OFFSHORE FINANCING: NIGERIAN BUSINESSES FUNDED THROUGH US EX-IM BANK

Ex-Im Bank offers a range of financing solutions for Nigerian buyers as part of the US Government programme to expand trade between the United States and sub-Saharan African countries. These programmes offer Nigerian businesses increased access to working capital, while protecting their United States’ suppliers against commercial and political risk, and the ability to offer financing on competitive terms.

Using Ex-Im Bank’s medium-term insurance policy, RZB Finance LLC insured the sale of newspaper printing press equipment worth $2.8 million. This deal allowed Vanguard Media Ltd of Nigeria to purchase the equipment from Webleader International Inc.  Fidelity Bank in Nigeria guaranteed the transaction.

Impex of Doral, Inc. located in Miami, Florida, was able to sell disposable products valued at $100,000 to its customer, Everyday Supermarket Ltd of Nigeria. A multi-buyer, small business insurance policy was approved in April, 2006 by Ex-Im Bank in order to support this transaction.

Via a bank letter of credit policy, Sovereign Bank of Boston, Massachusetts was able to accept a letter of credit from First City Monument Bank Plc of Nigeria on behalf of Balog Technologies, Nigeria for the purchase of computer components and peripherals.  This transaction, approved in April, 2006, supported this sale valued at $250,000 by Max Group Corp. headquartered in Los Angeles, California and ASI Corp of Fremont, California who supplied the equipment.

DWD International Ltd of Houston, Texas through the use of Ex-Im Bank’s multi-buyer, small business insurance product was able to execute a deal with its customer, Intercontinental Bank, Plc of Nigeria.   This transaction, approved in April, 2006, supported the sale of an air conditioning system valued at $250,000.

Through Ex-Im Bank’s letter of credit policy, Sovereign Bank of Boston, Massachusetts was able to accept a letter of credit from Intercontinental Bank of Nigeria.  This allowed the sale of a dredge valued at $593,000, from Baltimore Dredges, located in Baltimore, Maryland to its customer, Dynamic Energy and Marine in Nigeria.  This transaction was approved in May, 2006.

Via an Ex-Im Bank multi-buyer, small business insurance policy, House of Cheatham located in Stone Mountain, Georgia, was able to sell $100,000 of health and beauty aids to CITEX Holdings Ltd of Nigeria.   This transaction was approved in May, 2006.

Ex-Im Bank approved a request from Sovereign Bank, Boston, MA, for a five-year, medium-term guarantee in the amount of $5,000,000 to support the sale of transportation equipment to Sonic Global Resources Ltd, a company located in Nigeria. This shipment of buses will be used to start the first public transportation service in the country’s capital city of Abuja. The primary source of repayment will be Oceanic Bank who has provided a local bank guarantee for this transaction.

Through Ex-Im Bank’s short-term, multi-buyer comprehensive insurance policy, ABRO Industries, Inc. of South Bend, Indiana was able to execute a deal with its customer, Coshcharis Motors Limited of Nigeria.  This transaction, approved in June 2006, supported the sale of new ABRO branded automotive/industrial supply products valued at $10,000,000.

Via an Ex-Im Bank multi-buyer, small business insurance policy, House of Cheatham located in Stone Mountain, Georgia, was able to sell $100,000 of health and beauty aids to Kuddy Cosmetic International of Nigeria. This transaction was approved in July 2006.

Through Ex-Im Bank’s letter of credit policy, Sovereign Bank of Boston, Massachusetts was able to confirm a letter of credit from Intercontinental Bank Plc of Nigeria.   This transaction, approved in May 2006, supported the sale of wheat and other grains valued at $10,000,000 to Intercontinental Bank’s clients, Flour Mills of Nigeria; Honey Wells Flour Mills Ltd and Unikem Industries Ltd by of Wayzata, Minnesota and Wilton, Connecticut, respectively. Cargill and Louis Dreyfus.

