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West Africa Business News

Nigeria’s Bourse Begins Week at a Loss



The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) began trading for the week with a loss of 0.35 per cent owing to persistent profit taking.

Specifically, the NSE All-Share Index lost 144.78 points or 0.35 per cent to close at 41,564.31, compared with 41,709.09 posted on Friday.

Also, market capitalisation, which opened at N21.818 trillion, dipped N74 billion to close at N21.744 trillion.

The downturn was impacted by losses recorded in large and medium capitalised stocks, among which are Guaranty Trust Bank, PZ Cussons, Flour Mills, Unilever and Champion Breweries.

Champion Breweries drove the laggards’ chart in percentage terms, losing 9.75 per cent to close at N2.50 per share.

PZ Cussons followed with 9.73 per cent to close at N5.10, while Jaiz Bank shed 9.72 per cent to close at 65k per share.

Cornerstone Insurance dipped 9.23 per cent to close at 59k, while RT Briscoe Nigeria lost 9.09 per cent to close at 20k per share.

On the other hand, McNichols recorded the highest price gain in percentage terms, gaining 9.59 per cent to close at 80k per share.

UPDC Real Estate Investment Trust followed with 9.09 per cent to close at N6, while Multiverse Mining and Exploration rose by 8.33 per cent to close at 26k per share.

Fidson rose by 8.30 per cent to close at N6, while Africa Prudential appreciated by 8.21 per cent to close at N7.25 per share.

The total volume of shares transacted dropped 29.4 per cent with an exchange of 340.28 million shares worth N2.64 billion in 5,251 deals.

This is against a turnover of 482.19 million shares valued at N5.58 billion exchanged in 5,998 deals on Friday.

Transactions in the shares of Union Bank of Nigeria topped the activity chart with 78.81 million shares worth N457.06 million.

FBN Holdings came second with 54.25 million shares valued at N396.42 million, while Access Bank accounted for 33.96 million shares worth N289.60 million.

Transcorp sold 16.69 million shares valued at N16.83 million, while Zenith Bank transacted 14.17 million shares worth N368.61 million.

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West Africa Business News

Nestlé Nigeria Posts N39.35Bln Profit in 2020



Nestlé Nigeria Plc has reported revenue of N287.08 billion for the 2020 financial year.

The company’s audited result released on the Nigerian Stock Exchange showed that the revenue was higher by 1.1 per cent in contrast with N284.04 billion recorded in 2019 comparative period.

Gross profit for the year stood at N 119.21 billion compared with N128.15 billion achieved in the corresponding period of 2019.

Also, the company posted profit after tax of N39.25 billion during the review period against N45.68 billion in 2019.

The board in addition to N25 per share interim dividend already paid in December 2020, proposed an additional dividend of N 35.50 per share making for a total dividend of N60.50 for 2020.

The proposed dividend would be submitted for approval at the company’s Annual General Meeting on June 22.

Commenting on the results, Mr Wassim Elhusseini, Managing Director and CEO of Nestlé Nigeria, said that the company strengthened market leadership across its categories.

“Amidst a very challenging business environment in 2020, we strengthened market leadership across our categories. Thanks to our high performing team, we successfully continued to provide our consumers with high-quality affordable foods and beverages to enjoy every day.

“In line with our purpose of unlocking the power of food to enhance quality of life for everyone today and for generations to come, we broadened our portfolio in 2020 to help our consumers fulfil their nutrition needs.

“Our latest innovation is the new GOLDEN MORN Multi-Cereal, fortified with iron and other vitamins and minerals,” Elhusseini said.

Speaking on future outlook, he said that the company would remain committed to supply of high-quality nutritious foods and beverages to consumers.

“Going into 2021 – which portends to be another challenging year – we will continue to focus on keeping our people safe, continued supply of high-quality nutritious foods and beverages to consumers as well as caring for our communities and the planet.

“We will also keep supporting our business partners as we strengthen our operations to adapt to the rapidly changing reality,” he said.

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West Africa Business News

Okonjo-Iweala Resumes as WTO DG



Nigeria’s former minister of Finance Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, on Monday, started work as the new Director-General of the World Trade Organisation (WTO).

“Welcome to Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala @NOIweala on her first day as WTO Director-General!” the WTO tweeted today.

She immediately swung into action upon arrival at Geneva as she takes the floor at a WTO meeting for the first time as Director-General at the General Council.

Okonjo-Iweala, 66, who is the first woman and first African to run the WTO, has said that addressing the health and economic consequences of the pandemic would be a key priority.

There are concerns in Washington and other capitals about China’s trade policies and how well equipped the WTO is to deal with them.

Resuming at her office in the WTO’s headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, Nigeria’s ex-Coordinating Minister of the Economy, appeared in her country’s traditional attire sewn from an African wax fabric material.

The dressing wouldn’t be complete without her signature headtie (called Gèlè in Yoruba, kwalliyar kai in Hausa and ihe mkpuchi isi in Igbo) which led to the #BeLikeNgozi headgear challenge back home in Nigeria to honour her appointment.

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All Eyes on Ghana as African Gold Rises Like the Phoenix



Ghana has become the toast of exploration firms in the continent and is now Africa’s largest gold producer. It churned out 80.5 tonnes in 2008. To prove her worthiness of the title, Ghana has 23 large-scale mining companies producing gold, diamonds, bauxite and manganese.

There are over 300 registered small scale mining groups and 90 mine support service companies. So, apart from earning revenue for Ghana directly, it also ensures many people earn a stable living along the value chain.

Gold production in becoming an important export earner in West Africa.

This is true for countries like Ghana, Burkina Faso and Mali as these nations are expected to increase their export quota by 2.7% in 2021 to 8 Moz (million ounces) and grow to 8.4 Moz (million ounces) by 2024 – a 1.6% compound annual growth rate (CAGR).

After strong growth in 2019, West Africa’s gold production was badly hit by the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, owing to the temporary suspension of mines such as Fekola in Mali.

The pandemic had a significant impact on African operations, mainly during the early part of the second quarter of 2020, when, at one point, the region’s gold mines were on hold with no production due to COVID-19 lockdowns according to Global Data, a leading data and analytics company.

And Ghana is expected to lead the growth, where the production is expected to reach 3.9moz (million ounces) in 2024 from a forecasted 3.6 Moz in 2021. West Africa’s second largest economy is looking more money in her coffers in 2021.

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