- Stanbic IBTC Pledges Support for Real Estate Investors
Stanbic IBTC Holdings Plc, a member of the Standard Bank Group, has indicated its preparedness to support individuals and businesses interested in long-term investment in the real estate sector given its growth potential.
It described real estate as a key investment class, saying the industry could play a catalytic role in driving growth and development of the economy.
The financial group made the declaration at the inaugural edition of the Nigerian Stock Exchange Real Estate Investment Trust Summit in Lagos. The event was co-sponsored by Stanbic IBTC.
Themed: ‘Real Estate Investment Trust in sub-Sahara Africa: The role of the capital market’, the forum brought together policymakers, regulators, government officials, private sector players, property developers, asset managers, dealing members, investors and thought leaders to share their experiences and explore growth potential and opportunities in the real estate market in Nigeria and sub-Saharan Africa.
The Chief Executive, Stanbic IBTC Capital Limited, Mr. Funso Akere, said in throwing its weight behind REIT and putting the sector on a stronger footing, the organisation was expecting to see exponential growth through the inflow of much needed capital from local and offshore investors.
Akere said Stanbic IBTC and Standard Bank Group would continue to engage stakeholders at different levels to develop a viable REIT market in Nigeria, adding, “Stanbic IBTC, given its deep experience and roots in Africa, has a duty of sorts to help highlight the huge potential in the real estate sector. By partnering other stakeholders, we desire to create a win-win situation for all stakeholders by leveraging on our expertise and experience.”
On his part, the Head, Real Estate Finance (West Africa), Standard Bank, Niyi Adeleye, pointed out that a well-structured and sustainable rental cash-flow was the most important driver of the value and quality of REITs and other real estate investments as opposed to the over-weighted attention on project construction cost, property appearance and perceived building quality.
According to him, real estate offers impressive returns and is quite helpful when an investor seeks to diversify, while also serving as a hedge against inflation.
Other speakers at the conference identified key areas that must be given priority to create investment grade real estate assets to include valuation, securitisation, liquidity, review of property and tax laws for equitable administration of the real estate sector, as well as institution of an efficient and transparent REIT legislation to govern the asset class.
They highlighted that achieving these core structural elements would lead to a more efficient and liquid REIT asset class, and thus be attractive to local and foreign investors.
The Chief Executive Officer, NSE, Mr. Oscar Onyema, described the REIT summit as an important platform for stakeholders to discuss the current state of the real estate market in Nigeria and to be acquainted with relevant emerging trends, strategies and policies.
Stanbic IBTC Capital is an investment banking franchise in Nigeria with capabilities in advisory, capital markets and financial arranging.
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.
SoftBank Reaps $33 Billion Coupang Windfall
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.
Agence Francaise De Developpement (AFD) To €2 billion in Nigeria
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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