By Modupe Gbadeyanka
The financing challenges threatening the existence of start-ups across West Africa may soon be over if the latest information reaching us is anything to believe.
Constant Ventures, a part of the Constant Group, is planning to pool together a $100 million venture capital fund to invest across a range of technology start-ups in the region.
Constant Ventures has a successful track record as an angel investor and a respected developer of technology businesses. To date, it has invested $3.2 million in nine Nigerian start-ups, including Gokada, Halo, Appzone, Heala, Tingtel, CreditClan, Omnibiz, Sabiroad and FIG, with a return of 5.6x, which is projected to return 15x after the next funding round.
For the $100 million venture capital fund, Constant Ventures wants investee start-ups with a focus on financial inclusion, education and healthcare in Nigeria and Ghana. It plans to later invest in companies in other parts of West Africa.
“We are very excited to be announcing this fund today. It has been a decade in the making, the result of deep-dive research and due diligence in anticipation of this moment when we knew that advances in information technology would enable start-ups across West Africa to commercially address real societal needs,” the Chairman of the Constant Group and co-founder and Managing Partner of Constant Ventures, Mr Ike Echeruo, said.
“Technology was always going to provide the answer to so many of the critical issues faced by millions of people across Africa today. We are now on the cusp of a paradigm shift with recent advances across information technology presenting a unique investment window.
“We have looked at what has worked in other geographies. Now, refined and optimised for Africa, we have modelled a fund to invest in businesses that will both improve the lives of millions of people and deliver outstanding returns for investors,” he added.
Recent advances in digital information technology provide an opportunity to both build and scale solutions to everyday challenges faced by millions of Africans – in particular, the aggregation of fragmented value chains, the formalisation of large sectors of the continent’s economy and the provision of much-needed access to financial services for both consumers and businesses.
The Constant Ventures fund has a unique structure that enables investment either directly in talented entrepreneurs and compelling start-ups across West Africa or through its proprietary venture studio, which serves as a catalyst to combine best-in-class entrepreneurs, ideas and capital to quickly build winning start-ups.
Naira Appreciates on Dollar at P2P, Black Market, Drops at I&E
By Adedapo Adesanya
The Naira appreciated against the US Dollar at the black market and the Peer-to-Peer (P2P) arms of the foreign exchange (forex) market on Wednesday but recorded a marginal loss at the Investors and Exporters (I&E) window.
In the parallel market, the domestic currency gained N3 against the greenback to sell at N727/$1 compared with the previous day’s value of N730/$1.
Also, in the P2P window, the local currency appreciated against the American Dollar by N9 to trade at N751/$1 compared with the previous day’s rate of N760/$1.
Business Post reports that the Naira eased off the scare that arose from the move by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to limit cash withdrawals from next year.
However, in the I&E segment, the Naira depreciated by 3 Kobo or 0.01 per cent against the US currency to trade at N445.83/$1, in contrast to Tuesday’s price of N445.80/$1, according to data obtained from FMDQ Securities Exchange.
This happened amid a 29.1 per cent or $52.51 million decline in the value of FX transactions at the stock exchange to $127.78 million from the preceding session’s $180.29 million.
In the interbank window, the local currency appreciated against the Pound Sterling yesterday by N2.47 to sell for N544.68/£1 versus Tuesday’s N547.15/£1 and against the Euro, the Naira gained N2.10 to close at N468.68/€1 compared with N470.78/€1.
Meanwhile, in the digital currency market, most of the tokens pointed south, with Litecoin (LTC) declining by 6.2 per cent to $75.07 and Solana (SOL) recording a 4.7 per cent slump to trade at $13.34.
Dogecoin (DOGE) went southwards by 4.5 per cent to sell at $0.0959, Cardano (ADA) lost 2.6 per cent to close at $0.3089, Ethereum (ETH) fell by 2.5 per cent to trade at $1,228.05, Binance Coin (BNB) slid by 1.8 per cent to $283.32, Bitcoin (BTC) fell by 1.1 per cent to $16,812.26, and Ripple (XRP) dipped by 0.1 per cent to $0.3874.
But the US Dollar Tether (USDT) and Binance USD (BUSD) closed flat at $1.00 each.
NASD OTC Market Closes Flat in Midweek Session
By Adedapo Adesanya
The NASD Over-the-Counter (OTC) Securities Exchange remained unchanged at the close of business on Wednesday, December 7, with the performance indicators closing flat.
Business Post reports that there was neither a price gainer nor a price loser at the midweek trading session, and this left the market capitalisation of the alternative bourse unchanged at N935.79 billion, as the NASD Unlisted Securities Index (NSI) also closed flat at 712.16 points.
