Bills Gates Invests in Trucking Startup Convoy

The world’s wealthiest individual, Bill Gates, has thrown his support behind Convoy, a startup that was initially pitched as an “Uber of trucking.”

Gates’ Cascade Investment has participated in a new $62 billion Series B round led by Y Combinator’s Continuity Fund. The two-year-old company is the first to receive investment from the prestigious startup incubator without being a part of its program. (See also: Bill Gates Bullish on ‘Bleeding’ Vegan Burgers as They Hit Mainstream Stores.)

Backing an Uber Freight Rival

Convoy has raised a total of $80.5 million since its launch in 2015. Gates will join prominent tech executives and A-list investors who have thrown cash behind the Seattle-based company, which matches drivers and carriers with shipping jobs via a mobile app. Backers include Inc.’s (AMZN Inc

) Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Jeff Bezos, who is currently positioned to join the list of wealthiest individuals as the e-commerce giant’s shares continue to boom. Bezos started investing in the company in 2015, alongside industry leaders such as Inc.’s (CRM Inc

) CEO Marc Benoiff, KKR & Co. co-CEO Henry Kravis and eBay Inc. (eBay

eBay Inc

) founder Pierre Omidyar.The startup, which has ramped up efforts to expand outside of the Pacific Northwest, will head off against Uber’s Freight service as it seeks a share of the $800 billion U.S. trucking market. Launched this year, the on-demand trucking service also connects truck drivers with long-haul assignments. As Uber struggles with the resignation of former CEO Travis Kalanick due to a scandal, Convoy is making the best of the situation.

“It isn’t clear what’s going to happen with Uber,” said Convoy CEO and co-founder Dan Lewis. “The leadership of the company, in general, is gone.” Lewis indicates that the trucking startup is fulfilling thousands of shipments and generating millions of dollars in sales per week as volume doubles every quarter. Customers include consumer giants such as Unilever Shs Sponsored American Deposit Receipt Repr 1 S UL


) and AB InBev SA (BUD

AB InBev Shs Sponsored American Deposit Receipt Repr 1 Sh


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Tesla Model 3 ‘Handover Party’ a Party for Shareholders Too

Shares of Tesla Inc. (TSLA

Tesla Inc

) gained 1.3% on Wednesday at $343.85 per share after analysts at Baird released a bullish research note.Baird analyst Ben Kallo suggests that the Silicon Valley automaker, energy storage company and solar panel manufacturer is positioned to rally this week on its Model 3 “Handover Party.” Kallo expects more details about Tesla’s first mass-market car to be released by the end of the week, serving as a positive catalyst for Tesla stock.

Model 3 Margins Expected to Ramp Faster

The analyst foresees Model 3 margins ramping faster than the auto player’s previous Model S and Model X margins did. Baird recommends that investors buy TSLA on any weakness associated with its upcoming second-quarter results, slated for Aug. 2. “Long-term prospects continue to breed optimism,” wrote the TSLA bull, reiterating an outperform rating on shares. Kallo maintained a $368 price target, reflecting an 8% upside from Tuesday’s close. (See also: Why Tesla’s Stock May Defy The Skeptics.)

On the bear side, analysts at UBS reiterated a sell rating on TSLA shares on Wednesday along with a $185 price target. Analyst Colin Langan expects a wider quarterly and annual loss per share, forecasting stock dilution in the future as he expects Q2 cash burn to more than double compared to Q1.

At $353.85 per share, TSLA reflects an approximate 50% gain over the most recent 12-month-period and a 61% gain year-to-date (YTD), despite a major sell-off that began in late June and carried into early July. Investors were worried by a production shortfall of battery packs, which Tesla said caused lower-than-expected vehicle shipments in Q2.

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Samsung Quarterly Profit Reaches Record High


Samsung Electronics Co Ltd

) off course in the second quarter of 2017. The South Korean conglomerate posted record profits in the three months to June, cementing its position as the world’s most profitable technology company.Mammoth sales of the Galaxy S8 smartphone and robust demand for memory chips saw the company register a 20 percent year-over-year increase in revenues to 61 trillion won ($54.8 billion) and a huge 89 percent rise in net profits to 11 trillion Korean won ($9.9 billion). Analysts had penciled in a median estimate of 9.8 trillion won ($8.8 billion), according to the Financial Times.

Over half of the company’s 14.1 trillion won ($12.6 billion), operating profit was generated from Samsung’s semiconductor division, which specializes in powering smartphones, cloud computing services, and analytics applications. Consensus forecasts estimate that Apple will post second quarter operating profit of $10.6 billion when it releases its results next week. (See also: The World’s Most Profitable Big Tech Isn’t Apple.)

Samsung’s record-breaking second quarter performance was achieved in the face of a number of potentially damaging scandals. During the three-month period, the company was forced to recall its Galaxy Note 7 smartphone, due to defective batteries, and was rocked by the prosecution of its billionaire heir, Lee Jae-yong. Lee could be hit with a long prison sentence after being accused of bribery and embezzlement.

