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Bharti Telecom Raises $1.1B From Airtel Stake Sale

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, SiliconNigeria
, SiliconNigeria

Bharti Telecom, the holding company of India’s Bharti Airtel, sold a 2.75 per cent stake in the operator to institutional investors to raise INR84.33 billion ($1.12 billion) to fully repay its debt.

In a statement, Harjeet Kohli, group director of Bharti Enterprises, said with the completion of the share sale, Bharti Telecom becomes a debt free company, “providing even stronger financial flexibility and capacity to provide any additional shareholder support as may be desired by Bharti Airtel from time to time”.

Kohli claimed the strong response received from a diverse mix of investors across geographies, even during challenging global macro-economic conditions, shows the competitive strength and the long-term prospects of Airtel.

The investors included Blackrock, Fidelity, Segantii Capital, Norges Bank and Key Square Capital, The Economic Times reported.

Airtel’s credit profile will also be boosted as it will stand to benefit from deleveraging on a consolidated basis, the statement added.

After the transaction, Bharti Telecom’s stake in Airtel dropped to about 36 per cent. The combined holdings of Airtel’s main shareholders – Bharti Group and Singtel – fell to 56.23 per cent from 58.98 per cent.

Over the past month, rival Reliance Jio’s parent company Reliance Industries sold around 17 per cent of Jio Platforms for $10.46 billion to five different investors, also in a move to reduce debt.

Jio Platforms operates broadband and online commerce services, including Jio, India’s largest mobile operator with 388 million subscribers.

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Independence Day, #EndSARS, Ondo Election Results Top Nigeria’s October Search Trends

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Independence Day #EndSARS Ondo Election Results Top Nigeria’s October Search Trends, SiliconNigeria

A milestone anniversary, calls to shut down an allegedly brutal police department, and state election results were among the top trending Google searches in Nigeria during October. These searches partially crossed over into the most asked questions, which concerned a leading activist, the whereabouts of the president, and the winner of Big Brother Nigeria. 

On 1 October, Nigeria celebrated the 60th anniversary of its independence from Great Britain. What would ideally have been a day of celebration instead turned into a day of protest across the country’s major cities as people expressed their anger over corruption and increases to petrol and electricity prices. Nigeria Independence Day was, nonetheless, the top search for the month.  

Protests continued throughout the month as the #EndSARS campaign gained momentum. The campaign called for the disbanding of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), a unit of the Nigerian Police. After SARS was disbanded, protests have continued over police brutality and other issues. As the protests dominated news headlines, online interest grew. As a result, “end sars” was the second most searched term for the month. 

Staying with politics, “ondo election result” was the third most popular term for the month. The poll saw Oluwarotimi Akeredolu reelected as governor of Ondo state. Despite heavy criticism from opposition parties, Akeredolu won by a significant margin. 

Other topics trending in October included actress Eniola Badmus, who was falsely rumoured to have been shot during the #EndSARS protests; activist Aisha Yesufu, who has been at the centre of the protests; and rapper Lil Frosh, who was arrested in early October for the alleged assault on his girlfriend Gift Camille.   

These were the top 10 searches for the month:
1. Nigeria Independence Day

2. End sars

3. Ondo election result

4. Eniola Badmus

5. Aisha Yesufu

6. Lil Frosh

7. Cavani

8. Room 306

9. Boyfriend day

10. Soro soke / soro soke meaning

Yesefu also featured among the most asked questions for the month, topping the list. Nigerians were also keen to know where President Muhammadu Buhari was. The national leader, who is frequently overseas for medical treatment, waited days before addressing Nigerians on the protest, before finally urging citizens to spurn the protestors’ efforts. 

It wasn’t all serious politics, however. Nigerians also took to Google to find out who the winner of BBN 2020 was, as well as to ask practical questions around tracking stolen cellphones and to find out who Anonymous is. 

