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Economy

Yuguda Proposes Robust Sustainability Ratings to Attract Investors

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Robust Sustainability Ratings

By Aduragbemi Omiyale

The Director-General of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Mr Lamido Yuguda, has proposed the development of robust sustainability ratings and indices to track the performance of companies in the area of Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) so as to attract investors in the green sector.

He said with the design of the sustainability ratings and indices, conscious investors would have available materials and information to help their investment choices.

Mr Yuguda also reiterated the need to facilitate the issuance of green and sustainable instruments in the Nigerian capital market, saying it will go a long way to assist in financing solar energy and other environmentally friendly infrastructure.

“Another important step in the journey of promoting sustainable investment principles is the development of robust sustainability ratings and indices to track companies’ ESG performance.

“This will further assist ESG conscious investors in making their investment choices. It will also simplify for investors and other stakeholders the process of analyzing information disclosed by issuers on sustainable finance,” the SEC DG said at an ESG roundtable themed Unlocking Value Through ESG Investing organised by the CFA Society Nigeria last Thursday.

He also tasked state governments to take advantage of the growing appetite to issue bonds to finance relevant environment-friendly projects, especially those that are revenue-generating and with reasonable social impact.

In Nigeria, only the federal government and a few corporate organisations have issued green bonds. The market is still largely untapped.

“Companies will also need to continuously disclose relevant information on their adoption of ESG principles. Such information will be critical for the investing public to make informed decisions about available investment choices and guide their asset allocation,” Mr Yuguda said.

According to the SEC Boss, given the global interest in ESG and the quantum of finance available to corporates and countries adopting the relevant principles, Nigerian issuers, governments and corporates, regulators, exchanges and other key stakeholders need to collaborate more to develop and issue necessary instruments to attract additional foreign capital into the country.

“With the enhanced focus on ESG considerations, much effort is now geared towards the preservation of biodiversity, climate change mitigation and adaptation, inclusiveness, reduced inequality, human capital and communities’ development, among others.

“Given the important position of the financial sector in the economy, one can understand why these issues are accorded high priority in the sector and why the sector has begun to consider sustainability in its practices.

“Sustainable finance has become a global brand as the world stands strongly together to promote the transition to a low-carbon, more resource-efficient economy and to build a financial system that spurs sustainable growth across nations.

“As we are all aware, finance has an enormous influence on sustainability; with players in the financial sector acting as catalysts for redefining the natural and business environments. They help support the transition from exploiting nature to restoring and maximizing nature’s valued gifts. Investing in sustainable instruments, therefore, has far-reaching benefits, further justifying why ESG advocacy and practices are gaining more popularity,” he stated.

The SEC chief said that as securities regulators, whose core mandate is to ensure investor protection, by maintaining fair, efficient and transparent markets and reducing systemic risks, his agency believes this role can further be harnessed through sustainable finance; and pledged to continue to strongly support the adoption of ESG principles and collaborate with relevant stakeholders to drive sustainable finance initiatives.

“I am really pleased and encouraged by the interest shown in ESG by the CFA Society Nigeria. I am also glad to inform you that the commission will be willing to collaborate further with the society on ESG and other relevant issues.

“With the quality of the membership of the society and the resources available to it, I am confident that such collaboration will result in positive outcomes for the Nigerian capital market and the economy as a whole.

“I have no doubt that collectively we will chart a common course for sustainable finance in the country that will be beneficial to the economy and the Nigerian people,” he added.

In her address, President of the CFA Society Nigeria, Ms Ibikun Oyedeji, explained that the webinar was organised in continuation of the association’s mandate of promoting global best practices for the investment industry, and to serve as a stimulus to advocate and promote awareness in Nigeria and Africa as a whole for the incorporation environmental, social and governance factors in business decisions and product development.

Ms Oyedeji stated that the webinar also provides an opportunity to accelerate the progress and demonstrate the purpose through responsible investing and aimed at equipping the practitioners and other stakeholders within our community with the right tools to navigate this evolving terrain.

She said, “The theme of the round table unlocking value through ESG investing implies that an untapped opportunity exists in business beyond profitability.

“Our clarion call today to the investment management industry is to put measures in place to ensure that product and services contribute to the sustainable development of our environment, employee working conditions, labour right, diversity discussions become our forefront while transparency and openness provide long term benefit for shareholders and our stakeholders are widely impressed.

“ESG factors have become increasingly important to institutional investors and there is a rising need for us invested professionals, regulators and other stakeholders to build a capacity in ESG focus investing which will remain relevant. This round table serves as a foundation for building the sustained effort in developing our local capacity in ESG investing.”

Ms Oyedeji said the CFA institute through the principle of responsible investing has created a best practice report and regions specific report that focuses on the Nigerian region to help investors understand how they can better integrate ESG factors into their equity, corporate funds and even the sovereign debt portfolio.

Economy

CitiTrust Holdings Sells Commercial Paper for 22%

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Cititrust Financial Services Ikechukwu Peter

By Aduragbemi Omiyale

An opportunity has opened for commercial paper investors as CitiTrust Holdings Plc is offering the asset class at a coupon of 22.0 per cent per annum under its N50 billion commercial paper issuance programme.

According to details of the exercise obtained by Business Post, the company, in the financial services sector, is selling the debt instrument in four tenors of 90 days, 120 days, 180 days and 270 days.

The minimum subscription for prospective and potential investors is N5 million and can be purchased through any of the registered stockbrokers.

The 90-day instrument is going for 16.1 per cent, the 120-day paper is being sold for 17.5 per cent, the 180-day note is 19.1 per cent, and the 270-day instrument is going for 22.0 per cent.

