4 African Business May 2021
Business Intelligence News
ABSA’s first black CEO steps down after 15 months
Lagos is planning to establish its own electricity market to ensure a more reliable power supply for Nigeria’s commercial hub. The Lagos government is calling for generation, transmission and distribution functions to “be owned and operated substantially by the private sector” and supervised by a regulator, according to a paper by Olalere Odusote, commissioner for energy and mineral resources. The plan would lead to Lagos assuming powers traditionally held by the central government.
Nigerian Senate approves $2.7bn borrowing plan
Nigeria’s Senate has approved President Muhammadu Buhari’s plan to borrow $2.7bn from international lenders to fund critical projects. The combination of $1.5bn and €995m in loans will be disbursed to the country’s 36 states and priority projects, said Cliff ord Ordia, chairman of the approving committee. Lenders include the World Bank, Export-Import Bank of Brazil and Deutsche Bank.
David Mminele has stepped down as CEO of South Africa’s ABSA Bank following a strategy disagreement. Mminele, who led the bank for 15 months as its fi rst black CEO, was expected to oversee a turnaround strategy planned prior to his arrival but disagreed with the board over issues including structure, operating model, priorities and cultural change. He will be replaced on an interim basis by chief fi nancial offi cer Jason Quinn pending the appointment of a new CEO.
Lagos plans its own electricity market
Pandemic deals blow to trade finance
Capital outfl ows from Africa exceeded $5bn in the fi rst quarter of 2020, undermining the capacity of banks to fi nance trade, according to an Afreximbank survey. The pandemic, tightening fi nancing conditions, balance of payment pressures and liquidity constraints all hit the supply of trade fi nance. Between January and April 2020, the number of correspondent banking relationships fell across the region and rejection of letter of credit requests increased, with about 38% of local privately-owned banks and 30% of foreign banks reporting an increase in rejection rates. (For further information see pages 66-68.)