- NatanelFlorens’ Rent-to-Own Targets 250,000 Housing Units Per Annum
NatanelFlorens, the pioneer of the rent-to-own model of homeownership, plans to provide 250,000 homes annually when the system gets to its peak.
The Executive Director, Fund and Investment, NatanelFlorens, Mr. Oguche Agudah said to achieve this they plan to work with 50 developers who, on their own, could build about 5,000 to 10,000 housing units per annum. But as things stand, they are looking for developers who can build 500 housing units annually.
He said the company believes it could achieve this in the next three years, saying “The volume will justify for everybody what the value is.”
Agudah said, “NatanelFlorens is a purpose-driven company that was set up with the primary aim of ensuring that every Nigerian has opportunity to own a home.”
The company’s flagship project is Rent-to-Own, a homeownership product that seeks to enable people own homes simply by paying their rent, and without equity contribution.
Rent-to-Own, he said would reduce homeownership deficit and make the property market more efficient, particularly in driving demand. “Our proposition is beyond rent-to-own. What we are trying to do is to reshape the market for efficiency. The market today is distorted and that is why people can’t have homes. If you give Nigerians an opportunity to pay their rent and own their homes, they will embrace it.”
NatalenFlorens, he said had demonstrated this in the last two and half years to see that Nigerians actually embrace rent-to-own, after which they would define the roles of developers, banks, capital market, investors play in the proposition. “It is about effective demand.”
According to him, the first thing they have been able to do “is to show that rent-to-own is the way to go; an alternative system for owning homes, adding that they have been able to create effective demand.
“Another thing we have been able to do is to engage local and international investment banks on alternative instruments for real estate and we have been able to create that effective demand.”
He said currently, they had a long waiting list of people that are hoping to get their homes through rent-to-own. “We have been able to stimulate the market and whet people’s appetite to know that they don’t have to continue on rentals and live without owning a home.”
He said once the system became efficient, government would not need to fund real estate, explaining that “the money that they will use to fund real estate will be diverted to more critical areas.”
He said it was not about figures but to recreate the market to be more efficient, to show to people that there are other ways they could own homes without the typical mortgage, “to show to the banks that there is a way to lend to this market without taking risks, to show government that there is another way to support homeownership without putting money on the table and these are the impacts that you will see resonating in the economy itself.”
He said the impact of the system on the economy is enormous, particularly in reducing corruption, stating that the first thing people who steal buy is a house or other types of real estate. “If I know that I can own a home just by paying my rent every year through my salary, then why should I steal?”
The rent-to-own initiative is slowed by low housing stock but that would soon be addressed, Agudah said. “Demand outweighs supply because we are not producing as quickly as possible.
“We are now moving to the next phase of our business model which is to partner with developers and start rolling out homes. “We are developing the market and what you have seen us do in the last two and a half years is to show the way out of the problem and the next stage is to jerk up the supply and for us to do that 50,000 units annually the funding requirement is about N4 trillion.
“Nigerian banks can conveniently find N4 trillion for real estate but they want to be sure that the market has low risk, so rent-to-own takes care of the demand end of it.”
The system, he said is attracting investors from off-shore, adding that “today we have a developer with us from Turkey that will build a minimum of 5,000 housing units per annum and they are looking for more to develop. We also have a partner from South Africa that is willing to develop some housing units.”
“All we are trying to do is to increase the supply end,” adding that they would sign an agreement with Real Estate Development Association of Nigeria (REDAN) to improve the supply end, and once this was done housing deficit would decrease.”
An interesting aspect of the rent-to-own is that people can sell their option if they want to relocate to another city.
Prestige Assurance Grows Profit by 25.17 Percent to N776.500 Million in H1 2021
Prestige Assurance Plc, one of Nigeria’s leading insurance firms, grew profit after tax by 25.17 percent from N620.348 million recorded in the first quarter (H1) of 2020 to N776.500 million in the first half of 2021.
The insurance firm disclosed in its unaudited financial statement released on Tuesday and obtained by Investors King.
Gross premium written increased by 38.86 percent to N5.434 billion in H1 2021, up from N3.913 billion achieved in the corresponding period of 2020.
Net premium income also grew by 34.82 percent from N1.916 billion in H1 2020 to N2.584 billion in H1 2021. While underwriting expenses expanded to N2.262 billion in the period under review, up by 51.43 percent when compared to N1.494 billion filed in the same period of 2020.