The offer commenced on November 23, 2022, and is expected to close on Wednesday, December 7, 2022, with the net proceeds to be used for the company’s general corporate purposes and working capital.

CitiTrust said investors would be paid their interests from the operating cash flows of the organisation, with purchases to be settled via direct debit, electronic funds transfers, NIBBS Instant Payment (NIP), NIBBS Electronic Funds Transfer (NEFT) or Real-Time Gross Settlement (RTGS).

CitiTrust is a leading pan-African financial and investment conglomerate owned by reputable institutional and private investors. The company has a focus on high-end financial products and services for its targeted sectors of the economy, with operations in commercial banking, investment banking, wealth management, pension management, insurance and alternative investment.

The firm is a foremost financial solutions provider and has been an intricate part of the Nigerian economy since 2007. It has grown and evolved over the years into an award-winning market leader in the financial sub-sector of the Nigerian economy, establishing its footprints in 12 African countries: Nigeria, Ghana, Rwanda, Botswana, Liberia, Benin Republic, Malawi, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Cote d’Ivoire, South Africa and the UK.

In 2019, the organisation upgraded its operations into a reputable financial services provider to align with the strategic vision of its shareholders to build an enduring institution that delivers cross-functional services to its clientele.

The company’s deep knowledge of the market, dexterity, smooth and reliable processes driven largely by technology and the high quality of its personnel puts it on the cutting edge of strategic Importance with its clientele.

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Economy

No Individual Should Operate Domiciliary Account in Nigeria—Tope Fasua

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domiciliary account in Nigeria

By Modupe Gbadeyanka

An economist and former presidential candidate of the Abundant Nigeria Renewal Party (ANRP) in the 2019 general elections, Mr Tope Fasua, has kicked against the opening of a domiciliary account in Nigeria for an individual, calling it an abnormality.

Speaking on a Channels Television’s Saturday breakfast show, he said only corporate organisations involved in international trades should be allowed to operate a dorm account.

As individuals who need foreign exchange to transact any business transaction, they should be given a credit card or prepaid card, which would be loaded with the value of Dollars they require instead of giving them cash.

According to him, this would limit the demand for FX and strengthen the Naira in the forex market segments.

Mr Fasua made these submissions while reacting to the decision of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to redesign the N200, N500, and N1,000 notes.

“Personal dorm accounts are mostly unnecessary; only companies that are doing international trade transactions or financial market companies should be able to hold dorm accounts because they have a reason to,” the renowned analyst said on the programme monitored by Business Post.

“When I travelled abroad recently, GTBank loaded by card with Dollars, and when I need to spend where I am going, I just use my card,” he added, stressing that, “If you are an exporter, you have export proceeds coming in, you can have a dorm account.

“If you are an importer and you need to pay your customer once in a while, you can have a dorm account as a company, but if every Tom, Dick and Harry can speculate against their own currency, you will never get it out of crises.”

According to him, “The ease at which people move against their currency in this country is too much; it should not be that easy.”

Tope Fasua

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Economy

LIBIZFAIR Will Boost Business Opportunities in Lagos

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business opportunities

By Modupe Gbadeyanka

The Chairman of Nigeria in Diaspora Commission (NiDCOM), Mrs Abike Dabiri-Erewa, has disclosed that the Lagos Island Business Fair (LIBIZFAIR) will improve business opportunities in the state and also attract more investments.

The former federal lawmaker said this at the opening ceremony of the fair organised by the Lagos Island Connect, in conjunction with the Lagos State Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Cooperatives.

At the programme held at the Tafawa Balewa Square (TBS), Onikan, Lagos, Mrs Dabiri-Erewa, represented by the Head of the Lagos Annex of the agency, Mr Oladipo Odebowale, commended the state government for the initiative.

She noted that the platform provides a unique opportunity for entrepreneurs to showcase their businesses, saying, “This will boost investment and business opportunities in the state.”

The Commissioner for Commerce, Industry and Cooperatives, Mrs Lola Akande, in her remarks, described the empowerment of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) as critical to the empowerment of youths.

Represented by the Permanent Secretary in the minister, Mrs Adetutu Ososanya, she noted that building the capacity of youth-oriented enterprises, with the goal of providing opportunities for growth, will lead to an increase in prosperity among Lagos Island youths.

“I believe this platform can leverage socio-economic networking and Information Communication & Technology to provide more interactive opportunities for the teeming youth of Lagos Island and its environs from diverse cultural, religious, social and educational backgrounds to grow their businesses and services, as well as the State’s economy,” she said.

The Commissioner explained that the fair aligns with the policy of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of creating a conducive environment for businesses to thrive, widening access to the market and encouraging networking and collaboration among entrepreneurs.

Also speaking at the event, the Special Adviser to the governor on Sustainable Development Goals & Investment (SDG&I), Mrs Solape Hammond, stressed that the programme was geared towards supporting businesses to thrive at the local government level.

“The study discovered that the youths of Lagos Island are versatile, technologically enabled, driven and willing to be positively engaged, particularly in personal and communal development.

“Though most of them are faced with different challenges yet, there is an enormous zeal to be gainfully engaged rather than being idle, which could contribute to community nuisance.

“Young people in Lagos Island have a brighter vision for the future, and all stakeholders must join together to support them to deliver it,” the governor’s aide said in her presentation on the Lagos Island Youth Needs Assessment Survey.

The co-founder of the Lagos Island Connect, Mrs Yemisi Ransome-Kuti, while addressing participants, noted that the LIBIZFAIR 2022 was geared towards taking businesses in Lagos Island from a local to a global level by investing in the youths and preventing their massive migration to foreign lands.

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