Lagos: Nigeria has appointed a local unit of South Africa's Standard Bank as stockbroker for its debt, in a move aimed at expanding participation in government bond issues to retail investors on the bourse, the debt office said on Wednesday. Africa's second-biggest economy issues tens of billions of naira (hundreds of millions of dollars) in sovereign bonds each month to support the local bond market, create a benchmark for corporate issuance and fund its budget deficit.
Abuja: Standard & Poor's upgraded Nigeria's credit rating on Wednesday because of improved financial stability and optimism over reforms to the banking and electricity sectors. Nigeria is among the world's top 10 crude oil exporters and a key supplier to the United States, China and India. It is Africa's second-largest economy after South Africa. GDP growth is projected at around 6.5 percent this year, down from 7.4 last year due to the impact of insecurity and the economic slowdown in countries importing Nigeria's oil. The ratings agency raised its long-term foreign and local currency sovereign credit rating to BB- with a stable outlook, three notches below investment grade, from B+. This brings its view in line with Fitch's rating.
London: Insurer Old Mutual unveiled a Nigerian acquisition as it pressed ahead with plans to grow in sub-Saharan Africa, and said it was closing its Austrian and German units to new customers. Old Mutual, an Anglo-South African financial conglomerate with operations in about 30 countries, has agreed to buy the Nigerian property and casualty insurance unit of pan-African lender Ecobank for about $20 million, it said on Wednesday.
Lagos: Sephaku Cement - a subsidiary of Dangote Cement and an indigenous player in South Africa’s cement industry - has signed $222 million (N34.85 billion) of domestic debt funding for its $390 million (N62.4 billion) cement and clinker plant projects spanning two provinces in the continent’s biggest economy. A statement from Dangote Group yesterday, stated that the company was advised on the transaction by Sasfin Capital, which is jointly funded by two of South Africa’s big four banks - Standard Bank and Nedbank.
Pretoria: There is an urgent need for Africa to develop industrial policies which will underpin the diversification of production structures, raise competitiveness levels and expand the continent's export basket, says Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies. Speaking at the second Nigeria International Investment Forum in Lagos, Nigeria, on Thursday, Davies said Africa's growth has mainly been underpinned by the commodities' boom and rise of service industries on the back of products not produced in Africa.
Lagos: The strike at the Marikana platinum mine has caused widespread concern outside South Africa. Although the destabilising effect of Lonmin’s 22 percent settlement on other mines (spreading from the platinum to the gold sector) has deepened the troublesome economic impact, the political effect has been more dramatic. The shooting of 44 striking miners in August was unpleasantly reminiscent of South African police comportment in the bad old days of (evoking Sharpeville and Soweto). This has shocked the ANC’s long-standing international supporters, and independent Africa where it had offered inspiration to liberation movements and to those independent countries believing in democracy.
Lagos: Diplomacy can be defined as the process by which a nation state relates or conducts its activities with other nation-states in the international arena, to achieve the set objectives of its foreign policy. The actions, reactions and behaviours of nation states in the international arena are viewed and analysed from how it conducts its diplomacy which is either the visible or invisible processes of communication between nations. The ultimate the aim is to advance the strategic interest of nations, conduct dialogue and negotiations to extract concessions, promote cordial relations and avoid conflicts or to manage and end conflicts where it has arisen.
Johannesburg: Nigerian author Ben Okri was chosen to deliver UCT's 13th annual Steve Biko lecture on Wednesday night, and the award-winning poet and novelist gave a compelling address. Some might have hoped for a more hard-hitting presentation at a moment of national upheaval, but the sheer seductiveness of Okri's oratory made that easy to forgive.
Lagos: The raging crisis of Boko Haram attacks in the Northern part of the country is not enough to discourage investors from staking their funds in Nigeria, Managing Director of Goldridge Development Company, Okey Nwamadi has said. He spoke at a press conference in Lagos at the weekend where he also disclosed that Nigeria, in collaboration with Full Imput Investment (Pty) Limited of South Africa, will lead over 100 businessmen to Nigeria on a bilateral parley in November, this year. The parley, titled "Celebration of Ubuntu", is a special project vehicle (SPV) that will build a sustainable and mutually beneficial relationship between Africa's two foremost countries.
Cape Town: As Africa's two largest economies, Nigeria and SA could substantially enhance the continent's development prospects — particularly if they work together more closely. SA, with a gross domestic product (GDP) last year of about $368bn, is Africa's biggest economy, despite growth that is forecast to slow to less than 3% this year. Meanwhile, the continent's most populous nation, oil-rich Nigeria, overtook Egypt last year to become Africa's second-biggest economy by GDP, recording $232bn. It has been envisaged that, with a growth rate of 7%, Nigeria could overtake SA by 2015.