Mayweather beats McGregor to win epic fight

Floyd Mayweather has beaten Conor McGregor in Las Vegas, claiming his 50th victory and maintaining his unbeaten record.

McGregor had been written off before the fight, but the Irishman surprised many of his critics with a largely professional display, taking the fight to 10 rounds.

He got off to a flying start, throwing a series of punches at the 40-year-old and scoring a few early points. Displaying some theatrics, the Irishman even put his hands behind his back t one stage.

As the first round wore on, Mayweather went on the offensive but failed to connect and it was the Irishman who was ahead as the bell rung.

In the second round, McGregor continued the assault and easily held his own against the undefeated Mayweather.

McGregor received a warning in the third round as he illegally connected with Mayweather on the top of the head. Despite the breaches, it was a largely controlled, professional display from the MMA fighter.

Mayweather, meanwhile, struggled to stamp his authority on the contest, receiving blows to the head and failing to make an impact on the 29-year-old opponent.

The American found himself against the ropes early in the fourth round as McGregor went on the attack. Despite apparently trailing the Irishman, Mayweather had time for a wink to the cameras in a show of confidence.

But Mayweather is known to be patient and started to find his groove in the fifth round. Pushing the Irishman back, Mayweather landed a number of blows to the body and his pressure started to pay off in the sixth as the Irishman seemed to tire.

In the seventh, he finally started exerting serious pressure on McGregor, getting him on the ropes and landing a hard left hook.

In the eighth, Mayweather maintained the pressure but McGregor remained defiant, landing some shots of his own.

McGregor got Mayweather on the ropes early in the ninth, but Mayweather battered McGregor with a hard right. With the Irishman clearly tiring and with his legs wobbling, Mayweather moved in for the kill but the Irishman survived the round.

The American finished McGregor off in the 10th round, with the referee stepping in to stop the fight.

Source : SunOnline

Equities, NSE, turnover

Equities Market Turnover Hits N24.218bn In One Week

Equities, NSE, turnover

A total turnover of 1.538 billion shares worth N24.218 billion in 19,187 deals were traded last week by investors on the floor of the Exchange in contrast to a total of 1.394 billion shares valued at N25.037 billion that exchanged hands in the previous week in 23,133 deals.

The Financial Services Industry (measured by volume) led the activity chart with 1.209 billion shares valued at N14.210 billion traded in 10,692 deals; thus contributing 78.65% and 58.68% to the total equity turnover volume and value respectively.

The Agriculture Industry followed with 109.646 million shares worth N154.438 million in 321 deals. The third place was occupied by Consumer Goods Industry with a turnover of 83.608 million shares worth N6.247 billion in 3,726 deals.

During the week, the last of Tier-1 lenders was yet to release half year 2017 scorecards; Access Bank, Ecobank Transnational Incorporated and United Bank for Africa submitted audited financials with better than expected performance reported across earnings metrics.

Nonetheless the impressive results from the Tier-1 banks, the All Share Index ended the week in the red, down 0.7 per cent week-on-week, while year-to-date gain moderated to 36.4 per cent. Also, market capitalisation fell by N94.5 billion to settle at N12.6 trillion.

The negative close was against the backdrop of sell-offs in large cap stocks including Dangote Cement (-4.0%), Lafarge Cement WAPCO (-3.4%), Zenith Bank (-5.8%), Total Nigeria (-5.0%) and Unilever Nigeria (-9.2%).

Activity level was, however, mixed as average traded volume rose 10.3 per cent to 307.5 million units, while average traded value fell 3.3% to N4.8 billion week-on-weeks.

Overall sector performance was mixed as three of five sector indices declined against two. The Oil & Gas index declined the most with a loss of 3.7 per cent  on the back of sell-offs in Mobil Nigeria  (-14.5%), Conoil (-14.2%) and Total Nigeria (-5.0%).

The industrial goods index followed with a decline of 3.3 per cent due to profit-taking in Dangote Cement (-4.0%) and Lafarge Cement WAPCO (-3.4%).

Likewise, the Insurance index closed the week 1.8 per cent lower on account of price depreciations in Mansard Insurance (-7.3%) and LINKASSURE (-6.5%).

