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NSE Delists Newrest ASL, Suspends First Aluminium’s Shares

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Egypt Stocks
  • NSE Delists Newrest ASL, Suspends First Aluminium’s Shares

The Nigerian Stock Exchange has delisted Newrest ASL Nigeria Plc from its daily official list.

The NSE, in a notice to investors dated May 13, 2019, said the entire issued share capital of the company was delisted from the daily official list of the Exchange on Monday, further to the market bulletin of February 27, which notified dealing members of the Exchange’s approval of the company’s application for voluntary delisting and subsequent suspension of trading in its shares.

The bourse approved Newrest ASL’s voluntary application to delist from the daily official list of the Exchange on February 27 and fully suspended trading in its shares.

It said in a statement that the suspension was required to prevent further trading in the shares of the company to enable it to comply with the post-approval requirements, which would precede the final delisting of the company from the daily official list of the Exchange.

The NSE added that the company’s application to delist was as a result of its inability to meet up with the 20 per cent free float requirement of the Exchange.

The notice read in part, “In line with the provisions of Rule 1.10 of the Rules for Delisting of Equity Securities from the Daily Official List of the Exchange, the company’s stockbroker has informed the Exchange that it has opened and deposited sufficient funds to settle minority shareholders in an escrow account with Zenith Bank Plc to be managed by Meristem Registrars Limited.”

In a similar development, the NSE suspended trading in the shares of First Aluminium Plc ahead of voluntary delisting of the entire issued share capital of the company from the daily official list of the Exchange.

The NSE notified dealing members that in preparation for the voluntary delisting of the issued share capital of First Aluminium, Apel Asset Limited, on behalf of First Aluminium, had requested that the issued share capital of the company be placed on suspension.

It said, “In view of the above, the shares of the company will be placed on suspension effective Wednesday, May 15, 2019.

“Dealing members will be notified of further developments regarding the delisting of the company.”

First Aluminium had earlier explained to shareholders that the current illiquidity nature of the capital market rendered the primary corporate objective of its listing to raise capital and provide liquidity unattainable.

It said it was seeking a voluntary delisting from the main board of the NSE as there had been little or no trading activity on the shares held by the minority shareholders over the last seven years.

The company said neither it nor any shareholder was benefitting from the continued listing on the NSE.

It said, “The majority shareholders (with over 75 per cent shareholding) are the promoters of the transaction and the majority shareholders wish to offer other shareholders (the minority shareholders) the opportunity to either remain shareholders of the unlisted company or accept a consideration for their shares, which the majority shareholders are willing to purchase.”

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.

Finance

FG Borrowed $5.9B To Fight COVID-19 and Implement Budget – Minister of Finance

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Zainab Ahmed

The federal government borrowed about $5.9 billion in 2020, to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic and implement its budget. The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, revealed this yesterday.

A statement issued by her Special Adviser, Media and Communications, Mr. Yunusa Abdullahi, yesterday, indicated that the minister told the Collaborative Africa Budget Reform Initiative (CABRI) General Assembly during a webinar, that the federal government had to move quickly to save the economy.

Speaking on Nigeria’s fiscal response – short term interventions and impact on public finances, as an immediate fiscal response, Mrs. Ahmed said: “We did the following: Procured a $3.4 billion loan from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and about $2.5 billion in local currency from the domestic capital market to support the 2020 budget implementation), among others.”

She noted that the government then packaged a N500 billion for COVID-19 Crisis Intervention Fund in the 2020 revised budget, as part of a N2.3 trillion Economic Sustainability Plan.

Mrs. Ahmed said that the government had begun the process of moving the economy away from its primary dependence on oil for revenues and foreign exchange, and making steady gains in addressing infrastructure and human capital challenges before the pandemic hit the global economy.

With COVID-19, Nigeria’s Bonny Light crude oil price fell from a peak of US$72.2 per barrel on January 7, 2020 to below US$20 by April 2020.

