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Recapitalisation : Shareholders Laud NAICOM’s Cancellation

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  • Recapitalisation: Shareholders Laud NAICOM’s Cancellation

Shareholders on Monday commended the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) over the cancellation of the Tier Based Solvency Capital recapitalisation.

The shareholders under the aegis of the Independent Shareholders Association of Nigeria (ISAN) said the cancellation of the recapitalisation bid by NAICOM was a welcome development and a sign of respect for the rule of law.

Mr Moses Igbrude, ISAN Publicity Secretary, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that it was a welcome development that the regulator toed the path of law.

NAN reports that NAICOM on Nov. 23 announced the cancellation of the Tier Based Solvency Capital policy for the underwriting sector with immediate effect.

The commission gave this notice in a circular to all insurance companies on ‘Withdrawal of circular on Tier Based Solvency Capital policy for insurance companies in Nigeria,’ signed by the Director, NAICOM, Mr Agboola Pius, on Friday.

It will be recalled that recently, NAICOM announced a raise in the minimum capital base for life, non-life and composite insurance companies seeking licences to underwrite all risks in Nigeria.

The companies required from N2 billion, N3 billion and N5 billion to N6 billion, N9 billion and N15 billon, respectively under the tier-based minimum solvency capital structure.

It later announced an Oct. 1, 2018 deadline, which was not accepted by stakeholders, pushing them to take a legal action against the commission.

Igbrude said the shareholders were not against insurance recapitalisation but rather not comfortable with the short period of time NAICOM gave them for the exercise.

He said the shareholders were worried by the way and manner NAICOM changed the recapitalisation deadline from January 2019 to October 2018.

“The way they suddenly brought the day backward from January 2019 to October 2018 raised our suspicious to whether some cabal in the sector wants to corner insurance business through such a sudden and drastic action,” Igbrude said.

He said shareholders appreciated NAICOM’s efforts and eagerness to strengthen the operators’ capital base.

Igbrude urged the regulator to carry all stakeholders along through proper engagement and enlightenment to ensure mutual understanding for the benefit of the industry in particular and the economy in general.

“I sincerely advise the insurance companies to make hay while the sun shines because this opportunity will not last so long.

“All the insurance companies concerned should do their best to recapitalise as soon as possible to various categories they want to operate within the sector,” Igbrude stated.

However, Mr Sola Oni, a chartered stockbroker and Chief Executive Officer, Sofunix Investment and Communications, said illiquidity nurtured by customers’ apathy had made life difficult for insurance companies.

Oni said multinational companies in the oil and gas prefered offshore underwriters to carry their risk as against local ones who were defaulting steadily in settlement of claims and finding it difficult to mobilise premium.

“The court action which prompted NAICOM to suspend its tier-based solvency policy shall eventually be on the front burner.

“There is no quick fix that can provide financial succor for our ailing insurance firms outside the wall of outright recapitalisation or through mergers and acquisition in the final analysis.

“The earlier they accept the hard reality, the better,” Oni said.

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and Investing.com, with over a decade long experience in the global financial market.

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Finances of International Oil Companies Suffered in the Second Quarter

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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.

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Oil Halts Bullish Run as US Oil Inventories Rises Than Expected Last Week

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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.

UKOilDaily 5

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).

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Sub Saharan Africa Mergers and Acquisition Hits US$10.3bn in Q1 2020

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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.

Africa's equity capital marketOnly 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.

Africa's Debt Capital Market Q1, 2020

Africa's M&A Q1, 2020

Africa’s M&A Q1, 2020

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