Finance

Spotify Stock Downgraded by Citi, as Podcast Competition Heats Up

Spotify’s share price was already in retreat, dropping 12.5% from an all-time high of $370.95 reached on Wednesday (Jan. 13), however. Some experts would argue it’s still too high. The 25 analysts covering Spotify have a median price target of $298.53 with a high of $425.90 and a low of $141.30, according to Refinitiv. Key Takeaways: 1) The three leading audio streaming companies — Spotify, Apple and Amazon — are pushing hard into podcasts. If turning a music service into an all-around audio service attracts subscribers and reduces churn, record labels and publishers will benefit.2) Regardless of how its podcasts perform in the next year or two, Spotify has the resources to see its strategy through. It had €1.18 billion ($1.43 billion) on its balance sheet on Sept. 30, 2020, en...

Nigerian government seizes bank’s assets over Shell’s N183 billion debt

File Photo Nigerian government have moved to sequester the assets of the country’s premier lender First Bank of Nigeria Limited in an effort to recover the damages oil major Royal Dutch Shell owed the Ejama Ebubu community of Rivers State in a legal contest spanning many decades, Bloomberg reported Thursday. Police operatives and court officials arrived the bank’s main branch in Port Harcourt on Tuesday to execute an order to seize the lender’s asset, FirstBank said in a statement. The bank said the incident leading to the confiscation of its properties was “unjustified, illegal and a reckless misuse of the machinery of justice.” Lagos-headquartered FirstBank resolved to guarantee the damages awarded against Shell by a Rivers State high court judge a decade ago. According to the estimation...

Iran’s smog, blackouts made worse by power-sapping crypto mining

Outages have been compounded by cryptocurrency mining, which uses banks of high-powered computers. Cities across Iran have been cloaked in thick layers of toxic smog and darkened by blackouts, as the alleged use of low-quality fuel and power-sucking cryptocurrency mining deepen the country’s hardships. Tehran’s Hamshahri newspaper, the country’s most-read daily, ran the headline, “20 Days Living in Smoke,” on Wednesday over a photo of the capital covered in smog. Power plants have been forced to switch to burning low-grade fuel oils to generate electricity because high levels of domestic consumption have led to natural-gas shortages, the semi-official Iranian Students’ News Agency reported. Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh denied earlier this week that any of Iran’s power stations are us...

Quality FinTech Solutions In Africa

The African continent is an exciting market where financial technology gets implemented every day. The impact these financial technology solutions are having on the financial sector in Africa is tremendous. Financial technology, or FinTech, has proved to be a good and more effective alternative to traditional banking systems in different parts of Africa. The FinTech creates a very advanced environment that promotes value, quality financial solutions, and efficiency gains. FinTech is constantly improving the financial sector across many countries on the African continent and stimulates innovation as well as creativity and productivity in many different sectors. In many countries, the banking sector relies heavily on good FinTech solutions that reduce the cost of banking operations and incre...

Spotify Stock Price Hits New All-Time High

What recession? The leader in the fast-growing music streaming market, Spotify reached an all-time high of $354.60 on the New York Stock Exchange on Friday, and closed at $353.48, up 7% from Thursday’s closing price and up 12.2% for the week. At Friday’s high, Spotify’s enterprise value rose to roughly $66.1 billion. Why the investor enthusiasm? An obvious factor is Bank of America Merrill Lynch analyst Jessica Reif Ehrlich’s price target hike from $357 to $428 on Wednesday. But a number of factors have had investors excited about the stock over the past year: It is the leader in music streaming and is aggressively expanding its podcast business, most notably with the strong — although controversial — launch for the Joe Rogan Experience podcast. Plus, limited pricing experiment...

