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NSE extends decline by N80bn

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NSE extends decline by N80bn

LOW CONFIDENCE

Airtel Africa Plc led losers with a drop of 10 per cent to close at N283.50 per share

 

Trading activities on the floor of the Nigerian Stock Exchange yesterday witnessed another drop in share prices as bears sustained grip on the local bourse following the sell-off that has pervaded the stock market. The local bourse recorded 22 gainers against 15 losers.

 

Consequently, the All-Share Index dipped 67.55 basis points or 0.6 per cent to close at 27,407.04 index points as against 27.574.32 recorded the previous day while market capitalisation of equities depreciated by N80 billion from N13.421 trillion the previous day to N13.341 trillion as market sentiment remained on the negative territory. Meanwhile, a turnover of198 million shares exchanged in 3,830 deals was recorded in the day’s trading.

 

The premium sub-sector was the most active (measured by turnover volume); with 105.2 million shares exchanged by investors in 1,539 deals. Volume in the sub-sector was largely driven by activities in the shares of Access Bank Plc and Zenith Bank Plc.

 

 

Also, the banking sub-sector, boosted by activities in the shares of Sterling Bank Plc and Ecobank Plc, followed with a turnover of 30.3 million shares in 535 deals. Further analysis of the day’s trading showed that in percentage terms, NEM Insurance Plc topped the day’s gainers’ table with 9.74 per cent to close at N2.14 per share while Livestock Feeds Nigeria Plc followed with 9.52 per cent to close at 46 kobo per share. PZ Cussons Plc added 9.32 per cent to close at N6.45 per share.

 

On the flip side, Airtel Africa Plc led the losers with a drop of 10 per cent to close at N283.50 per share while UACProperty Plc shed 9.55 per cent to close at N1.42 per share. NCR Plc trailed with 9.09 per cent to close at N4.50 per share.

 

 

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Business

SON arraigns businessman for importing 13 containers of substandard cables

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SON arraigns businessman for importing 13 containers of substandard cables

A businessman, Ifeanyi Okoli, was on Wednesday arraigned by the Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON) at a Federal High Court in Lagos for allegedly importing 120,000 brands of substandard electric cables in 13 containers into the country.

Okoli was docked alongside a firm, Natures Breeze Ltd, before Justice Nicholas Oweibo on a three-count charge of conspiracy and importation of substandard goods. He, however, denied the alleged offence.

Afterwards, Okoli’s lawyer prayed the court to grant him a short adjournment so that he can bring his client’s bail application.

He also prayed the court to remand Okoli in police custody, pending a date to hear his bail application.

In the absence of any opposition from SON’s lawyer, Babatunde Alajogun, Justice Oweibo granted the defendant’s prayer and directed him to bring his bail application before February 28, 2020 when further hearing in the matter will resume.

Alajogun had earlier told the court both defendants conspired to import “about 120,000 different brands of substandard electric cables in 13 containers which did not comply with the Standards Organisation of Nigeria Mandatory Industrial Standard before importation”.

He further disclosed that Okoli, 34, of No 5, Igbeyin Adun Street, Shibiri, Lagos, and Natures Breeze of the same address, committed the offence on or about October 31, 2019 and at the latter’s warehouse.

The offences, Alajogun added, contravened Section 516 of the Criminal Code Act, 2004.

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Aviation

SAfrican Airways workers to go on strike Friday

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SAfrican Airways workers to go on strike Friday

Cabin crew and other workers at South African Airways (SAA) will go on strike on Friday over the struggling state airline’s plan to cut more than 900 jobs, unions said on Wednesday.

“We are left with no choice but to resort to this drastic action by withdrawing our labour and going on strike,” Zazi Nsibanyoni-Anyiam, president of the South African Cabin Crew Association, told a joint press briefing with the National Union of Metal Workers of South Africa (NUMSA), reports Reuters.

The strike would continue indefinitely, the unions said.

