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SoftBank Reaps $33 Billion Coupang Windfall

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SoftBank Group Corp on Thursday racked up a roughly $33 billion gain on paper through the public market debut of South Korea’s largest e-commerce company, Coupang Inc, the latest sign of a dramatic turnaround for its $100 billion Vision Fund.

Shares of Coupang opened 81% above their offer price on Thursday, after the company raised $4.6 billion in the U.S. stock market’s biggest initial public offering this year.

SoftBank paid around $3 billion for a 37% stake in the company, according to sources familiar with earlier fund-raising, giving it a roughly $33 billion headline profit if prices hold.

Coupang’s hugely successful stock market launch is welcome news for SoftBank, which is grappling with the collapse of billions of dollars worth of funds linked to Britain’s Greensill Capital, a supply chain finance start-up.

Vision Fund is Greensill’s biggest backer.

The Japanese conglomerate last month reported third-quarter net profit ballooned more than 20 times thanks to a recovery at the Vision Fund, a huge venture capital operation famous for investing early in Uber and other tech industry startup successes.

Only a year ago, SoftBank had been smarting from the flopped IPO and collapse in value of office sharing firm WeWork, raising questions over whether Chief Executive Officer Masayoshi Son had lost his midas touch and threatening plans to establish a successor to Vision.

The COVID-19 pandemic has also forced Son to sell assets but a second deal reported by Reuters on Thursday bodes well for VF II, a second, smaller fund.

The $225 million late-stage funding round for healthcare startup Forward Health was its first major investment this year, following a pickup in activity and the group’s fortunes in the second half of 2020.

The Vision Fund also made $11 billion on a blockbuster market launch of DoorDash Inc in December, which valued the food delivery company at more than $70 billion.

It also made gains on home seller Opendoor Technologies Inc’s initial offering in December.

The fund still holds large stakes in China’s biggest ride-hailing firm Didi, as well as Uber’s Southeast Asian rival Grab.

SoftBank is also trying to ride the mania for special purpose acquisition companies, launching a handful of blank-check firms this year, although none of them have found investment targets yet.

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Debt Management Office Releases Q1, 2022 Calendar

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Director General DMO - Investors King

The Debt Management Office (DMO) will, on January 16, 2022 issue N70 billion to N80 billion, four years and 20 years Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) bond, with an interest rate of 12.50 percent.

In its recently released calendar for the issuance of bonds for the first quarter of 2022 (Q1-2022), the DMO noted that this bond has an original tenor of 10 years and 20 years and will re-open in January 2026 and January 2042.

The DMO also revealed that it will issue three years, 11 months and 19 years, 11 months FGN bond of N70 billion to N80 billion on 16th of February.

This bond, according to the DMO, will carry an interest rate of 12.50 percent, to be re-opened in January 2026 and January 2042, and with original tenor of 10 years and 20 years.

Also on March 23, the DMO will issue three years, 10 months, and 19 years, 10 months, 70 billion to N80 billion FGN bond which would last for a period of 10 years and 2 years.

The bond has an interest rate of 12.50 percent, and will be re-opened in January 2026 and January 2042.

FGN Bonds are debt securities (liabilities) of the Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) issued by the Debt Management Office (DMO) for and on behalf of the Federal Government.

The FGN has an obligation to pay the bondholder the principal and agreed interest as and when due. When you buy FGN Bonds, you are lending to the FGN for a specified period of time.

The FGN Bonds are considered as the safest of all investments in domestic debt market because it is backed by the ‘full faith and credit’ of the Federal Government, and as such it is classified as a risk free debt instrument.

Prior to the establishment of the Debt Management Office (DMO) in 2000, Nigeria’s public debt was managed by a myriad of Government Agencies in an uncoordinated manner.

This diffusion created systemic and structural problems that brought about serious strain on the country’s debt portfolio and economic growth.

Hence, the establishment of the DMO marked the beginning of the institutionalization and professionalization of public debt management in Nigeria.

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Stanbic IBTC Enlightens Nigerians on Stockbroking

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Stanbic IBTC - investorsking.com

Stanbic IBTC Stockbrokers, a subsidiary of Stanbic IBTC Holdings PLC, recently hosted a virtual session to enlighten Nigerians on the potentials of investing in the stock market.

The virtual event themed: “You Don’t Know About Stocks? Come On Now,” featured stockbroking experts: Afolabi Gbenro, Head, Sales Trading and Benjamin Jesumuyiwa, Head, Mandate and Settlements, both of Stanbic IBTC Stockbrokers with Tosin Olaseinde, founder of Money Africa, Jennifer Awirigwe, Certified Financial Educator and Solafunmi Oyeneye of Wealth Motley, a Personal Finance Educator as panelists.

The goal of the session was to acquaint individuals new to the stock market with basic stockbroking terms, useful tips for stock trading and how to use the Stanbic IBTC stockbroking app.