Top ten trending questions for October 2020: 

  1. Who is Aisha Yesufu?
  2. Where is Buhari now?
  3. Who is the winner of BBN 2020?
  4. Where is Tinubu now?
  5. How to track a stolen phone?
  6. Who is Anonymous?
  7. Who is Tompolo?
  8. How to prepare jollof rice?
  9. Who is leading in Ondo election?
  10. Who is DJ Switch?

Search trends information is gleaned from data collated by Google based on what Nigerians have been searching for and asking Google. Google processes more than 40 000 search queries every second. This translates to more than a billion searches per day and 1.2 trillion searches per year, worldwide. Live search data is available on the Google Nigeria Trends site

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Globus Bank Opens Three New Branches in Lagos

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Globus Bank Opens Three New Branches in Lagos, SiliconNigeria

L-R: Modupe Ajayi, Branch Manager Lekki, Globus Bank; Elias Igbinakenzua, Managing Director/CEO Globus Bank; Ekundayo Yakubu, Chief Financial Officer Globus Bank and Titus Ebare, Chief Risk Officer, Globus Bank at the launch of the Globus Bank Lekki Branch recently.

Nigeria’s “phygital” bank, Globus Bank Limited, celebrates 2020 Customer Service Week with a special gift to Lagos customers.

The bank opened 3 new branches at the following locations – Plot 17, Admiralty Way, Lekki; Plot 2B, Aromire Street, Allen Avenue, Ikeja and Plot 17, Warehouse Road, Apapa, Lagos.

The bank is poised to strategically branch out in a manner that aligns with its vision to offer the banking public a viable alternative that is designed to provide ultimate and endearing customer experience.

Globus Bank commenced operations on November 6, 2019, and in accordance with their service promise, they have continued to roll out branches in very strategic locations across the country. These three new branches in one week demonstrate their commitment to match words with action.

To serve the retail customers, the Bank is currently active on USSD code (*989#) and has a mobile banking application (Globus Mobile), that is seamless and provide end-to-end solution for retail customers. Accounts are fully opened in 2 minutes without the need to physically visit any branch.

The transfer service on Globus Mobile is the most enjoyable in the industry. Individuals can switch between personal and corporate accounts on Globus Mobile and do transactions seamlessly, including bulk payments. With Globus Mobile, your corporate account is on your palm. This is a robust solution for individuals and MSMEs.

For key corporate customers, the bank has a robust Corporate Internet Banking Solution that has been adjudged by customers as one of the best in the industry.

Whilst rapidly gaining market share in the corporate segment, the bank is maintaining its focus on enhancing financial inclusion by encouraging the unbanked through innovative digital platforms and incentives. There are plans to show optimal physical presence in key retail centres aimed at strengthening financial inclusion and supporting MSMEs.

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ATCON To Hold AGM, Elect New Executives November 12

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ATCON Sets To Hold AGM Elect New Executives, SiliconNigeria

The Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria (ATCON) has concluded plans to hold its 2020 Annual General Meeting (AGM), during which it would also elect new executives.

The AGM, which was earlier scheduled to hold in earlier this year was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. According to a statement from the association’s executive secretary, Mr. Ajibola Olude, the meeting will now hold on November 12, 2020, in Lagos.

ATCON noted that the tenure of the National Executive Council 2018 – 2020 which would have ended in May 2020 was extended to forestall the leadership vacuum that would have occurred.

“The Association upholds a culture of corporate governance and is set to have another election that would usher in a new set of National Executive Council that would direct the Association for the next two years.

“As part of upholding the principle of transparency in the conduct of the forthcoming election into various positions in the National Executive Council of the Association, we are pleased to officially announce to all the CEOs and Directors of all our qualified member companies to take an active part in the in Annual General Meeting (AGM) and Election into the National Executive Council (NEC) of the Association,” ATCON said in the statement.

Highlighting the eligibility criteria for voting, ATCON said, in accordance with the association’s constitution, only financially active members would be allowed to vote and be voted for at the elections

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