• The FG will exercise no control over the management of the new national carrier, Nigeria Air, according to TheCable. The online news service says this is a precondition for the approval of the public-private partnership by the Infrastructural Concession Regulatory Commission, according to a government document. The document, the Outline Business Case Compliance Certificate which is signed by ICRC acting DG Chidi Izuwah, says any attempt to exercise control by the government will invalidate the process. The ICRC is the government agency saddled with the responsibility of monitoring compliance to public-private partnership agreements entered into by the FG. The certificate will be valid for 12 months. Aviation minister Hadi Sirika unveiled the logo of the new carrier on Wednesday.
  • American companies operating in Nigeria invested $1.3 billion in the economy in 2017, a survey by the American Business Council says. The investments, according to the council, generated over ₦2.6 trillion in revenue for the 74 American companies that participated in the survey. According to the report, the total tax contribution of the American companies to the Nigerian economy in 2017 was over ₦111 billion. While presenting the findings of the survey, ABC Vice-President Daniel McGraw said this was a clear indication that US businesses were committed to contributing to the Nigerian economy by uplifting its people, increasing investment and facilitating trade. The survey said approximately 11,200 indirect jobs and over 9,000 full-time jobs were created by its participants in Nigeria in 2017.
  • A new report by Terragon Group has shown that more Nigerians are using the internet, with about 63 per cent of them using it for personal purposes and social media being the most predominant activity. According to the ‘Digital Trends for Nigeria 2018’ report, the total number of internet users stands at 100.5 million people. The exponential growth of social media was only matched by search, which is the second most important activity for Nigerians on the internet. Of all the social media platforms, Facebook maintains the widest reach, with 22 million Nigerians actively using it monthly. In a somewhat surprising revelation, Instagram recorded the highest engagement levels, about 10x higher than Facebook and 84 per cent more than Twitter.
  • Egyptian investment bank EFG Hermes said on Thursday it will acquire Nigerian broker Primera Africa as it pushes to expand its capital market business across frontier markets. EFG Hermes said it entered Nigeria because it was one of the largest frontier markets globally with long-term growth opportunity after undergoing a series of reforms including currency devaluation. It did not disclose how much it was paying for the 100 per cent stake in Lagos-based Primera Africa, which offers brokerage and research services to local and foreign investors. Primera will operate under the EFG Hermes brand name after the deal closes at the end of August 2018. Mohamed Ebeid, co-CEO of EFG Hermes said Nigeria accounted for the largest share of its brokerage executions and revenue among all frontier markets in which it had indirect execution in 2017. The NSE was among the best performing in the world last year after the central bank liberalised the naira for investors. However, the market is down 4 per cent this year as rate hikes in the United States trigger capital flight.
  • Wema Bank plans to issue ₦20 billion of debt in August to boost its capital adequacy, its acting CEO said on Thursday. “We need to enhance our funding. The bank is in the process of raising Tier II and the offer will be opened in August,” Ademola Adebisi told an analysts’ call. The debt raise is the second tranche of a ₦50 billion bond program. The bank said it has appointed parties for the offer and aims to boost its capital ratio to 15 per cent before year-end.