Afolabi stated the importance of diversifying investments in stocks. He listed factors that affect the prices of stocks which include supply, demand, news, and investor sentiments. The benefits of investing include dividend yield, capital appreciation, equity share holder privileges and utilising investments as collateral. He stressed the importance of research and advised Nigerians to conduct their own research and evaluate companies before investing.

On considerations before entering the stock market, he said, “You would need capital, investment objective, and risk profile assessment to determine the kind of investment you should venture into. You would also need to stay abreast of market updates.”

Benjamin Jesumuyiwa, Head, Mandate and Settlements, Stanbic IBTC Stockbrokers, urged Nigerians to invest in stocks to reap long term rewards. He said: “The stock market makes it easy to buy shares of companies and they can be purchased through a broker or via online platforms. Stanbic IBTC Stockbrokers offers a discounted rate of 0.7% on brokerage fees. Once you have set up an account, stocks can be purchased in minutes.”

Benjamin talked about the ease of using the Stanbic IBTC web and mobile applications platforms, stating that the platforms have been designed to allow customers sign up themselves, with direct access to the market.

Tosin Olaseinde commended Stanbic IBTC for making stock trading accessible and affordable for Nigerians, as individuals can open a stockbroking account with zero naira. She advised beginners to invest while gaining knowledge about the stock market and recommended Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) as an entry point especially for people who have an aversion to high-risk investments. She said: “As a beginner, the best place to start is the Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs). It is a mixture of different equities in one stock. It offers you the opportunity to participate in a couple of stocks without buying everything individually.”

Solafunmi Oyeneye mentioned liquidity and dividends over a long period of time as advantages of trading stocks, encouraging beginners to access the Stanbic IBTC stockbroking app through their smartphones for convenience and less paperwork.

Jennifer opined that the stock market is a good place to invest because it is highly regulated, and the risks can be easily assessed. She also recommended the Stanbic IBTC Stockbroking app for trading stocks for ease of use and speed.

The stockbroking investment series by Stanbic IBTC further reaffirms the commitment of the financial institution to equip individuals with essential information required to make informed investment decisions.

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Why Every Investor Should Now Include ESG: deVere CEO

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Every investor needs exposure to environmental, social and governance (ESG) investments to build wealth over the long-term, says the CEO of one of the world’s largest independent financial advisory organisations.

The observation from deVere Group’s Nigel Green, a long-term advocate of impactful investing, comes as it is revealed that global sustainable fund assets almost doubled in the six months through to September.

Global ESG assets are on track to exceed $53 trillion by 2025, according to Bloomberg Intelligence, representing more than a third of the $140.5 trillion in projected total assets under management.

Mr Green says: “In January 2020, we identified that ESG would be this decade’s ultimate investment megatrend.

“Of course, that was before the pandemic that has acted as a catalyst for the sustainable investing boom.

“The health of our planet and how it affects human health which, in turn, affects the way we all live, interact and do business, dramatically came to the fore.”

He continues: “Previously, ESG investments were often considered a ‘quirk’ or ‘nice to have.”

“But now we believe that they should be a part of everyone’s investment portfolio for several key reasons.

“First, they typically deliver a legitimate diversification tool – which is how investors can seize opportunities and mitigate risk, especially during periods of higher volatility.

“Second, funds investing in entities with robust ESG credentials have outperformed their benchmarks over recent years. From a risk management point of view, including these companies in your portfolio is, clearly, a sensible decision to take.

“Third, ESG represents a revolution of investment strategy itself. A seismic shift has occurred in corporate behaviour. How firms approach ESG factors and the value they place on them compared to other considerations has already changed forever.  The ESG themes are already embedded in the global economy as this is only set to grow in the years to come – and, of course, investors should embrace the concept of having early advantage.

“And fourth, the last 18 months have underscored how we have a moral obligation to back and fund entities that support the wellbeing of the planet and society”

In October, deVere announced that it will double its commitment to position $2 bn of assets under advisement into ESG investments.

This follows a similar announcement earlier this year when it said it would aim to have $1bn in socially responsible investment vehicles within five years.

As well as its commitment, deVere is one of 18 founding signatories of the UN-backed Net Zero initiative, the international alliance of finance powerhouses that will help accelerate the transition to a net-zero financial system. Its membership means it is committed to “aligning all relevant products and services to achieve net-zero greenhouse gases by 2050 and to set meaningful interim targets for 2025.

Other founding signatories include BDO, Bloomberg, Campbell Lutyens, Deloitte, EY, Grant Thornton, KPMG, The London Stock Exchange Group, Minerva Analytics, Moody’s, Morningstar, MSCI, PwC, SGX, Solactive, S&P Global and SSE.

Mr Green concludes: “The case for now having exposure to ESG in your investment portfolio is undeniable.

“We believe that a failure not to seek profits with purpose could negatively impact your long-term accumulation of wealth.”

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