SAA said on Tuesday it could cut more than 900 jobs as it restructures to stem severe financial losses.

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Energy

Energy theft: KEDCO collaborates with Ministry of Justic

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Energy theft: KEDCO collaborates with Ministry of Justic

The Kano Electricity Distribution Company (KEDCO), has in collaboration with Federal Ministry of Justice, established a Special Investigation and Prosecution Task Force on Electricity Offenders (SIPTEO) to bring to book all offenders of various kinds.

This, according to the Managing Director of the Company, Mr Jamilu Isiyaku Gwamna, follows sabotage of the power sector reforms and operations of the company in Kano, Katsina and Jigawa states.

He said: “In view of these the management herewith uses this medium to inform the general public particularly those who are still in the business of vandalism, energy theft and meter by-pass and other unlawful acts to desist from such as there now exists a proper legal framework that will ensure that their next illegal act may become their last, as the laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria will catch up with them.”

The Managing Director said all members of the taskforce have concluded a special training in line with global best practices to handle issues relating to power sector sabotage of any kind.

The members of the taskforce comprise KEDCO staff, security personnel and lawyers from the Federal Ministry of Justice.

“It is a well-balanced taskforce that will run all electricity offenders out of business and put them in their proper place according to the dictate of the laws,” he warned.

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CBN sold CNY512.43m in H1’19

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CBN sold CNY512.43m in H1’19

Initiative

Apex bank flagged off Yuan sales on July 20, 2018

 

T

he Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) sold a total of 512.43million Chinese Yuan (CNY) in the first half of this year, latest data released by the apex bank shows.

 

According to the CBN’s “Half Year Activity Report 2019” posted on its website yesterday, the 512.43million Renminbi (Yuan) was sold during a total of 13 auctions conducted by the regulator during the review period.

 

The report said: “During the review period, the bank continued with the implementation of the Bi-lateral Currency Swap Agreement with the People’s Bank of China through bi-weekly Renminbi auctions, which commenced in July, 2018.

 

“In the review period, 13 auctions were conducted and Renminbi worth CNY512.43 million were sold from the drawdown of CNY1.00 billion. A total of Renminbi worth CNY669.66 million was sold through 12 auctions conducted from July to December 2018, from the same initial draw down of CNY1.00 billion.”

 

This means that between July 2018 and June 2019, the CBN sold a total of CNY1.2billion to stabilise forex demand.

 

The CBN had on July 20, 2018 commenced its intervention in the sale of forex in CNY, thereby flagging off the consummation of the Bilateral Currency Swap Agreement (BCSA).

 

The currency swap agreement allows importers of goods from China to conclude their transactions in the Chinese currency, the Renminbi (Yuan), instead of the dollar, thus easing the demand for the greenback in the forex market.

 

Meanwhile, the CBN disclosed in the report that “the first half of 2019 recorded an overall reduction in foreign exchange demand pressure, as well as moderation in exchange rate volatility compared with the corresponding period in 2018.”

 

Specifically, the apex bank said it sold  a total of $8.28billion at the foreign exchange market in the review period,  comprising: “$2,142.63 million at the Inter-bank spot, $550.70 million for Invisibles, $810.00 million for SMEs, $212.11 million at the I&E window and $4,572.03 million as Forwards sales.

 

 

“The increased sales at the inter-bank spot market in 2019 were attributable to the bank’s foreign exchange management strategy of sustaining liquidity and maintaining exchange rate stability,” the report added.

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Business

NSE advances, records N69bn gain

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NSE advances, records N69bn gain

T

he bulls maintained grip on market activities yesterday as stocks sustained rally for the second trading session following gains recorded mainly by blue chip stocks.

 

 

The key market performance measures, the NSE All Share Index and market capitalisation, rose by 0.54 per cent as market sentiments extended gaining streaks following investors’ sustained optimism on undervalued stocks.

