Nigeria at Risk of Losing $15 Billion of Crisis-Era Bad Loans
Nigeria is facing the risk of never recovering about 5.5 trillion naira ($15 billion) of bad loans taken over during a banking crisis more than a decade ago.
The money is almost 80% of the West African nation’s revenue target for 2019 and 62% of planned spending by President Muhammadu Buhari, amounting to 8.9 trillion naira.
That is how much the state-owned Asset Management Corp., or Amcon, still has to collect from Nigerian companies that have failed to repay the debts they once owed lenders, Chief Executive Officer Ahmed Kuru said at a conference in Lagos on Wednesday. Delays in litigation are slowing the process, while tepid economic growth is weighing on the ability of businesses to survive, he said.
Modeled on organizations including Ireland’s National Asset Management Agency Ltd. and Korea Asset Management Corp., Amcon used bonds to bail out 10 lenders and buy more than 12,000 loans from industries including aviation, gasoline marketing and manufacturing after the 2008-09 oil price crash. It’s so far recovered 1 trillion naira, Kuru said.
Amcon needs to recover the outstanding debts to enable it to meet its obligations to the Central Bank of Nigeria, which provided the cash it used to repay holders of bonds that were issued to acquire the loans, he said.
The CEO said extending the operations of Amcon beyond its 2023 deadline would do more harm than good, because that could encourage bad behavior in the financial industry and among borrowers.
“The federal government should be appropriating the money yearly” required to meet its obligations should the bad debts not be recovered, Kuru said.
Amcon plans to appoint advisers this year for the sale of Polaris Bank, a lender it took over last year after it breached central bank’s capital and liquidity thresholds, the CEO said. Amcon recapitalized Polaris Bank with 786 billion naira and has no plans to rescue other lenders, he said.
“Judy and Lily will save you money” – Neighborhood Metro PCS authorized dealers flaunt plan and service trends
Popularly known as Judy and Lily in the Southwest vicinity of Houston where they operate the phone business, Amazing Wireless, this pair has penetrated the neighborhood with T-Mobil PCS products and services. They are authorize dealers of Metro PCS. Their strategies were simply a combination of up-to-date products, flexible plans, and affordable prices.
Their campaign mantra “Lili and Judy will save you money” may have also contributed to the success of their current sales bonanza. For instance, Amazing Wireless has been named many times, “Metro PCSs No. 1 Authorize Dealers.”
MetroPCS remains a popular prepaid carrier, as well as a subsidiary of T-Mobile, but it also relies on T-Mobile’s extensive network to provide high-speed internet access and unlimited calls and texts to consumers. The platform offers a great selection of smartphones, along with MetroPCS deals, ranging from the ultra-affordable to the latest flagships, including allowing customers the choice of bringing their own device.
According to Lily, “we have all kinds of deal that kept customers visiting. For example, if a customer switches number to MetroPCS, he or she will be eligible for a free phone as long as he or she gets an unlimited data plan. And also, there are great options that are available with this deal such as Samsung Galaxy J7 Prime, the LG Stylo 3, the LG K20, and a whole lot more.
Judy, the partner in the Amazing Wireless said they had focused on targeted marketing, identifying the customers’ needs and their phone and service preferences. Judy says her long term connectivity with business, politics, and community affairs helped her to coordinate effective strategies for reaching out to the population.”We don’t just sit down and sell phone and services, we go out to the community and deliver services to them” Judy said.
According to Judy, “Currently, we have a plan that includes unlimited data on MetroPCS for just $25 per month per line for four lines. At $100, with mobile optimized video streaming (at 480p), gaming, and music, on top of unlimited data, calls, and texts. Those who need fewer lines can get 3 lines at $30 per line per month and 2 lines at $40 per line per month.”
Smart phone business is getting more interesting. Consumers now realize that they are likely to be paying too much remaining on the same plan for much longer – and companies on the other hand are loosening their service conditions. According to Lily, “Well consumers are witnessing an end to this style of long-term expensive contracts with a mobile phone provider, because we have basically erased that complex process. We just ask them to bring their wallets so we could save them some money while they walk out with both the best phones and the best deals.”
