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AfDB Advocates disclose $1.8tn AUM for Investment

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In line with driving development in Africa, the President of the Africa Development Bank (AfDB), Dr. Akinwunmi Adesina, has announced the need to mobilise mutual funds and other Assets Under Management (AUM) in the continent put at $1.8 trillion, to drive Africa’s development. He disclosed this in an interview on the sidelines of the just-concluded 2019 Annual Meetings of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund in Washington DC recently.

He also said commercial banks who desire to get credit lines from the AfDB would have to increase lending to women-focused businesses, saying the bank was set to launch a rating for women- focused lending.

Through mobilising capital to accelerate growth in the continent, he stated: “Africa today has in its pension funds, sovereign wealth funds and insurance mutual funds $1.8 trillion of asset under management.

“Those sovereign wealth funds and pension funds are being invested outside of Africa in money market instruments that are generating negative real yield of returns.”

He added: “So what we are working on at the AfDB is how do we get the pensions and sovereign wealth funds to invest in Africa.

“Africa Sovereign funds shouldn’t be invested in other sovereigns, it should be invested in Africa to create better wealth and better environment and quality of lives for our people. For me that is very important.”

Speaking further, he said: “The other thing is in terms of stimulating growth is the role of capital markets. The AfDB is supporting strongly the development of capital markets to be able to mobilise domestic savings and to drive investments in the economy.”

The AfDB boss mentioned that, the bank has been able to mobilise $3 billion for small and medium scale enterprises (SMEs). And AfDB was planning to launch what he described as a Women Financing Index for Africa.

Under the arrangement, all financial institutions in Africa would be rated based on their lending to women. The ratings, he said would be both in terms of the volume of lending and in terms of the lending that they give as well as its impact on women.

In addition, he said, “So, those who lend more to women will get more resources from us and those who are lending more can get more resources at a discounted rate from the bank; so, you can lend more and have more impact for women.

“I will like to see financial institutions in Africa being held fully accountable when it comes financing women. The reason for that is very simple. For me, women run African economies and I think we need to support them and helping them get the financing that they need.

“It is part of a bigger agenda that we have where we are supporting women, this in particular is very strategic. We would help to minimise $3 billion for women businesses.

“I think when Africans get the issues of women right, we can get everything right. We provide funding through Affirmative Finance Action for Women in Africa (AFAWA) that will help to mobilise funding for women in Africa.” He noted.

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Tiamin Rice Disburses $13.4m to Boost Production Capacity

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As part of boosting the production capacity of rice in the economy, Tiamin Rice Mill Limited has invested a total of $13,370,500 to boost its production capacity from the current 320 tonnes to 1,520 tonnes per day.

The Managing Director of the company, Aminu Ahmed, disclosed this when he led the management of the company to pay a courtesy call on the Indian High Commissioner to Nigeria, Abhay Thakur, in his office in Abuja.

He said the policy of the present administration, especially the ban on smuggling and the interventions by the Central Bank of Nigeria have helped immensely in boosting local production of rice.

Ahmed revealed that the company was established in 2016 in Kano and started production of rice in 2018 with 320 tonnes per day.

He disclosed that the existing production line in Kano would be expanded from 320 tonnes to 920 tonnes next year, just as a new production line would start production of 600 tonnes per day in Bauchi by May 2020.

“We are now investing $13,370,500 to boost our production capacity to 1,520 tonnes per day. Already we have placed orders for all the machinery needed, and all arrangements are on top gear to meet the deadline we set.

“By next year, we plan to become the biggest rice producers not only in Kano but in the whole country.

“Our watch word is quality and affordability. We produce one of the finest brands in Nigeria that can compete with foreign rice brands in terms of quality,” Ahmed said.

Ahmed, therefore appreciated the relative quality and durability of Indian machines, which he said are the secret behind the quality of Tiamin Rice.

The Managing Director thanked the Indian High Commission for support and sought further cooperation in the areas of easing trade relations between his company and Indian partners.

The High Commissioner thanked Tiamin Rice for the courtesy call, expressing delight and appreciation for patronizing Indian machines.

Thakur, said the High Commission hopes that the policy of boosting local production would be sustained beyond the present administration so that local industries in the country would grow.

