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Toshiba shares fall 20% after it flags one-off loss

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TOKYO: Toshiba shares dived more than 20 percent on Wednesday in their second straight double-digit plunge, as the company said it may book a one-time loss of several billion dollars over its US nuclear business.
The stock price dropped by 20.42 percent to 311.60 yen, the largest fall allowed for a single day, about 30 minutes after the opening bell, as the company failed to ease investor worries over the potential risk. It finished the session at that level.

On Tuesday the Tokyo-based conglomerate said in a statement that costs linked to the acquisition last year by its US subsidiary of a nuclear service company would possibly amount to “several billion US dollars, resulting in a negative impact on Toshiba’s financial results”.

The exact figure of the potential write-down is still being worked out, Toshiba president Satoshi Tsunakawa told reporters after the announcement, apologising for “causing concern”.

The company statement suggested the figure would be released soon, citing an end-of-year deadline for settling the valuation of the nuclear deal.

The announcement came after Toshiba shares closed nearly 12 percent lower on Tuesday on media reports about the potential loss.

Analysts said uncertainty was fuelling investor anxiety.

“Concerns have yet to be cleared away as they said they didn’t know the figure,” Yukihiko Shimada, senior analyst at SMBC Nikko Securities, told AFP.

SMBC Nikko credit analysts Yutaka Ban and Kentaro Harada said in a report that investors “can’t be optimistic about the situation” even though the total write-down may not end up as big as the 500bn yen ($4.3bn) reported by local media.

Nomura Securities analyst Masaya Yamasaki said in a report issued late Tuesday that the expected loss “is negative for the company as its financial standing is fragile”.

Tsunakawa at the press conference answered in the affirmative when asked if Toshiba is considering boosting capital.

Chief financial officer Masayoshi Hirata said that after the figure is confirmed the company will “explain and seek support” from financial institutions.

Toshiba said the possible loss was related to the valuation of the purchase by subsidiary Westinghouse Electric of the nuclear construction and services business of Chicago Bridge & Iron.

Westinghouse and Chicago Bridge & Iron have turned to an independent accountant to resolve a dispute over differences in asset valuations, Toshiba said earlier this year.

Toshiba said Tuesday the potential write-down would “far exceed” the $87m first expected, resulting in a “far lower asset value than originally determined”.

Toshiba’s latest full-year forecast is for annual net profit of 145bn yen ($1.24bn), up 45 percent from an earlier estimate, on sales of 5.4tn yen.

But Tuesday it said it would release a revised earnings forecast as soon as possible to reflect the coming write-down.

Toshiba’s nuclear woes are the latest blow to the once-proud pillar of corporate Japan.

It has been besieged by problems, most notably a profit-padding scandal in which bosses for years systematically pushed subordinates to cover up weak financial results.

In an intensive overhaul, the company has been shedding businesses and announced the sale of its medical devices unit to camera and office equipment maker Canon.

Investors had welcomed the makeover, with Toshiba shares having climbed 77.3 percent this year through Monday.

Tsunakawa was appointed president earlier this year to steer Toshiba past the accounting scandal that has dented its reputation.

Source: AFP

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COVA Insurtech Dissociates from COVA Wealthtech

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COVA Insurtech, a player in the InsurTech sector, has announced its formal dissociation from the activities of COVA WealthTech, effective immediately. This decision comes in the wake of COVA WealthTech’s announced cessation of operations on February 10, 2024.

These two (2) brands have historically been separate entities with distinct focuses within the tech landscape. While both companies share the COVA brand, they operated independently, each catering to specific market segments and addressing unique financial service needs.

The decision to shut down COVA WealthTech was taken in alignment with the evolving dynamics of the tech industry, and after a thorough strategic review by the leadership of COVA WealthTech. COVA Insutech was not involved in or influenced by the decision to cease operations of COVA WealthTech.

COVA Insutech wishes to reassure its clients, partners, and stakeholders that its operations remain unaffected by the closure of COVA WealthTech. The company remains committed to providing innovative and reliable InsurTech solutions, maintaining the high standards of service that its clients have come to expect.

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“We want to make it clear that COVA Insutech is a separate entity from COVA WealthTech, and our commitment to our clients and partners remains steadfast. We will continue to focus on delivering cutting-edge insurtech solutions and expanding our presence in the InsurTech sector”. says Bayo Adesanya, Founder & CEO, COVA Insurtech.

