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FBNQuest Reiterates Commitment to Africa’s Tech Startups Growth

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Startups Can Do To Stand Out

By Adedapo Adesanya

FBNQuest, the investment banking and asset management subsidiary of FBN Holdings Plc, has continued to demonstrate itself as a forerunner in supporting the growth of technology startups in Africa through its recent participation in the 2nd investment vehicle of TLcom Capital (TIDE Africa Fund II – TAF 2).

TLcom Capital LLP, an Africa-focused venture capital firm recently announced a first close of $70 million for its $150 million Africa focused tech fund (TIDE Africa Fund II -TAF2), this achievement firmly positions the firm as one of the largest independent Venture Capital (VC) fund managers fully dedicated to the continent. Most of this capital has come from returning Limited Partners (those who backed the first fund), indicating their confidence in the fund manager.

These Limited Partners (LPs) include Development Finance Institutions (DFIs) like Sango Capital, IFC, Proparco, and CDC Group (now known as British International Investment), as well as the private sector and philanthropic investors like FBNQuest Funds and King Philanthropies, respectively.

A new investor backing TAF 2 is AfricaGrow – a joint venture platform backed by Allianz (the world’s largest insurer) and DEG (the German DFI). The new fund gives TLcom the opportunity to expand its focus on fast-growth tech-enabled African startups to markets like Egypt and strengthen its long-standing presence across East and West Africa.

In the manager’s first Africa-focused VC fund (TIDE Africa Fund I – TAF 1) which closed at US$71Mn, FBNQuest’s capital contribution in TAF 1 helped TLcom back and catalyse eleven companies directly via co-investments of over US$200Mn into these companies in subsequent funding rounds.

This has helped produce successful tech companies such as Andela, Kobo360, Twiga Foods, uLesson, Okra and Autochek.

In addition to these, TLcom has built a robust network in the Africa tech ecosystem with over ten years of direct participation in the space. The fund manager has established ecosystem initiatives such as a CEO Summit – a summit to catalyse synergy and collaboration between CEOs of portfolio companies, and a Tech Female Founders Summit – an event designed to build a collaborative network of African female tech founders.

Speaking on the TAF 2 first close, Mrs Ijeoma Agboti, Managing Director, FBNQuest Funds stated, “We recognise the transformational role that technology must play in narrowing the gap between industries in Africa and the rest of the world, and we are proud to have played a key role in enabling this growth.”

FBNQuest, in a release seen by Business Post, said it is pleased to have participated in the first close of TLcom’s 2nd pan-African Tech Fund (TIDE Africa Fund II) which follows a first close commitment to the manager’s maiden fund (TIDE Africa Fund I).

It noted its decision to support TLcom on its second fund was based on the fund manager’s track record of investing in high growth tech companies with strong business fundamentals and implementing value creation strategies that improve the operations and profitability of these companies.

“We remain confident that TLcom is well-positioned to continue to deliver on our shared objective to provide capital, the required operational support and access to international partnerships to technology companies in the Africa region through the TIDE Africa Fund II.

“As a leading Alternative Investments manager, backing the TIDE Africa Fund II adds to the organisation’s selective portfolio of tech-focused funds, and once again highlights its capabilities in the high growth technology venture capital space,” the company noted.

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.

Economy

Sterling Bank Assures Shareholders More Value With New Structure

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sterling bank logo

By Aduragbemi Omiyale

Recently, shareholders of Sterling Bank Plc authorised the board of the company to transform its organizational structure into a holding firm to be known as Sterling Financial Holdings Company.

A holding company or Holdco is a company set up for the purpose of making and managing, for its own account, equity investment in two or more companies, being its subsidiaries, engaged in the provision of financial services, one of which must be a bank.

The Chief Executive of Sterling Bank, Mr Abubakar Suleiman, said with the new arrangement, shareholders would have value for their money as the company would have the opportunity to increase its income streams because of its involvement in new ventures.

He disclosed that the advantages of the newly formed holding company include value creation to maximise earnings through new businesses, agility to optimise for opportunities and adapt to a rapidly changing market, maximise current and future talent potential with opportunities within the group and subsidiaries to nurture and engage its wealth of young and innovative talent.

According to him, the holding company also affords Sterling another opportunity to leverage its successful HEART strategy, which has seen the bank make consolidated investments in the Health, Education, Agriculture, Renewable Energy and Transportation sectors, growing the company’s year-on-year profits to record highs despite strong economic headwinds.

With the adoption of a Holdco structure, Sterling now possesses the latitude to make inroads into other sectors within financial services, such as pensions, asset management, payment services, real estate, and different verticals, along with the current banking licenses held by the commercial and non-interest banking subsidiaries, Sterling Bank and The Alternative Bank.

In recent times, the bank has doubled down on digitisation with specialised products through the development and introduction of Specta, OneBank, I-invest, Gazelle and Omni X to fulfil the market’s needs for innovative retail and commercial banking solutions.