Amazing Wireless is on 9600 Bellaire Blvd, Ste132, and Houston, TX 77036. To reach Judy or Lili for thje latest deals and plans, please call 832-266-8368
Why Amazon’s Whole Foods Purchase Will Make Groceries Cheaper for Everyone
On Friday morning, Amazon upended the grocery business—and the retail industry in general—with news that it was buying Whole Foods for $13.7 billion.
The deal is “absolutely game-changing” for Amazon, said Phil Lempert, an industry observer and the founder of SupermarketGuru.com, told MONEY. The acquisition of Whole Foods’ 431 locations gives Amazon new access to wealthy, health-conscious, quality-seeking shoppers.
But will it make your groceries any cheaper? Many experts say yes.
“It’s good news for consumers. This is going to be fabulous” for anyone hoping to save money on groceries, Lempert said.
In general, Lempert said, more competition in the grocery sector will lead to lower prices. The day before the announcement, Kroger stock plunged 19% after investors found out America’s largest supermarket chain was cutting its profit outlook by 10% and is being forced to lower prices amid heightened competition. Speaking of which, this week the low-price grocery Aldi, which is owned by the same company as Trader Joe’s, announced a major expansion in the U.S. Another low-cost grocer based in Europe, Lidl, also opened its first 10 U.S. locations this week, in the Carolinas and Virginia, and it has plans to have up to 100 stores in operation within a year along the East Coast.
But changes are expected to be especially noticeable at Whole Foods, the organic grocer that has been derided as “Whole Paycheck” because of high prices (remember the $6 asparagus water?). In recent years Whole Foods has attempted to stress value, and even launched a lower-priced Whole Foods 365 line of stores, but for the most part it is still thought of as an expensive place to shop for groceries.
“Amazon can be expected to work to deliver better value to grocery customers, both online and within the brick-and-mortar space,” said Bankrate.com senior economic analyst Mark Hamrick. “”This will be a good deal for consumers.”
Groceries tend to be a very low-margin business. The operating margin for Kroger is around 3%, and for a discounter like Supervalu it’s a low as 2%. But according to Morningstar, Whole Foods’ margin is more like 5% or even 6%.
Amazon is bound to change Whole Foods’ margins dramatically. It is famous for undercutting the profit margins of competitors, and for its willingness to lower prices even though it’s losing money—so long as doing so helps it win market share.
As Bloomberg columnist Shira Ovide put it, Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos “doesn’t abide by the conventional rules of business like … turning a profit. He will slash prices and bleed money for years in groceries if that’s what it takes to fuel his strategic mission to become a big player.”
“It is not going to be ‘Whole Paycheck’ anymore,” Lempert said of an Amazon-owned Whole Foods. “Amazon’s intelligence and efficiencies will take a lot of the waste out of the system.” Lempert also anticipates that Whole Foods’ emphasis on private labels (like the 365 Value brand) will gibe well with Amazon’s strategies, what with its many in-house clothing brands and its low-price Amazon Basics electronics.
As prices drop at Whole Foods, and Amazon steps up its game further in online grocery shopping, competitors in the brick-and-mortar and e-retail spaces alike will have to lower prices or risk losing customers. Amazon’s purchase of Whole Foods is clearly “a warning shot for the food retail industry that competition likely heightens on top of an already challenging retail backdrop,” Wells Fargo senior analyst Zachary Fadem wrote in a note to investors on Friday.
The larger battle, however, goes far beyond groceries, as the New York Times’ Neil Irwin explained on Friday. Why did Amazon buy Whole Foods, and why has Walmart purchased big e-retail players like Jet.com and (just this week) men’s fashion seller Bonobos? “The short answer is because they both want to sell everything,” Irwin wrote.
