By Modupe Gbadeyanka
Africa’s largest cement producer, Dangote Cement, has announced its unaudited results for the six months ended June 30, 2017, posting a 12.6 percent increase in sales volume across Africa.
In the financials released on the floor of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) indicated that the increase in sales volume showed a growing capture of Pan-African market as Dangote Cement continues to gain grounds.
Revenues from operations in Nigeria increased by 34.5 percent to N291.4 billion while Pan-Africa revenue increased by 63.7 percent to N124.4B from N76.0B mainly as a result of increased volumes and foreign exchange gains when converting the sales from country local currency into Naira.
Analysis of the half year result revealed that sales volumes of African operations increased by 12.6 percent to 4.7 million metric tons with Sierra Leone making a 53 kt maiden contribution.
Record of sales from its operations scattered around the African continent revealed that a total of 1.1million ‘metric tons of cement was sold in Ethiopia, almost 0.7 million metric tons sold in Senegal, 0.6 million metric tons sold in Cameroon, and 0.5 million tons in Ghana.
Also, 0.4 million metric tons of cement was sold in Tanzania and 0.3 million tons in Zambia. Sales volumes from Nigerian operations fell from 8.8Mt to 6.9Mt, occasioned by the onset of rains which stalled many construction projects.
Reflecting on the half year results, Dangote Cement’s Chief Executive Officer, Mr Onne van der Weijde expressed satisfaction that the company’s revenues have continued to grow despite low sales from the Nigerian operations noting that the revenues grew on the strength of sales from other African operations.
“Our revenues have continued to grow despite the lower volumes seen in Nigeria, especially because of the recent heavy rains. Our margins have improved significantly, helped by improved efficiencies and a much better fuel mix in Nigeria.
“We are using much more gas and increasing our use of coal mined in Nigeria, thus reducing our need for foreign currency and supporting Nigerian jobs.
“Our Pan-African operations are growing well and increasing market share. We saw our the first sales from Sierra Leone in the first quarter and our new plant in the Republic of Congo will be in production at the end of July, further increasing our footprint across Africa and strengthening our position as its leading manufacturer of cement,” he said.
The company reports that it estimated that Nigeria’s total market for cement was 10.2 million tonnes (Mt), 23.2 percent lower than the estimated 13.3Mt sold in Nigeria in the first half of 2016. Of total market sales in the first half of 2017, just 0.1Mt was imported.
“As a result of the slower market, our Nigeria operation sold nearly 6.9Mt of cement, down 21.8 percent on the 8.8Mt sold in the first half of 2016. We estimate our market share to have been about 64.5 percent during the first six months of 2017,” he added.
Dangote Cement is a high-growth, low-debt, internationally diversified company that has just paid a dividend amounting to nearly 75 percent of 2016 net profits to shareholders.
“The recent publication of our credit ratings highlights the financial strength we have achieved through our unwavering focus on the profitable expansion of the business, underpinned by our belief that we must remain prudent in our financial management.”, Mr Weijde stated.
Nigeria Loses $10bn to Illicit Financial Flows Yearly
By Aduragbemi Omiyale
Not less than $10 billion is lost by Nigeria annually to Illicit Financial Flows (IFFs), the Chairman of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), Prof. Bolaji Owasanoye, has disclosed.
Speaking recently at a review of the report on IFFs in relation to tax, Mr Owasanoye revealed that this loss represents 20 per cent of the estimated $50 billion Africa loses to IFFs.
“The African Union Illicit Financial Flow Report estimated that Africa is losing nearly $50 billion through profit shifting by multinational corporations and about 20 per cent of this figure is from Nigeria alone,” the ICPC Chairman said.
He said to tackle this menace, the government can effectively use the instrumentality of taxation through “risk-based approach to monitoring and audit; due process in tax collection; structured tax amnesty framework especially that which is skewed in the public interest; data privacy; timely resolution of audits and payment of tax refunds; and intelligence sharing among revenue-generating; regulatory; and law enforcement agencies.”
