Shoprite Planned Exit Triggers Experts Reaction
Experts have expressed their concerns over the decision of Shoprite Holding Limited to exit the Nigerian Market, Africa’s largest economy, at a period that unemployment is projected to hit 39.4 million.
On Monday, Africa’s largest retail company, Shoprite, announced it would commence a former process of exiting the Nigerian market or sell a major stake to willing investors that it claimed have started approaching its organisation for a possible partnership.
Experts, who spoke with our correspondents, said the decision would worsen Nigeria’s present economic position, especially with Osinbajo-led committee predicting that unemployment could hit 39.4 million in 2020.
Dr. Musa Yusuf, the Director-General, Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said the Shoprite move would impact investors’ interest in Nigeria. Yusuf is likely making reference to a series of other factors hurting Nigeria’s economic outlook in recent months.
Barely a month ago, OPay, one of Nigeria’s promising startups started by a Chinese company, announced it will be shutting down some of its business units in Nigeria due to harsh business environment and other COVID-19 related issues. That was a company that raised about $270 million about a year ago.
The series of uncertainties hurting businesses amid unclear economic path have left many investors and businesses seeking exit plan. Even at that, several of the foreign-owned businesses and investments are stuck in the country with their owners unable to access foreign exchange to repatriate their funds.
A recent report showed the Central Bank of Nigeria has over $5 billion forex backlog, yet the nation’s external reserves is hovering around $36 billion since plunging from $45 billion in June 2019.
Prof. Uche Uwalaka, a professor of Capital Market at Nasarawa State University in Keffi, said, “The exit of Shoprite, or any other foreign business for that matter, ordinarily should be a cause for concern especially for a country like Nigeria that is in dire need of foreign direct investment.”
“The importance of Foreign Direct investment, especially in the area of job creation cannot be overemphasised.”
Speaking on the matter, Samed Olukoya, CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, explained that “Shoprite just upped Nigeria’s economic uncertainties barely a month after OPay and other foreign-owned companies commenced their process of shutting down or have already shut down part or most of their operations in Nigeria.
He added that “at this rate, it would be hard to increase capital importation or boost the nation’s Foreign Direct Investment with negative economic outlook and weak investment sentiment.”
Tunde Hassan-Odukale is FBN Holdings Largest Shareholder, Not Femi Otedola, FBN Holdings Clarifies
In response to the questions asked by the Nigerian Exchange Limited (NGX), FBN Holdings has said Mr. Tunde Hassan-Odukale, a Director of First Bank of Nigeria Limited is FBN Holdings Plc’s largest shareholder and not billionaire Femi Otedola.
In a statement signed by Seye Kosoko, Company Secretary, FBN Holdings Plc and released via the Nigerian Exchange Limited on Wednesday, Mr. Tunde Hassan-Odukale directly holds 26,231,887 shares or 0.07 percent.
However, his indirect holdings stood at 1,897,280,212 shares or 5.29 percent of FBN Holdings’ total issued shares.
Breaking down Mr. Tunde Hassan-Odukale indirect holdings, the director holds 755,959,459 or 2.11 percent shares through Leadway Assurance Company Ltd.
Another 486,605,478 shares or 1.36 percent via ZPC/Leadway Assurance Prem & Inv Coll Acct. He acquired 0.04 percent or 13,229,148 shares through Haskal Holdings Ltd. Mr. Hassan-Odukale also purchased 1,004,528 shares through Leadway Capital & Trust Ltd.
He then bought 112,552 shares through LAC Investments Ltd; 112,237 through Leadway Properties & Investment Ltd; 211,290,798 or 0.59 percent via Leadway Holdings (Holdco); 53,771,413 or 0.15 percent through OHO Investment and finally acquired 375,194,599 or 1.05 percent through Leadway Pensure PFA.
Therefore, Mr. Tunde Hassan-Odukale direct and indirect holdings in FBN Holdings Plc stood at 26,231,887 or 0.07 percent and 1,897,280,212 or 5.29 percent, respectively. In totality (Direct and Indirect), he holds 1,923,512,099 or 5.36 percent shares in FBN Holdings.
This is more than the 10,000,000 or 0.03 percent shares directly owned by Mr. Olufemi Peter Otedola and another 1,808,551,625 or 5.04 percent he acquired via Calvados Global Services Limited. Mr. Otedola total stake’s in FBN Holdings now stood at 1,818,551,625 or 5.07 percent. Making him the second-largest shareholder in the company.
Tesla’s Valuation Crosses $1 Trillion Mark After Hertz Orders 100,000 Vehicles
Price of Tesla stock rose by $115.18 or 12.66 percent on Monday after Hertz, an American car rental company based in Estero, Florida, ordered 100,000 Tesla electric vehicles in a deal worth $4.2 billion.
Four months after surviving bankruptcy, Hertz Global Holdings Inc. is strategically moving away from fuel cars to electrify its rental-car fleet.
According to Hertz, customers will be able to order Tesla Model 3 at airports and other locations in major U.S. markets and some cities in Europe starting from early November.
The announcement bolstered Tesla’s market value above $1.03 trillion before it moderated to $1.01 trillion at the close of business on Monday.
Tesla’s valuation has risen at an unusual pace since the COVID-19 outbreak. The company’s valuation jumped from $100 billion to $1 trillion in less than two years, according to data available on Dow Jones. It took Amazon, Apple and others more years to attain the same status. To put it in perspective, it took Amazon more than eight years to move from a $100 billion valuation company to $1 trillion.
Despite analysts saying Tesla is extremely overvalued and a series of price adjustments post-COVID-19 are predicted, Tesla Inc and Elon Musk, the company’s CEO and Co-founder, seem not to be slowing down.
Musk’s Tesla holdings, including vested and unvested options, were valued at around $297 billion as of Monday, October 25, 2021, according to corporate-governance data company Equilar Inc. Elon Musk’s holdings in Tesla is more than the valuation of Toyota Motor Corp., the second-largest automaker by market capitalization.
Access Bank and African Banking Corporation Zambia Limited Merge to Deepen Presence in Zambia
Access Bank Plc on Monday announced it has signed a binding agreement with Atlas Mara Limited on a proposed merger between Access Bank’s subsidiary in Zambia, Access bank Zambia Limited and African Banking Corporation (Atlas Mara Zambia).
Upon completion of this prospective transaction, the Bank is expected to retain or increase its current shareholding in Access Bank Zambia, which following the merger will have over 70 branches and agencies, approximately US$1 billion in total assets and over 300,000 customers in Zambia.
The transaction will not require significant additional capital investment requirements from the Bank given the capital and other synergies created from the merger between Access Bank Zambia with Cavmont Bank in 2020. The proposed transaction is expected to be concluded in 2022, subject to fulfillment of conditions precedent including regulatory approvals in Nigeria and Zambia.
Commenting on the transaction, Dr. Herbert Wigwe, GMD/CEO of the Bank said, “This transaction represents another milestone that brings us closer to the achievement of our broader strategic objectives. The merger of Atlas Mara Zambia with Access bank Zambia is expected to augment our presence in Zambia and the broader COMESA region, Africa’s largest free trade area.
“We are particularly excited by the prospects of increased earnings contribution to the Bank from the enlarged Access Bank Zambia, which has also announced the appointment of a new Managing Director, Mr. Lishala Situmbeko, who brings over 25 years of cognate experience and deep local relationships into our Zambian operation.
“Today’s announcement is a testament to the strong confidence of the Zambian market in the Bank’s country and regional strategy as well as our strong confidence in the long-term prospects for the Zambian economy.”
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