The Nigerian Stock Exchange is set to list Nigeria’s first non-interest commercial bank, Jaiz Bank. The council of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) has approved the bank’s listing of its entire issued share capital on the exchange. Jaiz Bank will be listing a total of 29.46 billion ordinary shares of 50 kobo each at 1.25 naira, indicating a start-off market capitalisation of 36.83 billion naira. The bank has more than 20,000 shareholders, including shareholders such as the former Chairman of First Bank, Umaru Mutallab, industrialist Aminu Dantata, and development finance institution- Islamic Development Bank. The listing will be executed by way of an introduction, however, the company has indicated its interest in an Initial Public Offering.
On Thursday, the Mo Ibrahim foundation announced that its prestigious Mo Ibrahim Prize for Outstanding African Leadership and Governance will have no winner for 2015. This makes it the fifth year this prize has gone unclaimed since its inception in 2006.
In a statement issued by the Chairman of the foundation, Mo Ibrahim, he agreed with this verdict. “When we launched the prize ten years ago, we deliberately set a very high bar.” The Sudanese-British mobile communications entrepreneur and billionaire founded the foundation with a clear objective: to encourage better governance in Africa based on the belief that governance lays at the heart of tangible and shared improvements in the equality of life of African citizens. However, this recent announcement means that a number of revered heads of states such as Emilio Guebuza (Mozambique) and Jakaya Kikwete of Tanzania, both widely credited with the sharp reduction of poverty in their respective states, and presiding over periods of notable economic success, have been overlooked for this year’s prize.
The Award has now been unclaimed more times than won
The Central Bank of West Africa’s CFA-franc zone (BCEAO) has signed an agreement with the Jeddah-based Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD), to help finance Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) through a $100 million Islamic fund. The ICD will commit an initial $30 million for the SME fund and will help seek additional investors to increase the amount to $100 million while the implementation monitoring was entrusted to the BCEAO. The Central Bank also committed to supporting SMEs by providing incentives to credit institutions, as well as developing complementary leasing and venture capital instruments.
The SME space is seeing tremendous growth in Africa, with easier access to funds from financial institutions and government policies encouraging sector growth. However, there still exists a ‘missing middle’, which finds it hard to access funds due to the category of funding they belong to; people that require between $50,000 and one-two million dollars. A new system of investing; impact investing, which started in 2008 after the global financial crisis, has been addressing the needs of this ‘missing middle’. The Africa Impact Group, for example, has been working towards helping Africa benefit from socially responsible investing through its activities.
Nigeria’s Jaiz Bank Plc has recorded a 141 percent increase in total assets, from N14 billion ($86 million) in 2012 to N34 billion ($209 million) at the end of the bank’s 2013 financial year. Customers’ deposits experienced a similar exponential surge to N21.9 billion ($134.3 million) - a 567 percent increase over the previous year. Last week, the bank announced that its social responsibility unit, Jaiz Foundation gave N10 million ($61,000) relief materials to victims of Boko Haram bombing in Borno State. Jaiz hopes to get a National operating license before the end of the year. Besides, the bank hopes to list on the Nigerian Stock Exchange in the next few years to avail more Nigerians the opportunity to invest in the bank.
Dubai Islamic Bank has revealed plans to expand its operations to Africa as well as Asia, as it seeks growth for its domestic and international business. According to DIB’s chief executive Adnan Chilwan, the bank is exploring opportunities in Indonesia, Kenya and surrounding countries in Africa, the Indian subcontinent and the GCC, with the hope of doing this via acquisition, Joint Venture, establishment of a finance company, or through a greenfield operation startup. Given a five-year scenario, the bank expects a decent franchise spread across these countries with stable and solid yields across all sectors. International business is estimated getting at best 10 to 15 percent of the overall group numbers in about six to eight years.
The International Finance Corporation (IFC) – the investment arm of the World Bank – has acquired 15 percent shareholding in Gulf African Bank, Kenya's Islamic bank, for $5 million (Sh425 million). In addition, a further $3 million (Sh255 million) trade guarantee has been opened for Gulf African Bank under IFC’s global trade finance programme. Gulf African Bank said it would use IFC’s financing to boost finance for retail and corporate customers and develop programmes for women entrepreneurs while also extending services to SMEs. In addition to the IFC partnership, the bank is undertaking a rights issue to increase its capital base by an additional Sh850 million.
Bahrain-based Al Baraka Bank wants its new five-year global expansion strategy to put more emphasis on Africa, particularly North Africa. The bank already has ventures in the Middle East, Asia and Africa. Its goal is to grow group assets and income almost twofold in the next five years. This five-year expansion plan will certainly include investments in Libya and Morocco. The bank could splurge up to $100 million this year in Libya. In Morocco, the financial services firm will launch a separate operation with a $100 million initial capital outlay within 12 months. Moreover, the group is thinking about having an Al Baraka Bank Africa brand presence.
Genghis Capital, the investment arm of Chase Bank is planning to launch a Shariah-compliant unit trust called the Iman Fund in Kenya next month. The Fund is aimed at Muslim investors with an entry level for investments of minimum 500 Kenyan Shillings ($5.78).
The Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation (EGPC) received $265 million of funds from the International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (IITFC). Since October 2012, the money provided to the EGPC from the IITFC has almost reached the $500 million mark. The funds are intended to help the state to secure a larger number of basic goods and other necessities for its citizens. The initiative includes petroleum products, wheat and other foodstuffs.
After the approval for “Sharia compliant” equities by Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) last year, in 2012 an Islamic window opened on the trading floor at the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE). This is the first faith-based financial window in Nigeria, which fact causes fears that a deliberate Islamic financial services industry may have unintended consequences on equity transactions. The goal is to enthrone Islamic financial principles in equity trading, by tracking the performance of Sharia compliant stocks on the exchange floor.