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Stock Investors Lost N158bn in March, Market Slumps by N48bn

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  • Stock Investors Lost N158bn in March, Market Slumps by N48bn

Investors in the Nigerian stock market lost N158bn in March amid persistent bearish sentiments.

The market, which opened the month at 31,721.76 basis points with a market capitalisation of N11.830bn, rose to its highest point on March 5 at 32,173.66bps with a market capitalisation of N11.998tn. It, however, closed at 31,041.42bps with a market capitalisation of N11.672tn on March 29, the last trading day of the month.

The analysis of the opening market capitalisation figure of N11.830bn and the closing figure of N11.672tn showed that N158bn had been lost by investors in the Nigerian stock market as of end of March.

Judging by the All-Share Index, the market dropped to its lowest point during the month on March 27 at 30,829.45bps, while the lowest point, judging by market capitalisation, was recorded on March 21 at N11.518tn.

During the last week in the month, the total turnover of 2.629 billion shares worth N12.794bn were traded in 15,558 deals by investors on the floor of the Exchange, in contrast to a total of 1.198 billion shares valued at N12.273bn that exchanged hands in the previous week in 18,293 deals.

The financial services industry (measured by volume) led the activity chart with 2.346 billion shares valued at N8.602bn traded in 9,331 deals, thus contributing 89.23 per cent and 67.23 per cent to the total equity turnover volume and value, respectively.

The Information and Communications Technology industry followed with 140.531 million shares worth N28.117m in 113 deals.

The third place was occupied by the consumer goods industry with a turnover of 54.152 million shares worth N2.099bn in 2,613 deals.

Trading in the top three equities namely Wema Bank Plc, Chams Plc and Zenith Bank Plc (measured by volume) accounted for 1.948 billion shares worth N3.449bn in 1,642 deals, contributing 74.08 per cent and 26.96 per cent to the total equity turnover volume and value, respectively.

The ASI depreciated by 0.31 per cent while market capitalisation appreciated by 0.51 per cent to close the week at 31,041.42bps and N11.672tn, respectively.

The top five gainers for the week were Eterna Plc, Red Star Express Plc, Ikeja Hotel Plc, C & I Leasing Plc and Associated Bus Company Plc, whose share prices gained 10.42 per cent, 10 per cent, 9.94 per cent, 9.90 per cent and 8.16 per cent, respectively.

The top five losers were Fidelity Bank Plc, Dangote Flour Mills Plc, Sovereign Trust Insurance Plc, Mutual Benefits Assurance Plc and Academy Press Plc, which saw their respective share prices shed 13.08 per cent, 12.07 per cent, 9.09 per cent, 8.33 per cent and 8.33 per cent.

In the first quarter of the year, the stock market slumped by N48bn as gains in some trading days reduced major losses.

The market hit its highest point on February 15 at 32,715.20 bps with a market capitalisation of N12.2tn, while the lowest point was recorded on January 9 at 29,336.80bps with a market capitalisation of N10.940tn.

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 experience in the global financial markets.

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Healthcare Startups Raised $111.4bn in Total Funding, a 34% Jump Year-on-Year

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Startups in the Healthcare Sector Raises $111.4bn in Funding

The coronavirus pandemic put enormous pressure on the healthcare industry, forcing pharmaceutical giants and institutions to roll out clinical trials for a COVID-19 vaccine at breakneck speed. But behind the COVID-19 outbreak as the main healthcare issue in 2020, large health systems and venture capital firms continued investing millions in startups whose products could bring critical healthcare delivery innovation.

According to data presented by Buy Shares, UK, the total amount of funds healthcare startups raised over time hit $111.4bn in September, a 34% jump year-on-year.

Total Funding Amount Surged by 162% in Three Years

In 2015, healthcare startups worldwide raised $5.4bn in funding rounds, with the cumulative value of investments reaching $24.4bn that year, revealed the CrunchBase data. During the next two years, this figure surged by more than 68%, reaching $45.5bn in the fourth quarter of 2017.

Statistics show that 2018 delivered a $19.2bn of investments into healthcare startups, while the cumulative funding value rose to $64.7bn. In 2019, the total value of raised funds jumped by $24.7bn to $89.4bn, the most significant increase year-on-year.

The Crunchbase data revealed the first quarter of 2020 delivered $7.1bn worth investments into healthcare startups, a 51% increase year-on-year. Between April and June, the cumulative value of funding rose to $103.7bn and continued growing. Statistics show the total funding amount healthcare startups raised over time surged by 162% in the last three years.

Analyzed by geography, North America represents the leading region with $72.4bn of investments in healthcare startups. The US companies raised more than 97% of that amount, with California and San Francisco as the leading hubs. Asian startups hit $25.5bn in total funding, ranking as the second-leading region globally. European healthcare startups follow with $12.8bn worth funding rounds.

Three Largest Funding Rounds in 2020 Worth Over $2bn

The CrunchBase data also revealed the three largest healthcare startup funding rounds this year hit over $2bn value.

Last month, JD Health, the healthcare unit of Chinese e-commerce giant JD.com, raised more than $830 million from Hillhouse Capital in Series B funding, the largest investment in 2020. The company announced it would use this capital to further strengthen its pharmacy supply chain capabilities and explore additional healthcare services opportunities in the broader healthcare sector.

In July, Seattle-based biotech startup Sana Biotechnology raised $700 million in initial financing that will be used to advance the company’s discovery and development programs that deliver engineered cells as a treatment for different types of diseases.

Statistics show that Lyell Immunopharma`s $493 million worth Series C funding round represents the third-largest healthcare startup investment in 2020. Last year, the San Francisco-based company joined forces with GlaxoSmithKline plc to develop new technologies to improve cell therapies for cancer patients.

