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Rising COVID-19 Cases Dwarf OPEC+ Deal, COVID-19 Vaccine Positive Sentiment as Oil Sheds 1%

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U.S. Crude Oil - Investors King

Crude Oil Declines Amid Rising COVID-19 Cases in the United States

Oil prices declined by 1 percent on Tuesday following the persistent increase in the number of coronavirus cases in the United States and the heightened tensions between the two world’s largest economies, the United States and China.

Brent crude oil, against which Nigerian oil is priced, declined by 1 percent to $48.65 per barrel, while the United States West Texas Intermediate (WTI) sheds 1.08 percent to $45.65 per barrel.

Oil gained last week following OPEC+ — OPEC and allies —  decision to increase output by 500,000 barrels per day starting from January 2021 and the decision of the United Kingdom to approve Pfizer and BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine.

The two positive news boosted confidence across the global market as experts interpreted OPEC+ action as ‘expected surge in demand for crude oil’ next year while approval of COVID-19 vaccine means the world could return to business as early as January 2021.

However, the persistent increase in COVID-19 cases in the United States without 100 percent fact that the COVID-19 vaccine could work threw a spanner into the work.

The beginning of this week is like the morning hangover following a good night out that went a bit too far,” said Bjornar Tonhaugen, head of oil markets at Rystad Energy. “With the OPEC deal in the bag, now traders looked back at fundamentals, demand and supply, and they were forced to come back to earth as things are not looking good in the short-term.

Also, the news that Iran had instructed the ministry of oil to prepare installations for the production and sale of crude oil at full capacity within three months weighed on the oil outlook.

Adding to the pressure on oil prices is the potential Iranian increase to production in three months,” said Edward Moya, senior market analyst at OANDA. “Iran is optimistic the U.S. will ease restrictions if they return back to the 2015 nuclear deal.

Is the CEO/Founder of Investors King Limited. A proven foreign exchange research analyst and a published author on Yahoo Finance, Nasdaq, Entrepreneur.com, Investorplace, and many more. He has over two decades of experience in global financial markets.

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Fund Raising

Nigerian Health Tech Startup Helium Health Secures $30 Million in Funding to Expand Offering in Africa

Nigerian health tech startup Helium Health has secured $30 million in series B funding to expand its offering across Africa.

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Nigerian health tech startup Helium Health has secured $30 million in series B funding to expand its offering across Africa.

The funding round was led by AXA IM Alts, with participation from Capria Ventures, Angaza Capital, Anne Wojcicki, and Flatworld partners. Other existing investors that participated in the round include Tencent, Ohara Pharmaceuticals, LCY Group, WTI, and AAIC.

With the recent funds raised, Helium Health seeks to expand the reach of its fintech product Helium Credit, which is one of the leading digital finance products for Africa’s healthcare sector.

Speaking on the recent funds raised, Helium Health CEO and Co-founder Adegoke Olubusi said, “We believe in a future where good healthcare is a reality for Africans, not just a few. We are deeply committed to supporting both private healthcare providers and public health stakeholders with finance, technology, and data to achieve that vision. We are delighted to have such seasoned healthcare investors accompany us on our journey”.

Also commenting on the funding round, Helium Health lead investor AXA IM Alts through the head of impact investing Jonathan Dean said, “We are delighted to invest, through AXA IM Alts’ impact investing strategies, in ‘Helium Health’s mission of providing digital solutions to improve the quality and efficacy of health services in resource-constrained environments, whilst also directly equipping health sector enterprises with affordable financial services. This investment directly contributes to AXA IM Alts’ broader impact goals of improving financial inclusion and reducing inequalities globally.”

Launched in 2020, Helium Health has extended more than $3.5 million in credit to over 200 healthcare facilities in Nigeria, including pharmacies, diagnostics centers, Hospitals, and Clinics, which have used the loans to purchase medical equipment and medications in bulk and also expand their locations.

The health tech startup works with leading global health organizations and governments, supporting them to execute their strategies, informing policy and decision-making, and improving outcomes for us all. The YC-backed HealthTech startup claims to be the widest-reaching EMR platform in West Africa, used by over 10,000 health workers across 1,000 facilities to care for over 1 million African patients, Investors King understands.

Since Helium’s health series A investment, it has grown its credit from $250,000 to a handful of healthcare facilities to more than $3.5 million across 200+ healthcare facilities in Nigeria.

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Telecommunications

Network Service Providers in Nigeria Lose Millions of Voice Subscribers as Broadband Penetration Drops

Network service providers in Nigeria have reportedly lost about 2.5 million voice subscribers as broadband internet penetration declines.

