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Oando Share Price Reaches Two Year High

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  • Oando Share Price Reaches Two Year High

Stocks hit a four-month high earlier this week, lifted by gains in Nigeria’s largest indigenous energy conglomerate, Oando PLC, and improved investor sentiment towards the country’s recession-hit economy. The stock market had gained N117 billion by Tuesday this week to extend a bullish eight-day run, while Oando rose by 131%, its highest level in 18 months.

Analysts at Afrinvest Limited said that the upbeat performance in the equities market was mainly driven by solid Q1 2017 earnings, as well as the knock-on effect of improved foreign exchange liquidity.

The upturn was significantly impacted by gains recorded in medium and large capitalised stocks. Oando, who remained at the top of the gainers list for five straight days led 33 other gainers on Thursday, May 9 including Access Bank, FBN Holdings, Guaranty Trust Bank, Dangote Cement, Nigerian Breweries, Okomu Oil, Zenith Bank and Stanbic IBTC.

Oando’s return to profitability and increase in share price is indicative of the successful implementation of its corporate initiatives focused on Growth across its operations; Deleverage via the divestment of non-performing assets; and Profitability, by focusing on dollar-denominated export earnings.

At the recently concluded Facts Behind the Figures session at the NSE, the ED Business Development, Nigeria Stock Exchange, HauraJalo-Waziri spoke positively to Oando’s FYE 2016 and Q1 2017 financials; also speaking was Oando PLC’s Group Chief Executive, Wale Tinubu “The challenge we faced was the economic and sector downturn, we came clean to the market, created a 5-point plan and successfully delivered on every part of that plan.”

The company deleveraged its balance sheet through the divestment of its upstream services company Oando Energy Services and embarked on the expansion of its retail and gas footprint through a strategic partnership with Helios Investment Partners and Vitol Group to recapitalize its downstream business for US$210 million and the US$115.8 equity buy-in of its Gas and Power business by Helios Investment Partners.

Oando acquired a N108 billion medium-term-loan with 11 Nigerian banks; this medium term 5-year consolidated facility, with a 3 year moratorium on principal, enabled the overall restructure of the Group’s obligations. Today, Oando’s borrowings have significantly reduced by 29% to N225.9 billion in the first quarter of 2017 from N355.4 billion in the first quarter of 2016 and its year to year return increased by 103.62% compared to the comparative period in 2016, quelling concerns of critics.

The successful deployment of the company’s five-pronged strategy is evident in its FYE 2016 results with a N3.5 billion profit-after-tax, a 107% increase from the loss of FYE 2015. A review of Oando’s results further show positive performance across all financial indices, turnover increased by 49% to N569 billion from N382 billion in FYE 2015, while EBITDA increased by 51% to N71.0 billion from N47.0 billion in FYE 2015, boosting investors and shareholders confidence in the company and its management team.

In Q1 2017, Oando’s turnover grew by 116% to N138.4 billion and gross profit by 53% to N13.4 billion compared to the first quarter of 2016. Profit-Before-Tax increased by 207% to N494 million compared to (N461 million) in the first quarter of 2016 while profit-after-tax decreased by 58% to N1.7 billion compared to N4.1 billion in Q1 2016.

“The first quarter earnings underscore our proactive decision to focus on our dollar denominated export businesses. Our resilience is evident in our capacity to grow via a diversified model, and as we continue to chart our deliberate path in this challenging business environment, we look forward to better performance in the quarters to come,” said Tinubu.

With the gradual decline in pipeline disruptions, increased efforts by the government to curb security issues in the Niger Delta, and an upturn in oil prices north of $50, the sector is optimistic of a near term recovery. “The plan is to go from 60,000boedp by the last quarter 2017 to 80,000 in 2018 and hopefully 100,000 by 2020. We also got approval from the president to repair, operate and maintain the Port-Harcourt refinery together with our partner Agip. We plan to increase the refinery capacity from 30% to a 100%, subsequently to 120%” the Group Chief Executive said at the NSE.a

The bullish performance of the NSE further affirms the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) projection that Nigeria’s economic growth would rise by 0.8% in 2017. The IMF said: “After contracting by 1.5 percent in 2016 because of disruptions in the oil sector coupled with foreign exchange, power, and fuel shortages, output in Nigeria is projected to grow by 0.8 percent in 2017 as a result of a recovery in oil production, continued growth in agriculture, and higher public investment.” This will in turn impact the economic growth of the country, projected to rise to 2.6 percent in 2017 and 3.5 percent in 2018.

