Rakuten Moves into Property Insurance in Recent Acquisition
Japanese e-commerce group Rakuten will expand further into insurance by acquiring a Nomura-owned property insurer and using it as an outlet for new data-driven policies. Billionaire Hiroshi Mikitani’s group plans to spend 40 billion yen to 50 billion yen ($368 million to $460 million) to purchase all of Tokyo-based Asahi Fire & Marine Insurance by summer, starting with stakes held by financial group Nomura Holdings and Nomura Real Estate Development. The deal comes as Rakuten has been fortifying a financial services portfolio that includes banking and credit cards. Drawing on data about its more than 90 million loyalty program members, the group will develop insurance policies better tailored to customers than off-the-rack products. Premiums could become more granular based on predictions about customer households and spending patterns — a person buying a crib is likely expecting a baby, for example.
Source, Nikkei Asia
Viacom, CBS CEO’s Discuss Possible Merger
Viacom Inc. (VIAB.O) Chief Executive Bob Bakish and CBS Corp (CBS.N) CEO Leslie Moonves have had an exploratory discussion about merging the two media companies, sources familiar with the situation told Reuters on Thursday. The discussion is a potential first step toward a recombination of CBS and Viacom. The boards of both companies have regularly scheduled meetings in the next several weeks and are expected to discuss the potential merger, the sources said. The discussion between Bakish and Moonves, which took place earlier this month, was preliminary and no decisions have been made, but it signals that Moonves, who has had reservations about a potential deal between the companies, could be more open to the idea.
Ethiopia: NBE Compels Commercial Banks to Support Heineken’s Expansions
Authorities at the National Bank of Ethiopia (NBE) have ordered commercial banks to provide letters of credit (LC) facility to Heineken Breweries worth 40 million euros, for its expansion project. The order includes the state-owned Commercial Bank of Ethiopia (CBE), and other banks where the company does not have client relationship, people who saw the order disclosed to Fortune. The instruction was initially issued by the Prime Minister’s Office with a letter signed by Arkebe Oqubay (PhD), special advisor to the Prime Minister with a ministerial rank.
Source, Addis Fortune
Kenya: Treasury Rejects US $ 493 million as Project Bond is Oversubscribed
The Treasury is expected to reopen the recently floated 15-year infrastructure bond after rejecting costly bids. In the auction results released on Thursday, the Treasury picked only Sh5 billion out of a possible Sh55.8 billion that investors subscribed for in the bond floated last week. Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) acting director for financial markets John Birech said the new borrowing will be only Sh5.04 billion. The government was seeking Sh40 billion in a 15-year bond and was offering to pay investors 12.5 per cent as a coupon (interest) annually.
Source, Business Daily
Nigeria: Teleology Maybe Preferred Bidder for 9Mobile
Reports by Thisday, suggest that Teleology may have won the bid for 9Mobile.Teleology is headed by Adrian Wood, an ex-Chief Executive Officer of MTN. Teleology reportedly put in a bid of $500 million, while Smile bid for $300 million. 5 firms made it to the finally bidding stage namely Globacom, Smile, Airtel, and private equity firm Helios. Teleology and Smile, were the only firms that put in financial bids. Airtel, allegedly withdrew from the bid process due to what it termed irregularities.
Source, Thisday Nigeria
South Africa’s Metrofile Buys G4S Records Unit for USD 21 million
South African records and information management firm Metrofile has confirmed it has completed the acquisition of G4S Secure Data Solutions Kenya (SDS Kenya), one of the largest records management companies in East Africa. The company will take over the operations and staff of the Nairobi firm under the deal valued at Sh2.125 billion. SDS Kenya operates a records management business specializing in all aspects of corporate archiving and record management, including storage, indexing, retrieval, tracking, archiving and records management digital services.
Source, Asoka Insights
Niger: Injaro and BIO in AviNiger Poultry Deal
Injaro Investments and BIO have backed AviNiger, a poultry farm built with stringent specifications to cater for animal welfare and supply quality consumer eggs to reduce the deficit of protein foods in Niger. Injaro co-invested with BIO, the Belgian Investment Company for Developing Countries, to build a state-of-the-art eggs production farm with an annual capacity of more than 35 million eggs.
Source, Asoka Insights
Ethiopia: DEG Provides Equity financing of US $ 4.9 million to M-Birr
DEG, a German development finance institution and a subsidiary of KfW Group, has invested €4m in M-BIRR, a cashless money transfers and payment service in Ethiopia. Other investors include the European Investment Bank (EIB). The Finnish development finance company Finnfund has been a shareholder in M-BIRR since as early as 2012. M-BIRR provides an alternative to a bank branch by enabling payment by mobile phone (mobile money). At year-end 2017, over one million customers were registered on the platform for mobile payments.
Source, Africa Global Funds