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NEWS UPDATE (Wed. 22.01.20)

FLUTTEREAVE RAISES $35 MILLION

Flutterwave has raised $35 million series B funds. That is huge for an indigenous African company.
San Francisco and Lagos-based fintech startup Flutterwave has raised a $35 million Series B round and announced a partnership with Worldpay FIS for payments in Africa.
With the funding, Flutterwave will invest in technology and business development to grow market share in existing operating countries, CEO Olugbenga Agboola — aka GB — told TechCrunch.
The company will also expand capabilities to offer more services around its payment products.
In 2019, Flutterwave processed 107 million transactions worth $5.4 billion, according to company data.
The new round makes Flutterwave the payment provider for Worldpay in Africa.

NIGERIA’S ECONOMIC CONFIDENCE SLOWS IN Q4 2019 – REPORT

Says global economy will expand at a modest rate of 3% in 2020
Nigeria’s economic confidence has dropped in the last quarter of 2019, the latest Global Economic Conditions Survey(GECS) by the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) and Institute of Management Accountants (IMA) has shown.
The GECS report, which was released recently, predicted that after slowing in 2019, the global economy is likely to expand at a steady modest rate of 3 per cent in 2020.
Commenting on this development, Head of ACCA Nigeria, Thomas Isibor, says that the World Bank expects Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth to be maintained at around two per cent in 2020.
He explained that the economy remains heavily dependent on neither oil where neither prices nor output looks likely to boost the economy this year.
In addition, the closure of Nigeria’s land borders last year to reduce smuggling has pushed up inflation, especially in the food category.
Double-digit inflation means that tight monetary policy will continue to act as a moderating influence on economic growth, which will remain below the rate needed to increase GDP per capita.’
He added that the Global economic confidence is expected to bounce back in Q4 2020, to around its level in mid-2019.

UK – AFRICA INVESTMENT SUMMIT: NIGERIA, UK SIGN N153.4 BILLION COMMERCIAL DEALS

In a renewed partnership between the United Kingdom (UK) and the federal government of Nigeria, commercial deals worth a total sum of £324 million (over N153.4 billion) has been signed between the largest economy in Africa and UK Investors.
The British High Commissioner, Catriona Laing, on Tuesday in a statement obtained by The Daily Times said that the UK-Africa Investment Summit has launched a new partnership for growth in Nigeria.
The British Commissioner said that not less than 21 African countries met in London on Monday for the inaugural UK-Africa Investment Summit, which included African leaders, UK and African businesses, international institutions and young entrepreneurs.
President Muhammadu Buhari led the Nigerian delegation and held private meetings with Prime Minister Boris Johnson and His Royal Highness, the Prince of Wales.
The Summit was designed to create lasting new partnerships that deliver more investment, jobs and growth, benefiting people and businesses across Nigeria and the UK.
Ms Laing said the summit has a strong focus on sustainable energy and female participation in the economy.
Ms Laing said the initiatives include the significant UK commitments to support Nigeria to develop an enabling environment to turbo-charge economic growth, by helping to address land issues for investment.
“Also, we will be preparing the ground for the launch in the UK of naira-denominated bonds– “Jollof Bonds’’ and developing the technology sector,’’ she said.
Ms Laing also noted that there would be substantial initiatives to accelerate the clean energy transformation in Nigeria, through enhanced technical and financial support.