On the gainers chart, the consumer goods index led with a 2.4 per cent week-on-week return owing to buy interest in Nigerian Breweries  (+5.0%), Dangote Flour Mills (+10.3%) and Dangote Sugar Refinery  (+6.6%), while the banking index closed 0.3 per cent higher due to upticks in Guaranty Trust Bank  (+2.3%), United Bank for Africa  (+3.7%) and Access Bank (+2.9%).

Source : Independent


NNPC Urges Indigenous Companies To Bid For 30 Marginal Fields


The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has urged members of the Independent Petroleum Producers Group (IPPG) to participate in the forthcoming bid round for about 30 marginal oil fields which would soon be flagged off by the Federal Government.

Dr. Maikanti Baru, the Group Managing Director of the Corporation, gave this charge when he received a delegation of IPPG led by its chairman, Engr. Ademola Adeyemi-Bero, at the NNPC Towers in Abuja; where he also urged them to take advantage of the low crude oil price regime to develop their capacity and acquire technology.

Dr. Baru stated that there were lots of opportunities in the marginal fields which would soon be available, urging the IPPG to work hand-in-hand with the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) to ensure that they met the conditions that would be required from bidders.

“The marginal oil field lease renewal is an opportunity for your group. You will need to engage the DPR early in discussion to find out the conditions that the Federal Government is interested in. For example, the supply of gas to power plants and fertilizer plants and I think your group will be successful,” Dr. Baru advised.

The NNPC GMD also tasked the IPPG members to ramp up their collective production from 10 per cent of national production to fifty per cent in the next 10 years in order to increase the footprint of indigenous companies in the upstream sub-sector as is the case in the downstream.

The NNPC helmsman stated that the Corporation was passionate about collaborating with the indigenous producers in order to grow their capacity and participation in the exploration and production sub-sector in line with government’s local content policy.

He said the Corporation was very proud of them and was looking forward to a time when about ninety per cent of upstream operations in the country would be controlled by them.

Dr. Baru applauded members of the group for their productive community engagement which had stemmed the incidence of pipeline sabotage along the Trans Forcados Pipeline and enjoined them to extend similar gesture to the communities around the other crude oil lines to help stabilise national production.

The Chairman of the Group, Engr. Adeyemi-Bero, who made a presentation to the NNPC management, said the group was made up of twenty five active indigenous producers ,and driven by the passion to support the 12 Business Focus Areas of the current management of NNPC and the Seven Big Wins of the Federal Government.

The Chairman praised the Federal Government for initiating the Joint Venture cash call exit programme, stressing that the move would bolster their activities in the upstream sub-sector.

Source : Independent


How To Improve Capacities Of SMEs In Nigeria, By Olowu


Peter Olowu, the Managing Partner of Wistraledge Consulting, talked
about the challenges of SMEs in Nigerias and also the possible
solutions to them. He spoke with Ikechi Nzeako. Excerpts:

What is your assessment of SMEs in Nigeria?

SMEs have played and continue to play significant roles in the growth, development and industrialization of many economies the world over. In the case of Nigeria, SMEs have performed below expectation due to a combination of challenges which range from attitude and habits of SMEs themselves through environmental related factors, instability of governments and frequent government policy changes and somersaults.

The nation needs the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) because they contribute to economic development. They are in the forefront of output expansion, employment generation, income redistribution, promotion of indigenous entrepreneurship and production of primary goods to strengthen industrial linkages. The agricultural sector, which comprises mainly of SMEs, has promoted indigenous technology and increased utilization of local raw materials but more has to be done generally by all stakeholders.

What services does you company provide?

Wistraledge Consulting Services is a consulting firm that specializes in human capacity building (training) and various business support services and management consulting services such as advisory, financial and tax services, strategy and solution, special SME business support services, recruitment and outsourcing. Business from start-ups, SMEs to big companies can benefit from our services to stimulate growth and excellence in their businesses.

What are the challenges of SMEs in Nigeria?

At Wistraledge Consulting, we have carried out research in many areas, business and market analyses on SMEs and our conclusions have similar things in common. We have identified the major challenges and constraints, which have militated against the SMEs from playing the vital role in the Nigerian economic growth and development; many SME promoters claim that the government is not doing enough to encourage, stimulate and protect the Nigerian SMEs.