On his part, the Chairman of Sterling Bank, Mr Asue Ighodalo, said, “Following the implementation of the scheme, shareholders will exchange their shares in the Bank for shares in HoldCo in the same proportion as their current holdings in the Bank, which will be a regulated entity for CBN purposes.”

He added that the scheme would provide several benefits to the shareholders of the bank, some of which include facilitating diversification into other permissible business lines, thereby promoting growth and enhancing shareholder value and facilitating a consolidated financial strength of the group, which will improve access and ability to raise capital.

It was gathered that upon the final ratification by the regulators, the commercial banking subsidiary of the holding company, Sterling Bank; will continue to operate with its current name as a limited liability company, with shares transferred from the publicly traded company transferred to the newly formed Sterling Financial Holdings Company.

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Economy

Friesland Extends NASD OTC Securities Growth by 0.98%

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Friesland shares

By Adedapo Adesanya

FrieslandCampina WAMCO Nigeria Plc extended the bulls’ presence at the NASD Over-the-Counter (OTC) Securities Exchange by 0.98 per cent on Tuesday, September 27.

This expanded the market capitalisation of the bourse by N9.38 billion to N963.94 billion from N954.56 billion and jerked the NASD Unlisted Securities Index (NSI) up by 3.19 basis points to end the day at 762.12 points as against the 765.31 points it recorded in the previous session.

FrieslandCampina WAMCO Nigeria Plc appreciated yesterday by N4.90 to sell at N78.00 per unit compared to the N73.10 per unit it was transacted a day earlier.

Despite the growth posted yesterday by the NASD OTC securities, there was a price loser and it was Niger Delta Exploration and Production (NDEP) Plc, which declined by N1.00 to settle at N199.00 per share compared with Monday’s value of N198.00 per share.

During the session, there was a rise in the volume of securities traded by 408.8 per cent to 189,296 units from the 37,205 units transacted by market participants in the preceding session.

In the same pattern, there was a rise in the value of shares traded by 129.1 per cent to N6.2 million from the N2.7 million recorded on Monday.

These transactions were completed in 18 deals, the same amount of deals carried out in the previous trading session.

At the close of trades, AG Mortgage Bank Plc was the most traded stock by volume (year-to-date) with the sale of 2.3 billion units valued at N1.2 billion, Central Securities Clearing System (CSCS) Plc stood in second place with 687.6 million units worth N14.3 billion, and Mixta Real Estate Plc was in third place with 178.1 million units worth N313.4 million.

The most traded stock by value on a year-to-date basis was CSCS Plc with the sale of 687.6 million units worth N14.3 billion, VFD Group Plc was in second place with 27.7 million units valued at N7.4 billion, as FrieslandCampina WAMCO Nigeria Plc was in third place with 14.3 million units valued at N1.7 billion.

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Economy

Naira Appreciates at P2P, Falls at I&E, Stable at Black Market

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Naira devaluation

By Adedapo Adesanya

The value of the Naira appreciated against the United States currency in the Peer-to-Peer (P2P) segment of the foreign exchange market on Tuesday by N2 to close at N740/$1 compared with the previous day’s value of N742/$1.

However, it depreciated against the American Dollar at the Investors and Exporters (I&E) window of the FX market yesterday by 33 Kobo or 0.08 per cent to trade at N436.33/$1 in contrast to Monday’s value of N436.00/$1.

Data from the FMDQ Securities Exchange disclosed that the value of forex transactions recorded at the spot market yesterday went up by 27.31 per cent or $21.33 million to $99.43 million from the $78.10 million reported a day earlier.

In the interbank segment of the market, the Naira closed flat against the Pound Sterling at N463.96/£1 and against the Euro, it also remained unchanged at N416.15/€1 on Tuesday.

In the same vein, the exchange rate of the local currency paired with the greenback closed flat at the parallel market yesterday at N722/$1.

Meanwhile, the digital currency market was bearish yesterday, with Bitcoin (BTC) falling below the $20,000 mark again after it managed to rise above that level a day earlier.

On Tuesday, its value went down by 6.5 per cent to close at $18,765.50 as Ripple (XRP) recorded a 10.1 per cent slump to trade at $0.4282.

Ethereum (ETH) saw its value go down by 6.9 per cent to sell at $1,284.29, Solana (SOL) recorded a 6.5 per cent slide to quote at $32.44, Cardano (ADA) recorded a 5.6 per cent decline to settle at $0.4312, Binance Coin (BNB) shed 5.1 per cent to sell for $270.03, Litecoin (LTC) went down by 5.0 per cent to trade at $52.07, and Dogecoin (DOGE) saw a 4.5 per cent slump to trade $0.0594.

But Binance USD and the US Dollar Tether (USDT) closed flat at $1.00.a

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