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Additional Pension Fund Assets Invested in Banks in Third Quarter (Q3) of 2021

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The National Pension Commission has released a new report on pension fund assets, which has shown that investment in Local Money Market Securities had more pension fund assets invested in banks than in papers through Open Market Operations, as well as fixed deposits of banks in the third quarter of 2021.

The report from the NPC also showed that the total invested fund placed with banks as a percentage of the total pension fund assets sat at 17.10 percent, which translates to N2.22 trillion in September, rising from 13.15 percent or N1.66 trillion in June 2020.

It showed that investment in commercial papers which constitutes about 0.5 percent of investment in pension fund assets, went down to N0.68 trillion from N0.72 trillion (which constitutes 0.57 percent).

The report also addressed corporate debt securities, stating that the amount invested in the space went up by 1.82 percent to N0.97 trillion in Q3 from the N0.95 trillion which it had recorded in Q2.

Cash and other assets which are responsible for 0.46 percent (or N59.79 billion) of the total pension fund assets in September 2021 also fell from 0.59 percent (or N74 billion) in June 2021.

All funds invested in real estate properties as a section of the total pension fund assets went down to 1.18 percent (or N153.4 billion) from 1.24 percent (or 156.88 billion) in the period which was under review.

Cowry Research analysts discovered that the increased investment by the Pesnion Fund Administrators (PFA) in bank placements was mainly to take advantage of the relatively high yields in the short term without gaining much exposure to the risk that is inherent in the money market.

The Cowry analysts stated that the increased activities of pension managers in the equities market throughout Q3 2021 was on the platform of an improvement in the performance of corporate organizations as the Nigerian economy continues its recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Enko Opportunity Growth Fund Ltd Invested N3.8 Billion in Ecobank

Enko Opportunity Growth Fund Ltd, linked to Mr. Alain Nkontchou, a Director of Ecobank Transnational Incorporated (ETI), has invested a total sum of N3.8 billion in Ecobank Transnational Incorporated.

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Ecobank - Investors King

Enko Opportunity Growth Fund Ltd, linked to Mr. Alain Nkontchou, a Director of Ecobank Transnational Incorporated (ETI), has invested a total sum of N3.8 billion in Ecobank Transnational Incorporated.

Enko Opportunity Growth Fund, a hedge fund company, acquired a total of 322,010,114 shares at N11.83 a unit in Ecobank Transnational Incorporated between March 30, 2022 to May 5, 2022, the bank disclosed this in a statement signed by Madibinet Cisse, Company Secretary.

The transaction was carried out at the Nigerian Exchange Limited (NGX) trading floor in Lagos, Nigeria.

The investment, classified as insider trading, was reported on Friday in line with the Nigerian Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) despite commencing purchase in March. Meaning, the announcement was done to further strengthen the bank’s perception among investors, especially after announcing strong positive financial results for the first half of 2022.

For the first half of 2022, Ecobank announced a 24% increase in profit after tax from N62.553 billion to N77.313 billion.

Commenting on the sound performance, Ade Ayeyemi, CEO of Ecobank Group, said our results for the first six months of 2022 reflect not only the benefits of the firm’s diversification but also our resilience and capabilities to continue serving our clients and customers in a challenging environment and still generate adequate returns responsibly for our shareholders. As a result, we delivered a return on tangible equity of 19.5%, a record, and increased earnings per share for shareholders by 24% year-on-year.

In addition, profit before tax increased by 24% to $261 million and by 53% if you adjust the increase for the significant depreciation of some of our critical African currencies to the US dollar, says Ade Ayeyemi, CEO, Ecobank Group.

 

 

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The US$6bn Water Investment Programme Set to Transform Zambia’s Social-economic Outlook by 2030

This week the Zambian Government launches its game-changing US$6billion Zambia Water Investment Programme during the African Union mid-year Summit in Lusaka.

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By Alex Simalabwi, Executive Secretary  of the Global Water Partnership Africa-Coordination

This week the Zambian Government launches its game-changing US$6billion Zambia Water Investment Programme during the African Union mid-year Summit in Lusaka.

The Programme is part of the Continental Africa Water Investment Programme (AIP) that was adopted by African Union Heads of State and Government as part of the Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa – Priority Action Plan 2, during the AU Summit on 7th February 2021.

The Country is faced with challenges of poor access to clean water and decent sanitation. Joint UNICEF and WHO statistics indicate that over 6.4 million people in a population of about 18 million, do not have access to clean running water and nearly 8 million lack access to adequate sanitation. This affects the social economic development of the country with women and girls, mostly tasked with collecting water and doing home chores, bearing the brunt of it.

Estimating the relationship of water with economic growth and jobs is challenging due to lack of data, particularly in regard to determining the degree of water dependency of jobs. However, the UN reports that for every dollar invested in water and sanitation, there is a US$4.3 Ureturn in the form of reduced health care costs for individuals and societies around the world.

The UN estimates that three out of four jobs that make up the global workforce are either heavily or moderately dependent on water. Investment in small-scale projects including rainwater harvesting providing access to safe water and basic sanitation in Africa could offer an estimated economic return of US$ 28.4 billion a year, or nearly five per cent of gross domestic product (GDP) of the continent. Such investments have a beneficial effect on employment.