The main challenges of SMEs in Nigeria include: management, access to finance, infrastructure, government policy inconsistencies and bureaucracy, environmental factors, multiple taxes and levies, inability to access modern technology, unfair competition, marketing problems and non-availability of raw materials locally. Thus managerial problems represent the greatest problem facing SMEs in Nigeria while non-availability of raw materials locally is the least problem. The problems and challenges that SMEs contend with are enormous but it is curious to know that some SMEs are able to overcome them.

Another problem confronting SMEs is paucity of funds for growth and expansion. When the funds are there, the interest rates are prohibitive thereby making goods uncompetitive with the imported ones.

What do you think the government can do to enhance the growth of SMEs?

The high degree of poverty and unemployment with their attendant high crime rate in Nigeria has been of great concern to the various governments as well as the civil society.

Given the vital and salutary role and contributions, which SMEs play in other developed and developing economies, and considering the ongoing reforms by the government of Nigeria, which are primarily aimed at creating wealth, reducing poverty, generating employment, re-orientating values, and stimulating real economic growth, it becomes compelling for the SME sub-sector to be revamped, overhauled and energised towards playing its expected roles.

The SMEs remain a veritable vehicle for such an expected complete turnaround in the economy of Nigeria.

In other words, if the government at all levels is to realize the lofty objectives of their various programmes, the SME sub-sector has to be thoroughly revamped and focused on for a while.

This is one of the ways that the government can be sure of realizing the objectives of the well-intended reforms and be sure of moving the economy forward to the delight of all stakeholders.

Another key thing that the government can also do is human capacity building. The government can engage the services of training and consulting firms to assist in training micro businesses and start-ups. Existing SMEs are not also left out. There is a need for capacity building. Many SME promoters or owners have been frustrated out of business by their own ignorance because they lack the technical know-how or manpower to survive in business. Human capacity building is one of our key services at Wistraledge Consulting and we encourage SMEs promoters or owners to also train and retrain themselves. Many of them need more than technical skills to survive in business. Some just need one or two soft skills training to enhance their entrepreneurship skills.

Some SMEs owners claim to be in business and they do not even know what entrepreneurship entails. The role of human capacity building is very key in business development. People need to embrace not just technical knowledge but soft and interpersonal skills to really take their business to the next level.

Apart from the government, do you think other large organizations have
roles to play in the development of SMEs in the country?

In as much as the government is saddled with the responsibility of creating an enabling environment, larger organizations should understand that they are stakeholders in the country. They can also support SMEs through various corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities. Many SMEs are found in various value chains. Financial institutions can give loans at affordable interest rates. Also the requirement of loan acquisition can be made more flexible rather than being rigid. At Wistraledge Consulting, we run a free business and investment clinic for start-ups and existing SMEs. We give them free, consultation, advisory, business analysis etc. Many SMEs have taken advantage of our free business and investment clinic and we diagnosed their businesses and gave the necessary solutions. We do not just give or recommend solutions but we also assist with implementation of the required strategies and solutions.

You will agree with me that if other organizations too can play various roles as a way to contribute their quota to the nation building just the way Wistraledge Consulting does assist numerous SMEs through the free business and investment clinic then many SMEs will be positively affected and this will surely stimulate growth. They are many start-ups that are technologically driven. Imagine a big organization committing aside a reasonable amount of money just to encourage these start-ups in the innovation and technology market. They can just see it as part of their CSR. The government can also come in by giving some concessions to them in the areas of tax for impacting positively in the development of SMEs in the country. The same model applies to other sectors. We at Wistraledge Consulting have also advocated several times both in the print and digital media that big organizations can also be organizing various competitions for start-ups. Many of these micro businesses have great ideas but unfortunately they do not see the light of the day.

Are there potential and opportunities for SMEs in Nigeria?

The potential and opportunities for SMEs in Nigeria to rebound and play the crucial role of engine of growth, development and industrialization, wealth creation, poverty reduction and employment creation are enormous. The realization of this requires a paradigm shift from paying lip service to a practical radical approach and focus on this all-important sector of the economy by the government realistically addressing the identified problems. While SMEs themselves need to change their attitude and habits relating to entrepreneurship development, the government needs to involve the SMEs in policy formulation and execution for maximum effect. There is also the need to introduce entrepreneurial studies in the curricula of our tertiary institutions in addition to emphasizing science, practical and technological studies at all levels of our educational system.

