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Economy

Two Investors Inject N4.8bn into Mutual Benefits Assurance

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Mutual Benefits Assurance Stocks

By Dipo Olowookere

The capital base of Mutual Benefits Assurance Plc has received a boost of N4.8 billion with the issuance of fresh shares of the company to two investors.

The company, operating in the tough Nigerian insurance industry, sold the new stocks to two investors through a private placement.

The injection of the funds into the organisation aligns with its plans to remain one of the major players in the sector as the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) is determined to make the environment better.

The insurance industry in the country has been facing various challenges as a result of religious and superstitious beliefs, which have made people not subscribe to insurance packages or policies.

Also, some operators have not helped matters as they fail to honour their own part of the bargain, especially when it comes to payment of claims to policyholders or their beneficiaries.

In order to make the sector better, NAICOM came up with a recapitalisation plan and this has made some insurance companies consider boosting their capital base and in few cases, go into merger and acquisition.

Under this new dispensation, life insurance firms would be required to meet a minimum paid-up capital of N8 billion, up from N2 billion; general insurance companies are expected to increase their paid-up capital to N10 billion from the earlier N3 billion.

Composite insurance (those that operate both general and life insurance) have been asked to recapitalise to the tune of N18 billion as against the previous amount of N5 billion, while reinsurance businesses are now required to have a minimum capital of N20 billion from N10 billion.

For Mutual Benefits Assurance, seeking more funds is one of the strategies it is adopting and last year, shareholders of the company authorised the board to attract new investors through a private placement.

The firm got two companies interested in the stocks and a total of 8,888,888,889 units of the shares were sold at 54 kobo to Charles Enterprise LL.C and Arubiewe Farms Limited.

Business Post gathered that Charles Enterprises was allotted about 5.3 billion shares for N2.9 billion, while Arubiewe Farms received 3.5 billion shares for N1.9 billion.

Recently, the stockbroker for the transaction, Core Securities, filed an application to the Nigerian Exchange (NGX) Limited for the listing of the new equities on the exchange.

A document sighted by this newspaper confirmed that the application was approved on April 12, 2021, and any moment from now, the new shares would be listed on the trading platform of the NGX.

By the time this is done, the share outstanding of Mutual Benefits Assurance will increase to 20,061,622,397 from 11,172,733,508.00.

Mutual Benefits Assurance is mainly involved in general and life insurance underwriting (under separate licenses held by the company and its subsidiary respectively), risk management, financial services, microfinance banking and real estate.

The company has progressed into a group with five subsidiary companies namely: Mutual Benefits Life Assurance Limited, Mutual Benefits Assurance Company Liberia, Mutual Benefits Assurance Niger SA, Mutual Benefits Homes and Properties Limited and Mutual Benefits Microfinance Bank Limited.

Dipo Olowookere is a journalist based in Nigeria that has passion for reporting business news stories. At his leisure time, he watches football and supports 3SC of Ibadan. Mr Olowookere can be reached via dipo.olowookere@businesspost.ng

Economy

Access Holdings Merges Sigma, FGPL for Formidable PFA Business

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Sigma Pensions

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.

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Economy

FrieslandCampina Buoys Unlisted Securities Market by 1.11%

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FrieslandCampina

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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Economy

Naira Sells N730/$1 in Black Market, N748/$1 at P2P, N445.33/$1 at I&E

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redesign Naira Notes

By Adedapo Adesanya

Normalcy seems to have returned to the currency market in Nigeria as the Naira further appreciated against the United States Dollar at the various segments of the ecosystem.

In the Investors and Exporters (I&E) segment of the foreign exchange (forex) market, the Nigerian currency gained 50 Kobo or 0.11 per cent to quote at N445.33/$1, in contrast to Thursday’s rate of N445.83/$1.

It was observed that domestic currency withstood significant FX demand pressure during the trading session as forex traders completed transactions worth $159.02 million compared with the $99.50 million executed a day earlier, indicating a 59.1 per cent or $59.52 million increase in FX turnover.

Also, in the Peer-to-Peer (P2P) window, the local currency appreciated against the greenback by N14 or 1.8 per cent to trade at N748/$1 compared with the preceding day’s N762/$1.

In the same vein, the value of the Nigerian currency to its American counterpart improved by N10 yesterday to sell for N735/$1 against N745/$1 of the preceding trading session.

However, in the interbank segment, the Naira lost N3.19 against the Euro on Friday as it closed at N464.98/€1 versus Thursday’s exchange rate of N461.79/€1, and against the Pound Sterling, it depreciated by N7.66 to quote at N542.33/£1 compared with the previous day’s N534.67/£1.

Meanwhile, the cryptocurrency market rebounded yesterday as investors showed renewed interest in digital assets, causing the value of Dogecoin (DOGE) to rise by 2.6 per cent to $0.1016.

Further, Cardano (ADA) recorded a 1.8 per cent increase to sell at $0.3189, Ethereum (ETH) saw its value go up by 1.3 per cent to close at $1,289.56, and Solana (SOL) appreciated by 1.4 per cent to trade at $13.65.

In addition, Binance Coin (BNB) grew by 1.1 per cent to settle at $291.72, Litecoin (LTC) appreciated by 1.0 per cent to trade at $77.23, Ripple (XRP) made a 0.9 per cent rise to finish at $0.3924, and Bitcoin (BTC) rose by 0.5 per cent to $17,030.33.

However, the US Dollar Tether (USDT) and Binance USD (BUSD) closed flat at $1.00 on Friday.

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