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BoI Offers Women Entrepreneurs N13bn Loans

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Bank of Industry
  • BoI Offers Women Entrepreneurs N13bn Loans

The Bank of Industry has said its loan exposure to enterprises owned and promoted by women has hit N13bn, noting that plans are underway to improve access of related businesses to developmental financing.

It said this in a statement, adding that this was in furtherance of efforts to support the diversification programme of the Federal Government and create employment through empowerment of women entrepreneurs

The statement quoted the Managing Director, BoI, Mr. Waheed Olagunju, as saying this at an event tagged ‘Be bold for change’, to commemorate the 2017 International Women’s Day.

He said that there was a need for women-owned businesses to take bold decisions in driving growth as well as social and economic change.

Olagunju, who spoke through the Executive Director, Micro-Enterprises, BoI, Mrs. Toyin Adeniji, stated that though portfolio lending to women had doubled, denoting that women were doing a lot economically, there was a lot more to be done in improving women’s access to finance.

He said, “Women are playing a vital and key role in the economy. Women should be involved in policies and decision making in a world where they struggle to be seen and respected. Thirty per cent of registered businesses are led by women, a reflection of the fact that women are economic forces and drivers of social and economic change.”

One of the beneficiaries and Chief Executive Officer of SecureID Limited, Mrs. Kofo Akinkungbe, was quoted as saying that her firm had started a backward integration agenda to increase sourcing of raw materials locally.

Another woman entrepreneur and the Chief Executive Officer of ReelFruit, Affiong Williams, explained that the depreciating value of the naira had further promoted export among operators.

Similarly, the CEO of PathCare Laboratories, Dr. Pamela Ajayi, was quoted as saying that there was a need for government to prioritise the health and educational sectors for financing, considering the impact of the sectors on the nation’s well-being, adding that the lingering recession had further made businesses to renegotiate terms of trade and explore cheaper ways of doing business.

The Divisional Head, Large Enterprises, BoI, Joseph Babatunde, was said to have urged successful women entrepreneurs to promote mentorship as part of measures to improve the growth of women-owned businesses, while emphasising the need to encourage value-addition by many enterprises.

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.

Investment

FBNQuest Mutual Funds returns 104%

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FBNQuest Asset Management, a subsidiary of FBN Holdings, has held yearly general meetings for five mutual funds managed by the firm.

The funds are the FBN Balanced Fund, FBN Smart Beta Equity Fund, FBN Eurobond Fund, FBN Bond Fund and the FBN Money Market Fund.

The Fund Manager continues to deliver commendable results, as demonstrated by strong performance across all its funds.

The FBN Bond Fund was the best performing of the mutual funds, returning 104.20 per cent over five-year while its US Dollar fund, the FBN Eurobond, returned 48.43 per cent in US dollars over the same period.

The Managing Director of FBNQuest Asset Management, Ike Onyia, said: “Our strong performance track record is premised on the research capabilities, insights and experience of our portfolio management and research teams. Our mutual funds serve as useful investment options useful in formulating unique and value-adding investment strategies for various client segments. This is because our range of mutual funds cut across various asset classes including equities, bonds and money markets.”

“Our funds remain easily accessible, as our goal is to continue to drive financial inclusion and democratise wealth creation, by supporting the financiainclusion and democratise wealth creation, by supporting the financial security aspiration of investors” he added.

Increasingly, financial markets are becoming complex to navigate and as a result, it will not be out of place for investors to actively seek the inclusion of mutual funds in their investment portfolio, which will serve as the structured gateway to such markets. Seeking the help of experienced financial planners to assist you in establishing your risk tolerance levels and advise on suitable options is highly recommended.

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SEC Warns Against Proliferation of Unregistered Investment Platforms

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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.

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SoftBank Reaps $33 Billion Coupang Windfall

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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.

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