She said, “In effect, the US$57 crude oil price benchmark approved in the 2020 budget became unrealistic triggering the need to adjust the following variables: reduction of crude oil benchmark price from US$57 per barrel to US$28 per barrel; reduction of daily crude oil production benchmark from 2.18 million barrels per day (mbpd) to 1.9 mbpd; adjustment of the official exchange rate to N360/US$1 from N305/$.”

Mrs. Ahmed revealed that part of the federal government Supplementary Budget on COVID-19 would be spent on the procurement of 29. 588 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

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Banking Sector

Union Bank CEO, Godson Chukwuemeka Okonkwo Acquires 2.4 Million Shares in the Bank Ahead of Acquisition

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Union bank - Investors King

The Chief Executive Officer, Union Bank Plc, Godson Chukwuemeka Okonkwo, has purchased 2,431,917 ordinary shares of the bank, according to the latest disclosure filing from the lender.

The CEO acquired the 2,431,917 shares of Union Bank at N4.90 per share on Thursday 6th May 2021 from the floor of the Nigerian Exchange Ltd.

Okonkwo’s N11.916 million investment was after Investors King reported a possible acquisition of the bank by Zenith Bank or Access Bank following sources cited by Bloomberg.

Bloomberg said, “Atlas Mara Limited, the London Stock Exchange-listed pan-African banking group started by Mr. Bob Diamond has received a number of approaches for its 49.97 per cent holding in Lagos-based Union Bank of Nigeria.”

It also stated that Atlas Mara received interests from Nigerian and Middle Eastern lenders for its remaining assets on the continent, according to Bloomberg sources.

The sources claimed the banks in talks with Atlas Mara asked not to be identified as talks are private. But they mentioned Nigeria’s Zenith Bank Plc, Access Bank Plc and Morocco’s Attijariwafa Bank as some of the banks that have so far expressed interests in acquiring Union Bank.

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Banking Sector

Zenith Bank, Access Bank, Others Express Interest in Acquiring Union Bank

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Atlas Mara - Investors King

Zenith Bank and Access Bank are some of the financial institutions in talks to acquire Atlas Mara Ltd.’s 49.97 percent stake in Union Bank Plc.

Bloomberg said, “Atlas Mara Limited, the London Stock Exchange-listed pan-African banking group started by Mr. Bob Diamond has received a number of approaches for its 49.97 per cent holding in Lagos-based Union Bank of Nigeria.”

It also stated that Atlas Mara received interests from Nigerian and Middle Eastern lenders for its remaining assets on the continent, according to Bloomberg sources.

The sources claimed the banks in talks with Atlas Mara asked not to be identified as talks are private. But they mentioned Nigeria’s Zenith Bank Plc, Access Bank Plc and Morocco’s Attijariwafa Bank as some of the banks that have so far expressed interests in acquiring Union Bank.

Middle Eastern banks and private equity suitors have also shown interest, according to the people. Some potential buyers have indicated they may acquire all of Atlas Mara’s remaining assets in Africa, which would include its Zimbabwe unit, the people said.

Atlas Mara has been working with Rothschild & Co. to consider options for its Union Bank stake. No final decisions have been made, and there’s no certainty the deliberations will lead to a transaction, the people said.

Representatives for Atlas Mara and Zenith Bank didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment. Attijariwafa Bank Managing Director Ismail Douiri and a representative for Access Bank declined to comment.

Speaking on the matter, Frontier and Sub-saharan Africa Banks’ Analyst, Renaissance Capital, Adesoji Solanke, on Thursday said this is good for Atlas Mara.

He said “Good for Atlas Mara if they’re able to exit successfully, as they’ve been selling a bunch of assets over the past year, to KCB and Access Bank respectively across different markets. Whether they get a good valuation for Union Bank is another thing.

“We don’t think it’ll be a transformational deal for Access or Zenith (Return-on-Equity dilutive for both), but could be a good way for the Middle Eastern banks to get a decent foothold in the market. We suspect getting the other private equity investor block to sell will be critical as we wouldn’t expect a strategic bank investor to desire a minority shareholding.”

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