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FinCEN Leaks: Tone Down The Rhetoric and Focus on Improving Banking Checks

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Banks Must do More To Prevent Financial Crime

The FinCEN leaks underscore that banks must do much more to prevent financial crime, but also that a clear distinction must be made between legal and illegal financial practices.

This is the message from Nigel Green, the CEO and founder of deVere Group, one of the world’s largest independent financial advisory and fintech organisations, as more than 2,500 documents from the U.S. Financial Crimes Enforcement Network raise concerns about what banks’ clients might be doing.

Mr Green says: “These documents show how some of the world’s biggest banks have seemingly turned a blind eye to criminals moving dirty money around the world through their systems.

“For me, this highlights once again that these major financial institutions need to do much more and with vigour to help prevent high-level financial crime, which is a serious global problem.

“It brings up the issues of independent verification and conflict of interest within banks. Should a bank with a financial interest be allowed to make the decision on moving such large figures?

“A bizarre anomaly is that it appears that smaller amounts are often questioned, but larger figures often appear not to be.”

He continues: “Whilst banks must, evidently, do much more in this area, it is also important to make clear the distinctions between legal and illegal financial practices.

“A failure to do so muddies the waters and makes combatting financial crimes harder.

“For instance, some high-profile individuals have been accused of wrongdoing when their actions and decisions were legal at the time.

“The notion that they are ‘getting away’ with investments that were perfectly legal when they were made is, frankly, ludicrous and wholly unhelpful.

“Knowing this, some have accused these individuals of being ‘immoral’. However, the law is not supposed to be a moral issue.

“It might very well be the case that the laws need to be overhauled, but until that point, the witch-hunt must be called-off.”

The deVere concludes: “Let’s tone down the rhetoric and focus on the serious issues of stamping out financial crime by implementing more robust checks and balances inside the banking system.”

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Alibaba Group’s Revenue Surged to $22.7bn in Q2 2020, Still Four Times Less Than Amazon

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Alibaba Revenue Rose to $22.7bn in the Second Quarter 2020

While many Chinese companies have faced severe challenges and losses caused by the coronavirus outbreak, Alibaba Group is emerging as one of the country’s biggest corporate winners of the COVID-19 crisis. The multinational tech giant gained the opportunity to expand its business during the first half of 2020, as demand for its services and online marketplace traffic surged amid the coronavirus lockdown.

According to data presented by StockApps.com, the Alibaba Group’s revenue jumped to $22.7bn in the second quarter of 2020, still four times less than its leading competitor Amazon.

Alibaba Quarterly Revenue Jumped 34% YoY, Amazon’s 40%

Alibaba Group emerged as China’s leading eCommerce company after the 2003 SARS outbreak. Since then, it has become a significant hirer and a lender, providing more than 100,000 jobs and offering billions of dollars in loans to SMEs.

One of the group’s most profitable marketplaces is Taobao, responsible for more than 80% of its sales. Unlike Amazon, Alibaba isn’t involved in direct sales and doesn’t own warehouses; it simply helps branded manufacturers and small businesses to reach consumers. Although both tech giants have established a strong presence in their domestic markets, there is intense competition between them in expanding to the new markets.

Alibaba’s revenue amounted to $11.9bn in the second quarter of 2018, while its US competitor reported $52.8bn, four times more than that. During the next twelve months, Alibaba`s revenues surged by 41% to almost $17bn in the second quarter of 2020. Amazon’s revenue rose by nearly 20% to $63.4bn in the same quarter. After a strong performance in the third and fourth quarter of 2019, the revenue of both companies slightly dropped in the first quarter of 2020. However, the second quarter of the year delivered the highest results, so far.

Alibaba Group’s revenue jumped to $22.7bn; an 34% increased year-over-year. The company’s Q2 Results also revealed the number of their annual active consumers on the China retail marketplaces surged by 16 million in three months, reaching a total of 742 million. Mobile MAUs on China retail marketplaces jumped to 874 million in June, an increase of 28 million compared to the first quarter. Adjusted EBITDA grew by 30% in a year to $7.2bn, while quarterly net income rose to more than $6.5bn.

In August, Amazon also announced its excellent second-quarter results, which revealed double-digit revenue growth year-over-year driven by a surge in sales amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The US tech giant’s revenue spiked 40% year-over-year to $88.9bn, up from $81.5bn expected. Net income surged by 100% to $5.2 bn, while earnings per share hit $10.30, a significant increase compared to $5.22 in the second quarter of 2019. The company reported its North American sales rose by 43% to $55.4bn, while international sales grew 38% to $22.7bn.

Combined Market Cap of Two Tech Giants Soared by 81% YoY

Besides their revenues and profits booming amid the coronavirus outbreak, both Alibaba Group and Amazon witnessed significant growth in their market capitalization since the beginning of the year.

In December 2019, the market cap of the Chinese tech giant amounted to $570.9bn, revealed the Yahoo Finance data. After a 10% drop in March, this figure rose to $581.2bn in June. Statistics show the Alibaba Group’s market cap continued growing in the third quarter, rising by $181.2bn after fantastic Q2 2020 results. In September, it surged to $762.4bn, a 75% jump year-over-year.

In 2020, Amazon officially became the fourth tech company to join the $1 trillion club, besides Apple, Microsoft, and Alphabet. Statistics show the company’s market cap amounted to $920.2bn in December last year. By the end of the first half of 2020, it rose to $1.38trn and continued growing ever since. Statistics show the combined value of Amazon’s stocks surged by $210bn after the US tech giant announced its last quarterly results and hit $1.59trn in September, an 80% increase year-over-year.

The combined market capitalization of the two competitors hit $2.35trn this month, almost 58% jump since the beginning of the year.

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