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.

Business

PayPal Acquires Happy Returns Logistics Business

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PayPal announced that it’s acquiring Happy Returns, a returns solution provider that offers online shoppers access to easier ways to send back unwanted merchandise to retailers without having to box it up and ship it themselves.

The company today offers a network of over 2,600 drop-off returns locations in the U.S., including those in over 1,200 metros and in every U.S. state.

It also has relationships with hundreds of brands that have been using its returns software and reverse logistics services. The company says it will continue to offer its returns experience to online retailers and shoppers as a part of PayPal.

Founded in 2015, Santa Monica-based Happy Returns’ value proposition was to take some of the overhead and cost out of the returns process for online retailers. Because online shoppers can’t inspect items they buy directly, online retail tends to see higher return rates, especially in apparel. Happy Returns found that online items are 3 to 4 times as likely to be returned than those purchased in-store, for example.

Meanwhile, today’s retailers have to compete with giants like Amazon and Walmart, both of which enable returns more easily for their customers by way of their large brick-and-mortar footprints — Amazon with Whole Foods other locations, and Walmart with its own stores. In fact, the foot traffic that offering an Amazon returns desk or locker system in-store has led retailers like Kohl’s and Stein Mart to embrace the enemy by catering to shoppers with Amazon returns in their own stores.

Today, the Happy Returns solution offers a combination of software, services and logistics that allows retailers to manage their returns through their own retail stores, by the carrier, as well as through Happy Returns’ “Return Bar” locations. These are found in physical retail stores like Paper Source, Sur La Table, Cost Plus World Market, and others. The service has been used by several digitally native brands, including Everlane, Rothy’s, and Parachute Home, among others.

Happy Returns has also been closely working with PayPal throughout its history, it notes. And notably, PayPal made a strategic investment in the business in 2019, as part of an $11 million financing round.

Following the deal’s close, Happy Returns will continue to work with retailers and shoppers both on and off PayPal’s platform, it says. The company’s co-founders, David Sobie and Mark Geller, and its full 120+ team will join PayPal and will report to Frank Keller, VP Consumer In-Store and Digital Commerce at PayPal.

PayPal is not disclosing the deal terms. To date, Happy Returns had raised $25 million in funding.

“This is an incredibly exciting milestone for our company, and it would not have been possible without the hard work and dedication of our entire team,” an announcement on Happy Returns’ website reads. “We are so proud of what our team has accomplished and are grateful for the tenacity, creativity and empathy Happy Returns employees bring to work each day. We are confident that the best is yet to come, and are looking forward to our next chapter as part of the PayPal organization.”

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MoneyGram and Coinme Partner to Expand Access to Bitcoin

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MoneyGram International, a global leader in cross-border P2P payments and money transfers, and Coinme Inc., the largest licensed cryptocurrency cash exchange in the U.S., announced the launch of a new partnership to enable the cash funding and payout of digital currency purchases and sales.

The partnership, which utilizes MoneyGram’s modern, mobile and API-driven payments platform and Coinme’s proprietary cryptocurrency exchange and custody technology, will bring bitcoin to thousands of new point-of-sale locations in the U.S., with plans to expand to select international markets in the second half of 2021.

“This innovative partnership opens our business to an entirely new customer segment as we are the first to pioneer a crypto-to-cash model by building a bridge with Coinme to connect bitcoin to local fiat currency,” said Alex Holmes, MoneyGram Chairman and CEO. “Our unique, global network is an incredibly valuable asset, and we’re excited to open our platform to Coinme as we increasingly look to capture new growth by monetizing our network to new use-cases.”

Global cash on and off-ramps ensure access to bitcoin

The MoneyGram and Coinme integration will provide a fast and easy way for customers to purchase bitcoin with cash and withdraw bitcoin holdings in cash. It is specially designed for customers who may be interested in utilizing bitcoin for the first time. With less than 20,000 cryptocurrency kiosks in the world today, the MoneyGram and Coinme partnership will further expand access to bitcoin and potentially other digital currencies by creating thousands of new point-of-sale locations to buy and sell cryptocurrency.

“MoneyGram has spent more than 80 years building one of the world’s largest P2P payment networks,” said Neil Bergquist, Coinme CEO. “By integrating its global infrastructure with our licensed crypto exchange technology, we can enable the purchase and sale of cryptocurrencies across its system using cash. This is a major milestone for the bitcoin and cryptocurrency communities, and for the millions of people who will benefit from a trusted, easy and affordable onramp to digital currency.”

