Automobile Firm to Complete Large Assembly Plant In Ogun, Unveils Plans to Build Vehicles
The plant would be completed by the end of the year and its operation would boost the exportation of vehicles abroad
As part of its plans to expand its business space and boost exportation, an automobile Firm, Lanre Shittu Motors (LSM) has said it was constructing a large vehicle assembly plant in Sagamu, Ogun State.
According to the Group Executive Director of the firm, Mr Taiwo Shittu, the plant would be completed by the end of the year and its operation would boost the exportation of vehicles abroad.
The CEO of the indigenous auto assembler, during an interview in Lagos State, also disclosed plans to build vehicles that will be known as Lanre Shittu.
Already, Shittu said the firm has started assembling a mid-size pickup truck christened Huanghai LSM, in partnership with a Chinese automobile manufacturer, Dandong Huanghai Automobile Co Ltd with a view to building Nigerian auto industry.
Shittu, while explaining the reason behind the collaboration of LSM with the Chinese firm, said it was to share technology and other things that would aid exportation to other African countries and beyond.
He said his firm has a plan to own a vehicle called LSM (Lanre Shittu Motors), and described Huanghai as a very good brand which is the second-biggest pickup company in China.
He said LSM’s partnership with Huanghai would afford them the opportunity to share technology among others before fully facing the indigenous firm.
LSM chief executive noted that the focus of the firm is to build the Nigerian automobile industry to the level of exporting its products to other African countries and beyond, adding that LSM, which will be 42 as a vehicle manufacturer this year would soon have its brand intact.
According to him, the company’s assembly plant had started injecting local content into products coming from the auto assembler, saying that about 30 percent of components of vehicles assembled from Lanre Shittu Motors are currently sourced locally.
For him, all the lubricants, the grease, liquid-based materials used in vehicles are assembled and sourced locally, adding that materials for the box body, which is the buckets on the trucks, welders design are being fabricated together in about 30 per cent local content in some cases.
Calling on the Federal Government to urgently come up with policies that would encourage automobile component manufacturers to come and build factories in Nigeria, Shittu likened Nigeria to a big market for manufacturers and investors.
For their investments to birth positive fruits, he sought the need for the Federal Government to enact policy that would attract investors.
He said if the government places 100 per cent duty on imported versions of the products that are sourced locally, no Nigerian manufacturer of vehicles would be buying imported parts when the locally-made are cheaper and of the same quality.
Investors King gathered that LSM has the potential to manufacture 2500 vehicles annually and it became a household name with the MAC and JAC heavy-duty trucks in October 2018.
It is a certified KIA, NISSAN, and Jinbei Bus dealer before its full venture into vehicles manufacturing.
Unilever Nigeria to Focus on Higher Growth Opportunities by Exiting Home Care and Skin Cleansing Markets
Unilever Nigeria Plc, one of the leading Fast-Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) companies, has announced its decision to exit the home care and skin cleansing markets.
The company disclosed that the decision would only affect three of its brands – OMO, Sunlight, and Lux. According to Unilever Nigeria, the move is aimed at accelerating the growth of the organisation and sustaining profitability.
The restructuring of Unilever Nigeria’s business model is in response to the tough business environment in Nigeria, where many organisations and individuals have found it difficult to access cash due to the Naira redesign policy of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
Unilever Nigeria’s Managing Director, Mr Carl Cruz, noted that the offloading of the home care and skin cleansing portfolios would enable the company to “concentrate on higher growth opportunities.”
Unilever Nigeria has a strong competition in the business categories it is exiting. However, the company’s products are also market leaders in the sector. Mr Cruz added that the company was repurposing its portfolio by gradually exiting two categories, home care and skin cleansing, affecting only three brands (OMO, Sunlight, and Lux).
This would allow Unilever Nigeria to drive the rest of its brand portfolio for growth into the future and strengthen business operations with measures to digitize and simplify processes.
Unilever Nigeria is a truly Nigerian business and the oldest serving manufacturer in the country. The company’s decision to exit the home care and skin cleansing markets is in line with its commitment to adapt to changing market circumstances and reposition itself to better meet the needs of its consumers, shareholders, and employees.
Mr Cruz said, “By making these changes, we will unleash the sustained and profitable growth we need to be here for the next 100 years as well.”
Merger and Acquisition
Access Bank Zambia Granted Approval for Atlas Mara Zambia Merger
Access Holdings Plc has announced that its subsidiary, Access Bank Zambia Limited, has received final regulatory approval from the Central Bank of Zambia for the acquisition and merger of African Banking Corporation Zambia Limited (Atlas Mara Zambia).
The move is a significant step towards the creation of one of the top five banks in Zambia.
Sunday Ekwochi, Company Secretary of Access Holdings, stated that the latest development is a big step towards the earlier announcement made on October 25, 2021.
This approval comes after the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa Competition Commission granted their “no objection” to the transaction in 2022.
Access Zambia will now begin the process of integrating and merging Atlas Mara Zambia into its existing operations. The merger is expected to boost Access Bank Zambia’s position in the Zambian banking sector and create more opportunities for its customers.
Access Holdings Plc is committed to expanding its operations and presence in Africa, and this acquisition and merger is a testament to its efforts in achieving that goal. The company believes that this move will strengthen its position as a leading financial services provider in the region.
Dr. Herbert Wigwe, Group Chief Executive Access Holdings, while commenting on the transaction, said: “The transaction builds on our earlier acquisition and merger of Cavmont Bank Plc into Access Bank Zambia and underscores our resolve to strengthen our presence in Zambia, a key African market that fits into our strategic focus on geographic earnings growth and diversification”.
Merger and Acquisition
First Citizens BancShares Acquires Silicon Valley Bank’s Deposits and Loans in FDIC-Assisted Deal
On Monday, First Citizens BancShares Inc announced that it had acquired the deposits and loans of Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) following its failure earlier this month.
This acquisition marks a significant step forward in addressing the global financial markets’ ongoing crisis of confidence.
As part of the deal, First Citizens BancShares will assume SVB’s assets including $110 billion in assets, $56 billion in deposits, and $72 billion in loans. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), which took control of SVB, will receive equity appreciation rights in First Citizens BancShares stock with a potential value of up to $500 million.
First Citizens BancShares described itself as having completed more FDIC-assisted transactions since 2009 than any other bank. It believes that the combined company will be resilient with a diverse loan portfolio and deposit base.
The bank’s statement also noted that its prudent risk management approach would continue to protect customers and stockholders through all economic cycles and market conditions.
In addition to the acquisition, First Citizens BancShares will receive a line of credit from the FDIC for contingent liquidity purposes. Again, the bank will have an agreement with the regulator to share some losses on commercial loans to provide further downside protection against potential credit losses.
While analysts said the move was positive for financial stability and the venture capital industry, they noted that it only addressed the issue of deposits leaving smaller banks for larger banks or money market funds up to a point.
Redmond Wong, Greater China market strategist at Saxo Markets, said that “First Citizens Bank’s acquisition of the SVB loan book and deposits does not add much to solve the number one issue that the U.S. banking system is now facing.”
SVB’s failure was the largest bank to fail since the 2008 financial crisis. Its closure on March 10th caused massive market disruption and heightened stresses across the banking sector globally. The acquisition of its deposits and loans by First Citizens BancShares is a step towards stabilizing the sector and restoring confidence in the global financial markets.
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