Amazon has been called the “Everything Store,” and the name rings even truer now that it will have a physical presence all over the country, in a spot that most shoppers have reason to visit once or more per week. It’s not hard to imagine that Whole Foods’ locations will become hubs where consumers can pick up same-day “click and collect” grocery orders, or all manner of other items available at Amazon.com. They will also just be able to go grocery shopping too, of course, at lower prices.
It’s worth noting, however, that pricing is only part of the reason shoppers are drawn to Amazon. “Amazon is as much about ‘value’ as ‘cheap,’” Stefan Weitz, executive vice president of technology services for the e-commerce management firm Radial, told MONEY via email. “You can often find cheaper prices on items offered from Amazon, but if you factor in free, fast, and reliable shipping and knowing that Amazon has your back in case of an issue, price is no longer the only consideration.”
Soon, shoppers can factor in the convenience of a neighborhood grocery store location as a consideration for doing business with Amazon as well.
Here is Why Nigeria’s Money-Changers Are Going Underground
♦ Dealers flouting new trading rules threatened with arrest
♦ Latest development in central bank’s battle to bolster naira
On the teeming streets of Lagos, the Nigerian mega-city of 15 million people, the once omnipresent money-changers are going underground.
They’ve become the latest target of authorities desperate to bolster the naira and crush a black market for foreign currency that’s boomed since the crash in oil prices strangled the inflow of dollars and battered the economy. This month, the central bank capped prices that non-bank dealers can charge their customers for foreign-exchange, effectively pegging the black-market rate, with intelligence agents threatening to jail anyone who doesn’t comply.
That’s creating a parallel market within the black market, according to analysts at Lagos-based Afrinvest West Africa Ltd. One trader in the Lagos suburb of Surulere, who asked not to be identified as he feared arrest, said he would continue using the old rate with trusted customers while refusing to sell dollars to others. Anyone he doesn’t know may be a government spy, he said.
“The black market will go further underground,” said Omotola Abimbola, an analyst at Afrinvest. “The fact they went as low as getting security forces on the streets shows a new level of desperation.”
Nigeria’s interbank market sets the naira’s official value and is meant to serve businesses. But the scarcity of foreign-currency has forced many to go to licensed bureaux de change and the unofficial, or black, market of informal street traders, both of which sell dollars at a higher rate.
The central bank has made several attempts to defend the naira after it plunged in late 2014 along with crude prices. Governor Godwin Emefiele tightened capital controls and restricted banks’ ability to trade foreign-exchange, then tried a currency peg that deterred foreign investment and worsened the shortage of dollars companies need to pay for imports of raw materials and equipment.
As the economy shrank and inflation soared, Emefiele relented, devaluing the inter-bank rate in June and saying he would let it float freely. The naira slumped 38 percent within two months, prompting central bank intervention that has since held it around 315 against the dollar.
Stock and bond investors are staying away, pointing to the wide gap between the official exchange rate and the black-market one of about 470 as evidence that the central bank is still manipulating the currency. Forward prices suggest the naira will depreciate further on the official market, with 12-month contracts trading at 442 against the greenback.
On Nov. 9, Nigeria’s intelligence arm, the Department of State Services, raided bureaux de change and black-market street traders and instructed them to cap their rates at 400 per dollar. As a result, people with hard currency are hoarding it rather than selling at an artificially low rate, according to Haruna Usman, a money-changer in Lagos.
“It’s a struggle even to get someone to sell us $200 whereas before, they’d often sell us $1,000 or $5,000,” the kaftan-clad Usman said from the mosque compound where he trades. “Now, they’re only exchanging when they’re desperate.”
The central bank is in no mood to back down. Emefiele said this week that “the security agencies should sustain their checks on the activities of illegal foreign-exchange operators in order to bring sanity to that segment of the market.”
It’s another signal to foreign investors that Nigeria’s currency policy is broken, according to JPMorgan Chase & Co.
“The Central Bank of Nigeria is clearly not ready to embrace a truly free-floating exchange rate and arguably has further undermined the confidence in the exchange rate regime,” Yvette Babb and Sonja Keller, analysts at the New York-based lender, said in a note to clients on Nov. 18. “These events are likely to deter inflows.”