Through Ex-Im Bank’s small business multi-buyer insurance policy, Bluefield Associates of Ontario, CA was able to execute a deal with its customer, Diplomat Investment Products of Nigeria.  This transaction, approved in October 2006, will support the sale of cosmetics and toiletries valued at $100,000.

Through Ex-Im Bank’s short-term single sale policy, Robert & Pat Engineering of Newtown, PA was able to execute a deal with its customer, Coastal Equipment Sales Ltd of Nigeria.  This transaction, approved in November 2006, supported the sale of used trucks and heavy construction equipment valued at $45,000.

Through Ex-Im Bank’s letter of credit policy, Sovereign Bank of Boston, Massachusetts was able to confirm a letter of credit from Intercontinental Bank Plc of Nigeria. This transaction, approved in November 2006, supported the sale of a hydraulic crawler crane valued at $275,000 to Onne Port in Nigeria, by Pioneer Equipment Company.

Through Ex-Im Bank’s short-term multi-buyer comprehensive policy, Bondo Corporation of Atlanta, GA was able to execute a deal with its customer, Tagbo Technologies Ltd of Nigeria.  This transaction, approved in November 2006, supported the sale of automotive paint and after market products valued at $200,000.

Under the recently established $300 million Nigerian bank facility, Ex-Im Bank approved a request from M&T Bank, Baltimore, Maryland for a five-year, medium-term guarantee in the amount of $3,954,132 to support the sale of a thermal oil recovery system to Specialty Drilling Fluids Ltd., a company located in Nigeria. The primary source of repayment will be Access Bank Plc. The exporter is Brandt, of Houston, Texas.

Ex-Im Bank approved a request from Diebold Global Finance Corporation, Canton, Ohio for a five-year, medium-term guarantee in the amount of $5,000,000 to support the sale of Automatic Teller Machines to The ATM Consortium Ltd – a consortium of Nigerian banks. Under the recently established $300 million Nigerian bank facility, Diamond Bank Plc guaranteed this transaction.

Ex-Im Bank renewed a $10,000,000 short term single buyer policy for Abro Industries of South Bend, Indiana to sell automotive/industrial supply products to its customer, Coscharis Motors Ltd. of Lagos, Nigeria.  This comprehensive policy is used to support sales to Coscharis for its Nigeria, Ghana and Ivory Coast subsidiaries and was approved in November 2006.

Under the $300 million Nigerian bank facility, established in 2007, Ex-Im Bank approved a request from HSBC Bank of London for a five-year, Medium-Term Comprehensive Guarantee in the amount of $9,337,522 to support the sale of oil drilling equipment to Drillog Petro Dynamics Ltd., a company located in Nigeria. Diamond Bank Plc guaranteed this transaction and would be the primary source of repayment. The U.S. exporter is Halliburton Energy Services of Houston, Texas.

Through Ex-Im Bank’s Multi-buyer Small Business Policy, House Of Cheatham of Stone Mountain, Georgia was able to execute a deal with its customer, Kuddy Cosmetic International of Nigeria This transaction, approved in November 2006, supported the sale of health and beauty aids valued at $150,000.

Through Ex-Im Bank’s Letter of Credit Policy, Citigroup Global Projects of New York, New York was able to establish a $2,500,000 short-term credit limit with Intercontinental Bank Plc of Nigeria. This credit line enabled Citibank to confirm letters of credit issued by Intercontinental Bank, which will go to support the sale of various U.S. goods and services to multiple Nigerian buyers.

In April, 2007 Ex-Im Bank provided short-term insurance policy to Impex of Doral, Inc. of Miami, in support of their sale of disposable products valued at $100,000 to Everyday Supermarket Limited of Lagos, Nigeria.

In April, 2007, Ex-Im Bank approved a request from Sovereign Bank of Boston, MA for a five-year, medium-term comprehensive guarantee in the amount of $1,630,028 to support the sale of two Dragon Series Dredges to H S Petroleum, a company located in Lagos. There were several corporate guarantors on this transaction. The U.S. exporter is Baltimore Dredges, LLC of Baltimore MD.

