Airtel Africa plans to list on the Nigerian Stock Exchange today after the NSE postponed the listing which had been scheduled for Friday. This was to ensure the telecoms company meets its listing requirements, one of the financial advisors arranging the issue told Reuters. The delay was due to a manual allotment process of transferring the shares to new investors. Bharti Airtel, the parent company of Airtel Africa, did an Initial Public Offering, on the floor of the London Stock Exchange last Friday and it would dual list in Nigeria, its biggest market in Africa. Nigeria’s bourse said it postponed the cross-border listing of 3.76 billion shares of Airtel Africa, but allowed Airtel to go ahead with an investor presentation. It said that it would inform the market on when the conditions had been met. The telecoms firm set its Nigerian listing price at ₦363 per share, the NSE said, via a book building process which valued the company at ₦1.364 trillion ($4.44 billion). In May, Africa’s biggest telecoms firm MTN listed its Nigerian unit in a $6.5 billion float that made it the second-largest stock on the bourse by market value.
The Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria has suspended the strike it started on Wednesday over unpaid wages. Leaders of the union announced the suspension after a meeting with the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Transportation. The strike was targeted at international oil companies who, according to the union’s leader, Adewale Adeyanju, have taken delight in breaking Nigerian laws with impunity and also denied dockworkers payment of salaries/wages for the past one year. The management team of the Nigerian Ports Authority led by Hadiza Bala-Usman, had given a two weeks ultimatum over the same issue. The union suspended the strike action pending the outcome of a meeting scheduled for this week, involving the NPA, the NIMASA, the Nigerian Shippers’ Council, the NNPC, the IOCs and the leadership of MWUN.
The CBN has asked banks to now operate mobile money wallet services without prior approval. This is in line with the regulator’s aim to achieve the national financial inclusion target of 80 percent by 2020. The CBN also said this is to complement the recent growth in the agent banking services under the Super Agent and SANEF initiative, and in recognition of the increasing demand for no-frills mobile money services. However, the banks are expected to notify the regulator before the commencement of these services and are required to operate within the extant regulations on mobile money operations. Earlier, the CBN asked all deposit money banks to maintain a minimum Loan to Deposit Ratio of 60 percent by 30 September 2019, subject to quarterly review.
President Buhari signed the African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement yesterday. The document was signed at the 12th Extraordinary Session of the Assembly of the Union on AfCFTA and the First Mid-Year Coordination Meeting of the African Union and the Regional Economic Communities in Niamey, Niger. Nigeria, by the agreement, becomes the 53rd country in Africa to sign the AfCFTA deal. Buhari accepted to sign the agreement after a presidential panel he set up to look into the AfCFTA advised that Nigeria would benefit economically from the envisaged trade relations with other African countries. However, the panel noted that some negative impacts included massive smuggling that could turn Nigeria into a dumping ground for goods produced outside of Africa. AfCFTA came into effect in March with 52 out of 55 countries backing the policy. Two countries, Eritrea and Nigeria’s neighbour, Benin, are yet to sign the agreement, although the Beninese have said they will sign.