Category: Hardcore Business

MTN Ghana

The Ghanaian subsidiary of South African mobile telecom group MTN has raised a $276 million loan  from 16 local banks led by Stanbic Bank Ghana to finance network expansions.  The group will get the $60 million from 4 foreign banks.

MTN Ghana says this was a successful syndication as it proves that companies don’t always have to look to foreign investors for investments.

The funds would be used to upgrade the entire network to 3G and above.

MTN is the leading mobile network operator in Ghana with its subscriber base hitting 10 million in January.



Facebook Initial Public Offering

In the last year or so Facebook has lost quite a bit of its charm, overtaken by the more exciting and lively twitter. I have seen updates on twitter such as “when I wake up in the morning I log on to Facebook, watch the circle thing turn, log off and go on to twitter’ there are even Facebook updates of people saying how boring Facebook is.

So it came as a surprise to many that Facebook was even offering its initial public offering let alone increasing it by 25% to a size of some 421 million shares. This means the social network could raise a total of between $14.32 billion and 18.47 billion. In its previous offering of 337.4 million shares it would only be able to raise between $5.04 billion and $6.30 billion.

There are several third parties that plan to unload part of their stakes including Goldman Sachs, PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel,  Accep Partners and Microsoft. This coupled by concerns of the networks ability to stream in revenue (especially after GM announced it will be pulling out from advertising on Facebook) has economists seeing the offering as more of a public spectacle, media event and cultural movement instead of an IPO. ouch….

I was also initially excited about buying into Facebook’s shares but social media is unpredictable, and just because its hot today doesn’t mean it will be hot or worth anything tomorrow. Good luck to those who will be buying though.



And the battle for Africa’s oil and gas resources continues. And at the forefront of it all who else than oil giant Royal Dutch Shell…

Multinational oil & gas company Shell

Multinational oil & gas company Shell

The multinational is banking on its expertise to win a $1.8 billion battle for Mozambican Cove Energy, which will give Shell access to East Africa’s huge gas reserves.

The bid made by Shell however has not managed to outbid a rival offer made by Thai state controlled oil group PTT Exploration & Production earlier this year.

East Africa has certainly been the place to run to for foreign oil and gas giants, since countries like Uganda and Kenya started discovering reserves from about 2009. The region is now tipped to become a major natural gas producing region supplying liquid gas to energy hungry markets.

Mozambique’s bountiful natural resources have boosted hopes for development in the region, potentially paving the way for energy-intensive industries to spring up in the country provided some of the gas is available for domestic use.

Investors are already reacting to the bids with Cove share trading above Shell’s earlier yesterday, signs that investors are anticipating a higher bid.

The competing offer has a window period of about one to two months to up its offer, and then there is still the issue of getting the Mozambican government on board with the deal.

Analysts in Southern Africa are hopeful that not all of the gas will be exported as LNG to Asia as it could actually minimise the benefits of the discoveries made in the region.

Nigeria Stock Exchange buildingThe banking crisis that hit Nigeria in 2008 after prosperous growth in the last decade saw stocks drop by about 60 percent, and investor confidence shattered.

And when recovery hit a stumbling block in 2011 after billions was spent on bailouts, confidence continued to fall on concerns over writedowns of bad debts.

The Nigerian Stock Exchange is now looking for new ways of giving its bourse a little more life in 2013, by signing a deal to adopt the American Stock Exchange (better known as NASDAQ) X stream trading platform yesterday.


At the signing ceremony Ade Bajomo; the Nigerian exchanges executive director of market operations and technology said, in order for the country to grow its market it needed to find more efficient and transparent ways to build confidence in investors.

To some analysts this is a good move by the Nigerian bourse, whose main lifeline over the past year has been billionaire Mr Aliko Dangote’s sugar and cement companies.billionare Aliko Dangote

The adoption of the NASDAQ system is part of a string of reforms the Nigerian bourse has been undertaking including relaxing restriction on price swings, allowing short selling and opening into U.S. trading hours.

The bourse although automated has old technology and is price rather than quote driven. The new system will supposedly push it into the 21st century and make the market more efficient, liquid and easier for traders to use.

Dealers will now be automatically integrated with the exchange system, and here’s what’s really exciting, customers will be able to use their smart phones to access their accounts.

One point for the Nigerian Stock Exchange…