- ARMHIF Invests $552m in Amandi Power Plant
ARM-Harith Infrastructure Investment Limited, manager of the ARM-Harith Infrastructure Fund, said after a successful investment in Amandi IPP transaction, it had commenced the construction of the $552m Amandi Energy Power Plant, a 200 megawatt combined cycle, dual-fuel power project in Aboadze, Ghana.
A statement by the project company, Amandi Energy Limited, said the Amandi IPP was the only large-scale base-load independent power generation project in sub-Saharan Africa that achieved financial close in 2016.
It stated that the Amandi project would be crucial in helping to meet Ghana’s growing power needs.
Once constructed, it said, the plant would be one of the most efficient power plants in the country and would produce more than 1,600 gigawatt hours per year, energising up to one million Ghanaian households.
It stated, “The $552m investment required for the Amandi project comprises $134m in equity from the sponsor group, which includes Endeavor Energy, Amandi Founder Group, Aldwych International, Pan African Infrastructure Development Fund 2 managed by Harith General Partners, and ARMHIF.
“The $418m in debt financing is provided by a group of lenders, including the United States government’s development finance institution, Overseas Private Investment Corporation, which has provided a $250m loan; the CDC Group Plc, which has provided a $83m loan; as well as Nedbank Limited and Rand Merchant Bank.”
Taken together with the $868m Azura-Edo IPP in Nigeria, for which financial close was achieved on December 28, 2015, it said the ARMHIF was investing in two significant power assets that would give further credence to the fund’s West Africa strategy.
It said the ARMHIF, through the two investments, had successfully helped close $1.42bn of infrastructure projects in West Africa.
“The ARMHIF has a robust pipeline of further deals under development, including a 100MW solar power IPP under development for northern Nigeria. Through the smart deployment of capital and management of infrastructure assets, the ARMHIF aims to make, in a profitable way for investors, a solid contribution to improving infrastructure in West Africa, and Nigeria,” it stated.
The Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, ARMHIIL, Opuiyo Oforiokuma, said, “We appreciate the confidence and support of our investors, especially the pioneering Nigerian pension fund investors in the ARMHIF who were the first pension funds in Nigeria to commit to an infrastructure fund.
“We see from examples around the world, and now in Nigeria, that pension funds are a viable source of funding for infrastructure. As the main source of long-term institutional savings in Nigeria today, valued at approximately $25bn, our pension funds are ideally suited to the long-term investment horizons over which infrastructure projects are typically implemented.”
SEC Warns Against Proliferation of Unregistered Investment Platforms
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has warned the investing public to be wary of the proliferation of unregistered online investment and trading platforms facilitating access to trading in securities listed in foreign markets.
SEC’s warning was conveyed via a circular issued in Abuja, Thursday to capital market operators.
It advised the investing public to seek clarification as may be required via its established channels of communication on investment products.
The circular read: “The attention of the SEC has been drawn to the existence of several providers of online investment and trading platforms which purportedly facilitate direct access of the investing public in the Federal Republic of Nigeria to securities of foreign companies listed on securities exchanges registered in other jurisdictions.
“These platforms also claim to be operating in partnership with capital market operators (CMOs) registered with the Commission.”
The Commission categorically stated that by the provisions of Sections 67-70 of the Investments and Securities Act (ISA), 2007 and Rules 414 & 415 of the SEC Rules and Regulations, only foreign securities listed on any exchange registered in Nigeria may be issued, sold or offered for sale or subscription to the Nigerian public.
Accordingly, the SEC notified CMOs who work in concert with the referenced online platforms of the Commission’s position and advised them to desist henceforth.
Public to seek clarification as may be required via its established channels of communication on investment products advertised through conventional or online mediums.
SoftBank Reaps $33 Billion Coupang Windfall
SoftBank Group Corp on Thursday racked up a roughly $33 billion gain on paper through the public market debut of South Korea’s largest e-commerce company, Coupang Inc, the latest sign of a dramatic turnaround for its $100 billion Vision Fund.
Shares of Coupang opened 81% above their offer price on Thursday, after the company raised $4.6 billion in the U.S. stock market’s biggest initial public offering this year.
SoftBank paid around $3 billion for a 37% stake in the company, according to sources familiar with earlier fund-raising, giving it a roughly $33 billion headline profit if prices hold.
Coupang’s hugely successful stock market launch is welcome news for SoftBank, which is grappling with the collapse of billions of dollars worth of funds linked to Britain’s Greensill Capital, a supply chain finance start-up.
Vision Fund is Greensill’s biggest backer.
The Japanese conglomerate last month reported third-quarter net profit ballooned more than 20 times thanks to a recovery at the Vision Fund, a huge venture capital operation famous for investing early in Uber and other tech industry startup successes.
Only a year ago, SoftBank had been smarting from the flopped IPO and collapse in value of office sharing firm WeWork, raising questions over whether Chief Executive Officer Masayoshi Son had lost his midas touch and threatening plans to establish a successor to Vision.
The COVID-19 pandemic has also forced Son to sell assets but a second deal reported by Reuters on Thursday bodes well for VF II, a second, smaller fund.
The $225 million late-stage funding round for healthcare startup Forward Health was its first major investment this year, following a pickup in activity and the group’s fortunes in the second half of 2020.
The Vision Fund also made $11 billion on a blockbuster market launch of DoorDash Inc in December, which valued the food delivery company at more than $70 billion.
It also made gains on home seller Opendoor Technologies Inc’s initial offering in December.
The fund still holds large stakes in China’s biggest ride-hailing firm Didi, as well as Uber’s Southeast Asian rival Grab.
SoftBank is also trying to ride the mania for special purpose acquisition companies, launching a handful of blank-check firms this year, although none of them have found investment targets yet.
Agence Francaise De Developpement (AFD) To €2 billion in Nigeria
The French Development Agency (AFD) is a development finance institution 100 percent held by the French government.
In Nigeria, it is mainly into financing infrastructure projects (water, energy, transport and agriculture).
It also involves financing related to the banking sector, governance and the cultural and creative industries.
Speaking to the media, the AFD Country Director Nigeria, Pascal Grangereau, said €2 billion was set aside to be sent on mainly road financing, water sector, improvement in electricity and agriculture.
He said €300 million was being spent on the Abuja Electricity Backup, a project in collaboration with Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) to improve electricity at the nation’s capital.
Grangereau said a total of €200 million is equally expended on the North West Electricity Backup.
On agriculture, he said vocational training is currently held across the nation to improve the skills of Nigerians.
He added: “We intend to finance agricultural projects in five states, Benue, Imo and three other states to the tune of €50 million.”
He lamented that while it was endowed with reserves of crude oil and natural gas, Nigeria is characterised by power generation considered by the Nigerians themselves as not adequate.
He said concentrating more than half of the installed electricity capacity in West Africa, only half of which was harnessed by the country, implying a very low per capita consumption, limited access to electricity and frequent load shedding.
He added: “The sector is of strategic importance for successive governments, with the launching in the 2000s of a vast reform, supported by a massive investment plan; which reform although supported by the donors is yet to achieve the expected results. The project aims to strengthen the electricity transmission network, natural monopoly under the responsibility of the public company TCN, thus laying the foundations for a long-term partnership with TCN.”
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