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NBS: Nigeria’s trade deficit rose to N2.38tn in Sept

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Nigeria’s trade deficit hit N2.38tn in the third quarter, the National Bureau of Statistics has said.

The deficit rose by 32.45 per cent in three months, going by the N1.8tn recorded at the end of the second quarter this year.

The NBS Q3 Foreign Trade Statistics report was released on Monday.

It also said the total trade in the period under review stood at N8.37tn.

Part of the report read, “The value of Nigeria’s merchandise trade stood at N8.37tn in Q3 2020.

“This represents an increase of 34.15 per cent in Q3 2020 compared to Q2 2020 but a decline of 8.85 per cent compared to Q3, 2019. Total trade year-to-date amounted to N23.2tn.

“The import component was valued at N5.38tn, representing an increase of 33.77 per cent in Q3 2020 against the level recorded in Q2 2020 and 38.02 per cent compared to Q3 2019.”

The report stated that the value of imports in Q3 represented the highest level for any quarter since 2017.

It said, “The export component accounted for N2.99tn of the total trade in Q3 2020 indicating an increase of 34.85 per cent compared to the value recorded in Q2 2020 but a decrease of 43.41 per cent compared to Q3 2019.

“Aside from Q2 2020, the value of exports in Q3 2020 represented the lowest level of any quarter since 2017. Due to lower exports and higher imports compared to 2019, the trade balance recorded a deficit of N2.38tn during the third quarter.

“This also represents the widest merchandise trade deficit since 2017. When compared to the deficit of N1.8tn recorded in Q2, the Q3 deficit rose by 32.45 per cent.”

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Bolt raises €600m from Sequoia, others to continue building first-ever super-app

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Bolt, the leading ride-hailing and mobility platform, has raised €600 million in a funding round that increases its valuation to over €4 billion.

 

The funds will boost its new 15-minute grocery delivery service and to accelerate the expansion of its existing mobility and delivery products.

 

Sequoia Capital has backed the company as part of the round alongside other new investors Tekne and Ghisallo.

 

Existing backers also participated including G Squared, D1 Capital and Naya.

 

Markus Villig, CEO at Bolt, said: “Bolt’s mission is to make urban travel affordable and sustainable. We are building a future where people are not forced to buy cars that cause traffic and pollution but use on-demand transport when they actually need it.

 

“After seven years of relentless execution, Bolt’s mobility and delivery products offer a better alternative to almost every use case a car serves.

 

“I’m thrilled to bring these products to millions of customers around Europe and Africa, taking the emphasis off cars and giving cities back to the people.”

 

Femi Akin-Laguda, Country Manager, Bolt Nigeria, added: “We remain committed to simplifying mobility and providing the best value for our customers in more than 25 cities in Nigeria.

 

“Bolt will continue building solutions that alleviate everyday mobility challenges with our safe and affordable services while we also remain committed to providing market leading earnings for our drivers.

 

“With this investment, we will keep introducing effective solutions, features and products that are important to all our customers while having a positive socio-economic impact on the economy.”

 

Andrew Reed, partner at Sequoia, said: “Bolt is redefining urban transportation in much of the world. Markus is a driven founder who has built an operationally excellent business spanning Europe and Africa and a mission-driven culture that forms the foundation of an enduring company. Bolt helps customers, cities, and the environment. We’re delighted to partner with them.”

 

Bolt has experienced hypergrowth in the past year — the company has grown to 75 million customers globally.

 

The ride-hailing company currently operates across seven African countries, providing earning opportunities for over 400,000 drivers in over 70 cities across the continent.

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Kia gets 30,000 pre-orders for battery-powered EV6 sedan

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Kia Motor Corporation, South Korea’s second-biggest carmaker, has launched an all-electric EV6 sedan in the domestic market ahead of its overseas launches later this year.
Already, the automaker says it has received over 30,000 pre-orders for the EV6 in the domestic market, and a combined 8,800 pre-orders in Europe and the United States, according to a report by Just Autos.
The maker of the K5 sedan and the Sorento SUV aim to sell 13,000 units of the zero-emission model on its home turf and 17,000 units in overseas markets this year.
The EV6 is Kia’s first model embedded with Hyundai Motor Group’s own EV-only electric-global modular platform (E-GMP).

The EV6 is priced at 47 million won-57 million won (US$40,800-$49,500) in Korea. With government subsidies, it can be purchased for under 40 million won.
The model is available with two kinds of battery packs — a standard 58-kilowatt-hour (kWh) battery pack and a long-range 77.4-kWh one. The 58-kWh and 77.4-kWh models can travel up to 370 kilometres and 475 km, respectively, on a single charge.
Kia also plans to introduce sedans, SUVs and multipurpose vehicles based on the new EV platform for the next seven years.
It plans to beef up its EV lineup with 11 models, including the seven E-GMP-based ones, by 2025.
With its strengthened EV lineup, it aims to achieve a 6.6 percent share of the global battery-powered EV market by 2025 and global annual sales of 500,000 units by 2026.
Kia’s current EV market share is not available as its EV sales accounted for only 1 percent of its overall sales in 2019.
In April, Kia’s bigger affiliate Hyundai Motor Co. launched the IONIQ 5 all-electric model equipped with the E-GMP platform.
Hyundai plans to introduce the IONIQ 6 next year and the IONIQ 7 large SUV in 2024. It will begin using alphanumeric names like its bigger rivals, such as BMW, whose models are named Series No. 1-8.

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GAC, Huawei plan smart electric SUV

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China-based auto firm, GAC Motors has sealed a deal with high-tech giant, Huawei, to produce a smart electric sport utility vehicle.
The GAC Group said its first joint project with Huawei would be a “smart SUV” with mass production targeted by the end of 2023.
GAC Motor aims to produce an entirely electrified lineup of vehicles by 2025.
GAC and Huawei said they planned to produce eight models together.
The medium to large size, pure electric SUV would have Level four autonomous driving capabilities, it added.
“GAC Group embraces and encourages extensive technological innovation in its vehicles, and Huawei is a global leader in many types of technology. This strategic cooperation will allow them to build a new generation of intelligent vehicles and digital platforms,” the pair said in a joint statement.
They also said, “This SUV and multiple other future models will utilise GAC’s GEP.30 chassis platform and Huawei’s computing and communication architecture as well as carrying Huawei’s full stack of intelligent vehicle solutions.”
Since signing a strategic cooperation agreement in 2017, GAC and Huawei have worked together on intelligent connected electric vehicle technology.
In September 2020 in Guangzhou, the two firms signed an agreement to further deepen cooperation, with a focus on computing and communication architecture in accordance with the trend in ‘software-heavy’ vehicles.

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