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Afreximbank Stresses Importance of Intra-Africa Trade

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  • Afreximbank Stresses Importance of Intra-Africa Trade

African Export-Import Bank has emphasised the importance of intra-Africa trade, saying it has potential to transform the economy.

The Managing Director of the Intra-African Trade Initiative at the African Export-Import Bank, Kanayo Awani, specifically said Egypt could be a front runner in transforming intra-African trade and boosting innovation and industrialisation on the African continent.

He spoke in Cairo during the opening of a one-day workshop on intra-African trade, organised by Afreximbank.

Awani said that despite current low trade figures, opportunities abounded and there were many areas in which Egypt could expand its trade with the rest of Africa.

She said, “With the new significant policy shift toward export promotion, especially within Africa, and capitalising on regional trade agreements, like COMESA and the upcoming Continental Free Trade Area, an improved and dedicated shipping line from Sokhna Port to Mombasa, quality and competitive Egyptian products and services, Egypt can transform its trade with Africa and become a major trade partner.”

Egypt could expand its export trade in textiles, electricity, utilities and construction services, said Awani, who added that there were opportunities to boost pharmaceuticals exports to Nigeria, and furniture to Kenya, as well as to import beef from Sudan and fruits and vegetables from East Africa.

The managing director said that Afreximbank had engaged with Egyptian businesses last year in order to address their trade finance needs and to identify the trade facilitation issues they faced as they tried to expand into existing African markets or to enter new ones.

She explained that the bank decided to organise the workshop in order to respond to some of the concerns that had been expressed by the businesses and to share some of the bank’s interventions that responded directly to the issues raised.

Awani added that Afreximbank’s relationship with Egypt dated back almost 25 years, saying that since its inception in 1993, the bank had disbursed credit facilities in excess of $17.5bn in support of Egyptian corporates and financial institutions.

She added, ”That included funds disbursed through the Counter-cyclical Trade Liquidity Facility, which addressed financial liquidity gaps arising as a result of adverse economic shocks, and the Egypt-Africa Trade Promotion Programme, launched in January 2015 to help Egyptian entities tap into the rapidly expanding trade and investment opportunities in the rest of Africa.”

Afreximbank’s Chief Economist, Dr. Hippolyte Fofack, said that stronger intra-African trade was the path for leading African countries to take advantage of growth opportunities which, until recently, had been the preserve of non-African multinational companies.

According to him, a number of growth opportunities exist for Egyptian investors across sectors and regions, including in manufacturing industries, pharmaceutical and chemical industries as well as infrastructure and telecommunication.

The chief economist argued that the relatively low performance of intra-African trade, which was largely due to high product concentration, deficit of trade information and skewed direction of investments, offered tremendous opportunities for growth, taking advantage of economies of scale offered by the region which was set to become the fastest growing and largest market in the world, with its population projected to double by 2040.

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.

Banking Sector

CIT Microfinance Bank Disburses Over N16bn Loans

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CIT Microfinance Bank Disburses Over N16bn Loans

CIT Microfinance Bank Limited says it has disbursed about N16bn loans since it commenced operations as part of its contributions to the financial sector and empowerment of businesses.

The Managing Director of the microfinance bank, Mr Kingsley Eremionkhale, disclosed this during the company’s 10th anniversary in Lagos recently.

He reiterated that the bank was committed to supporting the growth of small and medium-scale enterprises in the country.

“Since inception, we have disbursed loans worth about N16bn. Our operation is not just about profit-making, but we have impacted many lives, empowered many businesses, and done a lot in terms of our core mandate as a microfinance bank.”

While appreciating its customers who had been loyal to it for years, he said it was concerned about their business success.

The managing director said, “We are part of our customers’ businesses. We provide services beyond lending and savings products and we also give financial advisory services.”

He appreciated the customers who had stayed with the financial institution for many years.

The managing director noted that the MfB is a state-licensed bank operating in Lagos, and a subsidiary of Capitalfield Investment Group.

He also attributed the success of the MfB to the board of directors which it said had been supportive, the management team and its workforce in the past 10 years.

While saying that the bank could lay claims to exponential growth, he said the public should expect more from it.

He also said that it was driving its operations through its digital offerings and our e-channels, to improve its services to our customers.

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Finance

FMDQ Approves Valency Agro’s N5.12bn Commercial Paper

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FMDQ

FMDQ Approves Valency Agro’s N5.12bn Commercial Paper

FMDQ Securities Exchange Limited has announced the approval of the quotation of the Valency Agro Nigeria Limited N5.12bn Series 1 Commercial Paper under its N20bn CP Programme on its platform.

The Exchange said in fostering the development of the Nigerian debt capital markets, it had continued to avail its credible and efficient platform as well as tailor its listings and quotations services to suit the needs of issuers and registration members through innovative and uninterrupted service delivery.

It said in a statement on Thursday that the Valency Agro Nigeria CP debut issue came at a time when the Nigerian economy was bedeviled with soaring food prices, amidst compounding challenges of insecurity.

It said the agricultural sector and its attendant transformation agenda had never been more important in driving increased and sustainable production of agricultural products as well as the derived foreign earnings through exports.

The Exchange said the proceeds from the issue of the CP would be applied by Valency Agro towards meeting the mid-term working capital requirements of the various agricultural produce under its portfolio such as cashew, sesame, cocoa and in value addition prior to export.

The Executive Director, Valency Agro Nigeria Limited, Mr Sumit Jain, was quoted as saying, “We are thankful to our investors towards showing their faith in our agenda to grow the agriculture-focused business with a clear aim to maximise value addition and create employment opportunities in Nigeria.

“We would also like to commend the efforts made by FBNQuest Merchant Bank Limited’s team to build the reach and FMDQ for their unconditional support for the industry”.

The Head, Capital Markets, FBNQuest Merchant Bank, Mr Oluseun Olatidoye, said, “FBNQuest Merchant Bank Limited is delighted with the successful debut of the N5.12bn Series 1 CP issued by Valency Agro Nigeria Limited. This reiterates our effort to enable underserved sectors access the debt markets, optimise their capital structure and further deepen the domestic capital markets.

“We are proud of the instrumental role FBNQuest Merchant Bank played in this transaction and appreciate the trust the management of Valency Agro placed in us to assist them. Our clients remain our priority, and we strongly believe their success is our success.”

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Banking Sector

Sterling Bank Approves Audited Financial Statements for 2020

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Sterling Bank

Board of Sterling Bank Approves 2020 Audited Financial Statements

The Board of Sterling Bank Plc said it has approved the audited financial statements for the year ended 31, December 2020.

The lender said the approval was done at a meeting held on 23rd February 2021.

Details of the financial statements will be released upon approval of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Sterling Bank stated in a statement filed with the Nigerian Stock Exchange on Thursday.

It said “We are pleased to inform our shareholders and other stakeholders that the Board of Sterling Bank Plc at its meeting of 23rd February 2021 approved the audited Financial Statements for the year ended 31st December 2020 subject to the approval of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

“Kindly note that details of the Financial Statements will be communicated to you upon approval of same by the CBN.

“Consequently, the closed period for trading in the shares of the Bank by its insiders which commenced from 8th February, 2021 will continue until 24 hours after the Audited Financial Statements for the year ended 31st December, 2020 are released on the floor of the Nigerian Stock Exchange.”

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