Airtel emerges sole bidder for 3.5GHz spectrum licence as Ecobank gets a fine

Airtel emerges sole bidder for 3.5GHz spectrum licence as Ecobank gets a fine

Welcome to Nairametrics’ Corporate News Roundup for the week that ended December 10, 2022. This is a summary of the major company news stories that dominated the headlines last week. 

This newsletter is brought to you by Quidax. 

Let’s begin… 

Airtel wins

Something nice happened to Airtel Nigeria last week – it emerged as the sole bidder for the Nigerian Communications Commission’s 3.5GHz spectrum licence auction. The circumstances that led to this were just as interesting as the outcome. Let’s talk about it.

First, MTN Nigeria decided to opt out of the auction. The company did not meet the December 5 deadline for expression of interest as stipulated by the telecom industry regulator. Note that this marked an interesting departure from MTN’s earlier insistence that it was allowed to participate in the auction.   

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According to the NCC, only two telcos (Airtel and Standard Network) expressed interest in the auction. But out of the two, Airtel became the only one to pay the $27.36 million intention to bid deposit ahead of the auction initially slated for December 19.

Given this development, the NCC said it will cancel the auction and go ahead to award Airtel the licence. The company will also pay the reserve price of $273.6 million for the spectrum licence. 

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Credit facilities for Airtel and FSDH

In an unrelated development, Airtel Africa signed a $194 million credit facility with the International Finance Corporation (IFC). The financing facility aligns with Airtel Africa’s strategy to increase debt within its operating companies.

It has a tenor of eight years and will be used to support the telecom firm’s operations and investments in some of the African markets it operates. The markets are the Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Madagascar, Niger, Republic of Congo and Zambia.

FSDH Merchant Bank received a credit facility totalling $35 million from the International Finance Corporation (IFC). 

A statement seen by Nairametrics said the funds will help to improve access to finance for medium-scale businesses in the emerging sectors of the Nigerian economy. 

Fine for Ecobank 

Last week, Ecobank Transnational Incorporated (ETI) Plc was fined N3.2 million by the Nigerian Exchange for failure to file its financial statements after the regulatory due date.

The NGX disclosed this in its X-Compliance report obtained by Nairametrics. The report showed that Ecobank was sanctioned during the current financial year (i.e., FY 2022) for failing to file its Q3 2022 on time.

Ecobank Group also disclosed that it recorded total transactions volume of $59.1 billion across its digital channels in the first 9 months of 2022. The company disclosed this in its audited financial report for the 9-month ended September 2022.

According to the company, this represents a 44% increase compared to the $40.4 billion it recorded in the same period last year.

Globus Bank gets positive ratings

Globus Bank announced that it received an improved investment grade rating following an appraisal of its credit rating by two rating agencies – Agusto & Co and Global Credit Rating (GCR). 

Agusto & Co. upgraded the bank’s credit rating from its maiden rating of ‘Bbb-’ to ‘Bbb+’ while GCR affirmed an investment grade rating of ‘Bbb-‘ rating with a positive outlook.

Earnings forecasts

Last week, Abbey Mortgage Bank Plc projected N1.47 billion in gross earnings for the first quarter of 2023. The projection was made in an earnings forecast seen by Nairametrics.

Projections for profit before and after tax were put at N202.52 million and N157.03 million, respectively. 

FCMB Group Plc also released its Q1 2023 earnings forecast, projecting N79.34 billion in gross earnings.

The group also projected to rake in N63.82 billion in interest income. Targets for profit before and after tax were put at N9.58 billion and N8.48 billion, respectively.

BUA Cement emerges best stock

Last week, BUA Cement Plc emerged as the top gainer on the Nigerian Exchange, following sustained positive sentiment witnessed on stock throughout last week.

Checks by Nairametrics showed that the company recorded a gain of N498.006 billion at the end of weekly trading to lead the gainers’ chart of the week.

In appointment news…

In appointment news, Ella Lakes Plc appointed Dipo Ogunbiyi as an interim Chief Financial Officer of the company. His appointment followed the resignation of Robert Grant, the company’s former Chief Financial Officer.

Mr Dipo Ogunbiyi has over 18 years of experience in investment banking and finance. Before joining Ellah Lakes Plc, Ogunbiyi was the head of investment banking at First Ally Capital. 


Originally Posted By Nairametrics
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