 

 

Consequently, the All-Share Index gained 141.9 basis points or 0.54 per cent to close at 26.456.39 as against 26.314.49 recorded the previous day while the market capitalisation of equities appreciated by N69 billion or 054 per cent to close at N12.878 trillion from N12.809 trillion as market sentiment remained on the green zone.

 

Meanwhile, a turnover of 378.3 million shares exchanged in 4,798 deals was recorded in the day’s trading.

 

 

The premium sub-sector was the most active (measured by turnover volume); with 198.7 million shares exchanged by investors in 2,186 deals.

 

 

Volume in the sub-sector was largely driven by activities in the shares of Zenith Bank Plc and Access Bank Plc.

 

 

The banking sub-sector boosted by activities in the shares of GTB Plc and Fidelity Bank Plc followed with a turnover of 65.8 million shares in 572 deals.

 

 

The number of gainers at the close of trading session was 18 while decliners closed at 11.

 

 

CCNN  Plc led the gainers’ table with a gain of 9.14 per cent to close at N19.10 per share while Union Dicon Plc followed with a gain of 9.09 per cent to close at 24 kobo per share. Cornerstone Insurance Plc added 8.16 per cent to close at 53 kobo per share.

 

 

On the other hand, Ikeja Hotel Plc led the price losers’ table, dropping 9.28 per cent to close at 88 kobo per share. Courtville Business Solutions Plc followed with 8.70 per cent to close at 21 kobo per share while Wapco Plc trailed with a loss of 3.74 per cent to close at N14.15 per share.

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Business

AG Leventis reports N904m loss in 9 months

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AG Leventis reports N904m loss in 9 months

A

G. Leventis (Nigeria) Plc has posted a loss after tax of N904.258 million for the nine months ended September 30, 2019 as against a loss of N574.361 million reported in 2018.

 

Loss before tax stood at N1.329 billion from N844.648 million posted in 2018. The group’s revenue declined by 33.24 per cent from N8.210 billion in 2018 to N5.481 billion reported in 2019.

 

 

Cost of sales stood at N4.260 billion in 2019 as against N6.274 billion posted in 2018.

The group had sustained loss position during half year ended June 30, 2019 with a total compressive loss  for the year of N282.292 million as against N545.904 million reported in 2018.

 

Loss before tax stood at N415.136 million from N802.800 million in 2018 while cost of sales was N3.033 billion as against N5.423 billion posted in 2018.

 

Revenue during the period under review  by 42.75 per cent to N3.960 billion as against N6.918 billion reported in 2018.

 

Chairman, AG Leventis, Ahmed Kazalma Mantey, speaking at the group’s 59th Annual General Meeting (AGM), said: “The effect of the recession in our economy continued to impact adversely on our operations as there was a reduction in credit opportunities which in turn affected our income.

 

“This harsh environment along with the continued lag in infrastructure especially power and road network added to our cost of doing business. Nevertheless, we strove to ensure that we continued to develop our business as much as possible.”

 

AG. Leventis Nigeria recently notified the Nigerian Stock Exchange that Boval S.A, acting on behalf of itself, Leventis Holding S.A., and Leventis Overseas Limited, haf approached the board of directors of the company with an intention to acquire the shares held by other shareholders at an offer price of 53 kobo per share and subsequently delist the company from the exchange.

 

The offer price of 53 kobo, according to a statement signed by Bola Adebisi (Ms.), Company Secretary/Legal Adviser, represents a premium of 85 per cent to the 60-day volume weighted average share price and 104 per cent to the company’s closing share price on 23 September 2019.

 

 

The proposed transaction will be implemented under a scheme of arrangement in line with section 539 of the Companies and Allied Matters Act, Cap C.20 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.

 

“The proposed transaction is still subject to the review and clearance of the Nigerian Stock Exchange and the Securities and Exchange Commission as well as the approval of the shareholders of the company.