He also disclosed that for the contemporary tax man to remain relevant, he must build his capacity in areas of technology management, solution architects and an astute relationship manager.
He, therefore, pointed out that the objective of the meeting was to improve the awareness of IFFs, especially in the areas of taxation, describing taxes as a “very strategic role in the nation’s political economy.”
In his contribution, the Executive Chairman of Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Mr Muhammad Nami, expressed concerns that IFFs pose a serious threat to the Nigerian economy as the act robs the nation of resources that are needed for development.
He declared that tackling IFFs would expand the country’s tax base of the Nigerian nation and improve revenue generation which was required for the development.
Mr Nami consequently pushed for policy reforms that would make it difficult for “capital flights” from occurring so that the country would be placed on the path of growth.
Other discussants at the event, who spoke with one accord, identified weak regulatory framework, the opacity of financial system and lack of capacity amongst others as some of the factors that fuel IFFs.
The discussants again unanimous emphasized the need for capacity building of relevant stakeholders as one of the ways to stamp out illicit flows.
They, therefore, commended ICPC for leveraging its corruption prevention mandate to open a new vista in IFFs discourse in Nigeria.
Acorn Petroleum Halts Bearish Run at Unlisted Securities Market
By Adedapo Adesanya
The negative run at the NASD Over the Counter (OTC) Securities Exchange could not run into the fourth straight day on Thursday, March 4.
At the trading session, the NASD Security Index (NSI) and the market capitalisation recorded almost traded flat as there were marginal gains.
The market capitalization had closed Wednesday’s trading session at N498.99 billion, but yesterday, it slightly moved higher by 0.004 per cent or N20 million on Thursday to close at N499.01 billion.
In the same vein, the NSI rose by 0.003 per cent or 0.02 points to close at 695.47 points as against the 695.45 points it finished on Wednesday.
Business Post reports that the pause to the bearish run at the unlisted securities market yesterday was triggered by the growth in the share price of Acorn Petroleum Plc. The energy firm appreciated by one kobo or 6.63 per cent to close at 17 kobo in contrast to 16 kobo it traded at the previous session.
At the market yesterday, the total volume of shares transacted by investors increased by 8,901 per cent from 20,614 units to 1.9 million units.
However, the value of shares transacted on Thursday dropped 61.9 per cent to N875,347 from N2.3 million recorded at the midweek session.
But the total number of deals executed went up by 100 per cent as 12 deals were executed at the NASD OTC Exchange compared with the six deals carried out at the preceding session.
It was observed that FrieslandCampina WAMCO Nigeria Plc and Central Securities Clearing Systems (CSCS) Plc executed three deals each.
In addition, Air Liquide Plc executed two deals, while Food Concepts Plc, Fumman Agric Product Industries Plc, Industrial and General Insurance (IGI) Plc and Acorn Petroleum Plc all executed one deal each.
UBN Property Plc remained as the most traded stock volume-wise (year-to-date) with the sale of 15.5 million units valued at N16.8 billion. CSCS Plc has transacted 4.7 million units worth N74.5 million, while FrieslandCampina has exchanged 2.7 million units worth N332.2 million.
In terms of the most active stock by value (year-to-date), FrieslandCampina topped the chart with the sale of 2.7 million units valued at N332.2 million. Niger Delta Exploration and Production (NDEP) Plc has transacted 612,249 units valued at N198.1 million, while CSCS Plc has traded 4.7 million units worth N74.5 million.
Fidson Closes as Worst-Performing Stock as Index Sheds 0.40%
By Dipo Olowookere
It was a bad day for Fidson Healthcare Plc on the floor of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) on Thursday as its share price depreciated by 10 per cent.
This poor performance occurred on a day information emerged that the company’s N10 billion commercial paper programme was accepted on the trading platform of FMDQ Securities Exchange.
During the trading session, shares of the healthcare firm went down to N4.41 per unit from the previous N4.90 per unit as investors trimmed their stake in the organisation.
