- Lagos Secures $100m from French Agency for Urban Projects
The Lagos State Government has secured a whopping sum of $100 million from a French financial institution, Agence Française de Développement (AFD), to implement its strategic integrated urban development projects tagged Eko Urban Project (EKO-UP).
Consistent with its urban renewal programmes specifically designed to provide strategic infrastructure projects and unlock traffic congestion in the metropolis, the state government has secured right of way for the expansion of Alapere- Agboyi- Ketu road.
The Commissioner for Economic Planning & Budget, Mr. Akinyemi Ashade disclosed the N100 million credit facility in the text of a recent news conference he held at the Bagauda Kaltho Press Centre, Alausa, Ikeja, noting that the urban projects “are already on-going.”
Ashade noted that the Federal Executive Council approved a credit facility of $100 million for integrated urban development projects referred to as Eko Urban Project from the AFD.
In February 2015, the commissioner added that the facility agreement was signed by the AFD and the Federal Ministry of Finance on behalf of the state government.
He said the slum upgrading programme “is being coordinated by the Lagos State Urban Renewal Authority in Ifelodun and Bariga LCDAs. Proposed investments include the construction of drainage infrastructure, roads, street lighting, schools and public health care centres.”
In Ifelodun LCDA, the commissioner said the state government proposed to construct a detention basin, implying the resettlement and compensation of 2,260 persons in the area.
He said part of the credit facility would be used “to enhance the management and treatment of solid waste in Lagos State. A sum of $53 million has been earmarked for the construction of new waste management infrastructure that will be managed by the Lagos State Waste Management Authority (LAWMA).”
He said proposed investments included the reclamation of an open dump in a suitable location within the state and construction of a new sanitary land fill company with international sanitary and environmental standards including a biogas collection system.
On the road expansion, the Commissioner and Urban Development, Mr. Abiola Anifowoshe said the state government had already secure right of way of Alapere-Agboyi-Ketu road in line with its policy to provide more infrastructure to free traffic along the axis.
He explained that the project “is a four-lane road with 18.6m width inclusive of a carriageway. It will see to the development of Oluwakemi and Ajiboye Streets with ingress into streets from Alapere to Agboyi. It will channel traffic from Alapere to Agboyi and Ikorodu area.”
He said the owners of affected structures had been engaged and notified and offered opportunity “to remove their wares and salvage their property before demolition would take off.
“We run an inclusive government. We cannot embark on any removal of structures without convening a stakeholders’ meeting with the affected people and communities. We met stakeholders recently. Interestingly, they embraced the idea which led to this development.
“We know what it takes to put up a structure so we have planned this project and pledged minimal removal. It is all in the overriding public interest and the economic growth and development of the community and Lagos State as a whole,” he explained.
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.
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.
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