THE European Investment Bank and the African Development Bank have agreed to support the creation of the new Development Bank of Nigeria to strengthen lending for business and agriculture investment in the country. The European Investment Bank has finalized a US $20-million equity stake in the new financing institution, alongside US $50-million equity participation from the African Development Bank.
The Development Bank of Nigeria has been created by the Federal Government of Nigeria to address financing challenges hindering private sector investment in the country. The Bank is called to play an important and catalytic role in providing funding and risk sharing facilities to micro, small and medium enterprises as well as small corporates.
“The Development Bank of Nigeria will overcome the funding gap in the micro-, small- and medium-scale enterprises space and help businesses unlock opportunities across Nigeria. DBN’s ambition is strengthened by the financial and technical support of international partners, including the European Investment Bank and African Development Bank. The new institution builds on international experience and uses a business model that has demonstrated proven success to enhance private-sector investment across Africa and around the world where other financing options are inadequate or absent,” said Tony Okpanachi, Managing Director of the Development Bank of Nigeria.
“Private sector businesses are critical to the development of the Nigerian economy as they possess huge potential for employment generation and output diversification. Nevertheless, there has been under-performance of these businesses and this has undermined their contribution to economic growth. Among the issues affecting their performance, the shortage of finance, particularly investment finance, occupies a very central position. The Development Bank of Nigeria is expected to contribute to mobilizing significant long-term financing to an important yet underserved sector with high development potential,” said Stefan Nalletamby, Director of the Financial Sector Development Department at the African Development Bank.
“New private sector investment is crucial to create jobs and enable business to expand and limited access to long-term financing holds back economic growth. The European Investment Bank is pleased to support the new Development Bank of Nigeria to strengthen private-sector investment in Africa’s largest economy. We look forward to continued close cooperation with Nigerian and international partners to ensure that once fully operational the new Development Bank of Nigeria can help harness the country’s economic potential,” said Ambroise Fayolle, Vice-President of the European Investment Bank (EIB).
“The European Union is committed to supporting private-sector investment in Nigeria. The new backing for the Development Bank of Nigeria by both the European Investment Bank, the bank of the European Union and the African Development Bank, with 13 EU member state shareholders, will make a clear contribution to tackling the lack of access to credit by entrepreneurs and businesses across the country. With more investment, we hope to promote a vibrant economy and stimulate growth, employment and increase opportunities, especially for youth,” said Ambassador Ketil Karlsen, Head of the European Union Delegation to Nigeria and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).
Addressing the investment gap holding back private-sector investment
At present, new investment essential for companies to expand and create jobs is hindered by limited access to commercial banks. It is estimated by the Development Bank of Nigeria that only 5% of the 37 million entrepreneurs and small businesses in Nigeria that contribute to 50% of GDP can access credit in the financial system.
Building on broad international support
Other international financial institutions including the World Bank, Germany’s KfW and the French Agence française de développement (AFD) will also support the new bank alongside backing from the Federal Government of Nigeria.
Cryptocurrency Is ‘Not Money’ – Trump
US President, Donald Trump on Thursday expressed his mistrust of cryptocurrency, saying it was “not money” and warning that those wishing to join the trade would have to abide by banking regulations.
“I am not a fan of Bitcoin and other Cryptocurrencies, which are not money, and whose value is highly volatile and based on thin air,” Trump tweeted.
Trump, also stressed that cryptocurrency, whose electronic nature makes it nearly untraceable, could facilitate illegal activity.
Cryptocurrency has flourished since Bitcoin launched in 2009. But when Facebook unveiled plans last month for its own virtual currency, Libra, the announcement rattled financial regulators the world over.
With more than two billion Facebook users, the social media giant’s cryptocurrency — which is slated for a 2020 launch and already has multiple partners — could completely disrupt the financial world.
However, Trump said that Libra has “little standing or dependability.”
He also warned Facebook and other companies that, should they launch their own cryptocurrency, they would have to abide by both American and international banking regulations.
“We only have one real currency in the USA, and it is stronger than ever,” he tweeted.
“It is called the United States Dollar!”
A high-level G7 working group is expected to produce a preliminary report on asset-backed cryptocurrencies next week when the group’s finance ministers meet in France.