Fidson was among the 47 price losers recorded at the market yesterday. It was closely followed by Northern Nigerian Flour Mills, which declined by 9.97 per cent to sell at N6.32 per unit.
Nigerian Enamelware lost 9.95 per cent to trade at N19.90 per share, NEM Insurance depreciated by 9.95 per cent to close at N1.72 per unit, while NCR Nigeria dropped 9.91 per cent to quote at N3.09 per share.
Business Post reports that there were 12 price risers yesterday and University Press led the chart after its value appreciated by 9.91 per cent to trade at N1.22 per unit.
Morison grew by 9.09 per cent to close at 60 kobo per share, CAP gained 5.26 per cent to sell for N20 per unit, Lafarge Africa gained 3.59 per cent to close at N20.20 per unit, while Livestock Feeds grew by 3.17 per cent to N2.28 per share.
Yesterday, only the industrial goods index closed positive as it appreciated by 0.19 per cent, while the insurance, banking, consumer goods and energy sectors depreciated by 4.04 per cent, 1.54 per cent, 1.47 per cent and 0.65 per cent respectively.
For the All-Share Index (ASI), it decreased by 157.39 points to 39,364.67 points from 39,522.06 points, while the market capitalisation depreciated by N82 billion to N20.596 trillion from N20.678 trillion.
On the activity chart, there was an improvement as the trading volume rose by 101.84 per cent to 493.2 million units from 244.3 million units, the trading value increased by 14.40 per cent to N4.7 billion from N4.1 billion, while the number of deals rose by 16.38 per cent to 5,486 deals from 4,714 deals.
Unlike the preceding day, Universal Insurance was the most active stock with the sale of 83.3 million units of its shares valued at N16.7 million.
Zenith Bank dropped to the second position after it sold 38.7 million units worth N983.3 million, FBN Holdings transacted 31.3 million stocks for N216.7 million, UBA traded 26.8 million equities valued at N211.6 million, while Access Bank exchanged 21.6 million shares for N168.1 million.
Relief as Naira Appreciates to N406.50/$1 at I&E FX Window
By Adedapo Adesanya
The local currency continued to fight back heavily against the US Dollar at the Investors and Exporters (I&E) window of the foreign exchange (FX) market.
On Thursday, the Naira appreciated against the greenback at the I&E FX segment by N4.50 or 1.1 per cent to close at N406.5/$1 in contrast to N411/$1 it closed at the previous session.
The strengthening of the Nigerian currency occurred yesterday despite a fresh increase in the demand for forex at the market in preparation for the weekend rush and expenditures.
During the trading session, transactions worth $66.99 million were executed at the market window, $33.84 million or 102.1 per cent higher than the $33.15 million recorded on Wednesday.
However, at the other market levels, the Naira maintained its stability against the United States Dollar.
According to data obtained by Business Post from AbokiFX, a platform used for tracking activities at the unregulated segment of the FX market in Nigeria, the domestic currency closed flat against the greenback at the black market yesterday at N480/$1.
Also, at the same parallel market, the Naira further remained unchanged against the Pound Sterling and the Euro at N672/£1 and N580/€1 respectively.
Equally, at the interbank window of the FX market, the Naira traded flat against the American currency at N379/$1, while at the Bureaux De Change (BDC), the domestic currency traded flat against the greenback at N395/$1.
A quick look at the cryptocurrency market showed that yesterday, four of the seven cryptocurrencies tracked by Business Post on Quidax closed bullish, while three were bearish.
On the gainers’ angle, Ethereum (ETH) appreciated by 0.5 per cent to sell at N1,023,545.00; Ripple (XRP) recorded a 1.4 per cent gain to trade at N294.68; the US Dollar Tether (USDT) grew by 3.3 per cent to trade at 630.24; while Tron (TRX) rose by 1.2 per cent to sell at N32.18.
On the losers’ space, Bitcoin (BTC) dropped 3.8 per cent to trade at N31,349,949.97; Dash (DASH) went down by 3.3 per cent to sell at N141,987.00; while Litecoin (LTC) while depreciated by 2.0 per cent to trade at N119,897.00.
