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Zimbabwe suspends billionaire Strive Masiyiwa’s Cassava Smartech from trading on local bourse

The company was suspended from trading after failing to publish its most recent financial statements.

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Zimbabwean billionaire Strive Masyiwa.

The Zimbabwe Stock Exchange (ZSE) has suspended the trading activities of Cassava Smartech Zimbabwe Limited from the bourse after the country’s Securities and Exchange Commission stated that it failed to publish financial statements for the year ending Feb. 28.

In a recent statement to the public, ZSE CEO Justin Bgoni notified the investing public that the company’s traded stocks on the local bourse will be halted as of Oct. 1. 

“The halt in trading of the issuer’s securities has been effected pending the outcome of an application for the suspension of trading in the issuer’s securities which was filed for consideration by the Securities and Exchange Commission of Zimbabwe,” Bgoni said. “Cassava Smartech Zimbabwe Limited failed to publish audited financial statements for the financial year ended Feb. 28, 2021, and remains in default.”

The ZSE has clearly stated that the suspension can only be lifted when the company publishes its audited financial statements.

In compliance, the company has also notified the public of the suspension of its trading on the local bourse, explaining that the delay in publication is due to technical and accounting issues that have taken time to resolve.

However, “the matters have since been concluded and the company expects to publish its financial statements by Oct. 18, 2021,” the company said. 

The company trades on the ZSE as EcoCash Holdings Zimbabwe.

Cassava Smartech Zimbabwe

Cassava Smartech Zimbabwe is a diversified smartech group that uses digital solutions to drive socioeconomic development to improve Africans’ quality of life. 

It leverages digital and financial technologies to build shared economies, drive financial inclusion and promote economic empowerment.

Linked to Zimbabwean billionaire Strive Masiyiwa, the company has a balanced portfolio of digital solutions, including fintech, insurtech, social payments, on-demand services, e-commerce, agritech, healthtech and edutech. 

The company was listed on the local bourse in 2018 and has 2,590,577,241 issued shares. As of the time of this writing, Oct. 4, its market capitalization was pegged at Z$81.49 billion ($225.17 million).

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Abu Dhabi-based Chimera acquires controlling stake in financial services provider linked to Egypt’s richest family

It is unclear how much of the 59.22 percent stake held by Orascom Financial Holding, a firm led by the billionaire Sawiris family, was acquired during the transaction.

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Egyptian billionaire Naguib Sawiris

Chimera Investment, an Abu Dhabi-based firm led by Pakistani businessman Syed Basar Shueb, has announced the purchase of a majority stake in Beltone Financial Holding SAE, a Cairo-based financial services firm partially owned by Egypt’s richest family, the Sawiris.

According to a press release issued by the Abu Dhabi-based firm, a total of 55.9 percent of Beltone’s shareholding was acquired at a price of EGP1.485 ($0.0779) per share, bringing the total transaction value to EGP370 million ($19.3 million).

It is unclear how much of the 59.22-percent stake held by Orascom Financial Holding, a firm led by the Egyptian billionaire Sawiris family, was acquired during the share-purchase transaction. However, it is clear that Chimera is now the majority shareholder in Beltone as a result of the recent deal.

Syed Basar Shueb, chairman of Chimera Investment, commented on the transaction, stating that it aligns with Chimera’s broader strategy of long-term value creation investments and expands the company’s presence in regional economies.

He went on to state that, in the coming months, the Abu Dhabi-based firm will look to unlock value and implement an all-encompassing transformation plan aimed at restoring Beltone’s growth and profitability.

In addition to the transaction, Dalia Khorshid, the chairwoman and CEO of MASAR Financial Advisory, a regional financial advisory firm, was appointed as the new CEO of Beltone, as the Egyptian firm enters a new phase of growth under new management.

“I am honored by the opportunity to lead Beltone’s strategic transformation plan,” Khorshid said in response to her recent appointment as CEO. “I am confident that we will restructure and grow this institution to become a major market leader in the region and a solid platform for attracting international investments into our host markets.”

Beltone, a financial services provider in Egypt and the Middle East and North Africa, was founded in 2006 to provide brokerage, investment banking, asset management, equity research, and a variety of non-banking financial services like leasing, consumer finance, and venture capital platforms.