Led by the Ministry of Water Development and Sanitation, the Zambia Water Investment Programme hopes to leverage up to US$6 billion in water security investments and the creation of about 200,000 direct formal jobs by 2030. In addition, the Programme envisages that at least 800,000 indirect jobs will be created for vulnerable and poor youths, women, and other marginalized groups.

What makes this Investment Programme different from other such frameworks is that, firstly there is high-level political commitment at the Head of State level within the country and internationally, through the African Union and the High-Level Panel of former and current Heads of State. The Panel was launched by the AU Chairperson and President of Senegal H.E. Macky Sall, at the 9th World Water Forum in Dakar, Senegal on 25th March, 2022. Its objective is to develop actionable pathways for mobilising $30 billion annually by 2030, for implementing the AIP, under which Zambia’s Water Investment Programme falls, and to close the existing water investment gap in Africa.

The Panel is led by three Co-chairs:

  • E. Macky Sall, as Co-Chair in his capacity as Chairperson of the African Union.
  • E Mark Rutte, Prime Minister of the Kingdom of The Netherlands
  • E. Hage Geingob, President of the Republic of Namibia
  • E Jakaya Kikwete, (Alternate Co-Chair) former president of the United Republic of Tanzania, who is also Chairperson of the Board of Global Water Partnership Southern Africa and Africa Coordination.

Secondly, the Investment Programme also known as AIP Zambia, is home-grown and aligned to the Four Strategic Development Areas of Zambia’s Eighth National Development Plan, 2022-2026. It was widely consultative and inclusive with inputs from development partners and local stakeholders. Global Water Partnership (GWP) Zambia joined the water sector development partners in designing the Programme.

AIP Zambia comes with a first of its kind mutual accountability tracking tool, the AIP-PIDA Scorecard that was adopted by AU Heads of States in February 2022. The scorecard will track progress in investment mobilisation, identify gaps, bottlenecks and define areas for mutual accountability. AUDA-NEPAD will report its progress to the African Union every six months.

The Programme recognizes that financing is a key issue, so it promotes Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) to water resourcing via the Blended Finance approach, as a viable way of making development priorities on water more investable. According to a recent Report by WaterAid, this approach involves the strategic use of public or philanthropic development capital to de-risk investments related to the SDGs, in order to attract commercial capital from private investors who would otherwise not have participated.

Rather than rely on treasury and donor funding, AIP Zambia hopes to leverage a water development fund, resourced via blended financing mechanisms that will leverage Official Development Assistance (ODA) and grant finance to de-risk priority water investments.  The various financing models include sovereign wealth funds, green local municipal water bonds, international investment guarantees, institutional investors and private equity, foundations, value-based impact investment, and climate finance. For local and rural populations, off-grid solar powered water distribution networks combing local water-energy-food security, scaling up rainwater harvesting schemes will be central.

The AIP Zambia delivery model will build on experiences from similar delivery units from other parts of the world including India’s Swachh Bharat Mission led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who slashed through India’s notorious red tape and pushed aside thorny political divisions to see it through. According to UNICEF the number of people without a toilet in India reduced from 500 million to 50 million in four years, between 2014 and 2018.

Positive spin-offs of the Zambia Water Investment Programme are expected to benefit communities in rural areas and densely populated shanty townships. The Programme will also see the creation of gender-centred climate resilient programmes, skills training and the growth of green-economy related small and medium enterprises.

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Real Estate Remains a Hot Investment in Summer 2022

For those worried that the housing market is about to cool off, Swapnil Agarwal, CEO of Nitya Capital & Karya Property Management, has encouraging words for investors.

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For those worried that the housing market is about to cool off, Swapnil Agarwal, CEO of Nitya Capital & Karya Property Management, has encouraging words for investors.

“Currently, there is a 6.8 million house shortage in the USA,” Agarwal says. Add to that supply chain issues for new home building materials, and interest rates, while going up, are still relatively low. So, even in the wake of different economic cycles, conditions, and COVID-19, the demand for multifamily real estate assets has continued to remain a stable area of investing and even growth, Agarwal explains, pointing to several key factors:

– Money supply growth. Higher volumes of capital are held by pension funds, endowments, insurance companies, private equity, venture funds, and family offices, all pursuing a limited set of attractive investment opportunities.

– Desirable foreign investment. The U.S. continues to be viewed as a safe haven for foreign capital; investors increasingly seek tangible assets with current income and downside protection.

– Wage disparity and the cost of living. As the wage gap and income disparity across the U.S. widen, and the population grows, the lower middle class is being forced to find more affordable housing alternatives. The result is an increasing demand for value-add properties.

– Homeownership trends. Homeownership levels remain near 20-year lows at 63%, and rental demand continues to grow. Stringent borrowing requirements imposed by traditional lenders make it increasingly difficult for the lower middle class to purchase homes. In addition, millennials are increasingly forgoing homeownership and moving to larger cities than prior generations fueling further demand for multifamily units.

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