy in ensuring a review of the Production Sharing Contracts gas terms, adding that the NNPC was working hard to ensure the maximisation of the nation’s vast gas resources by incentivising all parts of the gas value chain.

“What I need from the NGA is a lot of advocacy and advice on whatever the sector requires. We will look at it, evaluate and see how best to make good use of it and drive the gas sector forward,” he said.

Osunsanya said the purpose of the courtesy visit was to stimulate the much-needed conversation on a range of important and diverse perspectives regarding natural gas development and its economic benefits to Nigeria and the support of the NNPC for the conference.

“Nigeria is slowly turning to gas as a primary driver of the nation’s development. The NNPC, directly and in proxy, holds a significant position in the development of the sector, which is a further indication that the NNPC has a prominent role to play,” he said.

He called for increased dialogue and cooperation between the association and the state oil company, adding that by aligning with each other, Nigeria’s huge natural gas resources could be explored as the viable option to crude oil in the face of the present economic realities.

Osunsanya thanked the NNPC and Baru for the unflinching support for the association and pledged the readiness of its members to work with the corporation in this regard.

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.

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Tesla’s Valuation Crosses $1 Trillion Mark After Hertz Orders 100,000 Vehicles

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Tesla Model 3 - Investors King

Price of Tesla stock rose by $115.18 or 12.66 percent on Monday after Hertz, an American car rental company based in Estero, Florida, ordered 100,000 Tesla electric vehicles in a deal worth $4.2 billion.

Four months after surviving bankruptcy, Hertz Global Holdings Inc. is strategically moving away from fuel cars to electrify its rental-car fleet.

According to Hertz, customers will be able to order Tesla Model 3 at airports and other locations in major U.S. markets and some cities in Europe starting from early November.

The announcement bolstered Tesla’s market value above $1.03 trillion before it moderated to $1.01 trillion at the close of business on Monday.

Tesla’s valuation has risen at an unusual pace since the COVID-19 outbreak. The company’s valuation jumped from $100 billion to $1 trillion in less than two years, according to data available on Dow Jones. It took Amazon, Apple and others more years to attain the same status. To put it in perspective, it took Amazon more than eight years to move from a $100 billion valuation company to $1 trillion.

Despite analysts saying Tesla is extremely overvalued and a series of price adjustments post-COVID-19 are predicted, Tesla Inc and Elon Musk, the company’s CEO and Co-founder, seem not to be slowing down.

Musk’s Tesla holdings, including vested and unvested options, were valued at around $297 billion as of Monday, October 25, 2021, according to corporate-governance data company Equilar Inc. Elon Musk’s holdings in Tesla is more than the valuation of Toyota Motor Corp., the second-largest automaker by market capitalization.

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Merger and Acquisition

Access Bank and African Banking Corporation Zambia Limited Merge to Deepen Presence in Zambia

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Access bank

Access Bank Plc on Monday announced it has signed a binding agreement with Atlas Mara Limited on a proposed merger between Access Bank’s subsidiary in Zambia, Access bank Zambia Limited and African Banking Corporation (Atlas Mara Zambia).

Upon completion of this prospective transaction, the Bank is expected to retain or increase its current shareholding in Access Bank Zambia, which following the merger will have over 70 branches and agencies, approximately US$1 billion in total assets and over 300,000 customers in Zambia.

The transaction will not require significant additional capital investment requirements from the Bank given the capital and other synergies created from the merger between Access Bank Zambia with Cavmont Bank in 2020. The proposed transaction is expected to be concluded in 2022, subject to fulfillment of conditions precedent including regulatory approvals in Nigeria and Zambia.

Commenting on the transaction, Dr. Herbert Wigwe, GMD/CEO of the Bank said, “This transaction represents another milestone that brings us closer to the achievement of our broader strategic objectives. The merger of Atlas Mara Zambia with Access bank Zambia is expected to augment our presence in Zambia and the broader COMESA region, Africa’s largest free trade area.

“We are particularly excited by the prospects of increased earnings contribution to the Bank from the enlarged Access Bank Zambia, which has also announced the appointment of a new Managing Director, Mr. Lishala Situmbeko, who brings over 25 years of cognate experience and deep local relationships into our Zambian operation.

“Today’s announcement is a testament to the strong confidence of the Zambian market in the Bank’s country and regional strategy as well as our strong confidence in the long-term prospects for the Zambian economy.”

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Merger and Acquisition

Verdant Capital Advises Baxi, a Leading Super-agent in Nigeria, on its Sale to MFS Africa

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Edmund Higenbottam, MD of Verdant Capital - Investorsking.com

MFS Africa is acquiring Baxi to expand its network into Nigeria, Africa’s largest economy and perhaps its most fintech dynamic market. Nigeria is also the largest remittance market in Africa representing one-third of intra-Africa remittance flows, and is home to the largest number of SMEs.

Verdant Capital views the two businesses as highly complimentary:  Baxi simplifies and integrates online and offline payments for SMEs and merchants in Nigeria through its omni-channel distribution network; MFS Africa simplifies cross-border payments, integrating payments via one hub. The transaction further extends Verdant Capital’s track-record of advising on transactions shaping the fintech sector in Africa.

The sale of Baxi is Verdant Capital’s fifth successful fintech transaction of the year, having advised Retail Capital, a leading tech-enabled SME-financier in South Africa on a USD 10 million capital raise; Zeepay, a leading pan-African digital remittance and mobile payments business on its USD 8 million Series-A and on its acquisition of Mangwee in Zambia; and Tugende, a leading tech-enabled SME-financier in East Africa on its USD 10 million Series-A.  The transactions cover West, East and South Africa.  In part because of its successful track-record in transactions in the fintech sector, as well as because of its leading private equity franchise, Verdant Capital was named the best independent advisor of the year, pan-Africa, by Africa Global Funds, for the second year running in October 2021.

Founded in 2014 by Degbola Abudu and Folu Majekodunmi, Baxi is one of Nigeria’s largest independent SME-focused electronic payment networks. Baxi provides a comprehensive range of services to the last mile including cash-in/cash-out, account opening, money transfer and bill payment. Through its network of more than 90,000 agents, Baxi processed over USD 1 billion in transactions in the first nine months of 2021.  Following the close of the transaction, MFS Africa plans to build Baxi into a key node on its digital payment network, allowing customers to make regional and global payments to and from Nigeria. MFS Africa also intends to expand Baxi’s proposition for offline SMEs to select markets within MFS Africa’s footprint of 320 million mobile wallets across more than 35 African countries.

Strong agent networks are the crucial interface for fintechs to reach Nigeria’s circa 100 million financially unserved or underserved population. Supporting and nurturing SMEs is crucial to Nigeria’s economy, as they contribute 50% of Gross Domestic Product and provide 76% of jobs (source:  Federal Ministry of Information and Culture).  With its presence in all 36 Nigerian states, Baxi fills a critical gap by providing informal SMEs and other unbanked Nigerians access to financial services.  Verdant Capital is proud to support the leading businesses that support SMEs across the Continent.

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