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Network service providers in Nigeria have reportedly lost about 2.5 million voice subscribers as broadband internet penetration declines.

The significant increase which was recorded in the country’s telecom sector this year seems not to have been sustained after it saw a slight downward trajectory.

The sector which recorded 227.1 million subscribers in February, fell to 226.2 million in March which saw about 1.5 million subscribers SIM become inactive. The downward trend continued to March falling to 223.7 million subscribers.

Reports reveal that the decline in subscribers negatively impacted the country’s tele density which saw it fall from 118.4 percent in March to 117.1 percent by the end of April. Also, penetration in the broadband segment declined from 48.21 percent to 48.14 percent.

Meanwhile, Internet users on the narrow band (GSM) platform increased by 678,485, where operators moved from 156.9 million in March to 157.6 million by April.

On active voice subscriptions, MTN has continued to lead as it recorded 39.7 percent penetration and 88.6 million users, while Globacom had a 27.3 percent market share with 60.3 million users. Airtel occupied the third position with 60.3 million customers and 27 percent penetration, and 9mobile had 13.4 million users and 6% penetration.

Investors King understands that the decline in voice subscribers in the telco sector could be attributed to the cash crunch that ravaged the country between February and March. This was a fallout of the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) policies on naira redesign and cash withdrawal limit, targeted at boosting the country’s cashless policy.

Nigeria, through the New National Broadband Plan (2020 to 2025) hopes to deepen internet penetration in the country by 70 percent, however, with the decline of voice subscribers recorded, it has posed a challenge to the country’s broadband plan.

In order to ensure to meet up its national broadband plan, Nigeria must ensure to eliminate factors that could hamper the penetration of internet service in the country, as it could also affect the nation’s GDP, as Broadband penetration is directly proportional to GDP.

A 2009 report by the World Bank estimated that for every 10% increase in broadband in developed nations, GDP will grow by more than 1%.

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Technology

Tesla Newly Released Model S Plaid Track Pack Sold Out Immediately It Was Announced

Tesla’s newly released Model S Plaid Track Pack has been sold out immediately after it was announced as consumers buy out the model.

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Tesla Charger

Tesla’s newly released Model S Plaid Track Pack has been sold out immediately after it was announced as consumers buy out the model.

On a visit to the company’s site, the company labeled the model “Out of Stock”.  The Model S Plaid Track Pack is reported to have grabbed the attention of a lot of consumers in the US market.

The Model which was unveiled in May 2023, offers an 836 km range on a single charge, allowing it to hit Tesla’s promised top speed of 200 mph. The car is capable of sprinting 0-96 kmph in less than two seconds. It comes with a redesigned steering wheel in the shape of a yoke, instead of a conventional wheel. However, this feature comes as an option for interested customers.

Tesla Model S Plaid also comes with inbuilt speakers that can create sound just like a traditional internal combustion engine-powered car. It delivers high-speed stability, maximum cornering force, and repeatable stopping power during high-performance driving.

The Model S Plaid Track Pack features aluminum forged wheels, track-ready tires with brake fluid, new carbon silicon carbide rotors, and one-piece forged calipers with high-performance pads.

Reports reveal that the Model S Plaid has now become the fastest car ever tested in Motor Trend’s 0-60 MPH vehicle acceleration rankings. In January 2023, the Model managed to beat а Porsche Taycan Turbo S, a Lucid Air, and an electric Audi RS in a real-life acceleration test done with a foot of rollout subtracted.

Investors King understands that Tesla’s Model S Plaid Track Pack’s remarkable features could be the reason for the model being out of stock, as consumers are anxious to get a feel of it. Also, the Model S, just like other Tesla electric cars, is significantly more attractive than in 2022 thanks to price reductions.

The entry-level version of the car starts at $89,990 (plus $1,640 in additional, obligatory costs), which means that the total cost is $91,630 (compared to over $96,000 about a year ago).

As Tesla deals with a spike in demand for its Model S Plaid Track Pack, this signifies that the automaker doesn’t have demand problems. For years, Tesla has consistently said that demand isn’t a problem for the company, but production is.

In that respect, the recent demand spike in demand of the Model S Plaid Track Pack which has pushed the model out of stock, implies that Tesla might have underestimated how many people will annually be interested in its upper-level vehicles.

With the launch of the Tesla Model S Plaid, the US automaker aims to increase its market share in the country, which is known for being the largest marketplace for new energy vehicles.

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