Promoters of SMEs should ensure the availability or possession of managerial capacity and acumen before pursuing financial resources for the development of the respective enterprise. At Wistraledge Consulting, we do emphasise this to our clients. We make them know the importance of training and re-training of employees. If you want to get the best from your workers, you just have to train them because it is not only the business owners that need human capacity building, the workers do too.

Source : Independent


Capital Importation: Foreign Banks’ Dominance Rekindles Calls For Strategic Alliance


The dominance of foreign banks in the business of capital importation and cross border transaction in the economy may have rekindled calls for strategic partnership with foreign lenders, INDEPENDENT interactions and investigations have shown.

Capital Importation deals with inflows of cash (foreign currency Inflow) for investment as Equity or Loan, and also for importation of machinery and equipment for investment as Equity or Loan.

This is followed by a certificate of capital importation (“CCI”) issued by the banks aimed at providing customers with statutory evidence of capital inflow/investment into the country. It legitimises and facilitates the repatriation of dividends, interest/coupon and capital to the investor. It also facilitates repayment on foreign loans along with interests accrued.

Specifically, last week’s report by the National Bureau Of Statistics, (NBS) showed that three banks, Stanbic IBTC, Citi Bank Nigeria and Standard Chartered Bank) accounted for 70.7 percent or $1.27 billion of total estimated $1.792 billion, capital importation for the second quarter of this year.

The report concluded that the remaining 22 banks accounted for the balance.

Analysts said at the weekend that the development is a wakeup call for the local banks to be internationally competitive and also work on their branding and operations for global patronage.
Razia Khan, Managing Director, Chief Economist, Africa Global Research, Standard Chartered Bank, London said, “It’s not surprising as the three are international banks with a wider foreign portfolio investor client base.

Bolade Agbola, Lagos based analyst said, “The three foreign banks are banks of first choice for foreign firms doing business in Nigeria because of their ownership structure .It is not surprising that most of the Foreign Direct Investment and Portfolio Investment (70%) were remitted through them. The implication for Nigerian Banks is very clear. They have to improve on their brand and possibly enter into strategic alliance with foreign banks like what IBTC did with Stanbic Bank in order to enhance their chances of participating in the foreign exchange remittance business.”

‘Dipo Fatokun, Director, Banking and Payments System Department, Central Bank of Nigeria said recently that the regulatory landscape remains complex for banks as they, not only need to comply with existing regulations, but also adhere to new regulatory initiatives, some of which affect established operating or business models.

Fatokun, who spoke at the Finance Correspondent Association of Nigeria (FICAN) last month in Lagos said that “Regulations may differ greatly; some being very detailed and prescriptive while others may be transformational and subject to multiple interpretations.”

According to him, “Increased complexity in the regulatory landscape sometimes, creates a need for banks to leverage new technology for compliance purposes.”

Required rate of policy review is increasing due to technology changes and innovations. This creates disruption in the smooth flow of implementation, where a policy becomes ineffective as a result of better technology.

At international level, Anurag Bajaj, Global Head of Banks, Transaction Banking, Standard Chartered said global banks have been reducing correspondent banking clients, either because they are commercially unviable or they fail today’s higher financial crime prevention standards.

Bajaj, in an article – Promoting financial inclusion in correspondent banking, published in The Economist noted that local smaller banks which depend on international correspondents lenders for facilitating cross border flows, which underpin trade and commerce are currently facing resistance from the correspondent banking network due to much stricter laws and regulation to curb financial crimes, including money laundering and terrorism, financing, among others.

The implication, according to him is, not that it not just excludes those smaller banks from the financial system, it also encourages a lack of transparency as financial flows will start finding alternate channels that potentially go completely under the radar.

“It is far more beneficial for as many transactions as possible to remain mainstream, subject to tighter compliance controls,” he said, adding, however, that there is not much any bank can do for correspondent banking clients that fall short of risk tolerance and are unwilling to improve their processes and systems.

According to him, financial exclusion, usually regarded as a problem, is confined to the most disadvantaged sections of society – poor people and struggling small businesses – who find it
expensive or difficult to access banking and associated financial services, has recently become a concern for smaller banks and money transmission businesses, some of whom are finding themselves frozen out of the correspondent banking network because global correspondent banks no longer want to do business with them.

He, therefore, posited that the development is frightening and serious, as correspondent banking remains the lifeline of commerce, facilitating and financing trade and cross border financial flows.