AfDB grants $11.26 million for women, girls’ education in Chad

The Board of Directors of the African Development Bank has approved a grant of $11.26 million to the Government of Chad to finance the Girls’ Education and Women’s Literacy Project – the bank’s first grant exclusively targeting women and girls. The project will be financed from the Bank’s Transition Support Facility and will be implemented over a five-year period by the Chadian Ministry of National Education and Civic Promotion, in coordination with partners involved in the education sector, civil society organisations, and youth organisations. The Chadian government will contribute a non-monetary contribution of $713,000 towards the program. “Through this financing, the African Development Bank is providing support to the Chadian government to reduce inequalities through access to educati...

Roblox Raises $520M From Warner Music Group and Others

Warner Music Group has been focused on growing its footprint in gaming for some time. “Ultimately, everything is going toward gaming, and we want to make sure we’re capturing value within it. It’s the future of entertainment,” Oana Ruxandra, Warner Music Group’s chief digital officer, told Billboard last September. The music industry has certainly been flocking toward gaming platforms over the past year, with Travis Scott pulling in 27.7 million participants during his Fortnite in-game performance last April, kicking off a wave of artists looking to set up virtual concerts on similar platforms. Roblox launched its first virtual concert in November, with a virtual concert by Lil Nas X that racked up 33 million views.  “COVID has supercharged the demand for 2D and 3D live streaming even...

Yemisi Edun appointed acting FCMB chief

First City Monument Bank Limited (FCMB) has appointed Yemisi Edun as the acting Chief Executive Officer of the bank. This followed the decision by the Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Adam Nuru, to proceed on voluntary leave as the board investigates allegation of paternity scandal against him. The bank disclosed this on Wednesday. Edun holds a Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry from the University of Ife, Ile-Ife and a Master’s degree in International Accounting and Finance from the University of Liverpool, United Kingdom. She is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria and a CFA Charter holder. She is also an Associate Member of the Chartered Institute of Stockbrokers; an Associate Member of the Institute of Taxation of Nigeria; a Member of Information Systems Audit and Cont...

Kogi Assembly passes 2021 budget estimate of N130.54 billion into law

The Kogi House of Assembly on Tuesday passed the N130.54 billion Appropriation Bill tagged “Budget of Accelerated Recovery” into law. Newsmen report that the House considered the bill Clause-by-Clause at the “Committee of the Whole” of the House at plenary in Lokoja. Aderonke Aro (APC-Yagba West) and Chairman, House Committee on Finance, Budget Monitoring and Economic Planning, presented the committee’s report for consideration. Aro declared that Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) with genuine reasons for adjustments in their allocations were taken care of during the defence of their respective budgets. In the budget presented to the House on Dec. 1, Gov. Yahaya Bello of Kogi had said that the budget was indicative of the assessment of the amount the state could generate on its ow...

Nigerian government borrows over N2 trillion from bond investors in 2020

Leveraging on excess liquidity that persisted in the banking system and the near zero yields on treasury bills (TBs), the Federal Government, through the Debt Management Office (DMO), raised N2.1 trillion from investors in its monthly bond issuance programme in 2020. This represents 33 percent, year-on-year, (y/y) increase when compared with the N1.58 trillion raised by the DMO in 2019. The N2.1 trillion raised in 2020 also represents 31 percent more than the N1.6 trillion funding target for the DMO under the Revised 2020 Budget. Meanwhile, the monthly bond auctions conducted by the DMO in 2020 recorded 275 percent oversubscription, reflecting scramble for the high yielding FGN bonds by investors. Newsmen report on monthly bond auction results show that the DMO offered N1.825 trillion wort...

Nigerian government posts 35 firefighters to man new Treasury House substation

The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, on Wednesday commissioned a fire substation built for the Treasury House which houses the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation. Speaking at the event, the Minister extolled the Accountant-General of the Federation, Mr Idris Ahmed, for building the facility which will help battle fire incidents in the building and its environs. She was also pleased that 35 firemen have been posted to man the facility by the Comptroller-General of the Fire Service. According to her, “the Treasury House is the key driver of the ongoing Public Financial Management Reforms in line with the desire of the Federal Government to bring the nation up to speed with other leading world economies. “In carrying out this enormous task, ...