Xechem Pharmaceutical Nigeria Limited of Abuja, Nigeria received pharmaceutical manufacturing and laboratory equipment from several U.S. suppliers including American Plastics Technologies, Inc. of Shiller Park, IL, Fisher Scientific Company of Suwanee, GA, and the Nitra Group of Aventura, LF. This $9,389,000 loan was supported by a guarantee from the Bank PHB of Lagos, Nigeria, and the loan was provided by UPS Capital Business Credit of Hartford, CT. Ex-Im Bank provided a five-year comprehensive guarantee to the lender.

Through the use of an Ex-Im Bank medium-term loan guarantee, HSBC Bank Plc of New York, was able to provide financing to its client, A. O. IYERE Motors & Co, Ltd of Nigeria. This transaction, approved in June 2007, supported the sale of used Mack trucks and spare parts valued at $1,500,000. Capital Trailer & Equipment Co, Inc, located in Montgomery, Alabama was the supplier. This transaction was supported by a guarantee issued by Union Bank of Nigeria, under the recently established Ex-Im Bank Nigerian banking facility.

Ex-Im Bank approved a request from UPS Capital of Windsor, Connecticut, for a five-year, medium-term guarantee in the amount of $11,000,000 to support the sale of petroleum refining equipment to Amakpe International Refineries Nigeria.  The primary source of repayment will be Sterling Bank of Nigeria.  The U.S. exporter was Ventech Engineers Inc., of Pasadena, Texas.

Ex-Im Bank approved a request from HSBC Bank Plc of New York, New York, for a five-year, medium-term comprehensive guarantee in the amount of $13,117,330 to support the sale of advanced Logging While Drilling (LWD) technology and equipment to Drillog Petro Dynamics Ltd., a company located in Nigeria. Diamond Bank PLC of Nigeria issued a local bank guarantee to support this transaction.  The U.S. exporter was Halliburton Energy Services of Houston, Texas.

Through Ex-Im Bank’s Multi-buyer Small Business policy, Olson Inspection Services Inc of New Orleans, Louisiana executed a deal with its customer, Chevron Nigeria Ltd. This transaction supported the cost of inspection and consulting services valued at $1,000,000.

Via an Ex-Im Bank Multi-buyer Small Business policy, Strength of Nature LLC of Savannah, Georgia was able to sell $20,000 of cosmetics and hair care products to Kuddy Cosmetics International, Ltd in Nigeria.

Through the use of an Ex-Im Bank Medium-term Loan Guarantee, M&T Bank of Buffalo, New York was able to provide financing to its client, Karlflex Fisheries of Nigeria. This transaction supported the sale of three used fishing trawlers valued at $2.6 million, Mr. Vic, Incorporated located in Bayou, Alabama was the supplier. This transaction was supported by a guarantee issued by AfriBank, Nigeria under the Ex-Im Bank Nigerian Banking Facility.

Under the established Nigerian Bank Facility, Ex-Im Bank expedited the approval of a request for a Medium-term Loan Guarantee to First National Bank of Omaha.  The financing from First National Bank of Omaha supported the purchase of 45 used Mack trucks in the amount of $3.4 million by Roadmarks, a company located in Nigeria. Zenith Bank provided a local bank guarantee on this transaction and is the primary source of repayment. The U.S. exporter was Global Truck and Equipment Information of North Miami, Florida.

The Pioneer Equipment Company of Jacksonville, Florida exported $3,030,762 worth of new and refurbished rock crushing equipment to Japaul Oil & Maritime Services, Plc in Nigeria.  Assured through Ex-Im Bank’s Medium-Term Loan Guarantee policy, Sovereign Bank lent the money to Japaul Oil & Maritime Services’ bank, Intercontinental Bank PLC of Nigeria, was the guarantor.

