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Dollar Scarcity Forces Interswitch to Delay $1bn IPO

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  • Dollar Scarcity Forces Interswitch to Delay $1bn IPO

Interswitch limited has put on hold its plan to raise as much as $1bn in an initial public offering, following the persistent decline in naira value against foreign currencies as investors are reportedly wary of further weakness in the local currency.

The company which processes payments for banks and owns a brand of debit cards in Nigeria said last year it met with banks, including the Bank of America Corporation, Barclays Plc and Standard Bank Group Limited about a potential 2016 share sale in Lagos and London.

The IPO would have enabled the London-based private equity group, Helios Investment Partners LLP, a shareholder, to return some money to investors, Interswitch Chief Executive Officer, Mitchell Elegbe, was quoted by Bloomberg to have said in a December 16 interview.

“The macroeconomic situation in Nigeria is the determining factor” in delaying the plans, Elegbe said, adding that potential investors were “jittery” about the naira exchange rate and whether they would be able to buy foreign exchange to get their money out of the country.

Nigeria imposed a peg on the naira in early 2015 to protect the currency and conserve reserves in response to the plunging price of oil. The move starved lenders of foreign exchange and prevented companies from accessing enough dollars to import raw materials and repatriate profits.

The naira has slumped 36 per cent since the peg was ended six months ago, still more than 30 per cent stronger than the black market rate against the dollar.

A deal leading to a dual listing in London and Lagos could value Interswitch at more than $1bn, people with knowledge of the matter said in February.

While Interswitch will revisit the IPO plans, its focus now will be on expansion, targeting two East African countries to add to operations in Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Gambia, Elegbe said, without giving details.

Interswitch has issued more than 15 million payment cards in Nigeria and has grown this year even as the country slumped into a recession, Elegbe said, adding, “Nigerians are increasingly keen to use electronic payments.

Electronic payment penetration is less than 10 per cent in this country, so there’s still 90 per cent to go after. We’re ahead of our budget for the year.”

Interwswitch limited operates in five African countries.

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.

Banking Sector

Ecobank Nigeria Received N50 billion 10-Year Bilateral Subordinated Loan

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Ecobank Nigeria Received N50 billion 10-Year Bilateral Subordinated Loan

Ecobank Nigeria announced it has received N50 billion 10-year subordinated Loan.

Adenike Laoye, Group Head, Corporate Communications, Ecobank Nigeria, disclosed this in a statement released through the Nigerian Stock Exchange.

The statement read in part, “The bilateral funding provides stable medium-term liquidity to the balance sheet of Ecobank Nigeria and positively improved its balance sheet ratios, especially the capital adequacy ratio by circa 300 basis points.

The transaction proceeds would be deployed to support Micro, Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (“MSMEs”) and Small Corporates.

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Finance

Niger Insurance to Sell Property Worth N15bn in Recapitalisation Move

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Niger Insurance to Sell Property Worth N15bn in Recapitalisation Move

Niger Insurance Plc said it is working on a plan to sell off N15 billion worth of real estate and investment property to boost its cash flow and meet the liquidity requirements of the insurance industry.

Mr. Edwin Egbiti, the Managing Director of the company disclosed this during the company’s 2019 annual general meetings held virtually in Lagos recently.

He said, “Subsequent to the requisite approvals of the board on behalf of shareholders, a number of the company’s real estate and investment property valued at N15bn have been put on sale in order to improve liquidity/cash flows, ensure reserve adequacy and improve solvency margins.

“We are encouraged by the progress made so far, and confident that both capital restructuring and recapitalisation efforts will be successful in line with National Insurance Commission’s regulatory timelines.”

It added that Niger Insurance recognised that its people were the company’s most critical assets without whom its goals and plans would remain elusive.

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AMCON Takes Over Inducon Nigeria’s Assets Over N1.3 Billion Debt

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AMCON Takes Over Inducon Nigeria’s Assets Over N1.3 Billion Debt

The Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria has taken over the assets of Dr. John Abebe, the Chief Promoter of Inducon Nigeria Limited over N1.3 billion debt.

According to a statement signed by the Head, Corporate Communications Department, AMCON, Jude Nwauzor, and titled ‘N1.3bn debt: AMCON takes over assets of Inducon Nigeria Limited’ the decision followed the order of Honourable Justice Aikawa of the Federal High Court, Lagos.

In compliance with the enforcement order, AMCON at the weekend took effective possession of the property situate at Plot12, Block 108, Lekki Peninsula Residential Scheme, Lagos, through its debt recovery agent – Ogunsola Shonibare L.P.

“The court also ordered that the bank accounts of the company and its directors, Dr. John Abebe, Mr Olawole Fatimilehin and Ademola Buraimoh, be frozen pending the final determination of the suit.

The asset management corporation said the case of Dr. John Abebe and Inducon Nigeria Limited started shortly after the loan was procured by AMCON in 2011 during the first phase of Eligible Bank Asset purchases from the defunct FinBank, Now FCMB.

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