“The more we, the international regulators, investigate this project, the more we have serious questions and potentially reservations,” said Francois Villeroy de Galhaut, head of the French central bank.
His American counterpart at the Federal Reserve also broached the topic Wednesday and Thursday when testifying before Congress.
“I think we need to do a very careful, patient, thorough assessment of what the risks really are,” Jerome Powell said Thursday, adding that the size of Facebook’s social media network points to Libra’s “systemic importance.”
Some American politicians have called for a total freeze on Facebook’s Libra project.
Facebook has pledged to deliver a stable virtual currency that lives on smartphones and could bring over a billion “unbanked” people — adults without bank accounts or those who use services outside the banking system such as payday loans to make ends meet — into the financial system.
The ubiquity of smartphones means digital wallets for Libra could expand the use of banking, credit card services and e-commerce in developing nations.
GTBank Named Best Bank in Africa at Euromoney Awards
Foremost African financial institution Guaranty Trust Bank plc has been named the Best Bank in Africa 2019 by Euromoney at its annual Awards for Excellence, which held in London on Wednesday, July 10, 2019 at the London Hilton Hotel, Park Lane. GTBank was also named the Best Bank in Nigeria for a record ninth time, reflecting the Bank’s position as one of the best managed financial institutions in the country, with strong and focused leadership that keep the business in a constant state of re-invention and innovation.
Now in its 50th year, Euromoney is the leading publication for covering the growth of international finance. Euromoney’s Awards for Excellence are the awards that matter to the banks and bankers who matter. This year, Euromoney received almost 1,500 submissions from banks in an awards programme that covers 20 global awards, more than 50 regional awards, and best bank awards in close to 100 countries. The Magazine’s Awards for Excellence celebrates the best banks around the world by recognizing institutions that have demonstrated leadership, innovation, and momentum in the markets they operate. In selecting its award recipients, Euromoney combines quantitative and qualitative data to honor institutions that have brought the highest levels of service, innovation and expertise to their customers.
Key to the emergence of GTBank as the Best Bank in Africa and the Best Bank in Nigeria, is the Bank’s digital drive and its clarity of vision in reimagining the future of banks and banking. The Euromoney awards also recognized GTBank’s commitment to leading the future of banking as well as its consistent long-term strategy led by a senior management team that abhors complacency and keeps the business in a constant state of innovation.
Commenting on the Bank’s Euromoney awards, the Chief Executive Officer of GTBank, Segun Agbaje, said; “We are delighted and proud to win the Euromoney Awards for Africa’s Best Bank and Nigeria’s Best Bank. These awards reflect the progress we are making in delivering the best banking experience that captures what customers want in the world of today and tomorrow. They are also a testament to our leading role in driving world class corporate governance standards, excellent service quality and innovation in Africa’s banking industry.”
He further stated that; “At GTBank, we are passionate about building the bank of the future by leveraging the best of technology to add real value to our customers’ lives, and these awards illustrate the hard work and commitment of our staff, management and board towards achieving this goal.”
GTBank has consistently played a leading role in Africa’s banking industry. The GTBank brand is regarded by industry watchers as one of the best run financial institutions across its subsidiary countries and serves as a role model within the financial service industry due to its bias for world class corporate governance standards, excellent service quality and innovation.
AfDB to meet Nigerian businesses leaders next week ahead of African Investment Forum
The African Development Bank Group (AfDB) and the Africa Finance Corporation, will meet industry and business leaders in Abuja, Nigeria on Monday, 09 July 2019 as part of a roadshow to woo investors ahead of its second Africa Investment Forum (AIF) in November.
AIF − the continent’s biggest investment marketplace for accelerated economic transformation – is slated for 11-13 November 2019 in Johannesburg, South Africa. It is dedicated to advancing projects throughout Africa to bankable stages, raising capital, and accelerating the financial closure of deals.
The Abuja roadshow targets chief executive officers, captains of industry, State governments and other key players that will re-affirm Nigeria’s investment-ready status. The event will build on the quantity and quality of deals brokered in 2018, as well as explore investment opportunities across the continent.
By convening Nigeria’s premium project sponsors, borrowers, lenders and investors, the roadshow will showcase bankable projects, attract financing, and provide platforms for investing across multiple countries.