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BUSINESS ROUNDUP: Naira to dollar could hit N1,000/$1; Currency devaluation impedes MTN Nigeria’s earnings; Other stories



Hello, and welcome to Business Roundup this week. Here, we bring you highlights of events that happened during the week -from the capital market to the mainstream business activities, while not forgetting the tech/economy build up.

Here are the Headlines:

  •  Naira devaluation impedes MTN Nigeria’s earnings in H1
  •  Reps member says naira to dollar rate could hit N1000/$1 by December
  •  Court fines Agropartnerships, Farmforte founders N1.2m, orders transfer of investors’ funds
  •  FBN Holdings to raise capital via Rights Issue
  •  CBN orders banks to unfreeze accounts of crypto, fintech companies


MTN Nigeria has reported that the naira devaluation also impeded the company’s financial growth in the second quarter of 2023.

In a comment included in its second quarter of the financial statement released on Friday, MTN Nigeria disclosed it recorded an unrealised forex loss of N131.5 billion.

This increased by N117.9 billion or 866.9 per cent compared to the N13.6 billion forex loss reported in the first half of 2022.

“Net finance costs increased by 164.3% due to increased borrowings and an unrealised forex loss of N131.5 billion (H1 2022: N13.6 billion) on our net foreign currency liabilities following the significant devaluation of the Naira.

House of Representatives member, Beni Lar, has warned that the dollar rate could rise to N1000 by December 2023 if the government doesn’t intervene in the foreign exchange market.

Lar, who represents Langtang North/Lantang South Federal Constituency of Plateau State, gave the warning after moving a motion titled, “Need to stabilise Nigeria’s foreign exchange rate”, during plenary.

She said the depreciation of the naira has caused hardship in Nigeria and also affected Nigerians’ schooling abroad.

The founders of Agropartnerships and Farmforte, Osazuwa Osayi, and Osayimwense Uyi, have been fined N1.2 million for operating an illegal investment company.

A five-member panel of the investments and securities tribunal sitting in Abuja on June 8, 2023, issued the fine in a case filed against them by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on February 28, 2022, but amended on January 20, 2023.

SEC had accused the companies and the founders of using their accounts in several Nigerian banks for unlawful capital market operation after individuals who invested in the firm’s investment packages publicly accused the firms of not paying them their returns in January 2022.

FBN Holdings has disclosed the company will conduct a Rights Issue to raise funds to boost its available capital for operational needs.

READ ALSO:BUSINESS ROUNDUP: Nigeria’s capital importation drops to $1.13bn; Country records $1.41bn forex inflow; Other stories

Rights Issue are often conducted by companies to trade their shares to existing shareholders in exchange for fresh capital.

Ripples Nigeria understands that this enables companies to raise additional capital without the burden of debt and interest or increasing their liabilities.

The funds are usually sought to expand operations, acquire assets and clear debt obligations, amongst other operational activities.

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has ordered banks to unfreeze the accounts of foreign exchange investment, cryptocurrency and Bureau De Change companies.

In a circular seen on Wednesday, but dated July 25, 2023, the CBN directed banks to lift the post-no-debit restriction placed on accounts of a popular crypto exchange, Yellow Card Financial and 439 other individuals and companies.

Also listed are Rise Vest Technologies Limited, Chaka Technologies Limited, Bamboo Systems Technology Limited, as well as Trove Technologies Limited.

On NSE ROUNDUP: Investors lose N232.1bn to sell-offs in Guinness, Cadbury, others

Investors in the Nigerian capital market lost N232.10 billion after Guinness, Cadbury and other equities recorded sell-offs during trading on Friday.

The loss brought down the market capitalization from N35.63 trillion to N35.40 trillion at the close of trading on Friday.

Similarly, the All-Share Index dipped by 204.25 basis points to close at 65,056.39, down from 65,482.91 posted by the bourse on Thursday.

Investors traded 459.77 million shares valued at N5.34 billion in 8,051 deals on Friday.

This fell short of the 509.24 million shares worth N4.79 billion traded by shareholders in 8,070 deals the previous day.

On the tech scene, HyperPay, Pharma Run, EdVentures, Kasha, Spiker, DESAISIV, Clafiya, Rainmaking Innovation, Wellx, Amazon, were some of the names that made the headlines this week.

Meta, the parent company of Facebook, plans to monetize its artificial intelligence large language model, Llama 2, by charging significant cloud-computing companies when they resell its services.

Also, EdVentures, an Edtech corporate venture capital firm, has entered into a strategic partnership with VMS, a Venture Studio empowering entrepreneurs and startups in the Middle East.

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