- Floods: Lekki, VI May Lose Attraction, Say Experts
The recent flooding experienced in some parts of the country, especially in Lagos, has raised fears that petroleum products in filling stations’ storage facilities located in the affected areas may have been contaminated.
Real estate experts, including land and estate surveyors and valuers, as well as town planners have said the massive flooding in Lekki, Ajah, Ikoyi and Victoria Island, will lead to a reduction in the appetite of prospective tenants and property buyers.
A top official in one of the fuel marketing companies in Lagos told our correspondent that the fuel in the underground tanks in some of the stations in the affected areas would have been contaminated with water, and this could damage car engines.
“Some stations may not want to go through the process of draining the water. Lekki, Ikoyi and Victoria Island, among others, are prime areas and that is why we have many standard stations along that line. There are stations that sell one truck a day,” the source said.
The Vice President and Head of Energy Research, Ecobank, Mr. Dolapo Oni, noted that most filling stations were using underground tanks to store petroleum products, saying, “The basic worry is how much of the tanks have been affected.
“How much petrol could have been adulterated or contaminated with water? What have stations done to reduce the risk of contamination by water?”
The Executive Secretary, Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria, Mr. Obafemi Olawore, said, “We have our environment, health, safety and quality departments that will look at everything. For major marketers, before we send one litre out, we have made sure that the product meets every standard.
“If any marketer goes to his station after the flood would have receded, he will check everything; no marketer would sell fuel adulterated with water.”
The Vice President, Africa Chapter, International Real Estate Federation, Chief Kola Akomolede, said many people would be discouraged from buying or building properties in flood-prone areas of Lekki, Ikoyi, Victoria Island and others.
He, however, said the floods would have a significant effect on a country with acute shortage of accommodation.
“If it were in a country where there are several other choices, people will move en masse from Lekki and Victoria Island axis. We are not likely to see that kind of movement because there are no alternatives,” Akomolede stated.
According to him, some properties may remain unlet or unsold for some time, because of the flooding issue, adding, “That is supposed to bring down prices or rent.”
The Principal Partner, Ubosi Eleh & Co, an estate surveying and valuation firm, Mr. Chudi Ubosi, said with the flooding, people would worry a lot about buying properties in Lekki and would be a lot more circumspect and careful about what they buy.
“Developers will also be a lot more cautious about development, creating adequate channels as much as they can for water to run off,” he added.
A former President, Association of Town Planning Consultants of Nigeria, Mr. Moses Ogunleye, said the principal cause of the floods in Lagos was non-adherence to the physical development plans that had been prepared for various parts of the state.
He said, “For instance, there is what we call Lekki Infrastructure Master Plan; I am not sure a substantial percentage of that plan was implemented. We have a master plan that the government itself funded and it did not fully implement. The master plan says there should be new roads and drainages, and that canals should be constructed, among others.
“If we had these kinds of rains, that I don’t think were major, and we are having floods, then it means more problems will come.”
Ogunleye added that all the drains in the Lekki corridor should be properly re-emptied, as part of the short-term measures to stem flooding in the area.
“In the medium to long term, let there be a functional drainage system in Lagos,” he said, adding that there would be need for the demolition of some buildings on flood paths.
A surveyor and Managing Director, Lordsfield Limited, Mr. Ropo Olajugba, said, “When you sand-fill swamps and wetlands for construction and everyone filled to his own height, where do you expect the water to go? When yards are floored with cement rather than grass, then you can’t complain of flooding.”
He stressed the need for the country to develop modern flood management skills and techniques, which he said could only be achieved with proven technology.
“All physical development must be referenced to same datum: mean sea level. Meanwhile, a holistic measurement of what is where as presently existing must urgently be made, with a technology called Lidar; this will give a bird’s eye view of the topography of every half a metre space within the region,” Olajugba stated.
He added that blockages would be identified and future single development referencing could be achieved.
Finances of International Oil Companies Suffered in the Second Quarter
Finances of IOCs Plunged Amid COVID-19 Pandemic in the Second Quarter
Global leading oil companies suffered substantial losses in the second quarter, according to their various financial statements published in recent weeks.
On Thursday, Royal Dutch Shell posted $18.9 billion loss in the second quarter of 2020, far below the profit of $3.5 billion posted in the same quarter of 2019.
This, the company attributed to the plunge in global oil prices in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Shell warned that oil demand remained uncertain, adding that it had cut its exploration plans for this year from about 77 wells to just 22.
This was after the price of Brent crude oil plunged to $15 per barrel during the peak of COVID-19 pandemic while the price of West Texas Intermediate crude oil dipped to -$37 per barrel, the lowest on record.
Also, the company said it has reduced its capital expenditure for the year from the initial $25 billion to $20 billion amid a plunge in revenue and demand for the commodity.
Similarly, ExxonMobil reported a $1.1 billion loss, its biggest decline on record. The oil company also announced it would be lowing spending by 30 percent in 2020 to about $23 billion.
Among the various oil companies posting negative financial statements for the quarter was Chevron Corporation, the company reported $8.3 billion decline in the second quarter of the year. The lowest ever posted by the oil giant in almost three decades.
Chevron, therefore, warned that the havoc caused by COVID-19 pandemic in the energy sector might continue to weigh on earnings.
“While demand and commodity prices have shown signs of recovery, they are not back to pre-pandemic levels, and financial results may continue to be depressed into the third quarter of 2020,” Chevron’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Michael Wirth, said.
