Tuesday, 02 July 2019

Iran debunked on Tuesday, a White House allegation that Tehran was long violating the terms of its nuclear deal with world powers, after the Islamic Republic said it had accumulated more low-enriched uranium than permitted under the accord.

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said in a message on Twitter, after a statement by White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham that said, there is little doubt that even before the deal’s existence, Iran was violating its terms.

News report gathered that Tehran’s announcement drew a warning from President Donald Trump that Tehran was playing with fires.


While the move marked Iran’s first major step beyond the terms of the pact since the United States pulled out of it more than a year ago, Zarif said the move was not a violation of the accord, arguing that Tehran was exercising its right to respond to the U.S. walkout.

The step, however, could have far-reaching consequences for diplomacy at a time when European countries are trying to pull the United States and Iran back from confrontation.

It comes less than two weeks after Trump said he ordered air strikes on Iran, only to cancel them minutes before impact.

Published in World

Airtel Africa on has announced the successful pricing of its Initial Public Offering at N363 per share on the Nigerian Stock Exchange, and 80 pence per share on the London Stock Exchange.

The telecom company also estimated its market capitalisation at N1.4tn or $3.9bn or £3.1bn on completion of the offer.

Airtel Africa, a subsidiary of Bharti Airtel, said the offer was dominantly allocated to global strategic and pre-IPO investors only, as well as Nigerian investors.

According to the company, the offer comprises 744,047,619 new shares  — being the total of 704,819,651 new shares in respect of the global offer to institutional investors in various jurisdictions outside of Nigeria and 39,227,968 new shares in respect of the offer to qualified institutional investors and high net worth investors in Nigeria, equating to a total offer size of approximately £595m (N270bn or $750m).


“The offer also came with a secondary listing on the Nigeria Stock Exchange with meaningful allocations to Nigerian investors,” it added.

Commenting on the announcement, the Chief Executive Officer, Airtel Africa, Raghunath Mandava, said, “We are delighted by the strong response we have received from the many high-quality investors from around the world”.

Published in Business

Investors at the local bourse on Monday lost N155.2bn as market begins second half on a bearish note at the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE).

All-Share Index (ASI) shed 1.2% to settle at 29,614.61 points while market capitalisation decreased to N13.tn.

Year-to-date (YTD) loss worsened to -5.8%.

The negative performance can be attributed to profit-taking in GUARANTY (-7.0%), DANGCEM(-1.6%) and NIGERIAN BREWERIES (-4.8%).

Also, activity level waned as volume and value traded fell 56.7% and 78.9% to 107.4m units and N1.1bn respectively.

TRANSCORP (21.9m units), FBNH (12.4m units) and ZENITH BANK(8.5m units) were the top traded stocks by volume while GUARANTY (N232.6m),ZENITH BANK (N168.6m) and GUINNESS(N84.8m) led by value.


The Oil & Gas index, up 0.5%, led gainers as MOBIL and FORTE appreciated 2.9% and 0.8% respectively.

Trailing closely were the Insurance and Afrinvest-ICT indices which gained 0.4% and 0.3% respectively on the back of substantial buy interest in CORNERSTONE (+10.0%), CHIPLC (+7.8%) as well as MTNN (+0.4%).

On the flipside, the Banking index plunged 3.1% following sell-offs in GUARANTY(-7.0%), ETI (-9.1%) and ZENITH BANK (-1.0%).

Similarly, the Consumer Goods and Industrial Goods indices pared 1.7% and 0.2% in that order as NIGERIAN BREWERIES (-4.8%) and UNILEVER (-7.0%), as well as DANGCEM (-1.6%), closed in the red. No

Published in Business

Zimbabwe’s passport-issuing service has ground to a halt, officials said Monday, leaving many citizens trapped in the country as its economic crisis worsens.

Applicants for new or renewed passports face an indefinite wait as the government does not have the foreign currency to pay for special imported paper, ink and other raw materials. Officials at the Registrar General Office said that even if citizens want to pay for an urgent application for a passport, they face a minimum wait of 18 months before they can even submit their papers.

“Last month, the urgent applicants were being told to come back at the end of 2020,” said one official who spoke on condition of anonymity.

She added that non-urgent applicants were told that no date was available for when they can apply. Millions of Zimbabweans have fled abroad in the last 20 years seeking work as hyperinflation wiped out savings and the formal employment sector collapsed.

Many others are now seeking to leave as conditions worsen under President Emmerson Mnangagwa, who had promised an economic revival after he succeeding long-ruling Robert Mugabe in 2017.

Official inflation is at nearly 100 percent — the highest since hyperinflation forced the government to abandon the Zimbabwe dollar in 2009 — while supplies of essentials such as bread, medicine and petrol regularly run short.

Power cuts often last 19 hours a day.

Isheanesu Mpofu, a 23-year-old unemployed university graduate, applied for a passport last November but is still waiting.

“I went back early June to check on it, and was told to check again in August,” Mpofu said, adding he wanted to visit his family abroad.

“Besides, it is my right to have a passport so I can travel whenever I want to,” he said.

Mnangagwa addressed the problem last month, saying a dispute with the printers over unpaid bills meant that a state-owned company would take over the job.

“They said they will not print any more passports because of legacy debts,” he said, claiming the money had now been paid.

A passport office official said that only ten passports were being printed each day despite a reported backlog of 280,000.

“We have the capacity to clear the backlog in a very short time but all the machinery is lying idle right now,” she said.

Registrar General Clement Masango said that he had no comment to add to the president’s remarks


Source: AFP

Published in Travel & Tourism
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