However, the activity chart witnessed a downward movement during the session as the volume of transactions declined by 94.5 per cent due to the 56,370 units of securities traded by investors, in contrast to the 1.03 million units of securities transacted a day earlier.
Similarly, the value of shares exchanged by the market participants went down by 95.8 per cent yesterday as a result of the N1.3 million worth of stocks traded compared with the N31.0 million worth of stocks traded on Tuesday.
However, the number of deals carried out by traders increased by 30 per cent due to the 13 deals completed by investors as against the 10 deals executed in the preceding market day.
When trading activities ended for the day, AG Mortgage Bank Plc maintained its position as the most active stock by volume on a year-to-date basis with a turnover of 2.3 billion units valued at N1.2 billion, Central Securities Clearing System (CSCS) Plc stood in second place with the sale of 687.9 million units worth N14.3 billion, while Lighthouse Financial Services Plc was in third place with a turnover of 224.7 million units valued at N112.3 million.
Also, CSCS Plc retained its spot as the busiest stock by value on a year-to-date basis with the sale of 687.9 million units worth N14.3 billion, followed by VFD Group Plc with the sale of 29.1 million units valued at N7.7 billion, and FrieslandCampina WAMCO Nigeria Plc with a turnover of 17.6 million units worth N1.9 billion.
NGX Spurs Capital Market Innovation to Attract Investors
By Aduragbemi Omiyale
The Nigerian Exchange (NGX) Limited has disclosed that the NGX Made of Africa Awards will spur the next phase of capital market innovation to attract more investors into the space.
On Tuesday, December 6, 2022, the exchange held the award ceremony in Lagos to recognise innovativeness and compliance with best practices in the Nigerian capital market for the calendar year.
The event spotlighted excellence, creativity and integrity as NGX sought to amplify the activities of its stakeholders to further reinforce the values that attract investors to the market and grow the African economy.
Players in the capital market ranging from issuers, securities dealers, issuing houses, fund managers, trustees, legal firms and stakeholders, including the media and content creators were rewarded for their contributions to the development of the market.
In his opening remarks, the Chairman of NGX, Mr Abubakar Balarabe Mahmoud, explained that the goal of the exchange with the awards is to further catalyse innovation, corporate performance, shareholder return, compliance to rules and regulation in driving investor confidence and aiding regulatory oversight on the market.
“It is essential that we continue to collaborate, encourage and incentivise our partners through initiatives like the NGX Made of Africa Awards. At NGX, relationships, partnerships, collaboration and inclusivity continue to drive our actions in the quest to spotlight The Stock Africa is Made Of,” he said.
On his part, the chief executive of the bourse, Mr Temi Popoola, said the event had been reviewed to reflect the dynamism of the capital market and the transformation it had witnessed so far.
“We are delighted to be extending the reach of these Awards to further highlight our commitment to inclusivity, innovation and integrity whilst highlighting NGX as the platform of choice to raise capital,” he stated.
In his goodwill message, the Governor of Edo State, Mr Godwin Obaseki, highlighted the importance of the capital market to the economy, calling together all stakeholders to move Nigeria towards a more productive economy and less import-dependent.
He also noted that NGX has continued to stand out as a market infrastructure of choice for public and private sector capital formation.
Also, the Director-General of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Mr Lamido Yuguda, represented by the Executive Commissioner, Corporate Services, Mr Ibrahim Boyi, said that the commission had championed innovative measures that have improved the market, including dematerialisation, direct cash settlement and e-dividend.
“The long-term sustainability in the market requires innovation of which the fundamental outcome was a maximum return on investment, reduction in the cost of doing business and increased production,” he said.
Speaking on the African capital market potentials, Mr Aigboje Aig-Imokuede, the Chairman of Coronation Capital and a former President of the Council of the Nigerian Stock Exchange pre-demutualisation, said that after a long haul of liquidity in global markets, central banks across the globe are implementing hawkish monetary policies to revive price stability and tame inflationary pressures.
He noted that the capital market in this period of restrained global growth had an important role to play in stimulating economic growth and development through the efficient allocation of resources.
Business Post reports that a few of the awardees were Dangote Cement as Best Issuer in Terms of Number of Fixed Income Listings; Lafarge Africa as Leader in Sustainability Reporting; Pilot Securities Limited as Most Compliant Trading License Holder; Aluko and Oyebode as Best Solicitor in terms of Value of Deals; and Coronation Securities Limited as Best Sponsoring Trading License Holder of the Year. Lagos State won the State with the Largest Sub-national Debt Instrument; MTN Nigeria Communications won the Most Compliant Listed Company; CardinalStone Securities won the Best Trading License Holder Across Asset Classes; BUA Foods was awarded the Listing of the Year; and Capital Markets Correspondent Association (CAMCAN) won Capital Market Reportage.
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