 

 

“The terms and conditions of the proposed transaction will be provided in the Scheme Document which will be dispatched to all shareholders following the receipt of the “no-objection” of the regulators and an order from the Federal Hiqh Court to convene a Court-Ordered Meeting.

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ICDs: Excellent initiative but dead on arrival

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ICDs: Excellent initiative but dead on arrival

The Inland Container Depot (ICD) in Kaduna, commissioned last year to facilitate import, export of raw materials and equipment for importers in northern states and landlocked countries, has failed like others that never moved beyond their foundations, BAYO AKOMOLAFE reports

 

 

T

here was jubilation among shippers in 2006 when the dry port or Inland Container Depot (ICD) concept was introduced by the Federal Government.

 

 

Dry port model has gained widespread importance in international transportation as a result of container revolution and introduction of door-to-door delivery of cargo.

 

 

Dry port

 

Inland Container Depot is the equivalent of a seaport located in the hinterland and receives containers by rail from the seaports for examination and clearance by customs.

 

The Federal Government, while conceiving the idea had said that the dry port would bring cargo clearance nearer to land locked states and countries.

 

However, 13 years after, the dry port projects located across six states in the country are still facing some challenges due to inabilities of the concessionaires and government to put them into use.

 

Some of the dry ports were concessioned by the Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC) in 2006 under the Build, Own, Operate and Transfer (BOOT) agreement to six companies.

 

 

Presently, the country has six non-functional ICDs located in IsialaNgwa, Aba;  Erunmu, Ibadan;  Heipang, Jos; Zawachiki, Kano; Zamfarawa, Funtua and Jauri, Maiduguri. They have all been idle since 2006 but for Kaduna, which was commissioned by the Federal Government but still came to a sudden halt.

 

 

In 2006,  Duncan Maritime Services Limited was commissioned to build one in Jos;  Eastgate Inland Container Terminal Limited, Isiala Ngwa;  Dala Inland Dry Port,  Kano ; Migfo Nigeria Limited,  Maiduguri ; Catamaran Logistics Limited, Erunmu at Ibadan  and Equatorial Marine Oil & Gas Limited,  Funtua (Kaduna).

 

Complaints

 

Worried by the low spate of development of the ICDs, the Executive Secretary of Nigerian Shippers Council, Barrister Hassan Bello, had warned the concessionaires in 2016 that government would cancel their licences if they fail to show some level of commitment in the development of the depots.

 

However, the concessionaires blamed their non-performance on their financiers and technical partners, who were reluctant to support the projects because of security challenges in some states.

 

Also, they complained that some of the host governments had not been able to meet their obligations in the agreements they had with them.

 

Outstanding

 

 

Nevertheless, only the one operated by the Inland Container Nigeria Limited (ICNL) at Kaduna commenced operation in January, 2018. The dry port was commissioned by President Mohammadu Buhari to bring trade facilitation nearer to interior importers and the land locked countries.

 

 

As soon it was inaugurated, the president warned Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) and port officials against frustrating business, commercial and industrial enterprises at ICD with unnecessary bureaucracy.

 

 

One year after the warning, the dry port has been abandoned by importers, northern state governments, shipping lines and Niger Republic over non- recognition as port of destination.

 

Dilemma

 

 

Justifying why the port was abandoned and persistence examination of transit cargoes to the ICD by the NCS, the Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN) explained recently that the Kaduna Inland Dry Port (KIDP) and other dry ports were yet to be approved as port of destination by the Federal Government.

 

 

Challenge

 

 

For instance, the council said that it would constitute a security risk for cargoes to be moved out of the seaports directly to Kaduna without checks by customs irrespective of the owners of the cargo.

 

 

The Chairman of Research and International Liaison of CRFFN, Mr. Increase Uche, who is also the National President of National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF),observed that inland container depots  in the country were not being patronised, despite the fact that they were established to reduce the pressure on port terminals.

 

 

He noted:  “Today, there is no ICD that has been approved as a destination port in the country.