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aYo Holdings boosts executive team

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aYo Holdings Ivan Welch and Miles Bloemstein

African insurtech aYo Holdings has made two key C-suite appointments as it looks to accelerate its ambitious growth plans across the continent and into the South African market. The company has named Ivan Welch as its new Chief Customer Acquisition Officer and Miles Bloemstein as its Chief Operating Officer as part of its vision of becoming the largest insurance technology platform in Africa.

Welch, who has already been with aYo for four years, will be responsible for driving new customer acquisition through various distribution channels, with a specific focus on digital marketing and sales. His position will also include a commercial legal remit and administrative oversight, and support of the company’s subsidiary operations.

A 20-year veteran of the African insurance sector, Welch defines success as a world where every customer with a mobile phone has an aYo subscription, which would have been obtained through a simple few clicks or button presses on a mobile device. While approximately 46% of Africa’s population has access to and uses cell phone services, insurance penetration remains below 5% in most markets, except South Africa.

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“The industry has so much scope for development, as it is massively underserved in Africa. With aYo and our shareholders, MTN and Sanlam, I believe we have the right offering, platforms and ability to scale to serve this market,” he said.

Bloemstein joined aYo in July 2021.  He also has more than 20 years’ experience in the insurance industry, specifically in IT operations and related functions.  His new position will include him overseeing the day-to-day operations of the business, working closely with executive and product teams to grow the platform and its system and channel capabilities.

“We must constantly find ways to keep our clients engaged and be able to have access to insurance. Due to low disposable income levels, insurance adoption and trust in insurers, we are being challenged to produce ‘out of the box’ solutions to keep our clients engaged and active,” he said.

aYo Group CEO Marius Botha said Welch and Bloemstein’s expertise are key to the company’s drive to enable the distribution of affordable financial services products to people who have never had the opportunity to engage in financial services before. aYo launched in January 2017 in Uganda and has since expanded its operations across Ghana, Zambia, Côte d’Ivoire and Cameroon, with plans to launch operations in Nigeria and South Africa imminent.

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Fearless Energy Drink Backs Fanfaro Autofest 2022

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Fearless energy drink from the stable of Rite Foods Limited has made full preparation to support this year’s Fanfaro Autofest event as the headline sponsor. This is in its bid to make the platform bigger and more thrilling for car drifters, super bikers, and fun seekers in the ancient city of Ibadan from Friday, 2nd to Sunday, 4th December 2022.

The Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Fanfaro Oil Nigeria, Mr. Adekunle Olanrewaju, stated that the support from the Fearless energy drink is enormous hence the event is credited to it and dubbed “Fanfaro Autofest, Fearless Edition,” as the contestants will be rejuvenated with the brand’s positive energy and courageous spirit to actively showcase their talent in car drifting.

“It takes a lot for someone to align with your dream; it takes like minds to be part of it. The previous events have been successful, but now having the marketing leading; Fearless brand behind it, is a success even before the start of the event.  The brand also resonates with what the sport stands for, we are fearless, tough, energetic, and want to make it more exhilarating,” Olanrewaju explained.

He pointed out that with the Fearless brand behind the largest motorsport in the country, Nigerians should expect more exciting and action-packed sporting activities, as the product has been with Fanfaro from the planning stage to the exercise which takes a year to put together, and also for a refreshing moment with the trailblazer in the energy drink segment.

According to him, a Fearless brand raffle draw will be organised before the main event in November, where participants would be told to make a creative design with five empty bottles of the product, with the winners going home with exciting gifts.

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Commenting on the sponsorship, Rite Foods Head of Marketing, Olumide Aruleba, affirmed that the Fearless brand is very proud to throw its weight behind the sport, as it will bring into it the positive energy associated with the brand as a means to create the desired impact and make it a ground-breaking event. “We also want everyone to look forward to it,” he stated.

On her part, the Assistant Brand Manager of Fearless Energy Drink, Kanyisola Sangowawa, said the support from the product signpost is its connection with consumers in keeping them refreshed by providing the vigour needed while attaining their dreams or showcasing useful talents. She avowed that it takes a fearless spirit to support an action like the auto fest, which requires boldness, daring force, and strength in making it a success.

In his remark, the Fearless Brand Ambassador and the Face of Fanfaro Autofest, the Fearless Edition, Tobi Bakre, actor and a lead cast in the movie, Brotherhood, extolled the partnership between the Fearless energy drink and the motorsport, stating that both connects with a Fearless and reinvigorating force.

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