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Real Estate Recorded Marked Improvement in H1 —Report

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  • Real Estate Recorded Marked Improvement in H1 —Report

In the first six months of 2018, the Nigerian economy as a whole experienced significant improvements and this was also the fate of the real estate sector, a new report by Northcourt, a real estate investment solutions company, has said.

The various subsectors — residential, retail, office, hospitality and industrial – experienced stabilisation of rents, revival of some suspended projects and the commencement of new ones, in stark contrast to H1 2017, the report noted.

It added that the improvement was evident in the prices of building materials that dipped or remained constant when compared with last year’s.

“This is expected and understandable, seeing that foreign exchange rates have stayed fairly stable for about 12 months now and is readily available,” the report added.

According to the research, the residential market showed improved price stability and levels of activity in comparison to H1 2017, even though it is fairly high while vacancies still exist in the high to mid income locations.

It explained that as land prices and other construction costs soared, developers continued to stay competitive by intensifying land use, reducing plot sizes, car parks and built-up areas in a bid to supplement the decline in profitability caused by weakened prices since 2016/17.

The creativity by developers, the report noted, brought about general improvement in design and finishing features provided in recent developments, adding that the quality of materials and workmanship could be improved as it remained a major differentiator.

The office market in Lagos, Abuja and Port Harcourt continued to struggle in the review period, the report stated, noting that rents either stayed or declined to remain competitive, while the security risks and environmental hazards in Port Harcourt sent office rents to its lowest in over five years.

It added that Grade-A office vacancies in particular remained high, “and it appears the economy would need to strengthen much more to reverse this trend. The wait for the global brands looking to open up shop in Grade-A signature addresses worthy of their presence may be taking too long.”

As it has been the case for some time now, the report found that retail continued to struggle with the shrinking middle class and the dwindling purchasing power of consumers.

“However, with the exchange rate stabilisation, planning around operational costs and profit projections is much more feasible for retailers. Local investors, emboldened to make further investments, softly opened the Next Mall in Port Harcourt and The Atlantic in Lagos,” it stated.

It added, “Vacancy rates largely reduced across the Grade-A malls. The Palms and Ikeja City Mall had the lowest vacancies at zero and two per cent, respectively. Novare Mall came in at 28 per cent, down from 47 per cent at the end of 2017. Artee’s Port Harcourt Mall, Big Treat and Genesis Centre had eight per cent, 15 per cent and 25 per cent, respectively.

“Ceddi Plaza and Gateway Mall in Abuja recorded 21 per cent and 38 per cent, respectively. Abuja’s largest mall – Jabi Lake (20,000sqm) recorded the highest vacancy rate in city – 40 per cent due to a number of stores that closed down in Q1 and high rentals.”

According to the report, the good news from the sector is however that while some international investors find business conditions less favourable and are instead pursuing retail interests in Eastern Europe and Eastern Africa, local high networth individuals who are not disturbed by currency risks, amongst others, are moving into the retail space to make large-scale investments.

The Director, Real Estate Research and Advisory, Northcourt Real Estate, Ayo Ibaru, stated that players in the real estate market started the year with plans to maximise the economy’s announced recovery, having been burdened with managing underperforming assets during the five-quarter long recession.

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.

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Transcorp Hotels Expand into Marketplace, Launches Aura to Connect People, Hoteliers, Others

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Transcorp Hotels Plc, on Thursday, announced it has launched a new digital platform, Aura, through which people can book accommodation, restaurants and experiences.

Aura, Transcorp’s first in the alternative accommodation segment, is part of the company’s asset-light model, leveraging technology to deliver true hospitality, exciting experiences, and drive shareholder value.

It’s a new dawn in the hospitality industry! I am thrilled to introduce you to Aura by Transcorp, the digital platform we are using to connect people to quality accommodation, great food, and awesome experiences,” Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Transcorp Hotels Plc. Dupe Olusola said.

For more than 30 years, Transcorp Hotels Plc has been at the forefront of creating a superior guest experience at our locations. Today, our commitment to innovation has offered us an opportunity to extend this beyond the hotel premises,” Olusola added.

The launch of Aura by Transcorp is one of the most significant developments in the company’s history as it seeks to transform the travel and tourism industry in Africa by focusing on three important components of travel, whether for leisure or business — where you stay, what you eat and how you spend your time. With its people-driven hospitality model, Aura is set to revolutionise travel and help remind Africans of our deep history of hospitality.

Speaking on the launch of Aura, Obong Idiong, Chief Executive Officer at Africa Prudential Plc, Aura’s technology partners, expressed his excitement. “Finding the right accommodation when you travel can be incredibly complex. Options available for the right prices are often limited, and travellers sometimes end up with accommodation that taints the travel experience. Transcorp Hotels Plc has been able to fix that with Aura and we are proud to be associated with them.”

To ensure topnotch user experience, we built a solution to drive digital transformation through the adoption of shared living spaces for the Aura business. With an advanced search algorithm powered by artificial intelligence, Aura determines the relevance of locations taking into consideration, the customers’ preferences and requirements to meet them at the point of their needs,” Idiong added.

Priscilla Adeboye, a travel enthusiast and early adopter of Aura, said the global pandemic has pushed international travel down her list. “But I still want to be able to take some time off work or spend a weekend away from home with the family. I have found incredible homes on Aura that meet my need for space and privacy.

 

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Siemens Energy Nigeria Appoints Seun Suleiman as Managing Director

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Seun Suleiman is the New Managing Director of Siemens Energy Nigeria

Mr. Seun Suleiman is the new managing director of Siemens Energy Nigeria, the company announced on Wednesday.

According to the statement released by the energy company, Suleiman will be responsible for the entire management of operations and decisions on business policies and corporate strategy.

Commenting on his appointment, Suleiman said, “It is an absolute honor to lead the business for Siemens Energy Nigeria and I look forward to delivering on the brand’s promise of excellence.

Suleiman joined Siemens Energy in 2014, bringing over 15 years’ experience and deep expertise in the private sector across Europe and West Africa.

The statement said, “He is an accomplished business strategist and success-driven leader with strong business acumen. Suleiman has also been a core member of the executive management team at Siemens Energy serving in roles as Sales Director West Africa – Service Distributed Generation Oil & Gas and Vice President Service & Digital.

“Prior to this, he also held various functional and managerial positions with ABB Ltd UK, ABBNG Nigeria, Schneider Electric Nigeria and Dresser-Rand Nigeria Ltd.

It added that Suleiman was experienced in establishing operational excellence with specific competence in the power, oil and gas sectors.

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FG Reopens Osubi Airport Warri for Daylight Operations

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FG Reopens Osubi Airport Warri for Daylight Operations

The Federal Government on Monday said the Osubi Airport in Warri has been reopened for daylight operations.

The Minister of Aviation, Hadi Siriki, disclosed this in a tweet.

The airport was closed in February 2020 over mismanagement and debt allegation involving aviation service providers and airport management.

However, Oberuakpefe Afe, a lawmaker representing Okpe/Sapeie/vaie federal constituency, recently moved a motion for the Federal Government through the ministry of aviation and relevant authorities to reopen the airport for flight operations.

On Monday, Hadi Siriki said “I have just approved the reopening of Osubi Airport Warri, for daylight operations in VFR conditions, subject to all procedures, practices and protocols, including COVID-19, strictly being observed. There will not be need for local approvals henceforth.

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