Bridge Banks and Shareholders of Failed Banks – Victims or Culprits?

On Friday, the 21st of September, 2018, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) revoked the banking licence of Nigeria’s Skye Bank and together with the Nigerian Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC), announced the establishment of a bridge bank to assume the assets and liabilities of Skye Bank.
Bridge banks are set up to take over the operations of a failed bank pending the consequent sale to a new investor. The primary objective of this is the management and avoidance of systemic risk. Bridge banks are typically established for a restricted period of not more than three years, with a general average of two years. The establishment of a bridge bank does not necessarily translate to an automatic business rescue; failure to find an investor within the relevant time-frame will result in a liquidation of the operations of the bank.
The September 2018 action by Nigeria’s central bank is not the first in the history of the country. In August 2011, the CBN and NDIC set up bridge banks to assume the …

Are Ratings overrated?

Globally, bond ratings have been known to drive liquidity while helping investors take an informed investment decision. These credit ratings have played a significant role in the decision making process of purchasers of debt securities while also playing a role in the development of markets. The International Organisation of Securities Commissions’ (IOSCO) report on Corporate Bond Markets in Emerging Markets identifies Government policy and the existence of international credit rating services as underpinning factors in the general development of bond markets in EMEs, particularly following bank-based crises.[1]
In spite of the unanimous verdict on the role played by credit rating agencies (CRA) in the 2007 financial crisis, a role which many attribute to the conflict of interests by CRAs arising from playing a dual role of advisory and rating, as well as a lack of competition, the opinion of CRAs regarding the ability of an issuer to repay a debt obligation remains a major feature of …

Dear Nigerians, Please let your agitations be properly guided!

“Nigeria has taken too long to get to this point and any further delay will be detrimental to the economy, healthy living of Nigerians, the economy and the total environment. We urge the president to do the needful and immediately assent to this draft law.”
- The Centre for Social Change and Citizenship Education

I stumbled on a media report titled “Group urges Buhari to sign Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Bill.” The Group is of the opinion that when the Bill is signed into law, it “would boost human rights, and the anti- corruption fight of the Federal Government, as well as help the economy” comments are reserved on the first two points.
Upon conclusion of the harmonization of the different versions of the Competition Bill by the Nigerian Parliament, a copy of the Bill was forwarded to the President for assent in December 2017. The Group wants President Buhari to assent to the Bill without further delay, but would assenting to the Bill as submitted to the President tru…

Sukuk? Hold that thought!

I once heard the managing director of a Nigeria investment bank postulate a “perception deception” theory as the culprit and the major inhibiting factor to the successful development of vibrant non-interest capital market in Nigeria. This theory essentially suggests that a lack of understanding of the principles which underlie these capital market products is responsible for the erroneous perception by the lay man, that such non-interest financial instruments as Sukuk are geared at portraying the nation as an Islamic state.
Maybe/Maybe not; Nigeria is well on its way to issuing its maiden sovereign Sukuk, and No this does not make the country an Islamic State. 
Sukuk is popularly known as an Islamic or Sharia compliant instrument and may be either asset-based or an asset-backed financing instrument. How is this different from the conventional bonds, you might ask. Sukuk issuances are typically governed by the principles of Islamic commercial jurisprudence which prohibits the charging o…

Towards a competition Regime in Nigeria; Are we there yet?

Is this is it? Should we get our hopes up? Nigerians seem to have lost count of the ‘almost there’ feeling that comes with every competition bill that appears to make significant progress at the National Assembly only to get dropped along the way.
A search through the archives of the Nigerian parliament will reveal several abandoned bills on the subject among which are the Restrictive Trade Practices, Monopolies and Price Control Bill, the Nigerian Trade and Competition Commission Bill, and the Nigerian Antitrust (Enforcement and Miscellaneous provisions) Bill. According to a briefing paper on the UK Competition Regime, “competition is the lifeblood of a vibrant economy and fundamental to growth”. What then is it that keeps frustrating the efforts at a substantive competition regime in Nigeria?
The current bill before the 8th National Assembly seems promising, considering that it does not recommend the establishment of an entirely new agency, which has been one of the major reasons for…

Katlego Bagwasi-Kidisil


Tiger Brands’ failed investment in Nigeria – who bears this loss?

With Multichoice, MTN, and Standard Bank owning significant shares of the Nigerian market in various sectors of the economy, the acquisition of a 63.5% stake in Dangote Flour Mills by Tiger Brands in 2012 appeared to be the ownership of a major Nigerian entity by yet another South African Company or was it?
Fast forward to 2015, Tiger Brands appears to be saying ‘here, you can have your company back for nothing’, giving up its entire 65.7% stake in the company for a nominal consideration of $1 back to Dangote. There has to be a catch somewhere or this is just a massive loss. What do the shareholders of Tiger brands in South Africa have to say about the wasted investment? Who bears this loss? Tiger Brands is not only giving up its entire stake for a nominal consideration, the company is also writing off shareholder loans and assuming specific debts of the company.
It’s  taking a while for me to wrap my head around this. The announcement on the JSE implies that all of this is in exchange …