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Economy

COVID-19: FMDQ Lists N23bn Debt Securities

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FMDQ Platform

By Adedapo Adesanya

FMDQ Securities Exchange Limited said it admitted over N23 billion worth of debt securities in the midst of coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

The exchange, in a statement on Monday, noted that the current business climate, affected by the impact of the global health pandemic, has seen most corporates and business entities look to the debt capital markets as a viable avenue to efficiently raise funds to meet their financing needs towards business expansion and/or working capital management, amongst others.

According to the statement, “As the leading organiser for the Nigerian debt capital market (DCM), FMDQ Securities Exchange, towards empowering the Nigerian financial market, provides a choice platform for the registrations, listings, quotations, and trading of debt securities.”

In the statement, the exchange announced  the approval of the listing of the FBNQuest Merchant Bank Funding SPV PLC Series 1 N5 billion Fixed Rate Senior Unsecured Bond, and the quotations of the Coronation Merchant Bank Limited N6 billion Series 9 and N9 billion Series 10 Commercial Paper (CP) notes under its N100 billion CP Issuance Programme as well as the Mixta Real Estate Plc N3.30 billion Series 20 – 23 CP notes under its N20 billion CP Issuance Programme on its platform.

It also admitted the Guinness Nigeria Plc N10 billion CP Programme, allowing the company to raise funds from the market up to the limit approved within its registered CP Programme as at when the need arises. Issues from this CP Programme will also be quoted on FMDQ Exchange.

The statement explained that, “These admissions to FMDQ Exchange’s platform are reflective of the potential of the Nigerian DCM and the commendable level of confidence demonstrated by both issuers and investors in the market.

“They also validate the efficient processes and integrated systems through which FMDQ Holdings Plc (FMDQ Group or FMDQ), through its wholly owned subsidiaries – FMDQ Exchange, FMDQ Clear Limited, FMDQ Depository Limited and FMDQ Private Markets Limited – has sustained its uninterrupted service delivery to the market and its diverse stakeholders during this difficult time and beyond.

“As is the corporate tradition for FMDQ Exchange, these securities shall be availed the benefits of the value-driven listings and quotations service on the Exchange, including global visibility through its website and systems, liquidity credible price formation and continuous information disclosure to protect investor interest, amongst others.

“In keeping with its commitment to the development of the market, FMDQ Exchange shall sustain its efforts in supporting issuers with tailored financing options to enable them achieve their strategic objectives, deepen and effectively position the Nigerian DCM for growth, in support of the realisation of a globally competitive and vibrant economy.

“With a vision to become the leading African builder of ecosystems of financial infrastructure and services for markets, and a mission to collaborate to empower markets for economic progress towards delivering prosperity.

“FMDQ Group is unwavering in its pursuit of product and market innovation and as well as stakeholder engagement, towards making the Nigerian financial markets globally competitive, operationally excellent, liquid and diverse, in line with its GOLD Agenda,” it added.

Adedapo Adesanya is a journalist, polymath, and connoisseur of everything art. When he is not writing, he has his nose buried in one of the many books or articles he has bookmarked or simply listening to good music with a bottle of beer or wine. He supports the greatest club in the world, Manchester United F.C.

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Economy

Access Holdings to Buy Foremost PFA First Guarantee Pension

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First Guarantee Pension

By Dipo Olowookere

Access Holdings Plc, in a bid to expand its revenue streams, is proposing to acquire a majority equity stake in a leading pension fund administration (PFA), First Guarantee Pension Limited.

The Group Chief Executive Officer of Access Holdings, Mr Herbert Wigwe, disclosed that the deal is in line with the ambitious plans of the organisation to become the major provider of financial services in Africa.

He stated that the company wants the lion’s share of the PFA because it has the structures and a track record to deliver superb services to customers and with cutting-edge technology and tested and trusted corporate government and high standards of professionalism, it will manage the pension assets of its clients.

“This transaction is a natural evolution for us. Over the last 20 years, we set our sights on and delivered ambitious plans to transform the African financial services landscape focusing on banking and have created the Africa leading bank and the largest bank by customer base,” Mr Wigwe was quoted as saying in a statement signed by the company secretary, Mr Sunday Ekwochi.

Speaking further, the renowned banker said, “The large customer base both on the wholesale and retail segments makes the pension business a natural fit for the corporation given its objective of ecosystem optimisation.”

“We will leverage our well-established culture of strong corporate governance, risk management, cutting-edge technology and digital capabilities to deliver high standards of professionalism of pension assets to the benefits of our stakeholders,” he assured.

It was disclosed that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the National Pension Commission (PenCom) have given their ‘no objection’ to the transaction. However, the completion of the deal is subject to the receipt of all required regulatory approvals.