Ex-Im Bank guaranteed a medium-term loan for $321,499 to purchase communication broadcasting equipment.  Electronics Research, Inc of Chandler, Indiana and BSW of Washington, DC exported the equipment to Megalectrics, LTD of Nigeria.  M&T Bank lent the money to Megalectrics with Diamond Bank, PLC of Nigeria as the guarantor.

Ex-Im Bank guaranteed a long-term loan that involved over 16 suppliers.  The $19,634,327 transaction allowed the suppliers to export an aluminum can manufacturing facility to GZ Industries of Nigeria.  Fidelity Bank, Nigeria, provided a local bank guarantee to support HSBC’s loan.

Globe-Re Returns Money For Unalloted Private Placement Shares

After series of denials on the possibility of returning money to investors who took part in the company’s 2006 Private Placement (PP), there are strong indications that Globe-Reinsurance has commenced returning money for un-allotted shares in its private placement.

However, market trend watchers said that the commencement of returned money to investors may trigger some more confusion in the market because many investors that had bought into the private placement through third parties might not even get their money back because the third parties through whom they bought the Globe-Re Private Placement did not file for purchase of the shares on behalf of the investors.

Most of the guilty third party go-between had held down the anxiety of the investors on the excuse that the reinsurance had not concluded its private placement allotment. For the other investors that may be fortunate to be allotted shares, their investment had been locked down in the company for upward of three years without dividend, neither the extreme possibility of capital appreciation because the shares are yet to be listed on the Daily Official List of the Exchange.

Globe-Re in 2006 sought to raise fresh funds by way of placement and offered to investors six billion ordinary shares of 50 kobo each at 85 kobo per share. Afribank Capital Markets Limited was joint issuing house to the placement.

EXPERTS ALLEGED STOCK EXCHANGE ENCOURAGED MANIPULATION OF BANKS’ STOCKS LAST DECEMBER

In a recap of the character of the stock market in the closing days of 2008, a market expert has revealed that the sudden but short burst of upward price movement witnessed in the banking sector of the Nigerian Stock Exchange in December, 2008 may not be unconnected with the efforts of some banks with December year end.

“The matter is simple enough, by December, 2008, prices of many banking stocks had fallen by more than 100 per cent of the prices at the same time in 2007. This naturally affects their capitalization as it would reflect in the financial reports, it was later we realized that some of these banks deliberately pushed liquidity towards targeted stocks, especially their own, to boost the price movement which would also reflect an impressive capitalization position in the financial report to impress their shareholders and other stakeholders,” the market expert said.

“But then, it would seem as if the short gains on some of these stocks confused some retail investors that fell prey to this manipulation. They thought the hitherto falling market prices had bottomed out (the prices of stocks have reached the lowest possible price) but they were wrong. The upward swing was artificial and they bought into it only to be held in that position as prices continued to crash,” the expert confided.

Nigeria Needs Oil above $40 for Offshore Fields

Global oil prices need to stay above $40 a barrel to keep deep offshore oil production and exploration economically viable in Nigeria, the Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation has said.

Oil’s sharp drop in the last six months and the global credit crunch have raised concerns that many offshore projects may be delayed or cancelled in the world’s eighth largest oil producer.

“Deepwater developments in the region, particularly in the ultra-deep, require a sustainable crude price in excess of $40/bbl to support continued production, exploration and development,” Mohammed Sanusi Barkindo, head of the NNPC, said at an offshore oil and gas conference.

Oil prices have tumbled from a peak of around $147 a barrel last July to $44 on last Tuesday.

At the same time, costs of construction, labour and security, have risen significantly in the last few years for domestic and international oil companies operating in Nigeria like Royal Dutch Shell and Exxon Mobil.

“Given the uncertainty in crude prices in the long run, the industry needs to examine ways of achieving a steep reduction in costs,” Barkindo said.

Nearly all of Nigeria’s oil production growth is expected to come from offshore, which already represents 40 per cent of current output of less than two million barrels per day.