Similarly, interest income jumped by 59.40 percent from N232.924 million in H1 2020 to N371.279 million in H1 2021. Other investment income and other operating income appreciated by 30.96 percent and 83.74 percent from N145.803 million and N7.264 million in H1 2020 to N190.947 million and N13.347 million in H1 2021, respectively.
Profit before tax inched higher by 14.22 percent to N970.624 million in H1 2021 from N849.792 million in H1 2020.
Profit after tax rose by 25.17 percent to N776.500 million in the period under review.
Total assets expanded to N19.423 billion in the first half of 2021, representing 4.96 percent when compared to N18.505 billion.
Basic earnings per share and diluted earnings per share grew by 25.17 percent each to N5.86 each.
Coca-Cola Creates Its First Collection Of Brand-Inspired NFTs
Coca-Cola has partnered with digital art and avatar company Tafi to launch its first collection of NFTs, or non-fungible tokens. NFTs are unique digital collectibles that exist on the blockchain and represent different types of files like images, audio, and video.
The collection, which Coca-Cola is offering to celebrate International Friendship Day on July 30, features an NFT “loot box” which contains digital wearables designed by Tafi.
Buyers can bid on the Coca-Cola Friendship Box, a digital version of a collectible vending machine, which comes with three one-of-a-kind digital assets: a custom Coca-Cola Bubble Jacket Wearable, which can be worn in virtual world Decentraland; The Sound Visualizer, which captures different audio cues like the pop of a bottle opening or the sound of the soda being poured over ice; and The Friendship Card, a digital design inspired by the company’s friendship-inspired trading cards released in the 1940s.
“Each NFT was created to celebrate elements that are core to the Coca-Cola brand reinterpreted for a virtual world in new and exciting ways,” said the president of the global Coca-Cola trademark, Selman Careaga. “We are excited to share our first NFTs with the metaverse where new friendships are being forced in new ways in new worlds.”
Besides the one-of-a-kind collectibles, the winning bidder will also have access to “additional unique and valuable surprises,” which will be unveiled when the loot box is digitally opened.
The sale, which will take place on popular NFT marketplace OpenSea, will open on July 30 and close on August 2. All bids must be placed with ETH.
All Coca-Cola proceeds from the auction will be donated to Special Olympics International, a global sports organization that provides children and adults with intellectual and physical disabilities, with year-round training and activities.
PiggyVest Acquires Savi.ng To Expand Operations
The Nigeria-based wealth management app giant, PiggyVest announced that it has acquired a smaller competitor Savi.ng.
Until the acquisition, Savi.ng was a wealth management app launched in 2018 that allowed users to save via various features like automated savings, fixed deposits, joint savings and PAYE.
According to the company, discussions to buy Savi.ng which started earlier this year has now been completed. However, the cost of acquisition was not disclosed.
Under the deal, all existing Savi.ng users will be automatically migrated to Piggyvest. Savi.ng was founded in 2018 by VFD Microfinance and currently has ten thousand plus downloads on Google Playstore. PiggyVest’s android app on the other hand has got one million-plus downloads.
Speaking on the acquisition, PiggyVest says it is in line with its vision of providing financial freedom for all. “It’s more of a team acquisition,” PiggyVest co-founder, Joshua Chibueze, explained to TechCabal over a call.
The team behind Savi are reputed to have solid expertise in finance and are savvy with financial tools. This talent quality prompted PiggyVest’s move to acquire the wealth management startup.
“Fintech is two things. Fin and tech. We believe we are as good at tech and customer acquisition so we need as many financial players as possible to consolidate what we are trying to do,” Chibueze adds.
The acquisition consolidates PiggyVest’s growth and capacity to dominate Nigeria’s hotly competitive savings and investment space. Last year, it paid back NGN90 billion ($220 million) to users which currently numbers up to 3 million.
The move also signals a positive trend for Africa’s local startup ecosystem – that it is possible to build for the sole purpose of selling to a larger player in the same sector.
Earlier this year, Piggyvest partnered uduX to help Nigerians invest in their favorite musicians. This shows how broadly the company is looking to expand its investment opportunities.
PiggyVest revealed that there are more acquisition announcements to come in the year.
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