Access Holdings said the transaction is a consequential step in its evolution from a narrow banking business into a financial service holding company positioned to gain relevant scale across Africa, global monetary centres and beyond-banking verticals

Business Post recalls that in August 2011, PenCom took over the management of First Guarantee Pension due to “incessant shareholders squabbles and several issues of adverse corporate governance in the PFA.”

An Interim Management Committee was then formed to pilot the affairs of the company.

The regulator had said the action was taken based on the powers conferred on it by the Pension Reform Act 2004 (PRA 2004) and in the exercise of its statutory mandate of protecting the pension fund and assets.

The PFA was established in 2004 as a limited liability company and its vision is “to be the PFA of the first choice in Nigeria reputed for real wealth creation and excellent customer service through consistently superior and sustained return on investment to all stakeholders.”

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Economy

FBN Holdings to Take Over Access Bank’s Pension Fund Custodian Business

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First Pension Custodian Access Pension Fund Custodian

By Aduragbemi Omiyale

A Nigerian financial group, FBN Holdings Plc, has taken another step to enhance its earnings by acquiring the pension fund custodian business of Access Bank Plc.

FBN Holdings is making this acquisition possible through one of its subsidiaries, First Pension Custodian, and it involves the total control of Access Pension Fund Custodian Limited.

A notice from both organisations disclosed that the transaction involves the transfer of a 100 per cent stake of Access Bank in the pension fund business to FBN Pension.

At the moment, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the National Pension Commission (PenCom), the two key regulators of the two transacting companies, have given a “no objection” to the deal.

However, the sale is yet to be finalised as approvals of other regulatory agencies are being awaited.

“FBN Holdings Plc wishes to notify the Nigerian Exchange (NGX) Limited and the investing public that First Pension Custodian, a subsidiary of FBNH’s flagship subsidiary, First Bank of Nigeria Limited, has entered into a definitive agreement with Access Bank Plc for the planned acquisition by First Pension of 100 per cent share capital of Access Pension Fund Custodian Limited held by Access Bank Plc.

“The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the National Pension Commission (PenCom) have given their ‘no objection’ to the transaction, with completion subject to the receipt of all required regulatory approvals,” a disclosure from FBN Holdings signed by Adewale Arogundade, the acting company secretary, said.

On its part, Access Holdings Plc said it “announces today that its subsidiary, Access Bank Plc, has entered into a definitive agreement with First Pension Custodian Nigeria Limited regarding a proposed purchase by First Pension of the entire share capital of Access Pension Fund Custodian Limited held by Access Bank.

“The National Pension Commission and the Central Bank of Nigeria have given their ‘no objection’ to the transaction,” Mr Sunday Ekwochi, the company secretary, disclosed.

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Economy

CBN Laments Failure of Oyo Farmers to Repay Agric Loans

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tomato farmers in Nigeria

By Adedapo Adesanya

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has lamented that the majority of farmers who benefited from the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme (ABP) in Oyo State have not repaid their loans.

This call was made by Mr Sadeeq Ajayi, a CBN Development Finance Office in Ibadan at the Agribusiness Innovation Clinic.

He appealed to farmers who defaulted in paying back the agric loans to pay back, saying that the inability of the apex bank to recover the loans from the defaulting farmers had threatened the scheme, adding that it has prevented other farmers from accessing the facility.

The CBN official made the call at a clinic entitled Fostering Innovation and Collaboration Across the Agricultural Value Chain organised by the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN).

ABP is an agricultural loan scheme launched in 2015 by the federal government, through CBN, to provide loans (in kind and cash) to smallholder farmers to boost agricultural production, create jobs, reduce food import bills toward conservation of the foreign reserves.

“While the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme has recorded some level of success, the failure of farmers to repay the loans has, however, been a major setback.

“Many of the farmers refused to pay back their loans due to the misconception that since CBN is the lender, the loan is a ‘national cake’ and they do not have to pay back what they consider theirs as citizens.

“This attitude has made it difficult for other farmers, who also want to access the loan, to benefit from the scheme,” he said.

Mr Ajayi said that stakeholders, including the traditional rulers, should appeal to the defaulting farmers to promptly repay the loans for the sake of others.

“Of course, we are engaging various stakeholders and we expect the narrative to change very soon so that more people can have access to the fund,” he said.

In his keynote address, Mr Olasukanmi Olaleye, the Oyo State Commissioner for Trade, Industry, Investment and Cooperatives, lauded the initiative of GAIN to tackle malnutrition in the country.

Mr Olaleye, represented by Mr Mukaila Oladipo, a Deputy Director in the ministry, said that food fortification is one of the safest, most effective and affordable ways of addressing the micronutrient gaps in the country.

Also, Mr Godwin Ehiabhi, a Senior Project Manager, GAIN Nigeria, said that improved access to safe and nutritious food would reduce the country’s high rate of malnutrition.

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