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Lagos, Chinese Investors Inject Fresh $64m into Lekki Free Trade Zone

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  • Lagos, Chinese Investors Inject Fresh $64m into Lekki Free Trade Zone

Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode yesterday disclosed that the state government and China Africa Lekki Investment Limited (CALIL) would inject $64 million into Lekki Free Trade Zone before the 2017 fiscal year runs out.

Likewise, the Chairman of Lekki Free Trade Zone Development Company, Mr. Biodun Dabiri disclosed that $6 billion had been invested into the zone in the last one year alone.

Ambode disclosed the injection of fresh N64 million inspecting the facilities at Lekki yesterday, noting that the injection of the fund would serve as equity from both parties and help attract more investors to the zone.

Of this huge fund, the governor said Lagos was expected to provide $15.01 million while CALIL would inject $49.88 million into it, as their counterpart funding into the project.

On the disparity in the equity by both parties, he stated that the state had 40 per cent investment while the Chinese firm would have 60 per cent ownership of the project.

When completed, the governor said that the project would help boost the State Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

“This place will help to reduce unemployment and capacity for the future.

I want to assure that our financial commitment to Lekki Free Trade Zone (LFTZ) will be improved in 2017. We will accelerate to quickly clear our outstanding counterpart funding for the zone. In essence, we expect that in the next six month.

“We should be having an investment of over $60 million. I believe that when we invest our share of the fund and CALIL does, it will bring a major development for the zone. Putting the fund here at this time in our country will improve the infrastructure and boost development.”

Ambode said the huge fund would help fast-track the construction of alternative roads for the zone, noting that it was obvious that a single road was not sufficient for the zone.

He said: “It is also now clear that we have to dualise the Lekki-Eleko road beyond the zone, in order to withstand the influx of vehicle that will be making use of the road to access the zone. With this, we will be able to sustain the investment in the area.”

Ambode lamented that communal issues experienced at the zone had been responsible for the delay in the actualisation of the project, adding: “But in the last one year, we have had a peaceful atmosphere here.”

He said that construction on LFZ sea port would take off next month, urging the contractor handling the project “to adhere to the earlier stipulated duration.

“The port is very critical to us. We will have more investors if the port is completed. It is very critical to the development of the zone and if not developed, there may not be return on investment made into the zone.

“We want to implore them (contractor) to adhere to the time frame earlier stated. Where we do not see traction, we may be compelled to take a review of what that agreement is all about,” Ambode added.

Also speaking during the inspection, Dabiri put the total investment the Lekki Free Trade Zone attracted in the last one year at $6 billion.

He, therefore, urged the state government to urgently address its present challenges, for it to open its vision of diversifying earnings, generating more employment opportunities and attracting foreign direct investments (FDIs).

Also, the Managing Director of Lekki Free Zone Development Company, Ding Yonghua, disclosed that $1.1 million profit was made from the zone in 2016.

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

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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Agence Francaise De Developpement (AFD) To €2 billion in Nigeria

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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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