The service will be available at select MoneyGram locations starting in the U.S. in the coming weeks. Additional countries and cryptocurrencies will be made available shortly thereafter.

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International Breweries To Train 500 Young Entrepreneurs Through Kickstart Initiative

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As part of its commitment to bringing people together for a better world and its objective of delivering impactful, developmental and sustainable projects, International Breweries Plc through its social investment arm, International Breweries Foundation has launched the 6th edition of its Kickstart entrepreneurship programme recently.

The initiative is targeted at enterprise growth and development for young entrepreneurs between the ages of 18 and 35.

During a media briefing to update the public on the process of this year’s edition, Managing Director, International Breweries Plc, Hugo Rocha expressed delight that the Kickstart Initiative had evolved from the regional programme it used to be, to an inclusive national programme that reaches the six geopolitical zones and 36 states of Nigeria.

“Over the years, we have held the conviction that the energy, zeal, and brilliance of the youths of Nigeria who constitute about 70 percent of the total population should be tapped and channelled to productive use. This is the logic behind Kickstart – to promote a culture of entrepreneurship among young people through training, provision of capital and mentorship,” Rocha said.

Rocha concluded his remarks on a high note, stating that, “as International Breweries celebrates its 50th Anniversary this year, I am pleased that the results of a 3-year impact assessment study that we commissioned on Kickstart came out positive and gives us the confidence to continue to support young people to achieve their dream of entrepreneurship. We remain steadfast in our commitment towards the economic development of Nigeria”

Also speaking at the press conference, Chairman, Advisory Board, International Breweries Foundation, Peter Bamkole explained that International Breweries Plc and its foundation is dedicated to continuing to contribute its quota towards tackling the twin challenges of unemployment and poverty while promoting Decent Work and Economic Growth in line with Goad 8 of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (UNSDGs).

“By creating Kickstart, International Breweries Foundation set out to be the nursery of innovation in a business where budding enterprise managers are groomed—held by the hand and taken through the rigour of entrepreneurial work. We aim to produce well-rounded entrepreneurs who understand and are prepared to put in the work it takes to do business successfully in a unique climate like ours.” Bamkole said.

Over the past five years, the Kickstart initiative has provided training, mentoring, and seed capital of N325,136 million (in total) for 274 grantees; 708 direct beneficiaries and 2,832 indirect beneficiaries across a wide range of business sectors; with the result of the creation of about 571 jobs and 1,392 new jobs projected across the six geopolitical zones of Nigeria.

Speaking on the mechanics of the award, Legal and Corporate Affairs Director, International Breweries Plc, Temitope Oguntokun revealed that the award is in three phases: the application phase, the training phase and the pitch fest phase which is the final selection of grantees by judges.

She explained that the Kickstart Initiative will be incorporating an expansive training module that will train 500 young entrepreneurs online, with a number of them going into the bootcamp. This year’s edition also features a streamlined search for entrepreneurs into Agriculture, Modular Retailing, Circular Packaging (Recycling), Technology, and Renewable Energy sectors.

“After a transparent selection process on the Enterprise Development Centre (EDC) platform via the link, https://reg.smetoolkit.ng/program-apply/kickstart-nigeria-2021, which will open on the 20th of May, successful applicants will be equipped with critical skills and training on entrepreneurship by experienced entrepreneurs and corporate professionals during a 2-day boot camp. They will partake at the pitch fest where a panel of judges will appraise their proposals before final selection. Winners of the pitch fest will then be awarded grants at the awards ceremony in Lagos,” Oguntokun noted.

The press launch which held last week in Lagos had in attendance dignitaries such as the Director for Employment, Lagos State Ministry of Wealth Creation and Employment, Mrs Iyabo Seriki-Bello, Director of Partnerships and Coordination for Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria; Dr Friday Okpara; Chairman, Advisory Board, International Breweries Foundation, Mr Peter Bamkole; members of the International Breweries team, past Kickstart Alumni, mentors and a host of others joining online.

Following its trajectory of success, impact over the years, and its extensive yet immersive plans for the 6th edition, Kickstart, under the auspices of International Breweries and its foundation is geared towards transforming Nigeria into an economic powerhouse through the impact of entrepreneurship.

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