Cautious Guidance

Judging by the performance of Samsung’s stock over the past few monthsthe potential imprisonment of the company’s de-facto leader hasn’t weighed too much on sentiment. The cautious outlook issued alongside Samsung’s latest results announcement, however, appears to have had more of a negative impact.

Shares fell slightly on the morning of the announcement, indicating that investors, many of which had already factored in a stellar second quarter performance, were left concerned by the company’s admission that earnings may decline over the next few months. (See also: Is Samsung the Only One Buying its Shares?)

Samsung said that profits in its display and mobile business might slow, due to a combination of factors, including marketing costs associated with the launch of its next Note smartphone and weaker sales of the now ageing Galaxy S8.

“Looking ahead to the third quarter, the company expects favorable semiconductor conditions to continue, although overall earnings may slightly decline quarter on quarter as earnings weaken for the display panel and mobile businesses,” the company said.


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LASG has issued demolition order for these estates

The Lagos State Government has ordered owners of buildings erected on drainage alignments and channels in several upscale areas to vacate their properties or face forceful demolition.

Some of the affected areas include Dolphin Estate, Osborne Foreshore Estate, Lekki, Osapa London, Ikota, Ogombo and Ikoyi.

The announcement given by the Commissioner for the Environment, Dr. Babatunde Adejare, comes as the aftermath of devastating floods that put several lives in danger and wrecked severe damage on properties in the state a few weeks ago.

However, this step coming several weeks after the damage caused by the floods raises questions about the issue of regulation of construction in the state.

Several of the affected buildings have been erected for years, with no one bothering to ascertain their compliance with existing regulations. Instead, Governor Ambode came out to blame the low tax compliance level for government’s inability to control the situation.

While the orders, if followed thoroughly, might solve the issue of flooding, it only goes on to increase fears about the likelihood of other disasters happening due to delayed government action.

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It’s official: Etisalat Nigeria formally announces 9mobile as new name

Days after PREMIUM TIMES reported that troubled mobile telecom firm, Etisalat had adopted 9mobile as its new trade name, its successor company, Emerging Markets Telecommunication Services Limited, EMTS, on Tuesday formally confirmed the development.

“Emerging Markets Telecommunication Services Limited (EMTS), which previously traded as ‘Etisalat Nigeria’ wishes to inform its over 20 million subscribers, government, regulatory agencies and all relevant stakeholder groups that the telecommunication company has changed its name to 9mobile as a further testament of our unwavering commitment to ensuring business continuity as Nigeria’s fourth largest telecom operator,” the company announced in a statement.

The statement signed by its Chief Executive Officer, Boye Olusanya, explained that the new trading name, 9mobile, represented the company’s “0809ja heritage,” “9ja-centricity”, and its “evolution over 9 years of operations in Nigeria.”

Mr. Olusanya said although the company’s trading name changed, it remained true to the same values it was built.

“A strong and resilient Nigerian spirit continues to reside in us, uniting us with our subscribers, confident that you will continue to believe in our new brand, which strongly reflects our innate creativity and youthfulness,” he added.

Besides, he said, the rebranding was a testament to the company’s dynamism, responsiveness and agility as a business, while leveraging the power of technology to deliver innovative products and services to meet customers’ needs.

“Our confidence in our ability to continue to make this happen is bolstered by the sheer determination, commitment and passion of our people to do more; and continue delivering excellent service.

To ensure the change of name was delivered efficiently and responsibly, the CEO said 9mobile announced plans to migrate to the new brand over the next few months.

Describing its travails as a transition, he urged its subscribers to be patient, as he reaffirmed the company’s commitment to remain a listening brand.

“We will continue to innovate, support, and empower you to do more, whether as an individual or a business,” he said.

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UBA Lifts Foreign Transaction Limit

You Can Now Use Your UBA Naira Debit Card to Shop Internationally
Good news guys, it’s like things are getting better in the banking sector following the Naira’s gradual improvement over the dollar. Some of th

e banks are now lifting the limitations placed on our Naira master card. You don’t need to stress yourself anymore to get dollar master card or a virtual credit card because your naira master card can now be used to shop on foreign websites.

Ecobank was the first to lift the limitation from $300 to $3000 per month and Guaranty Trust Bank (GTB) also followed suite by reviewed the international spend limitation, upwards from $100 to $1000 per month.

Just has GTBank pulled off, the United Bank for Africa (UBA) has lifted the limitation on their Naira debit card from $100 to $1000 per month.

If you happen to be a UBA customer, you can now use your Naira debit card and prepaid card to shop internationally to up to $1000 in a month. Also, you can withdraw with your naira ATM card in any part of the world but with a limit of $100 per day.

Unfortunately, this new limitation by UBA is only for a short period of time as it will only last from now till the 31st of August 2017. For those who might want to use their UBA card for online payments, note that the current exchange rate is around N385/$. 

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Nigerian stocks sustained its positive outlook for eight days, as the overall performance measures, the NSE ASI and market capitalisation, rose further by 0.40 per cent each. Interestingly, United Bank for Africa (Plc) UBA drove volume of activities with a turnover of 2.09 billion shares valued at N19.76 billion.

