- Lagos Among Leading African Destinations on Fortune 500 List
Lagos has been identified as one of the leading cities in the Middle East and Africa for Fortune 500 companies seeking to do business in the region.
The Middle East Africa (MEA) region has become increasingly important for the majority of global Fortune 500 countries, according to a new report released by Infomineo, a global business research company specialising in Africa and the Middle East.
The report focuses on multinationals looking at entering, or already present, in the Middle East and Africa region.
Overall, there was a 17% increase in the number of companies in MEA in 2016 compared to 2015, with Johannesburg being the leading destination for Africa.
The Infomineo analysis includes the regional footprint of multinationals in the MEA region, the most commonly chosen cities, and the factors which influence the selection of the region, country and city – each element revealing the dynamic growth patterns within the region and a clear trend of Fortune 500 companies establishing some kind of presence in MEA.
In 2016, 196 Fortune 500 companies had established a dedicated regional headquarters in the MEA region.
In the Middle-East, Dubai is the most popular choice with 138 companies establishing a dedicated entity in the city.
There has also been a marked uptick in companies deciding to cover MEA from outside of the region – 38 companies up from 22 have established a regional headquarters in areas such as London, Brussels and Paris.
The leading destinations on the Fortune 500 list include Dubai, Johannesburg, Casablanca, Nairobi, Lagos, and Cairo.
Egypt remains behind the leaders due to political instability, however, it has seen a 250% increase in Fortune 500 investment since 2015.
Germany and France are leading in terms of coverage rate while China has the lowest presence in the region.
Industry type plays a pivotal role in the selection of city and country. Financial services are more likely to base MEA coverage from London, while technology companies are more inclined towards Casablanca or Lagos.
The latter city is also the premier location for organisations looking to manage their operations across Western Africa with 12 Fortune 500 companies already established in the region.
Automotive and Healthcare tend to have a presence in both Africa and the Middle East, while Technology is more inclined to having a presence from the outside.
Nairobi, in Kenya, is the leading destination for the FMCG companies and tends to be the top choice for organisations looking to service Eastern Africa.
Dubai and Johannesburg are the most popular hubs overall, but both Casablanca and Nairobi are rapidly gaining traction and international awareness.
Casablanca has the highest growth rate overall, while Dubai has the highest count.
The same can be said for London, which has tripled its number of regional HQs in the region, acting as an MEA hub.
Given the geographical proximity and the talent pool present in the city, it could be that London is playing the role of a first step into the MEA region, especially for Japanese and North American companies.
There are numerous factors which impact on the organisation’s selection of a specific city. These include the local market potential, maturity of the industry, existing competitors, political stability and the quality of the employment market, among others.
Determining the attractiveness of a location along these clear lines assures the Fortune 500 companies of a stable and profitable investment and significantly mitigates risk.
The most attractive cities are Dubai, Johannesburg, Casablanca and Nairobi, and at the lower end of the spectrum, Cairo, Paris, Algiers and Cape Town.
Custodian Investment To Raise $15M Additional Capital
Shareholders of Custodian Investment Plc yesterday gave their approval to the board of directors of the company to raise the naira equivalent of up to $15 million as additional capital through a convertible loan instrument.
The shareholders, who gave the approval at the 26th Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the group held in Lagos, also authorised the directors to convert the loan into shares in the company at a conversion price higher than N6.00 per share or the 12-month historical daily share price of the company derived from the Daily Official List of the Nigeria Exchange Limited (NGX)for the period ended March 23, 2021.
They hailed the board and management for reporting improved financial performance and returns on investment despite the adverse effect of the Covid-19 pandemic which disrupted global and local economies in 2020.
Sunny Nwosu, the founding Coordinator of Independent Shareholders of Nigeria (ISAN), commended the company’s performance and returns on investment. He, however, advised that the company should consider a bonus issue to shareholders because of the robust statutory reserves and regulatory requirements.
Also speaking, the President of Nigeria Shareholders Solidarity Association, Mr. Matthew Akinlade, said the performance was a very good one based on the financial indices.
Another shareholder, Mr. Adebayo Adeleke, commended the company for weathering the storm of 2020 and its challenging operating environment. He praised the company for the foresight of having a holding company which now enables it to make investment decisions easily.
The shareholders approved the final dividend of 55 kobo per share, bringing the total dividend to 65 kobo, having paid an interim dividend of 10 kobo last year.
Addressing the shareholders at the meeting, the Chairman of the board of directors, Dr. (Mrs.) Omobola Johnson, said, “I am delighted to report that our company recorded significant successes during the 2020 financial year despite the challenging operating environment, a fallout of the global Covid-19 pandemic and the resulting weak oil earnings, Naira devaluation and high inflation.”
She noted that the successes recorded by the company in 2020 was an affirmation of the robustness of the group’s business model, which allowed it to quickly adapt to the fast-changing environment, the astute leadership of the company supported by energetic employees using technology to efficiently provide prompt services to clients.
According to her, despite the challenges faced during the year under review, the group more than doubled its profits by posting a profit after tax of N12.69 billion as against N6.01 achieved in 2019.
FBNQuest Mutual Funds returns 104%
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.
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.
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