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Amzat, Others to Speak at 20th Africa Business Summit in London



Africa Business Summit

By Aduragbemi Omiyale

The Managing Director of Zedcrest Group, Mr Adedayo Amzat, will join other important personalities to speak at the 20th edition of Africa Business Summit (ABS) scheduled for the London Business School, the United Kingdom on Saturday, May 14, 2022.

The summit is themed Africa Post-Pandemic: Unlocking the Next Frontier of Growth and has Zedcrest as a silver sponsor as part of its desire to promote an inclusive economy in Africa and to further extend the company’s prosperity inclusion advocacy to Africans in diaspora, and foreign investors.

The Minister, Secretary General, Presidency of Ivory Coast, Abdourahmane Cissé and the Director of Google West Africa, Juliet Ehimuan, are the keynote speakers.

On the panel with Mr Amzat are Admassu Tadesse, President of TDB Group; Serge Ekué, President at BOAD (West African Development Bank); Kudazyi Hove, Entrepreneur and Board Member; Caleb Usoh, Country Director (Nigeria) at OCP SA; Ido Sum, Partner at TLcom Capital; Jonathan Brenton, Head of International Trade at Pernod Ricard; Dr Davis Musinguzi, Co-Founder & CEO at Rocket Health; Eren Kelekci, Chief Investment Officer, Food and Agriculture at African Development Bank Group.

Others include Habiba Ben Barka, Chief of Africa Section at UNCTAD; Colin Coleman, former CEO Goldman Sachs SSA, Yale Fellow; Fani Titi, CEO at Investec; Joseph-Alain Saraka, Chief Strategy Officer at ARISE; Peter Nyeko, co-founder and Managing Director of Mandulis Energy; Ibrahim Sagna, Director Advisory & Capital Markets at Afrexim; Mohamed Dabbour, CEO at Aesthina Partners Ltd and Thione Niang, founder at JeufZone Farm.

Commenting ahead of the event, Mr Amzat said, “With 70 per cent of Africa’s population under the age of 30, the continent is really the last frontier for global companies and investors hunting for the next big markets to deploy both capital and products.

“The continent has also witnessed a huge leap in the quantum and quality of entrepreneurial efforts, particularly in the emerging technology world. African founders have proven that they are world-class in applying innovative technologies in solving our everyday problems.

“However, the local capital markets haven’t developed enough to facilitate this growth, leading to a disproportionate reliance on foreign capital.

“Domestic capital pools from the Banks, Pension Funds, Asset Managers and HNIs will need to be mobilised to support the growth of innovation on the continent.”

He opined that the number of deals and funding in African startups has been growing over the last few years, and the ratification of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) could also boost the African startup ecosystem by creating the biggest Free Trade Area in the world.

The Africa Business Summit has established itself as a leading forum for shaping an integrated and innovative perspective on Africa’s future. It is a student-led initiative of the London Business School (LBS) that attracts an audience of over 500 investors, policymakers, business leaders, professionals, diaspora, students, and alumni.

Zedcrest Group is the parent company of Zedvance Finance Limited, a leading consumer lending firm; Zedcap Partners, a foremost securities brokerage firm engaging in the broking of financial products in sub-Saharan Africa Over-the-counter (OTC) Fixed Income and currencies markets (FICC). Zimvest, an asset management firm licensed by the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) is also a subsidiary of the group.

It was recently recognised as the fastest-growing firm in Nigeria’s financial services sector, the second fastest-growing company in the country and the fifth fastest-growing in Africa in the 2022 Financial Times ranking for Africa’s Fastest Growing Companies published on its official website.

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Binance Gets Digital Asset Service Provider Licence in France




By Adedapo Adesanya

Binance, the world’s largest crypto and blockchain infrastructure provider, has been granted a Digital Asset Service Provider (DASP) registration to operate in France.

The green light was given by Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF), which regulates the French financial markets, with the approval of the Autorité de Contrôle Prudentiel et de Résolution (ACPR), the authority responsible for supervising the banking and insurance sectors in France, especially AML Regulations.

The landmark achievement for Binance represents its first DASP registration in the European Union and demonstrates its commitment to being a compliance-first exchange.

The registration allows Binance France SAS to operate as a DASP in France and provides regulatory protection for local users with regard to the implementation of French AML/CFT and customer identification requirements.

This came just after the platform received licenses to be a crypto service provider in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, a key milestone for the world’s largest digital-asset exchange as it set up the stage for a major push in the Middle East.

According to Binance, compliance and regulation are critical to the development and maturation of the crypto and blockchain industry.