Consequently, the All-Share Index rose by 135.18 basis points or 0.40 per cent to close at 33,436.61 index points as against 33,301.43 recorded the previous day, while market capitalisation of equities appreciated by N46 billion or 0.40 per cent to close higher at N11.523 trillion from N11.477 trillion. Meanwhile, a turnover of 2.403 billion shares in 3,715 deals was recorded in the day’s trading.

Equities investors gain N46.6bn on profitable trade

Equities market maintained upward trend at the end of trading session on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) on Tuesday as major market indicator hinged 0.41 per cent higher.Read more

UBA cancels 2bn shares held by staff

United Bank for Africa (UBA) has announced the cancellation of 2,080,104,955 units of ordinary shares held by its staff.

The shares were being kept as Staff Investment Trust Scheme (SSIT). The bank, in a statement on the floor of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), said the transfer of shares from the SSIT was part of the process of executing the special resolution of the shareholders at the annual general meeting held in April, 2016, cancelling the shares held under the scheme.Read more

GTB, UBA, others mull interim dividends

Four of Nigeria’s five largest banks have indicated they might pay interim cash dividends to shareholders as investors await the half-year corporate earnings of major quoted companies on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE). The three largest Nigerian banks-Guaranty Trust Bank, Zenith Bank and United Bank for Africa and the fifth largest bank-Access Bank, in separate regulatory filings indicated that they had scheduled meetings of their directors during which the six-month financial statements would be approved.Read more

FIRS generates N1.78tn in six months, targets N1.8tn VAT

The Federal Inland Revenue Service collected a total sum of N1.782tn in tax revenue between January and July this year.The figure represents an increase in tax revenue of N224.14bn when compared to the N1.558tn collected in the same period in 2016.Read more

CBN Extends Support to Skye Bank by One Year

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has extended its guarantee to Skye Bank Plc for another year, just as it continues to consider the bank’s recapitalisation proposal, the bank revealed Tuesday.Read more

Nigeria’s $3.9bn Sovereign Wealth Fund lowest among OPEC countries –NEITI

Despite its current status as Africa’s largest crude oil producer, Nigeria has been listed as the only crude oil exporting country with the lowest Sovereign Wealth Savings often created to hedge against volatility in the international oil market.

According to the Nigerian Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (NEITI), the country’s $8 Sovereign Wealth Fund per capita can best be described as one of the lowest, better than only that of war-torn Iraq and crisis-hit Venezuela, both of which are members of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).Read more

States get N244 billion as second tranche of Paris Club refund

The Federal Government has released N243.795 billion as the second Paris Club debt deductions to states. The announcement was conveyed in a release issued yesterday by the Director of Information in the Ministry of Finance, Alhaji Salisu Nainna Dambatta. A breakdown indicates that Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Rivers, Delta and Kano states received N10 billion each while Lagos and Katsina got N8 billion apiece.Read more

Nigeria To Emerge 14th Largest Economy By 2050 – PWC

Nigeria has been projected to emerge the 14th largest economy in the world by the year 2050 but it needs to aggressively boost domestic and foreign investments over the next decade to deliver sustainable growth with per capita gains.Read more

NAHCo shareholders seek reinstatement of technical management service

IN a move to reap from diversification strategy, shareholders of Nigerian Aviation Company, NAHCO Plc, have called on the Board of Directors to reinstate the technical management service agreement with Rose Hill Group(RHG) Limited that was terminated last year. In expressing their confidence in the Board, the shareholders unanimously approved all resolutions tabled before them by the board and urged the new chairman, Architect Usman Bello to build on the success of his predecessor.
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Crowdfunding: An Alternative For SME Funding

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Orange, Vodafone in race for Etisalat Nigeria

By BusinessNews Staff

Orange and Vodafone Group are in “strong running” to buy 65 per cent of Etisalat Nigeria following Etisalat’s exit from the troubled operator, according to local sources.

According to Brandish, “no fewer than five” companies have expressed interest in Etisalat Nigeria, although the two international telco giants have shown “concrete interest”. The potential hurdle, the report said, was the restructuring of the debt which caused the current uncertainty for the business.

The report also said the negotiators for Etisalat Nigeria – including representatives of its bankers and Nigerian regulators – are working to “mitigate any collateral damage and brand erosion” which could impact the new owners. Either way, a rebranding is likely to be an early priority for Orange or Vodafone if they become the successful owner, to shift away from the Etisalat name.

After the Nigerian business defaulted on its loan repayments, Etisalat was required to transfer its holding in the company to a consortium of lenders to the Nigerian operation.

UAE investment fund Mubadala was also reported to have pulled-out, leaving Etisalat Nigeria in the hands of local banks.

Etisalat had been in talks with Nigerians banks to restructure a $1.2billion trade facility after missing repayments, but the talks failed to produce tangible result.

Zenith Bank, Guaranty Trust Bank, First Bank, United Bank for African, Fidelity Bank, Access Bank, Ecobank, FCMB, Stanbic IBTC Bank and Union Bank are involved in the loan deal.

The telco said it had serviced its debt obligation up until February 2017. According to the company, the outstanding loan sum to the lenders stands at $227m and N113bn, bringing the total to $574m if the naira portion is converted to US dollars.


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