By Stanbic IBTC Bank
Stanbic IBTC Holdings, a member of Standard Bank Group, has continued to serve as a connecting link in facilitating trade transactions between Nigerian and Chinese importers, thereby fostering international trade.
As part of its efforts to boost trade relations between the two nations, Stanbic IBTC Holdings, through its banking subsidiary, has developed several solutions for boosting favourable business deals and trade relationships between Nigerian business owners and their Chinese counterparts.
In August 2022, the organisation held its 2022 Africa-China Trade Expo to promote trade relations and boost economic prosperity in the two regions.
The expo themed Synergy for Growth featured a masterclass and an Africa-China Trade Solutions (ACTS) presentation. One of the initiatives through which Stanbic IBTC Bank has been redefining trade relations between Nigeria and China is the ACTS propositions, aimed at allowing African enterprises to explore new markets, expand their customer base and create a mutually beneficial relationship between the two countries.
Ade Otukomaya, Head, Africa China Banking, Stanbic IBTC Bank, said that the financial institution was always exploring opportunities to add value to its clients’ businesses.
He said: “The Nigerian agricultural sector is replete with diverse opportunities. Being able to effectively harness these opportunities will drive agricultural development and expand agricultural export. Overall, agriculture experts are of the view that the country has the potential to generate substantial FX inflows for the country, thereby reducing trade deficits.”
As part of the ACTS offerings, the Standard Bank China Trade Desk sources for capable Nigeria exporters of produce and finished products in demand by the Chinese public. The Trade desk receives demands from Chinese entities who want to order large quantities of agro-allied products from Nigeria. The desk also matchmakes buyers and suppliers under favourable prices, conditions and general terms in line with approved protocols between the two countries.
With the increasing demand for Nigerian goods on store shelves in China for the Chinese public to consume, Stanbic IBTC has developed a partnership with Pacific International Lines, a logistics service provider that will transport goods sourced from Nigerian exporters for export to China.
“Stanbic IBTC is harnessing these opportunities that Nigeria possesses by providing a platform for Nigerian and Chinese businesses to flourish. We have established market leadership in several financial services segments, our goal is to continually leverage our connections, knowledge, and experience in delivering impeccable service and value that makes our customers not just get ahead but emerge leaders in their respective business segments,” Ade added.
Despite the growth in trade, most Nigerian importers still face a myriad of challenges that limit their ability to order goods and services from a handful of trusted Chinese suppliers. In addition to that, language and cultural barriers also pose a challenge for African importers and Exporters when travelling and negotiating supplier agreements in China.
Through ACTS Solutions, Stanbic IBTC, via its parent company, Standard Bank of South Africa, has leveraged its partnership with the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) to connect African importers, especially in Nigeria, with a dedicated trade agent in China as well as enable them to tap into the vast opportunities that China presents as a trading partner.
Apart from eliminating language barriers, ACTS aims to assist Nigerian importers source and validating quality goods, safely and efficiently from the most competitive and verified suppliers in China.
The Agent Zhejiang International Trading Supply Chain Company Limited, otherwise known as Guomao, ensures that Nigerian importers get the best deals in areas such as sourcing the right suppliers for their businesses, negotiating the best prices and trade conditions on behalf of the clients, providing translators to facilitate trade negotiations and discussions, validate and ensure the quality of goods from the suppliers meet the agreed and required standards by clients, handle the shipping logistics and delivery to destination, depending on clients’ preference, amongst others.
Through this solution, Stanbic IBTC remains committed to connecting Nigerian and Chinese businesses, which will boost the volume of trade between both countries.
South Korea Pledges Mpox Vaccine Supplies
By Kestér Kenn Klomegâh
Sadly, African health authorities for several months have pursued vaccines for curing mpox and its further spread mostly in vain as worldwide outbreaks were reported during this year. But there is some light at the end of the tunnel as some considerable assistance might come from the Republic of South Korea.
The Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said some few thousand doses being the first consignment of mpox vaccines as a donation, would arrive shortly and be used for health workers and people living with the disease in the hardest-hit areas in Africa.
The continent this year has recorded 202 deaths from mpox, formerly known as monkeypox, with a fatality rate of 19.3% across 13 countries. African health authorities for months have made feverish efforts in search for curbing the disease’s spread.
According to the Acting CDC director, Ahmed Ogwell, more than 50 new mpox cases in Congo were recorded this month and said Ghana and Nigeria are the other most affected countries. A surge in mpox infections was particularly reported last May outside West and Central Africa.
“Let us get vaccines onto the continent,” CDC Acting Head, Ahmed Ogwell, said in a weekly media briefing pointing to another instance of 1.3 billion people on the continent without access to a vaccine, as in the Covid-19 pandemic.
