The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has issued a guideline for including Sukuk (Islamic or non-interest financial instrument) issued by state governments as part of their liquidity ratio, including assigning it “a weight of 20 percent or as may be prescribed by the CBN from time to time.”
A circular with reference: FMD/DIR/GEN/CIR/07/006, dated October 6, 2016 to the General Public, noted that the guideline is part of efforts “to foster financial system and economic growth and development, as well as complement the efforts of government at various levels.”
The document titled: “Guidelines for Granting Liquid Asset Status to Sukuk Instruments Issued by State Governments”, signed by Dr. Angela Sere-Ejembi, for the CBN’s Director, Financial Markets Department, said the approval is “to enhance the diversification of sources of funding for development at the sub-national levels.”
To qualify for inclusion as a liquid asset on bank balance sheets, the “Sukuk issuance shall be backed by a law enacted by the relevant State House of Assembly, specifying that a sinking fund to be fully funded from the consolidated revenue fund account of the state be established.
Repayment structure of the Sukuk shall be from such sinking fund account created and backed by an Irrevocable Standing Payment Order (ISPO) obtained with approval of the state Assembly or other legislated sources of repayments disclosed in the offer documents.
Consequently, “the Accountant General of the State shall issue an Irrevocable Letter of Authority to deduct at source from the statutory allocation due to the state, approved by the Federal Minister of Finance, in the event of default by or failure of the state to meet its payment obligations.”
Also, “trustee(s) to the Sukuk shall submit to Director, FPRD, CBN every six months: (a) a statement of accounts of the sinking funds’ investments and (b) a statement of declaration on the sufficiency of the sinking funds’ investments and investment income in meeting maturing and redemption obligations.
“The Trustees shall advise the Director, FPRD, CBN on the action taken in the event that the Trustees are of the opinion that the sinking fund may be insufficient or there may be the likelihood of default, in line with Sections 255 and 256 of the Investment and Securities Act, 2007 or any amendment thereto.”
The guideline, the CBN explained, is part of efforts to further deepen the nation’s financial system and “to provide for eligibility for the grant of liquidity status to Sukuk issued by state governments at its discount window as well as for the purpose of liquidity ratio computation.”
It is also expected to further promote investment and secondary market activities.
The state government is also required to enact a fiscal responsibility law, with provisions for public debt management, in order to enhance investor confidence, in addition to establishing a debt management department that would ensure transparency and professional management of debt issues.
The Sukuk must from inception and throughout its lifespan, be of investment grade as determined by a rating agency accredited by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
The commission must also confirm “that the proceeds have been disbursed in line with the provisions of the prospectus (that) shall be submitted to the Director, Financial Policy and Regulation Department (FPRD) of the CBN at the anniversary of the Sukuk issuance. Subsequently, SEC confirmation shall be required on amounts that have not been disbursed by the first anniversary.
The state government Sukuk shall have a maximum maturity of 10 years to qualify for liquid asset status.
The CBN also limited the maximum investment a bank shall make in any Sukuk issuance of a state government or its agencies to 10 per cent of the total amount outstanding of that particular Sukuk, while “aggregate portfolio of a bank in Sukuk issued by state governments and their agencies shall not exceed 30% of the bank’s total portfolio in debt securities.”
Debt securities, in this case, are listed as: “Nigerian Treasury Bills, FGN Bonds, FGN-guaranteed notes, sovereign debt notes, and any other Nigerian sovereign debt securities, CBN bills, bonds collateralised with FGN bonds, state government bonds, state government agency bonds, corporate bonds and dated preference shares.”
World Food Day: Jumia Launches the Africa Food Index 2020
Ahead of World Food Day on 16th October, Jumia has published its 1st Africa Food Index showing the impact of COVID-19 on food trends in Africa. Online food delivery is changing habits in unexpected ways for businesses and consumers due to the pandemic. The growing popularity of fast food, coupled with the growing trends for convenience and value for money, have opened up opportunities for the food market in Africa.
According to the Africa Development Bank, the continent’s US$ 313 billion food and beverage market is projected to reach US$ 1 trillion by 2030. This projection offers the prospect of increased jobs, greater prosperity, reduced hunger and improved opportunities for African farmers and entrepreneurs to participate in the global economy.
Over the last three years, Africa’s growing online audience has seen an increase in international brands setting up shop to tap into the growing middle-income segment. Direct investment from players such as KFC, McDonalds, Burger King have been achieved. Online food delivery players such as Jumia have also played a key role in shaping supply chains and opening up the markets to new entrants. Local producers and restaurants have embraced this evolution and reached new consumers as well as grown their businesses in spite of these challenging times.
“This pandemic crisis has shown the world that online food delivery is not just a commodity, but a necessity. The food business adapted quickly to the new normal, by availing contactless and cashless deliveries » said Shreenal Ruparelia Chief Commercial Officer, Jumia Food. « We also started to provide support to local food vendors to keep their businesses running during this difficult time.” With our food partners, we will continue to deploy capabilities across the food value chain to ensure consumers buy food online safely and at the right price, in line with the theme of this year’s World Food Day celebration of Grow, Nourish, Sustain Together” added Shreenal.
The report highlighted two major drivers of the growth observed in 2020: demography and the Covid19 lockdowns. With a growing population averaging 18 years old, a new generation of African middle class consumers are spending more money online on food and grocery services, while the lockdowns induced by the Covid19 pandemic also contributed to this evolution in habits.
Overall, grocery retailing continues to expand, as consumers seek comfort and convenience when shopping for food. The report shows that while Quick Service Restaurants (QSR) are popular, Lagos and Nairobi lead as the largest cities with the volume of online food orders.
