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Airtel listing pushes Nigerian stock exchange market capitalisation up

Airtel Africa’s share price rose by the maximum daily percentage change of 10 per cent to close yesterday at ₦399.30 per share

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Airtel listing pushes Nigerian stock exchange market capitalisation up
(File photo)

Airtel Africa Plc started trading on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) with strong enthusiasm, rallying a ₦136.4 billion gain in the immediate hour after its shares were listed on the Exchange.

Airtel Africa’s share price rose by the maximum daily percentage change of 10 per cent to close yesterday at ₦399.30 per share.

The NSE listed 3.758 billion ordinary shares of Airtel Africa on its main board at ₦363 per share, the offer price for the telco’s initial public offering (IPO). Airtel Africa had last week listed on the London Stock Exchange (LSE), its primary listing exchange, at 80 pence.

As against the weak start on the first trading day at LSE, Airtel Africa’s dual listing on the NSE started on a positive note, with the telco leading the Nigerian market to a total gain of ₦1.38 trillion.

Airtel Africa’s debut trading on the LSE was, however, weak dropping by as much as 16 per cent during the first trading session.

Airtel Africa set out with an initial listing value of ₦1.36 trillion and closed the first day at the NSE with a market capitalisation of ₦1.5 trillion.

Under its IPO, Airtel Africa had allotted 39.23 million ordinary shares to qualified institutional investors and high net worth investors in Nigeria while 704.82 million shares were allotted to other global investors in various jurisdictions outside Nigeria.

Chief Executive Officer, Airtel Africa Plc, Raghunath Mandava, says Airtel Africa is delighted to be listed on the main board of the Exchange.

READ: MTN Nigeria debuts in $6.5 billion stock exchange listing

“This is an exciting time for Airtel Africa in the 14 countries it operates in and an important milestone in our development as a leading provider of telecommunications and mobile money services in Africa”, Mandava says.

Speaking on the floor of the Exchange, Managing Director, Airtel Network Limited (Airtel Nigeria), Mr. Segun Ogunsanya, noted that Nigeria has been a great place for business and Airtel Africa remains committed to building a leadership position in Nigeria.

Chief Executive Officer, Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), Mr. Oscar Onyema, noted that Airtel Africa has made history as the first telecom company to simultaneously list on both the LSE and NSE.

He said the listing on the Exchange reaffirms Airtel Africa’s long-term commitment to expanding opportunities for Nigerians in addition to providing everyday services to them.

“This listing serves to deepen the telecoms and technology sector for investors and provides an opportunity for a wider group of Nigerians to be part of the African telecoms growth story.

This listing is a promising development in Africa with Airtel Africa being the second company to have its ordinary shares listed on both the London Stock Exchange and the Nigerian Stock Exchange,” Onyema said.

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Zimbabweans lament after price of bread rises by 60% overnight

Bakers said they were forced to hike their prices due to rising production costs

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Zimbabweans lament after price of bread rises by 60% overnight

The price of bread shot up 60 per cent overnight in Zimbabwe, in the latest blow for a population already struggling with spiralling living costs.

Zimbabweans can barely keep pace with the price rises that have rekindled fears of hyperinflation which reached 500 billion per cent a decade ago and forced the country to trash its own currency.

Already, many families live on one meal a day, with the country in the grip of a major downturn that has provoked biting shortages of basics such as fuel and medicine.

Bakers said they were forced to hike their prices due to rising production costs.

Electricity prices have “gone up significantly, the price of fuel has also been going up weekly, the prices of raw materials have also gone up including the cost of importing wheat,” said Dennis Wala, the president of the National Bakers’ Association.

Electricity is only available for around six hours a day, forcing many bakers to use generators to run their ovens.

“The bread manufacturer is at the end of the value chain and we have to factor in all these costs, but we don’t prescribe prices to our members,” Wala told reporters.

The price of a loaf of bread soared to 15 Zimbabwe dollars (around US$1) on Wednesday from nine dollars the previous day, according to a correspondent.

Bread is the second most important staple in the country after a thick cornmeal porridge known in the local Shona language as “sadza”.

After decades of mismanagement under former President Robert Mugabe, Zimbabwe reached absurd levels of hyperinflation in 2008-2009 when the central bank started printing money.

Mugabe’s successor, Emmerson Mnangagwa has failed to stop the latest inflation surge, last week begging for patience to bring the economy back from the “dead”.

But the economy is near breaking point.

Hundreds of thousands of government workers said this week they could no longer afford to report for duty as their wages had been rendered almost worthless.

Last week, the authorities quadrupled the price of electricity — which is already in short supply after a 400 per cent hike in August.

Earlier this month, the price of fuel rose more than 25 per cent, the latest in series of regular increases.

The official inflation rate was 290 per cent last month, but economists estimate it is at least double that figure.

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Nigeria to sign military cooperation deal with Russia

Nigerian President, Muhammadu Buhari is due to meet Putin on the sidelines of a Russia-Africa summit in Sochi

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Nigeria to sign military cooperation deal with Russia

Nigerian President, Muhammadu Buhari hopes to sign a military-technical cooperation deal with Russia at talks with President Vladimir Putin this month that will help it fight Boko Haram militants.

The Nigerian leader is due to meet Putin on the sidelines of a Russia-Africa summit in the Black Sea city of Sochi amid a push by Moscow to expand its influence in Africa.

“We’re sure that with Russian help we’ll manage to crush Boko Haram, given Russia’s experience combating Islamic State in Syria,” Nigerian envoy, Steve Ugbah said in an interview with Russia’s RIA news agency, adding that Nigeria was interested in purchasing Russian helicopters, planes, tanks and other military equipment.

Ugbah says a military-technical cooperation deal between Russia and Nigeria had already been drafted and that it is awaiting finalisation. 

“We hope President Buhari can take the talks to their logical end. The agreement will open new possibilities in such areas as the supply of military equipment and training for specialists,” he adds.

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Nigeria, Cameroon to plan Cocoa price cartel

The plan suggested by Nigeria is part of a trend by cocoa growers in West Africa and Latin America

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Nigeria, Cameroon to plan Cocoa price cartel

Nigeria aims to team up with Cameroon to agree on a premium for its cocoa with buyers, after the world’s top growers, Ivory Coast and Ghana set a price floor for the crop.

The plan suggested by Nigeria, the world’s fourth-largest cocoa producer, is part of a trend which has seen growers in West Africa and Latin America seek to influence prices in the global market.

The move follows Ghana and Ivory Coast’s union in July, which set the price for a ton of cocoa from their countries at $2,600 plus a $400 premium described as “living income differential”.

READ: Cocoa industry stakeholders accept Ghana, Ivory Coast price

Both countries produced 60 per cent of the world’s cocoa in 2018.

Vice President of the World Cocoa Producers Organisation, Sayina Riman says discussions will be held with the private sector and the Nigerian Government before formal talks are held with Cameroon.  

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