“The solutions need to be global in nature. If we’re not safe, the rest of the world is not safe,” he warned.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has, however, warned against discrimination. “A failure to act will have grave consequences for global health,” Lawrence Gostin, Director of the WHO Collaborating Center on National and Global Health Law, said on Twitter.
Health officials have emphasized that mpox can infect anyone in close contact with a patient or their contaminated clothing or bedsheets. Researchers are still exploring to establish how it spreads but believe it’s mainly through close, skin-to-skin contact and through contact with bedding and clothing that touched an infected person’s rash or body fluids.
It generally causes mild to moderate symptoms, including fever, fatigue and painful skin lesions that resolve within a few weeks.
Reports, however, said that the mpox had been established in parts of Central and West Africa for decades; it was not known to spark large outbreaks beyond the continent or to spread widely among people until May when authorities detected dozens of epidemics in Europe, North America and elsewhere.
In Africa, mpox mainly spreads to people by infected wild animals like rodents in limited outbreaks that typically have not crossed borders. In Europe, North America and elsewhere, the mpox is spreading among people with no links to animals or recent travel to Africa. In the U.S. and Europe, the vast majority of infections occur among men who have sex with men, though health officials have stressed that anyone can contract the virus.
Access Holdings Merges Sigma, FGPL for Formidable PFA Business
By Aduragbemi Omiyale
To create a formidable pension funds administration (PFA) business in Nigeria, Access Holdings Plc has merged its subsidiary, First Guarantee Pension Limited (FGPL), with Sigma Pensions Limited.
The marriage between the two PFAs was made possible after Access Holdings acquired an indirect equity stake in Sigma.
Recall that in October, the company announced that it was buying a stake in Sigma to revolutionise the PFA sector.
On Thursday, a court approved the merger between the firm and FGPL, giving room for the organisations to become one and offer innovative products to customers.
A notice signed by the group company secretary of Access Holdings, Mr Sunday Ekwochi, confirmed the development.
“Sequel to our announcement on October 25, 2022, Access Holdings Plc, trading as Access Corporation, today announces the completion of its acquisition of an indirect equity stake in Sigma and the merger of its subsidiary, FGPL, with Sigma.
“Following the sanction of the scheme of merger between Sigma and FGPL by the Federal High Court on December 1, 2022, FGPL has been dissolved without winding up, leaving Sigma as the surviving entity,” a part of the statement dated Friday, December 2, 2022.
“Following the successful completion of the merger, our plan is to leverage the synergies of these entities, as well as the corporation’s expansive distribution network, strong risk management culture and best-in-class governance standards to create a formidable pension funds administration business,” the group chief executive of Access Holdings, Mr Herbert Wigwe, stated.
FrieslandCampina Buoys Unlisted Securities Market by 1.11%
By Adedapo Adesanya
The NASD Over-the-Counter (OTC) Securities Exchange returned to the positive zone on Friday, December 2, as it appreciated by 1.11 per cent at the close of business.
This was driven by a gain in the stock price of FrieslandCampina Wamco Nigeria Plc. The company appreciated by N5.29 price to close at N66.63 per share versus the previous day’s price of N61.34 per share.
This outweighed the 1 Kobo loss recorded by UBN Property Plc during the session as the price of the property investment company went down to 91 Kobo per unit from the preceding session’s 92 Kobo.
When the market closed for the day, the total value of the unlisted securities market increased by N10.27 billion to N933.71 billion from N923.44 billion.
In the same vein, the NASD Unlisted Securities Index (NSI) stretched by 7.82 basis points to 710.58 basis points from the 702.76 basis points in the previous session.
During the session, there was a surge in the volume of securities by 140,993.7 per cent as investors exchanged 2.2 million units, in contrast to the previous day’s 14,508 units.
Likewise, the value of shares traded at the session ballooned by 1,526.6 per cent to N10.7 million from the N657,534.75 recorded a day earlier, while the number of deals improved by 400 per cent to 20 deals from four deals.
When the market closed for the day, AG Mortgage Bank Plc was the most traded stock by volume (year-to-date) with 2.3 billion units valued at N1.2 billion, Central Securities Clearing System (CSCS) Plc occupied second place with 687.8 million units worth N14.3 billion, while Lighthouse Financials Services Plc was in third place with 224.7 million units valued at N112.3 million.
Also, CSCS Plc ended the day as the most traded stock by value (year-to-date) by trading 687.8 million units worth N14.3 billion, VFD Group Plc was in second place with 29.1 billion units valued at N7.7 billion, and FrieslandCampina WAMCO Plc was in third place after selling 16.8 million units worth N1.9 billion.
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