- Keystone Bank Empowers 100 SME Operators in Enugu
Keystone Bank Plc has partnered Enugu State government through its Ministry of Commerce & Industry to support 100 micro small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in the state.
The latest partnership, according to a statement from the bank was in line with its continuous economic empowerment campaign aimed at raising the bar of small businesses.
In the partnership, 100 entrepreneurs were recently endowed with a financial aid of N50,000 each to enhance their various trades which ultimately translates to a boost in the local businesses in the state and the economy at large.
Speaking at the event which held at the city square in Enugu, the Governor of the state, Mr. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, lauded Keystone Bank’s commitment and support of the crusade for MSME growth in the State.
The acting Managing Director of Keystone Bank, Mr. Hafiz Bakare, represented by the Head, South Directorate, Mr. Rowly Isioro, said: “Keystone Bank has been at the forefront of empowering MSMEs as they drive economic growth from the grass roots of the society. This he said also “helps to boost our drive for financial inclusion of the un-banked in Nigeria which is in line with Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) directive.”
Bakare stated that the importance of MSMEs to the development of the nation’s economy was significant, noting that they provide a means of employment generation, improvement of local technology, output diversification, development of indigenous entrepreneurship and forward integration with larger-scale industries.
“Today in Nigeria, many factors have contributed to the under-performance of micro enterprises and their contributions to economic growth. We at Keystone Bank seek to help bridge the gap by not only providing finance, but by offering financial advisory service through relevant platforms to assist in business growth,” he said.
Flour Mills of Nigeria Repays N51.64 Billion Series 2 Commercial Paper
Flour Mills of Nigeria Plc (FMN) has successfully repaid its N51.64 billion Series 2 Commercial Paper as revealed in a statement issued by the company.
This follows the earlier repayment of its N13.33 billion Series 1 Commercial Paper in August 2023.
Both the Series 1 and Series 2 Commercial Papers, totaling N64.97 billion, were initially issued on February 22, 2023, under FMN’s N200 billion Commercial Paper Programme.
The Series 1, with a yield of 13.0%, raised N13.3 billion, while the Series 2, with a yield of 14.0%, raised N51.64 billion.
FMN had launched its N200 billion Commercial Paper Programme on February 10, 2023, reflecting the company’s strategic financial planning.
The Group Chief Finance Officer, Mr. Anders Kristiansson, expressed satisfaction with the timely and successful repayment of the Series 2 Commercial Paper.
He emphasized FMN’s commitment to financial prudence and acknowledged the confidence placed in the organization by the investing public.
Kristiansson expressed gratitude to stakeholders for their continuous support, reiterating FMN’s dedication to delivering sustainable value and upholding the highest standards of corporate governance.
In addition to the successful repayment, FMN tapped into the market for its Series 3 Commercial Paper in June 2023, with subscriptions from banks and Pension Fund Administrators, contributing 39.7% and 40.8%, respectively.
The transaction was managed by FBNQuest Merchant Bank Limited as the Lead Arranger, with ChapelHill Denham Advisory Limited, FCMB Capital Limited, and United Capital PLC serving as Joint Arrangers.
African Airlines Projected to Cut Losses to $400m in 2024, Says IATA
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has forecasted a reduction in losses for Nigerian and other African airlines from $500 million in 2023 to $400 million in 2024.
The Switzerland-based IATA made this projection while presenting the global airline industry outlook in Geneva, Switzerland, on Wednesday.
IATA’s Director-General, Willie Walsh, shared the outlook, stating that global airlines are expected to generate approximately $964 billion in revenue in the coming year.
The report indicated that airline industry net profits are anticipated to reach $25.7 billion in 2024, reflecting a slight improvement over the projected $23.3 billion net profit for 2023.
Despite the challenges faced by the aviation industry in recent years, IATA sees the $25.7 billion net profit in 2024 as a testament to aviation’s resilience.
Walsh acknowledged the impressive speed of recovery but emphasized that the net profit margin of 2.7% remains below industry expectations.
IATA estimates that around 4.7 billion people will travel in 2024, surpassing the pre-pandemic level of 4.5 billion recorded in 2019.
However, Walsh highlighted ongoing challenges, including regulatory burdens, fragmentation, high infrastructure costs, and a supply chain populated with uncertainties.
He emphasized the need for the industry to build a resilient future, given its significant contribution to global GDP and livelihoods.
Fuel prices are expected to average $113.8 per barrel in 2024, accounting for 31% of all operating costs, totaling $281 billion.
Walsh concluded by expressing optimism about more normal growth patterns for both passenger and cargo in the post-pandemic era.
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