International institutions like the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), International Quick Service Restaurants such as KFC and local brands like Tunisian Al Jazeera Olive Oils have contributed to the Africa Food Index, based on Jumia data and external data from different institutions.
Please find the report here
Source: Jumia Food
Egyptian FinTech Startup NowPay Scores $2.1 million Seed Investment
NowPay Team (Image Source: NowPay)
Employee Empowerment To Fund Top Priority Financial Goals Augments Increased Productivity, Engagement and Loyalty
MENA: Cairo-based FinTech startup NowPay, a financial-wellness platform for employees in emerging markets, has announced today, 11 October 2020 that the company has raised US$ 2.1 million in seed investment. The new fund will be deployed to deepen the capabilities of the platform, expand its team and establish its footprint in the MENA region and beyond.
The round was led by Foundation Ventures and Endure Capital along with investors from the U.S., UAE, China, and Egypt. The cluster of investors include: BECO Capital, 500 Startups, Plug and Play, 4dx Ventures, MSA Capital, EFG-EV Fintech and Ebtikar. Prominent Angel investors such as Quirky Ventures, Gehan Fathi, and Rolaco also participated in the round.
“During the peak of COVID-19 lockdowns, we are proud to have well-known and eminent investors back us, signaling trust in our business concept and our team. Saving, spending, budgeting and borrowing, are our four pillars of financial wellness. Financial stress plays a major role as a top distraction for employees.
NowPay bridges that gap and provides several benefits for employers that choose to proactively address this area of employee wellness. Particularly in the recent months NowPay helped empower both the employees and employers alike. We want to improve every financial aspect for employees and make financial inclusion a reality,” said Mostafa Ashour, Cofounder and CEO of NowPay who previously led the innovation teams at Microsoft Research.
Founded in 2019, NowPay has a very enthusiastic and well-experienced team. Led by Mostafa Ashour, the team includes co-founder Ahmed Sabry, who worked for Amazon Lending, Gehan Fathi, previously worked as managing director at EFG, and Mahmoud ElHosseiny who managed Egypt sales for Fortune 500 Stanley-Black & Decker.
“There is an asymmetry between expenses and income, which puts a lot of stress on employee’s morale, and hampers productivity. We are thrilled to join NowPay’s incredible team on this journey of empowering employees with the happiness and wellness that financial stability provides,” said Ziyad Hamdy, Managing Partner at Foundation Ventures.
“Not every day you have both clear product market fit and founders market fit. This is the case in NowPay. Just attend any business meeting with the team and you will know it immediately!”, said Tarek Fahim, Managing Partner at Endure Capital.
“Within a very short period we are delighted to have managed salaries in excess of US$100 million with a 60% month-over-month growth rate. We have integrated our platorm with leading Egyptian and multinational names such as SODIC, Wadi Degla, Domty and AXA to name a few, a testament of our ability to help the financial wellness of employees for our clients. We have a very strong pipeline with many more big names waiting to onboard our platform and we look forward to forge ahead as pioneers in this space,” added Mr. Ashour.
SAVCA Appoints Natalie Kolbe And Sthembile NKabinde As Board Members
Sthembile Nkabinde and Natalie Kolbe
The Southern African Venture Capital and Private Equity Association (SAVCA) – the industry body for private equity and venture capital in Southern Africa –welcomes two new directors to its board, following the virtual SAVCA Annual General Meeting (AGM) held on 7 October 2020.
SAVCA CEO, Tanya van Lill says that the new appointees – Natalie Kolbe, Partner at Actis and Sthembile Nkabinde, Founder and CEO of Khulasande Capital – are both leading industry professionals who have been elected by their peers to continue driving the association’s strategic objectives.
“Natalie and Sthembile each bring with them a unique skill set that will complement those of our existing board members, while bringing new perspectives and ideas to the table. Notably, the new board composition of seven women and six men are representative of the advances being made by the broader industry within the area of transformation and diversity.”
As noted by the recent SAVCA 2020 Private Equity Industry Survey, South African private equity exhibited a considerable increase in investment activity in 2019, with the private equity industry having R184.4 billion in funds under management (FUM) at 31 December 2019, up from R171 billion in 2018, representing a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 9.2% since 1999 when the survey first began.
Similarly, the SAVCA 2020 Venture Capital Industry Survey reported robust industry growth in 2019, with venture capital investment showing the highest activity recorded to date, both by value and by number of deals. A total of 38 exits were also reported for 2019 – more than double the previous record for annual exit activity, and just over triple the nine exits reported in 2018.
“This industry growth bodes well for the future economic growth of the region, especially considering the long-term effect that COVID-19 is having on economic activity,” says van Lill, who notes the important role that the industry plays in Southern Africa’s broader economic environment. “A thriving private equity and venture capital industry is crucial for Southern Africa to accelerate its economic recovery.”
Returning to the outcomes of the recent AGM, van Lill says that the SAVCA board is sadly bidding farewell to three distinguished directors: Lungile Mdluli, who served as Treasurer and Chairperson of the Fiscal Committee from 2017 and was asked to stay on for another year to hand over the role of Treasurer; Vusi Thembekwayo, who joined the SAVCA Board in 2017 and served on the Venture Capital Committee; and Craig Dreyer, who has served SAVCA since its inception in 1998 and notably chaired the association over the past three years.
“Through their varied and distinguished roles, Lungile, Vusi and Craig contributed significantly to the success of our organisation by dedicating an invaluable amount of time and expertise to the board activities. While Craig’s longstanding commitment to the industry and relentless contribution as Chairperson and member of the Regulatory Committee will be missed, we are fortunate for the legacy he leaves behind and want to thank all three members for the roles they’ve played in shaping the future of the industry,” van Lill concludes.