“There are two main reasons for this. First, many global banks are pulling out of smaller markets because they are no longer economically viable. Second, global banks today have to comply with much stricter laws and regulations to curb money laundering, terrorist financing, and other financial crimes.

“Many small banks and money transmission businesses are unable to meet or prove that they operate to acceptable standards, so the global banks deem them too risky and cease their relationships with them – a phenomenon is widely known as de-risking,” he stated.

The NBS report said that Nigeria’s capital importation rises 95% to $1.79bn in Q2, representing a 95 percent growth from $884.1 million recorded in Q1 2017. This, according to some analysts is an indication that portfolio investors are making bold return to bourse. Analysts at the weekend attributed the stable CBN foreign exchange management as responsible.

However, year-on-year growth moderated to 43.6 percent from the $1.042 billion recorded in quarter two of 2016.

Specifically, the NBS noted that the main driver of the growth in capital importation in the review period was portfolio investments, which increased by 145.7 percent, followed by other investments growing by 95.02 percent, and then foreign direct investment (FDI) increasing by 29.8 percent over the previous quarter.

A month on month analysis of capital importation in the second quarter shows that the month of May recorded the highest of amount of capital importation ($616.5 million), followed by June with $612.6million and May with $563.3 million.

“Portfolio Investment was the largest component of imported capital in the second quarter of 2017, accounting for $770.5 million, or 43.0 percent of the total. It was closely followed by other investments, which accounted for $747.5 million, or 41.7 percent, and then FDI, which accounted for $274.4 or 15.3 percent during the quarter,” the NBS noted.

However, a year on year comparison of the three investment types indicate that portfolio Investments increased by 128.4 percent, from the $337.3 million recorded in second quarter of 2016.
Other Investments also increased by 43.6 percent, from the $520.6 million reported in the same quarter of 2016, while FDI grew by 48.9 percent, from $184.3 million.

On sectoral allocation of the imported capital, the NBS said the value of share capital imported in the period under review was $932.58 million, which represents an increase of 548.5 percent relative to the previous quarter, and an increase of 168.0 percent relative to the second quarter of 2016.

“This was by far the sector to attract the largest amount of capital in the second quarter of the year. This was a significant increase relative to recent quarters, the highest amount since the third quarter of 2015, when it declined significantly from $1.74 billion to $831.88 million in the fourth quarter of 2015,” the NBS stated.

Share capital investment, which is closely related to equity investment (FDI and Portfolio), was largely responsible for huge increase in capital importation during the quarter.

The sector to attract the second largest value of capital imported during the reference quarter was the oil and gas sector, accounting for 10.6 percent, or ($190.39 million) of total imported capital, representing an increase of 88.4 percent over the previous quarter, but a 5.0 percent decline when compared to the same period of last year.

The servicing and production/manufacturing sectors also attracted significant levels of capital importation in the second quarter, accounting for shares of 8.1 percent ($145.56 million) and 7.9 percent ($141.42 million) respectively.

The state to import the most capital into Nigeria in the second quarter of 2017 was Lagos, as in all previous quarters. Lagos is the commercial and financial capital of Nigeria and home to Nigeria’s Stock Exchange where shares are traded. As such, it accounts for most of the capital imported into the country.

Specifically, Lagos accounted for 97.07 percent ($1.739 billion) of capital importation, which represents a slight increase in its share relative to the previous quarter, when it was 95.32 percent.

Akwa Ibom as in the previous quarter recorded the second highest level of capital importation, accounting for 1.92 percent ($34.08 million) of the total share and an increase of 85.6 percent over the amount it recorded in the previous quarter.

Abuja recorded the third highest amount, with a share of 0.93 percent ($16.64 million) of the total, followed by Oyo state with a share of 0.1 percent ($1.83 million).

The country from which Nigeria imported the most capital was the United Kingdom, which accounted for $696.7 million, or 38.87 percent of the total. This value represents a 130.3 percent increase relative to the previous quarter, and 107.9 percent increase over the same period of last year.

The country to account for the second largest value of capital importation was the United States. The US accounted for $287.82 million in the second quarter of 2017 or 16.06 percent. The US has also been one of the most important investors in Nigeria, usually either the largest or second largest investor country.

The next two largest investors in the second quarter of 2017 were Belgium (accounting for 15.7%) and Singapore (8.67%).

Source : Independent