• Nigeria occupies the bottom of an index that measures the gap between the rich and poor by Oxfam, a global civil society group. The organisation said Nigeria’s social spending on health, education and social protection is shamefully low, which is reflected in the poor social outcomes for its citizens. “One in 10 children in Nigeria does not reach their fifth birthday, and more than 10 million children do not go to school. Sixty per cent of these are girls,” the report said. The index, titled ‘The Commitment to Reducing Inequality Index,’ shows that in the past year Nigeria has seen an increase in labour rights violations. The minimum wage has not increased since 2011 and social spending has stagnated. Denmark tops this year’s CRI Index with the highest score.
  • President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday asked lawmakers to approve the issuance of a $2.79 billion Eurobond, in a letter read in the upper chamber of parliament. Buhari, in the letter, said he wanted the Eurobond to be issued in the international capital market for the “implementation of new external borrowing” that had already been approved in the 2018 budget. The money was sought to help finance the budget deficit and to fund infrastructure projects. Buhari, who will seek a second term in a presidential election to be held in February, signed a record ₦9.12 trillion budget for 2018 into law in June.
  • Egyptian investment bank EFG Hermes hopes to close a deal to acquire a Nigerian broker and is hoping to win IPO mandates in Saudi Arabia as it seeks new growth markets. Saudi Arabia could be a major growth market for EFG Hermes, which is the biggest investment bank in the Middle East but derives much of its business there from Egypt and the United Arab Emirates. On Nigeria, EFG Hermes announced in July that it would acquire Lagos-based Primera Africa, which offers brokerage and research services to local and foreign investors. The bank favours the country’s long-term growth potential after the country introduced a series of reforms including a currency devaluation. An EFG spokesperson said on Tuesday the deal is expected to close in November subject to regulatory approval and certain conditions.
  • Egypt’s first smartphone maker is looking to enter the broader African market by the end of 2018 or early 2019 as it seeks to boost exports, its sales director said. Silicon Industries Corporation, which already exports to the Gulf, aims to start selling phones in Kenya, Morocco, the Democratic Republic of Congo, South Africa, Nigeria, Mozambique and Ghana, Mahmoud Ali told Reuters. “It’s a promising market and there’s much less competition than in the Gulf,” Ali said. He said he mostly expected to sell smartphones in the $50 to $60 price range to African customers. SICO, which was set up last year with capital of E£150 million (₦3.02 billion), sells phones under the brand name Nile X.
  • Luno, a bitcoin exchange has launched its new African regional headquarters in Johannesburg, South Africa as a base to reach its 40 other markets it operates in across Europe and Southeast Asia. “We’ve been closely monitoring the rest of the African market and believe that the time is now finally right for a dynamic expansion across other African markets,” said Marcus Swanepoel, co-founder and CEO of Luno. “The new team in Johannesburg will be working closely with our team in Lagos, Nigeria, to launch across a number of African markets over the coming months,” he added. The platform aims to work closely with governments, regulators and financial institutions.