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Standard Chartered Bank arranges a US$ 1.46 billion financing to fund the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) Project

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The Government of Tanzania Ministry of Finance has signed a facility agreement with Standard Chartered (SC.com) Tanzania for a US$ 1.46 billion term loan financing to fund the construction of the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) project from Dar es Salaam to Makutupora.

Running approximately 550 kilometres long, the SGR project is one of the country’s biggest projects connecting Dodoma to Dar es Salaam via Morogoro and Makutupora. Once complete, the SGR Rail project will provide a safe and reliable means for efficiently transporting people and cargo to and from the existing Dar es Salaam Port.

According to the Tanzania Railways Corporation, it is expected that the railway will address current congestion challenges and decrease freight service charges by 40%, as the railway will be able to haul up to 10,000 tons of freight, equivalent to 500 lorries, per trip. It will also connect Tanzania to Burundi, Rwanda and The Democratic Republic of Congo, DRC, thereby playing a key role in enhancing regional trade.

The project has already created more than 8,000 new direct employment opportunities for Tanzanians and has opened up opportunities for the local communities surrounding the project area to access social services such as shelter and food.

Standard Chartered Tanzania acted as Global Co-ordinator, Bookrunner and Mandated Lead Arranger on the facility agreement that is the largest foreign currency financing raised by the Ministry of Finance to date. The biggest component of financing comes from the Export Credit Agency Covered Facility(‘s) from the Export Credit Agencies of Denmark and Sweden.

Speaking at the event to sign off the deal, the Minister of Finance and Planning, Hon. Dr. Philip Mpango, commended and thanked Standard Chartered Tanzania.

“I am very delighted to sign off on this deal on behalf of the Government of Tanzania and its people. With the help of Standard Chartered and our partners, the project financing will further increase direct employment in Tanzania, and more importantly, enable our local communities the thrive as they will be able to gain access to wider social services such as food and housing.”

Mr. Mpango also commended and thanked the Governments of Sweden and Denmark, which were represented by their Ambassadors in Tanzania, for their confidence in the country’s economic growth. “These two nations, Sweden and Denmark, have shown us their true friendship not only in words but also in action. Please convey our country’s sincere appreciation to the Export Credit Agencies and lenders in your countries that have supported this signature project. As a country we shall honour our commitments as we have always done.” Hon. Dr. Mpango said.

In addition to thanking the Export Credit Agencies and lenders, Hon. Mpango also thanked the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA), the Trade and Development Bank (TDB) and the African Export-Import Bank (Afrexim), for supporting the project in partnership with Export Credit Agencies from Denmark and Sweden.

He added that the funding would enable the project to be completed in good time as per the set plans.

Mr. Sanjay Rughani, Chief Executive Officer, Standard Chartered Tanzania, said the deal signified investor confidence in the market and demonstrated Standard Chartered’s international network capabilities and commitment to Tanzania.

“As a leading international Bank for Africa, with over 100 years of being in Tanzania, the African continent remains a key corridor not only for Standard Chartered but also our global clients. We are delighted to have reached this milestone in Tanzania to fund the SGR project that will deliver massive benefits to Tanzania and support the government’s 2025 vision of making Tanzania an industrialised country.” Mr. Rughani said.

Mr. Rughani added that the Bank will continue to leverage its unique network reach, and the credibility it has built over time, to further position Tanzania as the go-to destination for investments.

Sunil Kaushal, Regional CEO, Standard Chartered Africa and the Middle East said the deal signified the benefit of our unrivalled network capabilities into the region. “There is considerable appetite from the global investment community into Africa, with 80 percent of our top Corporate & Institutional clients using our Africa and Middle East network.  For Standard Chartered, Africa remains a priority for our business and clients, and we are proud to be able to use our expertise to support the Government of Tanzania with the finance needed for the SGR project.”

The sign off ceremony was also attended by the Ambassador of Denmark to Tanzania, H.E Mette Norgaard Dissing-Spandet and the Ambassador of Sweden to Tanzania, H.E Anders Sjoberg.

In attendance was also H.E Robert Mengoni, the Ambassador of Italy to Tanzania and Mr. Calumm Mcallum, Country Director, International Trade – for the British High Commission. The Country Manager for the Africa Development Bank Dr. Alex Mubiru and Resident Representative for the IMF in Tanzania, Mr. Jens Reinke also attended the event.

Other key Government Officials included the Permanent Secretary from the Ministry of Finance and Planning, Mr. Doto James, Deputy Governor of the Bank of Tanzania responsible for Economic and Financial Policies, Dr. Yamungu Kayandabila, and the Director General of the Tanzania Railway Corporation, Mr. Masanja Kadogosa.

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BUSINESS

Union Bank Distribute N15m To Innovative Customers

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According to its Head, Corporate Communication and Marketing, Ogochukwu Ekezie-Ekaidem, who represented the CEO, Emeka Emuwa, at an online press briefing at the weekend, for four weeks, the bank selected 10 of the most inspiring stories to share and reward of the selected stories with N250,000 to support the work which the promoters are doing to RISE above the pandemic.

On its customer experience initiative she explained that the objective is “to shine the spotlight on you, our customers, who are doing all you can to rise above this pandemic. You are being innovative, charitable, creative and resourceful and we want to hear your story.”

She also disclosed that the remote working arrangement instituted in the wake of the pandemic has been a success as the lender continues to deliver value to stakeholders.