NSE MARKET CAPITALISATION LOSES N127 BILLION AMID PROFIT TAKING IN BLUE CHIPS

Bears dominated trading on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) on Tuesday with investors net worth dropping by N127 billion due to profit taking.
Consequently, the market capitalisation shed N128 billion to close at N15.176 trillion against N15.304 trillion achieved on Monday to halt three consecutive gaining streak.
Also, the All-Share Index lost 247.80 points or 0.83 per cent to 29,462.76 compared with 29,710.56 achieved on Monday.
The downturn was impacted by losses recorded in medium and large capitalised stocks, amongst which are; Dangote Cement, Guaranty Trust Bank, Access Bank, BUA Cement and Zenith Bank.
Capital market analysts attributed the decline to profit taking, mostly on bellwether stocks.
Arbico dominated the laggards’ chart in percentage terms, losing 9.97 per cent to close at N3.16 per share.
Eterna came second with a loss of 9.72 per cent to close at N3.25, while Champion Breweries dropped 7.14 to close at 91k per share.
Access Bank lost 6.51 per cent to close at N10.05, while Guaranty Trust Bank dipped 5.29 per cent to close at N32.20 per share.
Conversely, Law Union and Rock Insurance led the gainers’ table in percentage terms with a growth gain of 9.09 per cent to close at 60k per share.
Unity Bank followed with 6.15 per cent to close at 69k, while Lafarge Africa appreciated by 6.12 per cent to close at N17.35 per share.
Honeywell Flour Mills improved by 4.85 per cent to close at N1.08, while Courteville appreciated by 4.35 per cent to close at 24k per share.
However, the total volume of shares traded increased marginally by 2.2 per cent with 272.84 million shares, worth N3.71 billion traded in 4,945 deals.
This is against a turnover of 272.84 million shares valued at N3.71 billion transacted in 4,945 deals on Monday.

IMF AFFIRMS 2.5% GROWTH FORECAST FOR NIGERIA’S ECONOMY IN 2020

The International Monetary Fund, IMF, yesterday reiterated its forecast that Nigeria’s economy, as measured by the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), will grow by 2.5 percent in 2020.
The IMF stated this in its January World Economic Outlook (WEO) released yesterday, titled, “Tentative Stabilization, Sluggish Recovery”.
The IMF had earlier projected in its October 2019 WEO that Nigeria’s economy will grow by 2.5 percent in 2020.
But, the IMF in the January 2020 WEO downgraded its growth forecast for Sub Saharan African region to 3.5 percent citing constrains and deteriorating public finance in South Africa.
“In sub-Saharan Africa, growth is expected to strengthen to 3.5 percent in 2020–21 (from 3.3 percent in 2019). The projection is 0.1 percentage point lower than in the October WEO for 2020 and 0.2 percentage point weaker for 2021. This reflects downward revisions for South Africa (where structural constraints and deteriorating public finances are holding back business confidence and private investment) and for Ethiopia (where public sector consolidation, needed to contain debt vulnerabilities, is expected to weigh on growth)”, the IMF said.
Similarly, the IMF however downgraded its growth forecast for the global economy to 3.3 percent in 2020, representing a one percentage point decline from 3.4 percent forecast made in October last year.
It stated: “Global growth, estimated at 2.9 percent in 2019, is projected to increase to 3.3 percent in 2020 and inch up further to 3.4 percent in 2021. Compared to the October WEO forecast, the estimate for 2019 and the projection for 2020 represent 0.1 percentage point reductions for each year while that for 2021 is 0.2 percentage point lower. A more subdued growth forecast for India (discussed below) accounts for the lion’s share of the downward revisions.
“The global growth trajectory reflects a sharp decline followed by a return closer to historical norms for a group of underperforming and stressed emerging market and developing economies (including Brazil, India, Mexico, Russia, and Turkey). The growth profile also relies on relatively healthy emerging market economies maintaining their robust performance even as advanced economies and China continue to slow gradually toward their potential growth rates.
“The effects of substantial monetary easing across advanced and emerging market economies in 2019 are expected to continue working their way through the global economy in 2020. The global growth estimate for 2019 and projection for 2020 would have been 0.5 percentage point lower in each year without this monetary stimulus. The global recovery is projected to be accompanied by a pickup in trade growth (albeit more modest than forecast in October), reflecting a recovery in domestic demand and investment in particular, as well as the fading of some temporary drags in the auto and tech sectors.”

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