Oil Halts Bullish Run as US Oil Inventories Rises Than Expected Last Week
Oil Caps Gain as US Oil Inventories Rises Than Expected Last Week
Oil prices halted its bullish run on Wednesday after data from a group known as the American Petroleum Institute (API) revealed that U.S. crude inventories expanded by 7.5 million barrels last week, higher than the expected 2.1 million barrels.
This surged in oil inventories damped the recent increase in oil prices brought about by the renewed hope in COVID-19 vaccines and the 750 billion Euro ($859 billion) stimulus announced by the European Central Bank (ECB) to prop up economies – within the region – affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Brent crude oil, against which Nigerian crude oil is priced, rose to $44.86 barrel per day on Tuesday before pulling back to $43.80 on Wednesday during the London trading session.
The US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil rose as high as $42.48 per barrel on Tuesday before hitting $41.31 a barrel on Wednesday following the release of the data.
“Crude’s rally hit a brick wall after the API report showed a sharp rise in stockpiles and on President Trump’s warning that the coronavirus pandemic in the U.S. is likely to worsen,” said Edward Moya, senior market analyst at OANDA in New York.
“The crude demand outlook just got a double whammy with what could be the biggest rise in stockpiles since late May if confirmed by the EIA report tomorrow and on Trump’s downbeat virus briefing,” Moya said.
The official crude oil inventories data would be released on Wednesday by the US Energy Information Administration (EIA).
Sub Saharan Africa Mergers and Acquisition Hits US$10.3bn in Q1 2020
Sub Saharan Africa M&A Hits US$10.3bn in Q1 2020
South Africa – Refinitiv today released the 2020 first-half investment banking analysis for the Sub-Saharan Africa. According to the report, investment banking fees in Sub-Saharan Africa reached an estimated US$64.5 million during the second quarter of 2020, half the value recorded during the first quarter of 2020 and the lowest quarterly total since Q1 2012.
Around US$196.1 million worth of fees were earned in the region during the first half of 2020, down 27% from last year and a six-year low with fee declines recorded across M&A advisory, debt capital markets underwriting, and syndicated lending. Debt capital markets underwriting fees declined 45% to US$26.2 million, marking the lowest first half year total for bond fees in the region since 2016. Advisory fees earned from completed M&A transactions generated US$43.4 million, down 50% year-on-year to the lowest first half level since 2005, while syndicated lending fees fell 36% to a six-year low of US$71.5 million. Equity capital markets underwriting fees increased 164% year-on-year to US$55.1 million.
Government & Agency fees accounted for 26% of total investment banking fees earned in the region during the first half of 2020, up from 14% during the same period last year. South Africa generated the most fees in the region during the first six months of the year, a total of US$108.4 million accounting for 55%, followed by Nigeria with 13%. JP Morgan earned the most investment banking fees in the region during the first six months of 2020, a total of US$23.1 million or an 11.8% share of the total fee pool.
As for Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A), the value of announced M&A transactions with any Sub-Saharan African involvement reached US$10.3 billion during the first six months of 2020, 44% less than the value recorded during the same period in 2019, and a two-year low. The number of deals declined 18% over the same period. After just US$424.5 million worth of deals were recorded in April, marking the lowest monthly M&A total since October 2005, activity increased for two consecutive months to reach US$3.0 billion in June, a nine-month high.
Deals with a Sub-Saharan African target declined 76% by value to an eighteen-year low of US$3.2 billion, as domestic M&A within the region declined 71% from last year and the combined value of inbound M&A deals reached just US$1.2 billion, the lowest first-half level in more than two decades. The largest deal involving a Sub-Saharan African target was announced at the end of May – Afrimat’s US$644.3 million acquisition of South African mine operator Unicorn Capital Partners.
Deals in the materials sector accounted for 46% of Sub-Saharan African target M&A activity during the first six months of 2020. South Africa was the most targeted nation, followed by Uganda and Nigeria. Outbound M&A totalled US$3.6 billion during the first six months of 2020, 67% more than the value recorded during the same period in 2019, despite a 22% decline in the number of deals. With advisory work on eleven deals with a combined value of U$1.7 billion, JP Morgan holds to the top spot in the financial advisor ranking for deals with any Sub-Saharan African involvement during the first six months of 2020.
In the Equity Capital Market space, Sub-Saharan African equity and equity-related issuance totaled US$1.5 billion during the first half of 2020, 16% more than the value recorded during the same period last year, but lower than every other first half total since 2009. The number of deals recorded declined by 29% to the lowest first half tally since 2009.
Only one initial public offering was recorded during the first six months of the year. Malawian telecoms company, Airtel Malawi, raised US$28.7 million on the Malawi Stock Exchange in February. JP Morgan took first place in the Sub-Saharan African ECM underwriting league table during the first six months of 2020.
As for Debt Capital Markets, the African Development Bank raised $3 billion in a “Fight Covid-19” social bond at the end of March to help alleviate the economic and social impact the Coronavirus pandemic will have on livelihoods and economies in the region. With this deal, and Ghana’s US$3 billion Eurobond in February, Sub-Saharan African debt issuance totalled US$8.9 billion during the first quarter of 2020, the second-highest first quarter DCM total in the region of all-time. Only US$1.9 billion was raised during the second quarter, taking the value raised during the first six months of 2020 to US$10.7 billion, down 14% from last year and a four-year low. Deutsche Bank took the top spot in the Sub-Saharan African bond underwriter ranking during 1H 2020 with US$1.7 billion of related proceeds, or a 16% market share.
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