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Standard & Poor Lowers Nokia’s Ratings on NSN Buyout

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Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services has lowered Nokia’s long-term debt rating to ‘B+’ from ‘BB-‘ and affirmed its ‘B’ short-term corporate credit rating. The outlook is stable.

¬The rating action reflects Nokia’s acquisition of the 50% stake in Nokia Siemens Networks (NSN) from Siemens for EUR1.7 billion, making Nokia the 100% owner. Nokia’s strong balance sheet, which S&P views as an offsetting factor to Nokia’s cash burn and supportive to the rating, will weaken following the acquisition.

The debt ratings agency also factors in the company’s estimate cash burn of EUR300 million-EUR800 million during the second quarter of 2013.

The ratings reflect their revised assessment of Nokia’s financial risk profile assessment to “aggressive” from “significant.” They continue to assess its business risk profile as “weak.”

S&P said that it understands that the deal could close in the third quarter of 2013, subject to regulatory approval.

As Nokia was already fully consolidating NSN, the transaction will have no positive impact on Nokia’s reported profitability or cash flow measures, but it will weaken its net cash position.

S&P has lowered it estimate of Nokia’s net cash to EUR1.3 billion or above at end-2013 from EUR3 billion or above previously.

The ratings agency continues to think free operating cash flow (FOCF) will be negative in the second half of 2013 and for the full year, including the cash restructuring outlays after Nokia reported cash burn of at least €300 million during the second quarter.

They also continue to be concerned about Nokia’s ability to sustainably generate positive FOCF–especially in its Devices & Services (D&S) division, given the low visibility on revenues and margins and its small market share in smartphones.

Finally, they also think NSN’s FOCF could fluctuate, notably because of marked swings in working capital. So, they think Nokia may struggle to return to positive free cash generation in 2014.

The stable outlook reflects its expectation that Nokia will maintain a strong net cash position over the next 12 months, despite our anticipation of negative FOCF.

S&P could raise the ratings if FOCF gradually and sustainably became positive. They think this will require Nokia’s market share in the smartphone segment to increase and adjusted consolidated EBITDA margin to return durably to positive territory.

They could lower the ratings if Nokia failed to gain smartphone market share, leading to continuing negative FOCF prospects in 2014 and beyond. This would further reduce Nokia’s net cash position.


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Nigerians Pay Some N87m in Bribes to Public, Private Officials In 2023

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At least N87 million bribes were paid to Nigerian public and private officials in 2023, according to data from National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).

Nigerians Pay Some N87m in Bribes to Public, Private Officials In 2023

NBS data also indicated that of all Nigerian citizens who had at least one contact with a public official in the 12 months prior to the 2023 survey, 27 per cent paid a bribe to a public official.

According to the Bureau, Nigerians’ confidence in the government’s anti-corruption effort has been declining over time and across regions.

“While in 2019, more than half of all citizens thought that the government was effective in fighting corruption, in 2023, the share declined to less than a third of all citizens.

“The downward trend in the citizens’ confidence is observable across the entire country, with all six zones recording reductions of more than 10 percentage points between 2019 and 2023 in terms of the share of citizens who thought the government was effective in fighting corruption,” it stated.


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12 Professors, 15 Others Inducted into Shell Sabbatical, Research Positions

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The Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited (SPDC) Joint Venture has significantly expanded its educational initiatives by inducting 27 Nigerian academics and research interns.

12 Professors, 15 Others Inducted into Shell Sabbatical, Research Positions

A cross section of participants in the Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) Joint Venture’s 2024 sabbatical and research programme in a group photograph with the leadership of SPDC’s Corporate Relations team at the induction ceremony held in Port Harcourt…recently.

This year’s programme, a 35% increase from the previous year, welcomed eight professors, four senior lecturers, and 15 other participants.

Held at the company’s headquarters in Port Harcourt, the induction ceremony marked the beginning of a one-year programme focused on knowledge exchange and skill development.

Drawn from 13 Nigerian universities, these participants will gain valuable industry experience in fields like biodiversity, petroleum engineering, and environmental impact assessment.

“The research and internship programmes are central to our commitment to supporting higher education in Nigeria,” explained Mr. Igo Weli, Shell Nigeria’s Head of Corporate Relations, and SPDC Director.

He described the programme as mutually beneficial nature by offering Shell access to specialised expertise from professors and lecturers, who in turn acquire practical industry knowledge and exposure to cutting-edge technologies.

Despite operational challenges, Mr. Weli reaffirmed Shell’s position as the industry leader in fostering a positive learning environment and empowering people.

Representing Mrs. Bunmi Edith Lawson, NNPC Upstream Investment Management Services, echoed Mr. Weli’s sentiments. She highlighted the programme’s significance in scientific exploration, environmental stewardship, and knowledge advancement.

“This is an investment in the next generation of innovators,” she stated, “and a way for us to give back to our stakeholders.”

The 2024 programme includes participants from a diverse range of universities across Nigeria, including the University of Benin, Rivers State University, University of Ibadan, Niger Delta University, and Ahmadu Bello University.

Others are Bingham University Karu, Federal University Wukari, University of Medical Sciences, Ondo State, Covenant University, Alex Ekwueme Federal University Ndufu-Alike, Ajayi Crowther University, Oyo, University of Uyo, Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, and Michael Okpara University of Agriculture.

 

 


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Ex Power Minister who Allegedly Stole N33Bn Gets N10Bn Bail

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Saleh Mamman, former minister of Power, who was charged for a N33 billion fraud by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has been granted bail.

Ex Power Minister who Allegedly Stole N33Bn Gets N10Bn Bail

During a sitting on Friday, at the Federal High Court in Abuja, Mamman was granted N10 billion billion with two sureties in like sum.

Issuing the verdict, James Omotosho, chief judge, held that the sureties must be owners of landed properties within the Federal Capital Territory with a minimum valuation of N750 million.

The judge stated that the sureties must swear an affidavit of means and submit their three-year tax clearance certificates, adding that certified copies of the defendant and sureties’ bank statements and their most recent passport photograph must also be submitted.

In addition, the judge directed the defendant to turn in his international passport to the court’s registrar, stating that the registrar must confirm every document before the defendant is allowed to leave custody.

The court further ordered that the defendant be held in jail until all bail requirements were fulfilled and that the sureties could provide a bank guarantee or bond of N10 billion. The case has been adjourned until September 25, 2024.

On Thursday, July 11, the judge ordered the remand of the former minister at the Kuje Prison after his not-guilty plea to all the 12-count charges preferred against him. His lawyer, Femi Ate, a senior advocate, however, told the court that a bail application had been filed on behalf of his client.

Although the judge stated the bail application had not yet made it into the court file, the lawyer representing the EFCC, Adeyinka Olumide-Fusika, also a senior advocate, admitted that the application had been received.

Meanwhile, the defendant had collapsed outside the courtroom before the hearing on Thursday but was revived with the help of his lawyers and some medical personnel at the court.

 


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