In a $1.3-million deal nearly a year ago, Orascom Financial Holding, led by Egypt’s Sawiris family, reduced its stake in Beltone to 59.22 from 61.24 percent.

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Ardova dismisses winding-up order, as Femi Otedola’s Zenon serves majority shareholder petition over $6-million debt

The once promising relationship between Otedola’s Zenon and Abdulwasiu Sowami’s Prudent Energy has taken a new turn.

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Femi Otedola. ©Billionaires.Africa

Arodva Plc, a Nigerian oil and gas marketing company majority owned by Nigerian businessman Abdulwasiu Sowami, has denied reports that it is facing a winding-up petition over a $6-million debt owed to Zenon Petroleum & Gas Limited, an oil company founded by billionaire businessman Femi Otedola.

The news comes as the once promising relationship between Otedola’s Zenon and Sowami’s Prudent Energy, Ardova’s majority shareholder, takes a new turn over the debt.

The oil company stated in a press release on Tuesday that its management’s attention has been drawn to recent media claims regarding the debt, and it is critical to set the record straight that no winding-up petitions are presently facing the company in relation to the 2019 transaction.

The company went on to state that the current issues are related to claims and warranties made under a share-purchase agreement between Prudent Energy and Zenon for the purchase of shares in Forte Oil Plc in a $200-million deal in 2019.

The management went on to state that Ardova is not party to any of the proceedings, that the proceedings have no bearing on the company’s rights or operations, and that it has no claims against its assets.

Zenon, which has a guarantee for the prompt payment of the debt, served Prudent Energy with a petition earlier this week, more than a month after the deferred consideration, which was due on June 18, had yet to be paid despite demand letters sent to Sowami.

Experts believe that the dispute will reignite debate over Ardova’s share ownership structure.

The $6-million debt, which represents the remaining purchase consideration for the Forte Oil stake, adds to Prudent Energy’s pressures, as shares in Ardova, the company that it acquired nearly three years ago, have fallen significantly from an average price of N23.6 ($0.055) per share in 2019 to N13 ($0.0305) per share at the time of writing this report.

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Nigerian billionaire Abdul Samad Rabiu and son receive $151.6 million in dividends from food business

Just three weeks ago, the Nigerian billionaire received a massive $208-million dividend from BUA Cement.

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Abdul Samad Rabiu. ©Billionaires.Africa

Nigerian billionaire industrialist Abdul Samad Rabiu and his son received a N62.9-billion ($151.6 million) dividend from his stake in BUA Foods Plc, his newly consolidated food conglomerate that maintains active operations in the food and agro-allied industries.

This comes nearly three weeks after the billionaire received a massive N86.5-billion ($208 million) dividend from his cement company, BUA Cement Plc, as part of cash rewards paid to shareholders.

The $151.6-million dividend, which was electronically deposited into his bank account on Thurs., Aug. 4, represents the majority of the N152-billion ($63 million) final dividend distribution approved by BUA Cement shareholders at the group’s annual general meeting.

With the recent payout from his consolidated food business, Rabiu, who has a $5.8-billion net worth, has now received a total dividend of $359.6 million from his publicly traded businesses this year, which is significantly more than the $157 million that he received last year.

BUA Foods’ multimillion-dollar dividend is the company’s first dividend payment since its shares were listed earlier this year on Jan. 5. The cash reward that shareholders received can be attributed to the company’s stellar performance during its 2021 fiscal year.

According to the group’s financial statement, which represents its first annual report since its shares were listed on the Nigerian Exchange over three months ago, BUA Foods’ profit rose by 97.05 percent, from N35.41 billion ($85.2 million) in 2020 to N69.76 billion ($167.84 million) in 2021.

Despite a decrease in its fortified sugar sales, BUA Foods reported a 13.72-percent increase in profit in the first half of 2022, owing to an 11.3-percent increase in revenue from N151.73 billion ($364.4 million) to N168.85 billion ($405.5 million).

Revenue growth was driven by higher non-fortified sugar and flour sales, which offset lower fortified sugar sales during the period under review.

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