 

 

According to him, Kaduna ICD had not got the approval of web results of the International Federation of Freight Forwarders Associations (FIATA), which is the umbrella of freight forwarding globally and the International Maritime Organisation (IMO).

 

 

He noted: “We are yet to carry out the relevant moves that would enable them identify Kaduna ICD as a destination port. Now, any cargo meant for the ICD that lands at our port, ordinarily cargoes landed from the vessels need to undergo pre-scanning.”

 

 

Also, the National President, Association of Nigeria Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA), Mr Tony Iju Nwabunike, explained at a round table forum recently in Lagos that stakeholders, who were supposed to make the place viable did not understand the principles of dry port in the country.

 

 

He said that the dry port lacked adequate logistics to move t cargoes.

 

Issue

 

According to him, the KIDP was made a port of destination operated with True Bill of Laden (TBL) just like the Apapa seaport and any other port.

 

However, the national president noted that the TBL was the source of problems for dry port, stressing that shipping lines that are supposed to give importers TBL were not doing it.

 

 

Nwabunike stressed that the shipping lines had failed to issue the TBL because they did not have logistics to transport cargoes from Apapa port to the hinterland.

 

He noted: “The shipping lines do not have the capacity to get the trucks, there are no locomotives and wagons from Nigerian Railway Corporation, so these have become the bane.”

 

Foreign shipping companies are expected to charge importers freight rates and deliver their cargoes to the final port of destination.

 

Last line

 

The way the ICDs were planned from the beginning appeared like projects that were doomed to fail as the rail system that was supposed to be a vital part of the project was never revitalized nor new rail tracks put in place.

 

 

However, considering the fact that government is currently working zealously to improve on the country’s rail system, it is advisable that stakeholders in the maritime sector begin a widened collaboration with relevant bodies to factor in the ICD project, which fortunately had already started even though they have not been functional.

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Business

Mobilising domestic savings for infrastructure devt

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Mobilising domestic savings for infrastructure devt

The growing financing need for Nigeria’s infrastructure development requires urgent mobilisation of domestic savings. Chris Ugwu writes

 

 

W

orld over, infrastructure contributes to economic development by increasing productivity and providing amenities, which enhance the quality of life. The services generated as a result of adequate infrastructure translate to an increase in aggregate output.

 

 

However, investment in infrastructure, such as transportation (roads), electricity and water, is intermediate inputs to production because infrastructure services tend to raise productivity of other factors as it is often described as the ‘unpaid factor of production.’

 

 

Although, Nigerian capital market has suffered monumental losses due to sustained decline in stock prices, the country’s huge infrastructural deficit in power, housing, roads, healthcare, port services among others has contributed to a large extent in retarding the overall growth and development of the sector, which is central to capital formation.

 

 

The importance of a strong and viable domestic savings and bonds market as alternative sources of finance in emerging economies has been affirmed by the success it enjoys in countries such as Brazil, India and China.

 

 

With government’s economic reforms running at full throttle, prospects are high for sustained mobilisation of domestic savings, foreign capital and development of the Nigerian bond market as viable tool for financing Nigeria’s infrastructure development. This is even more apt as the country just wriggled out of recession.

 

 

Meanwhile, against this backdrop of the comatose state of infrastructure, government and stock market operators last week stressed the need to mobilise domestic savings and foreign capital for development of infrastructure.

 

This is because since the banking sources have not adequately meet the growing financing needs in Nigeria’s infrastructure, there is need to bridge the gap through these sources to achieve the desired growth.

 

 

Clamour for domestic savings

 

 

The Federal Government recently stressed the need for mobilisation of domestic savings and foreign capital to finance the country’s needs for infrastructure, agriculture, housing SMEs and other services.

 

Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, stated this last week in a keynote address delivered at the 2019 FMDQ Nigerian Capital Markets Conference in Lagos.

