- European Investment Bank, UBA sign 60m Euro deal
The European Investment Bank and United Bank for Africa (UBA) have agreed to a new EUR 60 million lending programme to support private sector investment across Nigeria.
This represents the EIB’s largest ever loan to UBA and will allow UBA to provide longer term loans than currently available to private companies in Nigeria.
The new private sector lending programme was formally agreed on the side-lines of the World Bank Annual Meetings in Washington DC by Ambroise Fayolle, Vice President of the European Investment Bank and Kennedy Uzoka, Group Managing Director and Sola Yomi-Ajayi. Head of Global Financial Institutions at UBA.
“Private sector investment is crucial for creating jobs and ensuring sustainable economic growth. The European Investment Bank is committed to unlocking investment across Africa and we are pleased to build on past success to strengthen our partnership with UBA that will benefit projects across Nigeria.” said Ambroise Fayolle, Vice President of the European Investment Bank.
Speaking at the signing ceremony, Kennedy Uzoka, Group Managing Director, UBA, said “Our growing partnership with the European Investment Bank underlines our long term objective of facilitating the development and growth of African businesses. This facility will enable UBA bridge critical financing gaps for Nigerian companies and deepen our capacity to support their growth aspirations in the local and international market place”
Ambassador Michel Arrion, Head of the European Union Delegation to Nigeria and ECOWAS, described the programme as an example of the catalytic role the EU and its institutions like the EIB are playing to support Nigeria’s economic development. “We look forward to more fruitful partnerships with Nigeria, and particularly with the private sector, which remains the engine of economic growth,” he said.
This represents the first Nigerian operation under the European Investment Bank’s new dedicated Nigeria Private Enterprise Investment Facility, a wider million lending scheme intended to support private sector investment in the country. Under the new initiative private sector entrepreneurs and companies will be able to use loans with a longer tenor than traditionally available to invest and expand activities across a range of sectors.
The new loan will also fund capital expenditure by UBA to strengthen their support for private investment, through expansion of their branch network and improving information technology.
4DX Ventures, Flutterwave Invest in CinetPay, Payments Processor Company
CinetPay, a digital finance platform that enables merchants in Francophone Africa to seamlessly accept and make payments, has announced a $2.4 million seed fundraising round from 4DX Ventures and Flutterwave. The investment will boost CinetPay’s sales and marketing efforts across nine markets in West and Central Africa.
Since its 2016 launch in Côte d’Ivoire, CinetPay has processed over 30 million transactions for 350 active merchants in nine countries, including Côte d’Ivoire, Senegal, Cameroon, Mali, Togo, Burkina Faso, Benin and Guinea. CinetPay’s platform provides a single interface for businesses to process over 130 different payment operators, from mobile money to credit and debit cards and e-wallets, eliminating the need for merchants to spend months integrating with different systems in order to manage sales and revenues.
Used by a broad range of businesses from e-commerce platforms to digital public services, insurance companies and schools, CinetPay simplifies the process of accepting payments online or via mobile Point of Sale (PoS) devices with best in class security protocols.
By bringing Flutterwave onboard, CinetPay is building on a successful commercial partnership that has evolved since 2019, and this investment follows Flutterwave’s recent acquisition of Disha and marks the unicorn’s first direct investment in the region.
“For a first institutional investment, we couldn’t have asked for two better partners in 4DX Ventures and Flutterwave,” said Idriss Marcial Monthe, CEO & Co-Founder of CinetPay. “We’ve watched firsthand as thousands of merchants waste crucial time, even up to 6 months, getting their payment systems in order. Now we’ve got the resources to market and sell our optimal solution across the region and we’re excited to ensure that all businesses in our region never miss a sale again. We have selected highly strategic partners as investors and are excited about the immediate next steps we take together in terms of simplifying and improving digital payments in Francophone Africa.”
The rapid growth in a wide range of digital payments channels across the continent over the last decade has led to a disaggregated market. Two-thirds of global mobile money transactions are driven by users in sub-Saharan Africa, with 562 million registered accounts by the end of 2020, while the number of e-commerce users on the continent is expected to double from 281 million in 2020 to 520 million by 2025. This trend continues with public institutions as well, with more bodies now offering digital public services, such as payments for ID cards, Visas and COVID tests, and school fees, which are often paid digitally. With such a multiplicity of payments required across different verticals from a growing number of sources, CinetPay is fast building its presence in the region.
“We’ve been tracking the Francophone Africa market for some time now, and have been impressed by Cinetpay’s ambitious goal to digitize payments across the region,” said Walter Baddoo, Co-Founder and General Partner at 4DX Ventures. “The company has demonstrated deep product knowledge with a differentiated offering and a strong brand with customers. We look forward to partnering with the Cinetpay team alongside our long-time portfolio company, Flutterwave, to help usher in the next phase of digital payments across the Francophone region.”