Nigeria isn’t the first country to clamp down on black-market trading. Egypt also arrested street dealers while pegging its currency’s official rate, until a dollar-squeeze forced it to devalue on Nov. 3.
Nigerian authorities are running out of options and they probably won’t be able to enforce their clampdown beyond this year, according to Teneo Intelligence.
“It absolutely won’t work,” said Manji Cheto, senior vice president at Teneo in London. “This is akin to a person in a room that’s caught fire just slamming every panic button they can find because they don’t know which will open the door.”
Nigeria’s economic slump deepens as oil output continues to drop
Nigeria’s economic slump deepened in the third quarter as oil production continued to fall and factory output was hit by a shortage of dollars.
Gross domestic product in Africa’s most populous country contracted 2.2 percent in the three months through September from a year earlier, after shrinking 2.1 percent in the second quarter, the Abuja-based National Bureau of Statistics said in an e-mailed statement Monday. The median of 15 economist estimates compiled by Bloomberg was for a 2 percent contraction. The economy expanded a non-seasonally adjusted 9 percent from the second quarter, the statistics office said.
Government revenue has plunged and foreign currency became more scarce with the decline of oil prices, the country’s main export, since mid-2014, and production fell as militants in the Niger River delta blew up pipelines. The authorities have struggled to manage the economic fallout, at one point pegging the exchange rate against the dollar for more than a year and more recently using law enforcement to bring down the street price of foreign currency.
“The key drag on the economy remains issues around oil production,” Wale Okunrinboye, an analyst at Asset & Resource Management Co. in Lagos, said in an e-mailed response to questions. “We do not think this reading is a trough for the economy and see downside to growth from a combination of continued militant attacks, depressed real wages and persisting dollar shortages.”
Crude production fell for the fourth consecutive quarter to 1.63 million barrels per day, from 1.69 million barrels in the three months through June, the statistics office said. The oil industry contracted by 22 percent from a year earlier. The non-oil sector, which includes manufacturing, banking and agriculture, expanded 0.03 percent. Factory output contracted 4.4 percent, the third consecutive quarter of decline, and construction shrank 6.1 percent, the fifth straight quarterly contraction.
Manufacturing was “affected by the foreign-exchange volatility and depreciation of the naira,” Damilola Akinbami, an analyst at Financial Derivatives Co. in Lagos, said by phone. “We saw significant injection in construction, but there is a time lag between when something is implemented and when you see the impact, that’s why we didn’t see the impact in the third quarter.”
The slump in oil and shortages of foreign currency and power could cause the economy to shrink 1.7 percent this year, according to the International Monetary Fund. That would be Nigeria’s first full-year contraction since 1991, according to data from the Washington-based lender.
Nigeria’s Senate rejected the government’s spending plan for the next three years earlier this month because the proposals, which were meant to boost the economy, lacked details. Lawmakers also rejected President Muhammadu Buhari’s plan to borrow $30 billion abroad through 2018 on the same grounds.
The central bank removed its 197-199 naira per dollar peg on June 20, causing the currency to lose more than a third of its value.
The Monetary Policy Committee, which will announce its interest-rate decision on Tuesday, left the benchmark rate unchanged at a record-high 14 percent in September to help prop up the naira and fight inflation, which quickened to an 11-year high of 18.3 percent in October, even as the economic outlook deteriorated. All but two of the 18 economists in a Bloomberg survey forecast the MPC will keep the key rate unchanged.
While the third-quarter GDP data “will put pressure on the central bank as they meet, I don’t think it is going to change their stand as inflation remains very high,” Michael Famoroti, an economist at Lagos-based Vetiva Capital Management, said by phone. “Inflation is going to remain their focus, as well as the foreign-exchange market.”
