- Sterling Bank Unveils Digital Commodity Trading Platform
Sterling Bank Plc has launched an end-to-end blockchain-based commodity trading and financing platform in Nigeria.
The Chief Executive Officer, Sterling Bank Plc, Abubakar Suleiman, while speaking during the launch, said the platform was developed in partnership with Binkabi and AFEX Commodities Exchange.
He said the platform would decentralise commodity trading in the country and reduce intermediation in trade while distributing profit more widely across the value chain.
Suleiman said, “By introducing and establishing a viable and efficient agricultural commodities exchange platform and by applying some of the latest scientific storage technologies and providing liquidity, we can help reduce problems and increase margins for farmers.
“In addition, this is a medium- to long-term value investment for us at Sterling Bank. The productivity gain from the partnership is that the agricultural sector will be de-risked and our farmers will become more viable for commercial lending.
“It will also create a pathway for more banks to lend to farmers without intervention funds, thereby making it possible for the government to free up funds allocated to subsidising the agricultural sector to other industries.”
The Country Manager, Nigeria, AFEX Commodities, Ayo Balogun, said the commodity exchange was designed with farmers in mind, to help them mitigate risks and ensure payments through reliable financial service providers.
Balogun said, “We are excited that Sterling Bank has come on board to enable farmers to reduce exploitation by middlemen. As a result of this partnership, farmers can use their receipt as collateral to procure loans or other financial services. They can also sell the receipt on the commodity exchange market without transferring their agro commodities from the warehouse.”
The Founder/Chief Executive Officer, Binkabi, Quan Le, said the vision of the platform “is to ensure that the commodity network becomes fairer and more profitable through collaborative efforts while leveraging blockchain technology.”
Flour Mills of Nigeria Repays N51.64 Billion Series 2 Commercial Paper
Flour Mills of Nigeria Plc (FMN) has successfully repaid its N51.64 billion Series 2 Commercial Paper as revealed in a statement issued by the company.
This follows the earlier repayment of its N13.33 billion Series 1 Commercial Paper in August 2023.
Both the Series 1 and Series 2 Commercial Papers, totaling N64.97 billion, were initially issued on February 22, 2023, under FMN’s N200 billion Commercial Paper Programme.
The Series 1, with a yield of 13.0%, raised N13.3 billion, while the Series 2, with a yield of 14.0%, raised N51.64 billion.
FMN had launched its N200 billion Commercial Paper Programme on February 10, 2023, reflecting the company’s strategic financial planning.
The Group Chief Finance Officer, Mr. Anders Kristiansson, expressed satisfaction with the timely and successful repayment of the Series 2 Commercial Paper.
He emphasized FMN’s commitment to financial prudence and acknowledged the confidence placed in the organization by the investing public.
Kristiansson expressed gratitude to stakeholders for their continuous support, reiterating FMN’s dedication to delivering sustainable value and upholding the highest standards of corporate governance.
In addition to the successful repayment, FMN tapped into the market for its Series 3 Commercial Paper in June 2023, with subscriptions from banks and Pension Fund Administrators, contributing 39.7% and 40.8%, respectively.
The transaction was managed by FBNQuest Merchant Bank Limited as the Lead Arranger, with ChapelHill Denham Advisory Limited, FCMB Capital Limited, and United Capital PLC serving as Joint Arrangers.
African Airlines Projected to Cut Losses to $400m in 2024, Says IATA
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has forecasted a reduction in losses for Nigerian and other African airlines from $500 million in 2023 to $400 million in 2024.
The Switzerland-based IATA made this projection while presenting the global airline industry outlook in Geneva, Switzerland, on Wednesday.
IATA’s Director-General, Willie Walsh, shared the outlook, stating that global airlines are expected to generate approximately $964 billion in revenue in the coming year.
The report indicated that airline industry net profits are anticipated to reach $25.7 billion in 2024, reflecting a slight improvement over the projected $23.3 billion net profit for 2023.
Despite the challenges faced by the aviation industry in recent years, IATA sees the $25.7 billion net profit in 2024 as a testament to aviation’s resilience.
Walsh acknowledged the impressive speed of recovery but emphasized that the net profit margin of 2.7% remains below industry expectations.
IATA estimates that around 4.7 billion people will travel in 2024, surpassing the pre-pandemic level of 4.5 billion recorded in 2019.
However, Walsh highlighted ongoing challenges, including regulatory burdens, fragmentation, high infrastructure costs, and a supply chain populated with uncertainties.
He emphasized the need for the industry to build a resilient future, given its significant contribution to global GDP and livelihoods.
Fuel prices are expected to average $113.8 per barrel in 2024, accounting for 31% of all operating costs, totaling $281 billion.
Walsh concluded by expressing optimism about more normal growth patterns for both passenger and cargo in the post-pandemic era.
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