Ekezie-Ekaidem said that since March 2020, over 70 per cent of the bank’s workforce have been working from home, stressing that Union Bank’s branches have remained open and fully operational to serve customers during these Covid-19 crises.

Ekezie-Ekaidem added that the bank has essentially activated its flexi-workpolicy for those employees who could still perform their duties remotely.

She gave the assurance that the bank would continue to assess the situation and make necessary adjustments as events unfold.

Besides, she said that the bank branches were now operating under a heightened hygiene protocol, all in a bid to ensure safe banking halls for all.

According her, when the world started to recognise that the COVID-19 is a big issue, Union Bank set up a taskforce headed by the managing director and this helped Union Bank to stay ahead of the curve.

Recently, the bank donated N300million as part of its multi-pronged approach to tackle the spread of Coronavirus in Nigeria.

The bank also contributed N250 million into the fund set up by the Private Sector Coalition Against COVID-19,

In addition, the bank also made a further donation of N50million to the Lagos State Covid-19 Emergency Food Response programme which was set up to support low income families who will be directly impacted by the state-wide restrictions in place to limit the spread of the disease. Lagos State currently has the highest number of COVID-19 cases in Nigeria.

Emuwa had earlier said: “The fight against Covid-19 requires all hands-on deck with close collaboration between the public and private sector. Union Bank is committed to supporting Nigeria’s response to ensure the country avoids a pandemic”.
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BUSINESS

Ecobank Group appoints Alain Nkontchou as Chairman

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The leading pan-African banking group, Ecobank  is delighted to announce the appointment of Mr Alain Nkontchou, a Cameroonian and Independent Non-Executive Director since 2015, as Board Chairman of its holding company, Ecobank Transnational Incorporated (ETI), with effect from 30 June 2020.

In accordance with ETI’s Articles of Association, Mr Emmanuel Ikazoboh, a Nigerian, ended his six-year tenure as Chairman on 30 June 2020 having reached the retirement age of 70.

Alain Nkontchou said: “I am honoured to be appointed as Chairman of Ecobank Transnational Incorporated. Having served on its Board since 2015, I have seen Ecobank’s resilience and its proud history, built on strong foundation to secure the Bank’s future success.  I look forward to working with the Board and Executive team as we continue our journey ahead and I know that we are well-placed to navigate through the current environment and set the standards in financial services for our customers across Africa. I would also like to express my thanks to my predecessor, Mr Emmanuel Ikazoboh, for his leadership of the Board and to wish him all the best for the future.”

Ade Ayeyemi, Chief Executive Officer of Ecobank Group, said: “The entire Management of the Group and I warmly welcome Mr. Nkontchou as Group Chairman. We will give him and the Board our continued full support in ensuring the realisation of the strategic imperatives of the Ecobank group. Mr. Nkontchou has always utilised his wealth of experience on the Board and we look forward to his successful and strong leadership”.

Alain Nkontchou is the Managing Partner and co-founder of Enko Capital Management LLP, an asset management company based in London and Johannesburg, which focuses on African investment opportunities.

Mr Nkontchou was an advisor at Laurent Perrier champagne, having been a Non-Executive Director from 1999 to 2009. He was Managing Director of Credit Suisse’s Global Macro Trading Group in London between 1995 and 2008 and also at JP Morgan Chase & Co. in the same capacity. Between 1989 and 1994, he was with Chemical Bank in Paris and New York, where he became Vice- President, Head of Trading and Sales. Mr Nkontchou has a track record of business success, having generated significant dollar revenues for each of these top tier institutions. He has an MSc in Electrical Engineering from Supélec and P.M. Curie University, Paris, and an MSc in Finance and Accounting from ESCP (Ecole Supérieure de Commerce de Paris).

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Capital Market

Stock market gains N15bn on MTNN price rally

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The key market indices of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) on Friday rebounded by 0.12 per cent following price appreciation achieved by MTN Nigeria Communications.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that MTN Nigeria Communication dominated the gainers’ table with N1.10 to close at N16.10 per share.

Vitafoam Nigeria followed with 26k to close at N3.85, while International Breweries added 25k to close at N3.85 per share.

GlaxosmithKline gained 20k to close at N4.80, while PZ Cussons appreciated by 15k to close at N4.50 per share.

Consequently, the All-Share Index which opened at 24,276.56 rose by 29.80 points or 0.12 per cent to close at 24,306.36.

Also, the market capitalisation of listed equities inched higher by N15 billion or 0.12 per cent to N12.679 trillion from N12.664 trillion achieved on Thursday.

On the other hand, Guaranty Trust Bank topped the laggards’ table, dropping 30k to close at N22.45 per share.

United Bank for Africa trailed with a loss of 15k to close at N6.25, while Zenith Bank lost 5k to close at N16.70, per share.

ABC Transport dipped 5k to 51k, while FBN Holdings also declined by 5k to close at N5.20 per share.

An analysis of the activity chart indicates that Sterling Bank was the most active, exchanging 17.66 million shares valued at N22.63 million.

Zenith Bank followed with an account of 7.47 million shares worth N47.06 million, while Transcorp sold 7.41 million shares valued at N4.69 million.

Fidelity Bank exchanged a total of 6.20 million shares worth N11.11 million.

In all, the volume of shares traded closed lower with an exchange of 131.63 million shares valued at N899.49 million in 3,044 deals.

This was in contrast with 192.08 million shares worth N2.47 billion exchanged hands in 3,833 deals on Thursday.

 

(NAN)

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