Mayor Sylvester Turner, GHP Lead Houston Delegation to Mexico
Targeted sectors include energy, health care, sports and tourism
Mayor Sylvester Turner and the Greater Houston Partnership will lead a delegation of top Houston-area business representatives on a trade mission to Mexico City Nov. 20–22. The delegation will focus on growing Houston’s investment and trade relationship with Mexico. More than 1,000 Houston companies report doing business with Mexico, and total trade between Houston and Mexico was valued at close to $17.7 billion in 2015. The region also offers 425 non-stop flights per week from Houston to 27 Mexican airports.
The Houston delegation will host two high-level business forums: one focused on exchanging best practices and intellectual capital in the energy industry featuring a keynote address by Roberta Jacobson, U.S. Ambassador to Mexico; and a medical research forum led by Dr. Bobby Robbins, President and CEO of the Texas Medical Center, the world’s largest medical complex, to explore collaborative opportunities on genomic medicine and obesity-related diseases. Additionally, delegates will meet with various high-level government officials including Mexico City Mayor Miguel Mancera, Secretary of Economy Ildefonso Guajardo, and Secretary of Finance and Public Credit Jose Antonio Meade.
“As we work to expand Houston’s economic reach around the world, we must not forget to continue to nurture ties with our neighbors south of the border,” said Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner. “This trip is about building upon the excellent relationship we already enjoy with Mexico. It is also about marketing Houston as a tourism destination. World class sports, shopping, arts and culture are just a short flight away thanks to Houston’s two international airports.”
As Houston’s second largest trading partner, Mexico is a key focus of the region’s international efforts. “Houston is uniquely positioned – through its economy, culture and status as a Knowledge Capital – to be a strategic partner in the exchange of technology, expertise and best practices with our Mexican counterparts,” said Bob Harvey, President and CEO of the Greater Houston Partnership.
In addition to business and trade opportunities, the delegation will also focus on tourism and entertainment. “Houston has a well-deserved reputation as a great place to do business and features first-class amenities and an incredible quality of life. In Houston, the opportunities are limitless for businesses, residents and tourists alike,” said Jamey Rootes, Houston Texans President and Chair of the Greater Houston Partnership. The joint delegation coincides with the first ever Monday Night Football Game outside of the United States, featuring the Houston Texans vs. the Oakland Raiders on Nov. 21.
With more than 100 languages spoken, Houston is the most ethnically diverse metro in the nation. “Mexico is Houston’s number one international leisure market. Our marketing campaign ‘Hola Houston’ has been well received among travelers, and we want to capitalize on that momentum to showcase not only our sports teams, but how cool our city is,” said Mike Waterman, President and CEO of Visit Houston. “Visit Houston is excited to join Mayor Turner, the Partnership and the Houston Texans on this historic visit.”
Led by the City of Houston and the Greater Houston Partnership, the Houston delegation also includes representatives from The Plank Company; Accenture; Tietronix Software; Tesco Corporation; The Atlantic Partners Group, LLC; Linebarger, Goggan, Blair & Sampson LLC; the Houston Minority Supplier Development Council; the Houston Airport System and the Port of Houston.
Mayor Turner Announces Agreement with Uber to Remain in Houston
With Launch of Arro, Full Range of Transportation Options available for Super Bowl
Mayor Sylvester Turner today announced a comprehensive strategy to streamline the City’s vehicle-for-hire licensing process to ensure that Uber remains in Houston and that Houstonians and visitors have as many transportation options as possible during the upcoming Super Bowl. As part of the plan, Uber has committed to continuing operations in Houston with the use of fingerprint background checks through the Super Bowl.
“I am thrilled we can finally put this issue to rest and focus on the real task at hand—providing a great Super Bowl experience that shows off our City,” said Mayor Turner. “We’ve crafted a proposal that reduces the length and cost of a driver application but still protects public safety. This is a win for drivers and passengers alike. These changes will help make sure that visitors have a seamless experience during the Super Bowl and Houstonians have diverse transportation options to meet the growing needs of our city.”
As part of the agreement, the City will bring forward process-improvement changes to Chapter 46 of the City Code which regulates vehicles-for-hire such as taxis, limos, and TNCs (transportation network companies such as Uber). The streamlined changes will reduce the costs of licensing from nearly $200 to $70, cut the licensing process in half, and allow drivers to be licensed in under 20 minutes. The City’s policy on background checks will not change. The proposed changes are expected to come before City Council before the New Year.