Desperate brokers dump shares

Stockbrokers are reportedly becoming increasingly desperate with the near stalemate of transaction activities on the floor of the Nigerian Stock Exchange. It is said that increasing state of illiquidity in the market is telling on the lifestyles and operations of most stock brokers and their firms. In desperation many of the brokers are selling off stocks in their portfolio to keep a marginal liquidity position.

Market experts, however, argued that this desperate dumping of stocks by operators would further aggravate the bearish situation in the market because as more shares are dumped on the market the more shares prices head southward.

Brokers divert Honeywell public offer subscribers’ money

This is like sounding the alarm, Fortune&Class Weekly has been informed that some cash strapped stock brokers have had to divert funds paid to them by investors to purchase the recently concluded Honeywell Flour Mills public offer.

Market trend watchers said beside those brokers that deliberately expropriated the funds to their own use because of the paucity of funds in the market and the near non-existence of transactions in the secondary market, bankers to brokers are impounding, more or less, all money lodged in the accounts of brokers.

“You know that the bank accounts of some brokers are at the moment committed to huge default margin from the banks which the banks on the other hand are desirous of recovering. So, what is happening now is that the public offers like the one conducted by Honeywell provides opportunity for liquidity. What I have heard is that once a debtor-broker pays an investor’s cheque into a bank account, the bank almost certainly confiscates the fund at the matured date of the cheque to offset their exposure to the broker.

Das Auto ist Wunderbar!

In a collection of many toys, there is always a preference of one to others; BMW Z4 is simply a cynosure of the eyes. Simple definition, no more, no less!

The rascality of BMW designers always reinforces the belief that das Auto, manufacturers never disappoint, yet you keep guessing what the next surprise would be. The magnificent design of the new 2009 Z4 will definitely hasten the production of the 24th edition of the James Bond film. A look at the extra-ordinary beauty actually explains more why the film maker worked out a product placement deal with the manufacturers which started with Z3, Golden Eye in 1995; 750iL, Tomorrow Never Dies 1997 and the Z8’s inclusion in The World is not Enough.

Unlike the previous soft-top models, 2009 BMW Z4 convertible comes with a more refined (and better looking) retractable hard-top that lowers in 20 seconds. And wondering what this means for a potential Z4 coupe, I think the new Z4 has eliminated the need for one. Driving with the roof down, this two-seater offers a refreshingly intense experience of the sunshine and the wind rushing by, and driving with the hardtop closed, it provides all the comfort of a sporting coupe in the premium segment. Combining elegance, agility and supreme comfort, this outstanding two-seater offers a light weight two-piece aluminum shells, which rest in the roof compartment, saving maximum space in the process.

With a trunk capacity variation from 180 to 310 litres, you definitely can’t complain of space inadequacy, while a pass-through hatch between the seats allows for the storage of enough surprises to make her love you till the end, when you finally decide to send that proposal in a Be-My-Wife style.

Not only is precision gone into the making of the fine line darling, the choice of engine for the converty houses the reigning International Engine of the Year and range topping, twin-turbo 3.0-litre in line-six, which has its history rooted in the BMW lineage. The twin-turbo I6 replaces the 3.0 litre in the outgoing car and is featured in the Z4 sDrive35i model. With a rotational compelling force of 295lb-ft and mechanical horsepower equated braking of 306bhp, the sDrive35i eats the miles in one hour at the rate of 62mph topping in 5.2seconds with the manual transmission car and 5.1 seconds with the fantastic 7-speed Dual-Clutch transmission equipped Z4; are you Being My Wife?!

Other engine choices include the non-turbocharged 3.0-litre in the sDrive30i and the 2.5-litre in the sDrive23i with 258 bhp and 204 bhp respectively.

More evolutionary in design, the new-Z4 lines are taught and much more refined without forgetting to carry out enough design language from the new 2009 7-Series, you definitely can’t call it a bastard!

Remember, if you forget to own any particular brand of car, never die without using a BMWagen. Short of words to describe this beauty, I didn’t know when I shouted Das Auto ist Wunderbar! That is, wonderful; speaking German with intuition.