Briefing journalists after the visit, the Managing Director of the rice mill thanked the federal government for supporting local rice production and the state governments for giving them enabling environments.

“We thank the federal government for giving us all the needed support to operate and sustain our production. We thank Kano State and Bauchi State Governments for their support in the allocation of the area of land.

“In line with Kano State Government’s policy of allocating free land to genuine investors towards reviving the industrial glory of the state, Kano State governor has particularly allocated land to us for our expansion project.

“It is heart-warming that during the governor’s visit to our company on 23rd May, 2018, he expressed desire to support and woo local investors with allocations of land.

“We urge other state governments to follow suit in order to boost local production and provide employment opportunities for youth in their states,” Ahmed added.

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Nigeria-China Unveils Trade Value that Nails $8.6 Billion

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In its bid to invest in trade and boost its value, the Trade between Nigeria and China has reached $8.6 billion in the first half of 2019, which was disclosed by Chinese Consul-General, Chu Maoming in Lagos. He also said the ties between the two countries was waxing stronger daily.

Maoming, while speaking at the occasion of China Shandong Export Commodities Special Day at the just ended 33rd Lagos International Trade Fair, said Chinese companies were willing to invest in Nigeria as part of the recent bilateral agreements between the two countries. While, Shandong is one of 33 provinces in the People’s Republic of China.

The Consul- General said the Chinese private sector investors have concluded plans to increase the volume of trade with Lagos to the tune of billions of dollars, adding that the investment would result in job creation and knowledge transfer among other things.

He said with a contribution of 33 per cent to the world economy, China has become a strong actor in the global economy, and it was the outcome of commitment of the people and leadership of the People’s Republic of China.

President of Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), Babatunde Paul Ruwase, who acknowledged the burgeoning relationship between Nigeria and China said the ties was beginning to yield positive results, which has been attested by the $3.9 billion contract the Federal Government signed in October , 2019 with the China Railway Construction Corporation Limited for the construction of a new Abuja-Itakpe-Lokoja rail line.

Similar ongoing projects such as Mambilla Power Project, Lagos-Calabar coastal railway line and Zengeru Hydropower Plant are outcome of the growing bilateral corporation between Nigeria and the People’s Republic of China.

Ruwase also cited the recently sign $629 million facility by the Lagos State Government with China Development Bank (CDB) for the completion of Lekki Deep Seaport Project.

He said the China has become a key player in the global economy, adding that her contributions should not be taken lightly.

“Permit me to say that the Chinese economy has shown resilience and great potential amid the twist and turn of economic globalisation, ” he said, adding, with a population of about 1.4 million.” Ruwase added.

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Consolidated Hallmark Insurance Profit hit by 56% to N659m in Nine Months

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An efficient general business insurance company Consolidated Hallmark Insurance (CHI) Plc has announced an impressive recorded result for the nine months and is getting ready to raise additional N6.618 billion to further enhance its operations going forward.

According to the unaudited report for the nine months ended September 30, 2019, showed gross written premium of N6.687 billion, up by 23 per cent compared with N5.405 billion in the corresponding of 2018.Net premium income stood at N3.857 billion as against N3.369 billion, while net underwriting income ended at N4.306 billion, up from N3.656 billion.

Meanwhile, the Profit before tax jumped by 56 per cent from N422 million to N659 million, just as profit after tax (PAT) rose from N355 million to N519.6 million.

The shareholders of the CHI Plc will on November 21, authorise the board to raise about N1.117 billion through a rights issue. The shareholders will also approve that the board raise another N4.5 billion.

Particularly, the directors are asking that they be authorized to raise, whether by way of private/public, special offering, rights issue or a combination or any other method(s) they deem fit, additional capital of up to N4.5 billion or its equivalent whether locally or internationally or a combination of both, through the issuance of shares, long term debt, preference shares (redeemable or irredeemable), convertible and non-convertible securities or depository receipts or any other instrument(s), whether as a standalone transaction, or a combination.”

However, in order to accommodate the new shares to be issued, the company will also increase its authorised share capital from N7,500,000,000 divided into 15,000,000,000 Ordinary shares of 50 kobo each to N10,000,000,000 divided into 20,000,000,000 Ordinary shares of 50 kobo each with the creation of additional 5,000,000,000 Ordinary shares of 50 kobo each.

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