Mayor Turner also announced the launch of Arro, the City’s official multimodal transportation app, which will help make the City’s fleet of over 9,000 taxi and limo drivers more readily accessible to the general public. Building on Top Taxi, Houston First’s initiative to improve the quality and customer service of Houston’s taxi industry, Arro will help transform the taxi experience in Houston.
“In a city as large and diverse as Houston, taxis and limos will always play a critical role in our transportation strategy,” said Turner. “Arro and Top Taxi will help modernize our taxi industry by making our fleet more efficient and equipping Houstonians with access to multiple forms of transportation at the push of a button.”
While initially offering taxi rides, Arro’s offerings will expand in the coming months to include limos, wheelchair accessible vehicles, and collaborations with other forms of vehicles-for-hire and METRO. Arro is available for download on Google Play and the Apple App Store.
“We are very excited to bring Arro’s consumer and driver friendly app to the people of Houston starting today. Arro’s presence is a significant step toward enhancing robust transportation options throughout Houston,” said Mike Epley, founder of Arro. “Our app has already enjoyed great success in several cities by offering a potential boost to drivers’ incomes and providing faster and easier transportation access for passengers. ”
“Houston First recognizes that reliable and safe transportation is essential to the city’s success as a destination,” says Dawn Ullrich, president and CEO of Houston First Corporation. “That’s why we launched the Top Taxi Program in 2015 to coach our taxicab drivers on delivering a better customer service experience. Now, Mayor Turner is taking it a step further with the implementation of Arro, which we believe will revolutionize the user experience with taxis in Houston. We’re excited to partner with the city on the ongoing Top Taxi program and the rollout of Arro.”
Nigeria Tomato Plant Closes, Embarrasses President
ONITSHA, NIGERIA —
A Nigerian tomato paste plant said Thursday it is shutting down, firing 1,500 staff and moving abroad because it is unable to obtain the hard currency it needs to operate.
The move is a public embarrassment for President Muhammadu Buhari and his plan to diversify the economy. Buhari, elected last year on a ticket to fix a country mismanaged for decades, frequently talks about ending the country’s dependency on oil exports by boosting local food production, repeating his mantra: “We must produce what we eat.”
His wife, Aisha, attended the February launch of the Erisco tomato processing plant in the commercial capital Lagos, hailed by officials as the start of a new era that would end the costly business of importing tomato paste, a staple food in Nigeria.
But eight months later, the firm is abandoning the West African country, and openly criticizing the government and central bank in a strongly worded public letter to Buhari for failing to support it.
Erisco has been forced “against our wish to create jobs in foreign lands due to the evil and wicked desires of unpatriotic Nigerians who frustrate every effort we have made to genuinely create jobs and grow our economy,” founder Eric Umeofia said in the letter, published in newspapers Thursday.
“CBN (the central bank) refused to give us forex to import machineries, machine spare parts and raw materials to be used for processing of Nigerian fresh tomatoes into tomato paste in our Lagos factory,” he said. He said the central bank had banned the firm from using its own hard currency deposits of $460,000.
The presidency and the central bank could not immediately be reached for comment.
The central bank has effectively banned the import of 700 types of goods including machines and raw materials to offset a massive loss in oil revenue, the country’s lifeline. The bank has also kept the naira at an artificially high rate versus the dollar to avoid another devaluation, which entrepreneurs say has deterred investors. Buhari has repeatedly spoken out against devaluing the naira.
Erisco said it had hoped the government would support it by banning imports of tomato paste, as it had done in the past with cement or some fruits to help Nigerian manufacturers.
The company has accumulated losses of 3.6 billion naira ($11.8 million), Umeofia said.