Oil Surges 4% as OPEC+ Surprisingly Retains Output
By Adedapo Adesanya
Oil surged by more than 4 per cent on Thursday to the highest in more than a year after the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting and its allies (OPEC+) surprised traders with its decision to keep output unchanged.
The Brent crude rose by 4.64 per cent or $2.97 to sell at $67.04 per barrel, while the West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude increased by 4.59 per cent or $2.81 to sell at $64.09 per barrel.
At its meeting on Thursday, OPEC+ decided to keep a tight limit on oil production in April, sending prices soaring in a market that had been expecting additional supply. This signalled a tighter crude market in the months ahead.
The cartel had been debating whether to restore as much as 1.5 million barrels a day of output but Saudi Arabia was able to convince members to hold steady at current levels.
However, modest increases were granted to Russia and Kazakhstan and will be allowed to increase production by 130,000 and 20,000 barrels per day, respectively.
Now, oil prices are expected to do better as the supply squeeze, coupled with higher energy costs, the risk of inflation, and widespread vaccination, will allow economies to emerge from the COVID-19 downturn.
Before the meeting, Saudi Arabia had publicly encouraged allied partners to remain “extremely cautious” on production policy, warning the group against complacency as it sought to ensure a full oil market recovery. The outcome of yesterday’s meeting has been touted as a victory for the kingdom, which has consistently pushed to tighten the market.
In a briefing after Thursday’s meeting, Saudi Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman, went one step further by making the kingdom’s additional one million barrel-a-day production cut open-ended. He gave no date for phasing out the voluntary reduction and told reporters he was in no hurry to do so.
While the decision will boost economies like Nigeria and other oil-dependent economies, it also carries some risks. Crude prices in the high $60s could help revive US shale drillers.
OPEC+ initially agreed to cut oil production by a record of 9.7 million barrels per day last year, before easing cuts to 7.7 million and eventually 7.2 million from January. The cartel will meet again on April 1 to discuss production levels for May.
FMDQ Approves Fidson’s N10bn Commercial Paper Programme
By Dipo Olowookere
The N10 billion commercial paper programme of Fidson Healthcare Plc has been accepted by the board listings, markets and technology committee of FMDQ Securities Exchange.
According to the Chief Financial Officer of Fidson, Mr Imokha Ayebae, the debt instrument would be used to meet the short-term working capital requirements of the organisation.
He described the registration of the CP programme of the platform as significant because it coincides with the 26th anniversary of the company.
“We are glad about the successful registration of Fidson Healthcare Plc’s N10.00 billion CP programme on the FMDQ platform.
“This is particularly significant as it coincides with the company’s 26th anniversary on March 1, 2021.
“Since its inception in 1995, Fidson Healthcare PLC has remained committed to the growth of the healthcare sector in Nigeria,” he said.
Speaking further, Mr Ayebae said, “This strategic move aligns with our vision to be the preferred healthcare provider as a leading player in the pharmaceutical manufacturing industry in Nigeria and West Africa.
“The CP programme, which is poised to further broaden the company’s sources of capital by accessing funding from the Nigerian debt capital markets, will also reduce our overall funding costs.
“Proceeds from this programme will be used to meet the company’s short-term working capital requirements which are geared towards providing quality services to our valued customers.”
Also commenting, Mr Taiwo Olatunji, the Head of Investment Banking at FSDH Capital Limited, which acted as the lead arranger to the issue on FMDQ Exchange, said the move will give the healthcare firm global visibility.
“FSDH Capital Limited is pleased to act as sponsor and lead arranger on the registration of the Fidson Healthcare Plc N10.00 billion CP programme on the FMDQ platform.
“We believe that the admission of the CP on the FMDQ platform will ensure its global visibility and enhanced liquidity, which will, in turn, raise the corporate profile of the issuer even further ahead of tapping into other opportunities in the Nigerian capital market.”
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