“We’re building the payments infrastructure for Africa, making it easier for businesses to grow and expand their customer base on the continent and worldwide,” said Olugbenga Agboola, Founder and CEO at Flutterwave. “Having collaborated with the Cinetpay team for a number of years now, our shared vision to simplify payments on the continent further strengthens our commitments to working towards creating endless possibilities and experiences for all our customers. Cinetpay is well positioned for the next chapter of growth and we’re excited to work with the team to help scale the business to achieve maximum impact and value for its customers.”
Available on desktop and mobile, CinetPay is quick to set up and designed with a modular approach that integrates within a merchant website and accepts Mastercard, Visa and all major local mobile money in 9 markets from MPESA to MTN mobile money and Orange Money.
Additional Pension Fund Assets Invested in Banks in Third Quarter (Q3) of 2021
The National Pension Commission has released a new report on pension fund assets, which has shown that investment in Local Money Market Securities had more pension fund assets invested in banks than in papers through Open Market Operations, as well as fixed deposits of banks in the third quarter of 2021.
The report from the NPC also showed that the total invested fund placed with banks as a percentage of the total pension fund assets sat at 17.10 percent, which translates to N2.22 trillion in September, rising from 13.15 percent or N1.66 trillion in June 2020.
It showed that investment in commercial papers which constitutes about 0.5 percent of investment in pension fund assets, went down to N0.68 trillion from N0.72 trillion (which constitutes 0.57 percent).
The report also addressed corporate debt securities, stating that the amount invested in the space went up by 1.82 percent to N0.97 trillion in Q3 from the N0.95 trillion which it had recorded in Q2.
Cash and other assets which are responsible for 0.46 percent (or N59.79 billion) of the total pension fund assets in September 2021 also fell from 0.59 percent (or N74 billion) in June 2021.
All funds invested in real estate properties as a section of the total pension fund assets went down to 1.18 percent (or N153.4 billion) from 1.24 percent (or 156.88 billion) in the period which was under review.
Cowry Research analysts discovered that the increased investment by the Pesnion Fund Administrators (PFA) in bank placements was mainly to take advantage of the relatively high yields in the short term without gaining much exposure to the risk that is inherent in the money market.
The Cowry analysts stated that the increased activities of pension managers in the equities market throughout Q3 2021 was on the platform of an improvement in the performance of corporate organizations as the Nigerian economy continues its recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Verdant Capital Advises WIOCC on USD80 Million Equity Capital Raise
Verdant Capital has advised WIOCC Holding Company Limited (or “WIOCC”) on an USD 80 million equity capital raise. USD 75 million of equity was invested by CAPE IV, a fund managed by leading African private equity fund manager African Capital Alliance. The balance was invested by management and an existing shareholder.
The equity raised has been supplemented by a debt capital raise. The total capital raise of USD 200 million will be used to expand its connectivity within Africa and internationally, and through Open Access Data Centres (or “OADC”) – a newly created WIOCC Group company – to launch a network of pan-African data centres optimised to serve the needs of the cloud provider and wholesale community.
As well as introducing a strong new investor into the company, the capital will be used to support WIOCC’s expansion strategy across Africa and accelerate its investment in enhancing the continent’s digital infrastructure. Strategic investments in the new Equiano and 2Africa international subsea systems will augment and complement WIOCC’s existing core network infrastructure, cost-effectively adding multi-Terabits (Tbps) of capacity and significantly increasing its options for delivering the high-availability solutions demanded in markets across Africa. WIOCC’s terrestrial strategy, which includes deployment of metro and national networks in key locations, will be extended to include new countries and metropolitan areas, increasing its portfolio of end-to-end solutions for clients across Africa.
Part of the capital raise will be used in funding OADC, which is creating a transformational interconnected pan-African network of open-access, carrier-neutral data centres. First-phase locations will house key submarine cable landings in Lagos, Durban and Mogadishu, supporting the drive to land international submarine capacity directly into carrier-neutral data centres. Each will provide clients with bespoke colocation facilities and ultra-reliable, seamless connectivity directly into new international subsea systems, eliminating the costs and risks traditionally associated with terrestrial backhauling. Construction and fit-out is underway in Lagos and Durban, with both to be launched early in 2022, whilst the Mogadishu data centre will be ready before the end of 2022. Further phases of deployment will deliver more than 20 new data centres in strategic locations throughout the continent, focusing on major connectivity hubs in each country.
African Capital Alliance was attracted to the investment by the clear vision to develop high quality and synergistic assets and solutions to support its long-term client partnerships. The investments will further position WIOCC to take advantage of the accelerating migration of infrastructure and services into the cloud, driving demand for data transmission, storage and processing in wholesale, enterprise and consumer end-markets in Africa, and bringing forward realisation of WIOCC’s vision to make an enduring contribution to Africa’s communications.
The successful capital raise further strengthens Verdant Capital’s track record as a leading advisor on transactions for or involving pre-eminent private equity firms in Africa.
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