Mayor Turner Leads a Trade Delegation to South Africa
Mayor Sylvester Turner and a 24-member delegation leave on Friday, October 28 on an investment and trade mission to South Africa to promote Houston as a business gateway and tourist destination. The Honorary Consul General to South Africa and Texas State Representative Helen Giddings, Texas State Representative Borris Miles, City Council Vice Mayor Pro Tem Jerry Davis, City Council Member Amanda Edwards, President of the Texas Medical Center Dr. Bobby Robbins, Greater Houston Partnership Senior Vice President Robert Pertierra and Visit Houston Senior Vice President Jorge Franz along with representatives from the Houston Port Authority, Houston Airport System and several members of Houston-based companies will accompany Mayor Turner.
The trade delegation will visit with the First Lady of South Africa Gloria Bongi Ngema-Zuma and the Mayors of Tshwane, Johannesburg and Cape Town. Meetings will primarily focus on energy, aerospace and healthcare opportunities. In Cape Town, Mayor Turner will also give remarks at the Annual General Meeting of the World Energy Cities Partnership (WECP).
“This trade mission is an opportunity to connect with South African companies and create sustainable relationships for business and tourism,” said Mayor Sylvester Turner. “Houston is positioned to be a long-term partner for energy, manufacturing and healthcare. If you want to do business on the African continent, South Africa is a great jumping off point.”
In 2015, trade between Houston and South Africa was approximately $1 billion, making Houston the third busiest gateway for U.S. – South Africa trade by value. Exports to South Africa include motor vehicles and parts, industrial machinery, chemical products, electrical machinery, oil and refined products, plastic products, optic and photographic instruments and precious metals. Imports include organic chemicals, mineral fuels, iron and steel, aluminum products, motor vehicles and parts and edible fruit and nuts.
Houston firms with major operations in South Africa include, but are not limited to American Bureau of Shipping (ABS), Baker Hughes, Inc., Dresser-Rand Company, KRB, Inc. and Schlumberger Limited.
Johannesburg is the largest city in South Africa and is one of the 50 largest urban areas in the world. The economic powerhouse of Johannesburg generates 17 percent of the country’s gross domestic product, mostly through manufacturing, retail and service industry sectors. Top global companies such as McDonald’s, Nokia, Toyota and Coca-Cola have their South African headquarters in the city which is located in the mineral-rich Witwatersrand range of hills and is the center of large-scale gold and diamond trade. Pretoria is a city characterized by service and hi-tech industries, and research and educational institutions. Cape Town is the second largest city in the country and is located at the southern tip of Africa.
Tiger Woods Unveils New ‘TGR’ Brand for Next Career Chapter
Tiger Woods may have delayed his return to competition on the course, but that hasn’t stopped him from making moves off the course.
The 14-time major winner unveiled TGR on Monday, a new enterprise that “unites Tiger’s businesses within a single brand that reflects his vast experience in philanthropy, design, performance, partnerships, events and hospitality.”
The rebranding not only marks a shift away from the TW logo that has accompanied Woods’ business ventures for years but also, according to Woods, signals the beginning of a second chapter in Woods’ career as an athlete and a businessman.
“As I work toward returning to the sport I love, I’m also taking the next step in what I like to call Chapter 2: my evolution as a competitor off the course,” Woods wrote on his website. “I’ve spent nearly two years developing TGR with my team. And this is what we are about: the pursuit of excellence beyond all limits. I approach everything I do with a mindset to be the absolute best. The method I follow to get there is inspired by precision, with the end goal of elevating standards and the status quo. And I’m always striving for the kind of mastery that naturally results from focus and a willingness to keep learning.”
Woods’ current ventures include the Tiger Woods Foundation, whose name will not change; TGR Live, a non-profit events company that manages three PGA Tour tournaments and two events benefitting the foundation; TGR Design, a golf course design firm with several projects in development around the world; and The Woods Jupiter, a restaurant in Jupiter, Fla.
According to Fast Company, Woods will serve as chairman of the new company and plans to announce several new business projects in the coming months aimed at redefining his image beyond the golf course.
“I believe this is just the beginning,” Woods wrote. “As I enter this next chapter with TGR, I’m committed to building a legacy that goes beyond just me.”