Mr Changpeng Zhao (CZ), founder and CEO of Binance, said: “Effective regulation is essential for the mainstream adoption of cryptocurrency. The French DASP and AML/CFT regulations put in place stringent anti-money laundering and fit and proper requirements to meet the high standards necessary to be regulated in France.”

“We are grateful to the AMF and ACPR who both demonstrated a commitment to innovation that made it possible for Binance to navigate the entire application process. Since day one, Binance has always put its users first, and now the crypto community can have even further confidence in Binance France as a trusted DASP registered in France,” he added.

Mr David Princay, CEO of Binance France added, “The registration of Binance France as a DASP is a key milestone for crypto in Europe. In particular, the new levels of protection for AML will help grow crypto adoption in France and Europe. Greater adoption will help bring better liquidity to the market which will be welcomed by users and the community in particular.”

Following the registration, Binance will significantly expand its operations and intends to recruit more people focused on cryptocurrency and blockchain infrastructure development.

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We’ll Sustain High Level of Corporate Governance—Seplat




By Aduragbemi Omiyale

The immediate past chairman of Seplat Energy Plc, Mr Ambrosie Bryant Chukwueloka (ABC) Orjiako, has assured that the company will continue to sustain a high level of corporate governance.

Speaking last Thursday at the closing gong ceremony to honour him and introduce his successor, Mr Basil Omiyi, to the market, the energy expert applauded the Nigerian Exchange (NGX) Limited for insisting on transparent and accountable corporate governance for issuers on its platform.

According to him, this has been critical to the company’s growth, assuring that this trend would be maintained in the interest of the firm’s stakeholders.

“The high level of corporate governance promoted by NGX for its listed companies was a key attribute that motivated Seplat Energy Plc to become part of the market.

“Since our acceptance into the market, Seplat Energy Plc has continued to deliver a corporate governance structure that is accountable and transparent to our investors, employees, government and all other relevant stakeholders.

“We are committed to sustaining these high levels of corporate governance through our collaboration with NGX as we implement market-leading measures towards ensuring Nigeria achieves a sustainable energy sector,” he said.

Corroborating him, Mr Omiyi, said, “NGX has played an instrumental role in Seplat Energy Plc’s growth within the domestic and international markets. Our history with the exchange dates back to 2014 when the shares of Seplat Energy Plc were listed in the market and over the years, Seplat has benefitted immensely from its collaboration with NGX.

“As we celebrate another milestone on the Trading Floor of the Exchange, we look forward to strengthening our partnership with NGX for the fulfilment of our joint goal of leveraging capital to empower sustainable initiatives that positively impact our investors, employees, and the environment.”

The chairman of NGX, Mr A.B. Mahmoud, in his address, congratulated Mr Orjiako for his exemplary leadership and outstanding performance of Seplat Energy for well over a decade, during which the company was listed on both NGX and the London Stock Exchange.

“The notable acquisition of eight oil and gas assets, expansion of the Oben and development of the ANOH gas plants under his leadership positioned the company as the largest indigenous domestic supplier of gas,” Mr Mahmoud, who was represented by a director on the bourse, Mr Kamarudeen Oladosu, he noted.

On his part, the CEO of NGX, Mr Temi Popoola, said, “The exchange is better positioned to lead government advocacy efforts for listed companies, promote technology advancement and digital innovation for the capital market, and increase retail investor participation in the capital market aimed at building a market for the future and addressing the prevailing challenge of financial inclusion.

“We welcome Seplat Energy Plc to a renewed NGX and look forward to deepening our collaboration to develop and push for disruptive, out of the box ideas that could support Nigeria’s energy transition into a net-zero economy.”

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JUST IN: CBN Raises Benchmark Interest Rate to 13%



killing interest rate

By Dipo Olowookere

For the first time in two years, the Monetary Policy Rate (MPR) has been raised by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to 13.0 per cent from 11.5 per cent.

Mr Godwin Emefiele, the Governor of the CBN, who announced this development on Tuesday in Abuja, explained that the decision to increase the benchmark interest rate was taken at the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting held yesterday and today.

While addressing financial reporters this afternoon, Mr Emefiele said members of the committee were unanimous with the decision to hike the rates as it was the best thing to do after holding them for about two years.

According to the central bank chief, one of the reasons for raising the rate is to control liquidity ahead of the 2023 general elections as politicians would be expected to flood the system with cash in a bid to woo voters.

However, the other parameters were left unchanged by members at the gathering as the Asymmetric corridor remained around the MPR at +100/-700bps, the Cash Reserve Ratio (CRR) at 27.5 per cent and the Liquidity Ratio (LR) at 30.0 per cent.

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