LAGOS, Nigeria-Green Africa Airways announced today that it has completed its Series A round of financing with Kuramo Capital, a Pan African independent investment management group based in New York with additional offices in Lagos and Nairobi. As part of the new investment, Green Africa Airways has also formed an advisory board of senior industry leaders led by Tom Horton, former CEO & Chairman of American Airlines and former Chairman of oneworld Alliance, William Shaw, Founder & former CEO of VivaColombia, and Virasb Vahidi, former CCO of American Airlines.
The new airline has received an Air Transport License (ATL) from the Nigerian Government, commenced its Air Operating Certificate (AOC) process and is in conversations with leading aircraft manufacturers. Green Africa Airways also recently appointed Captain Jag Singh, VP of Flight Operations and former Acting CEO of Caribbean Airlines, as Chief Operating Officer, and Captain Bart Roberts, former VP of Flight Operations at JetBlue and ex-Chief Pilot at American Airlines, as Chairman of the Safety Review Board.
Mr. Walé Adeosun, Founder & CEO of Kuramo Capital noted, “The aviation sector is a critical industry that can create meaningful value for shareholders while also contributing significantly to the economic development of a nation. Green Africa Airways presents a legacy opportunity for Kuramo Capital to generate attractive risk-adjusted return for our investors and build a world-class business that will serve as catalyst for economic growth on the African continent.”
According to Mr. Tom Horton, “Nigeria is uniquely positioned to be the home of the next major value airline in the industry that will bring air travel to a much broader group of people. Alongside William, Virasb and Babawande, I am very happy to join hands with Kuramo Capital to launch and shape Green Africa Airways into a preeminent customer-focused brand.”
Mr. Babawande Afolabi, Founder & CEO of Green Africa Airways said, “We are incredibly fortunate and honored to have reputable leaders back Green Africa Airways. The consortium brings seasoned experience, extensive global networks and value-based leadership to Green Africa Airways. This pivotal Series A round of financing and outstanding advisory board will strengthen our journey to build Green Africa Airways into a top-notch carrier that will help create a better future for several millions of customers in Nigeria and Africa at large.”
Oil set for steady gains as economies shake off pandemic blues – Reuters poll
By Sumita Layek and Bharat Gautam
(Reuters) – Oil prices will stage a steady recovery this year as vaccines reach more people and speed an economic revival, with further impetus coming from stimulus and output discipline by top crude producers, a Reuters poll showed on Friday.
The survey of 55 participants forecast Brent crude would average $59.07 per barrel in 2021, up from last month’s $54.47 forecast.
Brent has averaged around $58.80 so far this year.
“Travel and leisure activity look set to catch up to buoyant manufacturing activity due to the mix of stimulus, confidence, vaccines, and more targeted pandemic measures,” said Norbert Ruecker of Julius Baer.
“Against these demand dynamics, the supply side is unlikely to catch up on time, leaving the oil market in tightening mode for months to come.”
Of the 41 respondents who participated in both the February and January polls, 32 raised their forecasts.
Most analysts said the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and allies (OPEC+) may ease current output curbs when they meet on March 4, but would still agree to maintain supply discipline.
“With OPEC+ endeavouring to keep global oil production below demand, inventories should continue falling this year and allow prices to rise further,” said UBS analyst Giovanni Staunovo.
Oil demand was seen growing by 5-7 million barrels per day in 2021, as per the poll.
However, experts said any deterioration in the COVID-19 situation and the possible lifting of U.S. sanctions on Iran could hold back oil’s recovery.
The poll forecast U.S. crude to average $55.93 per barrel in 2021 versus January’s $51.42 consensus.
Analysts expect U.S. production to rise moderately this year, although new measures from U.S. President Joe Biden to tame the oil sector could curb output in the long run.
“A structural shift away from fossil fuels” may prevent oil from returning to the highs of previous decades, said Economist Intelligence Unit analyst Cailin Birch.
(Reporting by Sumita Layek and Bharat Govind Gautam in Bengaluru; Editing by Arpan Varghese, Noah Browning and Barbara Lewis)
Japan’s jobless rate seen up in January due to COVID-19 emergency measures – Reuters poll
TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan’s jobless rate is expected to have edged up in January as service industry businesses suffered renewed restrictions on movement to fight spread of the coronavirus in some areas, including Tokyo, a Reuters poll of economists showed on Friday.
While industrial production activity picked up in Japan, emergency curbs rolled out last month such as asking restaurants to close early and suspending the national travel campaign hurt the jobs market, analysts said.
The nation’s unemployment rate likely rose 3.0% in January, up from 2.9% in December, the poll of 15 economists found.
The jobs-to-applicants ratio, a gauge of the availability of jobs, was seen at 1.06 in January, unchanged from December, but stayed near September’s seven-year low of 1.03, the poll showed.
“As the impact from the coronavirus pandemic prolongs, it is hard for firms, especially the service sector, to expect their business profits to improve,” said Yusuke Shimoda, senior economist at Japan Research Institute.
“So, their willingness to hire employees appear to be subdued and it is difficult to see the jobs market recovering soon.”
Some analysts also said the government’s steps to support employment and existing labour shortages will likely prevent the jobless rate from worsening sharply.
The government will announce the labour market data at 8:30 a.m. Japan time on Tuesday (2330 GMT Monday).
Analysts expect the economy to contract in the current quarter due to the emergency measures to counter the spread of the disease.
(Reporting by Kaori Kaneko; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)
China’s economy could grow 8-9% this year from low base in 2020 – central bank adviser
BEIJING (Reuters) – China’s gross domestic product (GDP) could expand 8-9% in 2021 as it continues to rebound from the COVID-19 pandemic, Liu Shijin, a policy adviser to the People’s Bank of China, said on Friday.
This speed of recovery would not mean China has returned to a “high-growth” period, said Liu, as it would be from a low base in 2020, when China’s economy grew 2.3%.
Analysts from HSBC this week forecast that China would grow 8.5% this year, leading the global economic recovery from the pandemic.
If 2020 and 2021’s average GDP growth is around 5%, this would be a “not bad” outcome, said Liu, speaking at an online conference.
China is set to release a government work report on March 5 which typically includes a GDP growth target for the year.
Last year’s report did not include one due to uncertainties caused by the coronavirus. Reuters previously reported that 2021’s report will also not set a target.
(Reporting by Gabriel Crossley and Muyu Xu; Editing by Sam Holmes and Ana Nicolaci da Costa)
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