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Thirty-Two African Countries To Benefit As IFC Rolls Out $74 Million To Support Tech Startups, Entrepreneurs

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About Thirty-two African countries affected by fragility and conflict will benefit from the Africa Fragility Initiative (AFI), a $74 million five-year programme launched by the International Finance Corporation (IFC).

Investors King recalls that in 2021, the IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, and the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets committed a record $31.5 billion to private companies and financial institutions in developing countries.

The recently launched initiative will leverage the power of the private sector to end extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity as economies grapple with the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

During the five-year AFI programme, IFC and its partners will provide market intelligence, identify and work with promising local businesses to prepare them for investment, and build relationships crucial to job creation and development success.

IFC and its partners will also provide on-the-ground support to encourage and catalyze investment in countries where business costs are high, operational challenges are formidable, and development needs are great, including in the Sahel where a combination of instability, rapid population growth, shifting climate and food shortages have left the region in a stubborn fragility trap.

According to IFC’s Regional Director for Eastern Africa, Jumoke Jagun-Dokunmu, “Africa’s digital economy is growing and it is critical that our investments and partnerships empower more entrepreneurs to tap into this growth”.

Also speaking on the AFI, IFC’s Regional Vice President for Africa, Sérgio Pimenta, said “Africa is home to most of the world’s fragile and conflict-affected countries, many of which suffer from endemic poverty and a longstanding lack of investment. The Africa Fragility Initiative is a new tool that allows IFC to work closely with our partners, share operational knowledge, mainstream conflict sensitivity and systematize responsible and context-specific investment in markets that need it the most”.

Investors King gathered that the AFI support will be delivered in five sub-regions: The Sahel & West Africa; the Horn of Africa & Yemen; Central Africa & The Great Lakes; Southern Africa & the Indian Ocean; and North Africa.

The IFC was established in 1956, as the private-sector arm of the World Bank Group, to advance economic development by investing in for-profit and commercial projects for poverty reduction and promoting development.

It offers investment, advisory, and asset management services to encourage private-sector development in less developed countries.

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Banking Sector

Buhari Expresses Confidence in Banking Institutions to Tackle Economic Challenges

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President Muhammadu Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari has expressed his confidence in the West African Banking Association (WABA) to tackle economic challenges in the West African region.

The president expressed his trust while receiving a team from WABA, led by its President, Thierno Seydou Nourou Sy, at the State House in Abuja.

The president stated that the sub-region needs to come to an agreement on low access to financial services and recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to him, the association, founded in 1981, brings together over 250 commercial banks and 15 institutions from across West Africa, and for many centuries, African countries have traded with one another without a formalized and structured system. He, however, noted that over time, global trade had become more complex and organized.

The president expressed optimism that the launch of the African Continental Free Trade Area will mark a watershed moment in the way African countries do business.

“More importantly, we will turn the page in ensuring that we deepen and expand our industrial capabilities by making sure we export less of what we have been endowed with in the primary or raw form, and convert larger portions of these resources into finished materials.

“That will allow us to benefit from the revenue earned from the added value of exporting a finished product,” he said.

“Our ability to overcome the current phase of our development lies in our resolve to work jointly via our regional and sub-regional organizations where we can all reach a common understanding to fight against a common enemy.

“This is one of the reasons I am delighted with the strides ECOWAS has been making towards unanimity and forging alliances with a goal to resolve issues that confront the sub-region.

“I believe that this is also the approach that is being followed in the West African Bankers’ Association and the West African Monetary Union,’’ he added.

While commenting on WABA’s ongoing attempts to synchronize monetary and fiscal policy, the president pushed the organization to find common ground despite the particular macroeconomic challenges that each member-state faces.

He pledged that Nigeria would always be ready to support efforts that are geared towards improving the lives of all its citizens “as long as they do not place us at a disadvantage.”

The WABA President praised Nigeria’s leadership role in the African economy, while also praising President Buhari’s leadership.

“That’s why we are here for counsel and guidance for the financial sector in West Africa,” he said. He further urged the president to be an advocate for the greater inclusion of WABA in the ECOWAS structure.

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Finance

NGX Sheds 0.13% on Monday to Extend its Decline

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Stock - Investors King

The Nigerian Exchange Limited (NGX) extended its decline on Monday as investors exchanged 263,338,835 shares worth N3.549 billion in 4,549 billion.

The market value of all listed equities decreased by N37 billion from N28.562 trillion it closed on Friday to N25.525 trillion while NGX shed 0.13% to close at 52,911.51 index points on Monday.

Jaiz Bank led the most traded stocks with 114007816 shares worth N101,752,697.03. Followed by GTCO’s 12,872,851 shares valued N302,842,620.75. See other details below.

Top Gainers 

Symbols Last Close Current Change %Change
CONOIL N 31.15 N 34.25 3.10 9.95 %
MRS N 13.60 N 14.95 1.35 9.93 %
MCNICHOLS N 2.13 N 2.34 0.21 9.86 %
ACADEMY N 1.23 N 1.35 0.12 9.76 %
NPFMCRFBK N 1.87 N 2.02 0.15 8.02 %

Top Losers 

Symbols Last Close Current Change %Change
PRESCO N 200.00 N 180.00 -20.00 -10.00 %
GSPECPLC N 3.41 N 3.07 -0.34 -9.97 %
NEIMETH N 1.76 N 1.59 -0.17 -9.66 %
UACN N 14.40 N 13.20 -1.20 -8.33 %
NEM N 4.39 N 4.05 -0.34 -7.74 %

Top Trades

Symbols Volume Value
JAIZBANK 114007816.00 101752697.03
GTCO 12872851.00 302842620.75
TRANSCORP 12806324.00 16725610.46
ACCESSCORP 11657629.00 115657901.70
ZENITHBANK 8579430.00 207021363.25

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Finance

Nigeria Raises Interest Rate by 150 Basis Points to 13%

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Godwin Emefiele - Investors King

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) led Monetary Policy Committee on Tuesday unanimously agreed to raise interest rates by 150 basis points from 11.5% to 13% to rein in escalating consumer prices.

The apex Governor, Godwin Emefiele disclosed this while speaking to the media on Tuesday, May 24th, 2022.

In 2020, the committee cut interest by 50 basis points to 11.5% in September 2020 to encourage borrowing and deepen new investment to stir growth and halt the plunge in economic productivity during the peak of COVID-19.

The nine-member committee voted unanimously to keep Monetary Policy Rate (MPR) at 13% and others as follow:

  • The asymmetric corridor of +100/-700 basis points around the MPR was retained
  • CRR was retained at 27.5%
  • While Liquidity Ratio was also kept at 30%

The increase may not be unconnected to Nigeria’s high inflation rate of 16.82% in April. The committee is now projecting an aggressive increase in the inflation rate due to the forthcoming general election.

Emefiele said the MPC is suspicious “there might be an aggressive accretion of inflation”. Therefore, to prevent the looming inflation, he said the committee had to raise the interest rate by 150 basis points.

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