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Firm drags Union Bank to court over N6.7bn

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A Lagos based oil and gas firm, Petrocam Trading Nigeria Plc., has dragged Union Bank of Nigeria Plc (UBN). before a Lagos High court over a breach of contract. The firm slammed a N6.7 billion suit against the lender.

In the case before the High Court in Lagos, Petrocam’s lawyer, Barrister Gboyega Oyewole (SAN) contended in the filed statement of claim that Union Bank flouted the joint venture agreement entered with the plaintiff to jointly collaborate in opening letters of credit confirmation lines for the importation of petroleum products.

The plaintiff averred that it had sometimes in 2014 secured an import finance facility from Union Bank for importation of petroleum products and raised letters of credit to utilize this import facility. The initial facility of $45 million was increased to $100 million. The company duly provided bank guarantees for the facility. There was also an understanding that the facility would be repaid from sales proceeds and oil subsidy reimbursements.

Under the agreement, Union Bank would secure foreign exchange for the company to enable it finance its international oil purchases. The company however claimed that the bank defaulted by failing to secure forex from the CBN during the 2014/.2015 period when 90 percent of the company’s import transactions were being conducted thereby causing the company to suffer huge losses.

It further claimed that out of the $76 million it required to finance the transactions covered by the agreement, Union Bank was only able to produce about $22 million, meaning that Petrocam could not complete a large percentage of the deals, leading to huge profit loss.

The company contended further that Union Bank failed to bid for foreign exchange when the exchange rate was between N155-160 to the dollar but only bided when the rate had increased to N288-320 per dollar, thereby deliberately inflating the costs of maintaining the dollar credit facility.

In light of these claims, Petrocam is seeking a declaration that Union Bank’s breach of duty under extant laws resulted in unlawful debits and exorbitant interest charges on the company’s current accounts with the bank, and an order compelling the bank to reverse all wrongful debits on the company’s current account.

It is asking the court to compel Union Bank to credit the company’s current account to the tune of N6.7 billion plus interest on the sum at the rate of 22% per annum from commencement of suit to date of judgement, and thereafter &% per annum from date of judgement to final liquidation of the sum. It is also seeking N50 million in general damages.

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BUSINESS

CBN injects another $210m into Forex Market

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In its latest round of intervention, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on Tuesday, November 13, 2018, injected the sum of $210 million in the inter-bank foreign exchange market.

Figures obtained from the CBN indicate that the authorized dealers in the wholesale segment of the market received the sum of $100 million while the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and invisibles segments were allotted the sum of $55 million each.

The Bank’s Director, Corporate Communications Department, Mr. Isaac Okorafor assured that the CBN would continue to sustain liquidity in the forex market. He also expressed optimism that the Naira will continue its strong run against the dollar and other major currencies around the world, considering the stability in the market and robust reserves.

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) had on Friday, November 2, 2018, made interventions to the tune of $337.16million in the retail Secondary Market Intervention Sales (SMIS) and CNY 56.17million in the spot and short-tenored forwards segment of the foreign exchange market.

Meanwhile, the Naira on Tuesday, November 13, 2018 exchange at an average of N360/$1 in the BDC segment of the market.

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BUSINESS

Diamond Bank denies merger, acquisition talks with Access Bank

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Diamond Bank Plc and Access Bank Plc have notified the Nigerian Stock Exchange and the general public that both banks are not in any merger or acquisition talks as being circulated in some media.

The banks, in separate statements to the exchange on Monday, denied the rumours that they were engaged in merger and acquisition talks.

Uzoma Uja, Diamond Bank’s Company Secretary, said it was not in discussion with any financial institution at the moment on any form of merger or acquisition.

Uja said that the attention of Diamond Bank had been drawn to the rumour in the media stating that the bank was purportedly in discussion with Access Bank to acquire the bank.

He said: “We wish to state categorically that the bank is not in discussion with any financial institution at the moment on any form of merger or acquisition.

“We trust that the above clarifies the position of the bank with regards to the rumour on the various media platforms.”

Also, Sunday Ekwuochi, Company Secretary, Access Bank, said the bank had not entered into any such discussion with Diamond Bank or any other institution.

Ekwuochi said: “As a publicly quoted company built on best practice, the bank is fully cognisant of its disclosure obligations in respect of any such corporate action and will always discharge its obligations in the most professional manner.

“Consequently, any statement regarding any such corporate action that is not issued by the bank should be disregarded.”

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Teleology finally takes over 9mobile, names new board

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Teleology Holdings Limited has finally taken over 9mobile.

This is coming 11 months after the company made it to the top five companies making a bid to take over the telecommunications company.

In a statement seen by TheCable, and signed by Mohammed Edewor, Teleology said it “is pleased to announce the constitution of a new Board of Directors for Nigeria’s multi-award-winning telecommunication company, 9mobile”.

This follows “the successful completion of the tenure of the former Board appointed by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and in fulfillment of the consequential transfer of final ownership to the new investors, Teleology Nigeria Limited”.

“We thank all out-going members of the Board for helping to shepherd 9mobile through the critical transition phase it has passed through since July 2017 and wish them the very best in their future assignments.

“For us, the composition of the new Board of Directors is another significant milestone, and this follows the issuance of final approval of no objection by the Board of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) to the effect that the technical and financial bids Teleology submitted for 9mobile met and satisfied all the regulatory requirements.

“This is indeed the dawn of a new era in the evolution of the 9mobile brand in the Nigerian market”.

The new board of directors is constituted by:

  1. Nasiru Ado Bayero (Chairman)
  2. Asega Aliga (Non Executive Director)
  3. Adrian Wood (Non Executive Director)
  4. Mohammed Edewor (Non Executive Director)
  5. Winston Ndubueze Udeh (Non Executive Director)
  6. Abdulrahman Ado (Executive Director)
  7. Stephane Beuvelet (Acting Managing Director)

Nasiru Ado Bayero, the new chairman, appreciated the telco’s employees and subscribers, who is said should be prepared for best-in-class services forthwith.

“As we begin this new epochal phase, we wish to thank all the employees who built this viable business,” Ade Bayero said.

“Our debt of gratitude also goes to our subscribers even as we assure them to get ready for real best-in-class additional value for their relationship with the 9mobile brand.

“Without you, there could not have been a 9mobile business for us to invest in today. We will justify your confidence in our brand by making significant investments that will improve the value you get for using 9mobile.”

The sale process of 9mobile was initially billed to be concluded on January 16, 2018, following an approval of the extension of the deadline by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) after an initial December 2017 deadline.

Teleology eventually won the final bid, ahead of Airtel, Globacom, Smile, Helios.

The company, 9mobile, formerly known as Etisalat Nigeria was taken over in July 2017 following a N541 billion debt overhang.

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