 

Osinbajo, represented by Ms. Mary Uduk, acting Director-General, Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), said that the country needed to mobilise more funds to address its needs.

 

He said that Nigeria as a country required more capital to grow, develop and attain its potential.

 

“We need to mobilise domestic savings and capital as well as attract the necessary foreign capital to finance our needs in the areas of infrastructure, agriculture, mining, industry, housing, SMEs, information and communication technology, transportation and other services,” he said.

 

The vice president said that the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari was doing everything possible to close the gap in infrastructure deficit.

 

 

He explained that this was being done through direct expenditure and also by incentives given to private investors, domestic and foreign, to invest in the critical sectors of the economy.

 

 

“The Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) (2017-2020) has a major objective of building a globally competitive economy through investment in infrastructure, improvement in business environment and promotion of digital-led growth.

 

 

“No doubt, this objective requires fresh and adequate capital. This approach to diversifying our sources of capital has assisted in making our country a destination of capital and further deepening our capital market.

 

 

“Private issuers are also encouraged to issue these instruments, leaning on the success recorded by the Federal Government. The secondary markets of some of these instruments are also getting more liquid as observed on the exchanges,” Osinbajo added.

 

 

He said that government had increased allocation to capital projects in annual budget to boost infrastructure development.

 

 

“For instance, we have been allocating, on the average, close to 30 per cent of our expenditure to capital projects. We are proposing about 21 per cent of the N10.33 trillion of the 2020 budget as capital expenditure,” he stated.

 

 

Speaking on some of government’s plan for 2020, Osinbajo said that the Federal Government would sustain growth and ensure creation of more jobs in 2020.

 

 

“However, we recognise that government alone cannot muster and deploy enough resources that are necessary for Nigeria’s development. This is due to competing and rising needs as well as challenges in revenue sources and collection,” he said.

 

 

Earlier, in her opening address, Uduk said that the Capital Market Master Plan (2015-2025) was launched to transform the Nigerian capital market to make it more competitive, while contributing its quota to developing the nation through funds mobilisation.

 

She said that the plan was hinged on four strategic themes, namely; Contribution to National Economy, Competitiveness, Market Structure and Regulation & Oversight.

 

 

Uduk said that SEC in partnership with the market had worked on initiatives that simplified the process of raising capital and reduced time to market in contributing to the national economy.

 

 

“The recent efforts towards developing the Nigerian commodities ecosystem and the Fintech space are also important contributions to the Nigerian economy.

 

 

“In order to enhance market competitiveness, the minimum capital requirements for capital market operators were raised, transaction costs have been reduced for both equities and fixed income segment of the market, a robust complaint management framework was introduced and various other initiatives are being implemented to enhance liquidity.

 

 

“Towards improving the market structure, minimum operating standards for all market operators have been implemented.

 

 

“Some of the ongoing initiatives such as the e-dividend, multiple subscription, direct cash settlement and electronic distribution of companies’ annual reports are geared towards achieving an innovative market structure,” she said.

 

 

Government’s efforts on domestic savings

 

 

In order to boost financial inclusion, the Federal Government took a step further by introducing savings bond to encourage retail investors.

 

 

The first issue of the sovereign savings bond opened on Monday, March 13, 2017 and closed on Friday, March 17, 2017. At the first issue, a total of N2.068 billion was allotted via 2,575 successful subscriptions.

The Debt Management Office (DMO) accredited 87 stockbroking firms of the Nigerian Stock Exchange to market and distributed the savings bond.

 

 

Last month, the Federal Government also offered for subscription two-year savings bond at 11.244 per cent and three-year savings bond at 12.244 per cent per annum, DMO said.

 

According to the offer circular obtained from the DMO website, the two-year bond will be due in October 2021 while the three-year bond will be due in October 2022.

 

 

It, however, did not state how much was offered, but added that the maximum subscription was N50 million at N1,000 per unit, subject to minimum subscription of N5,000 and in multiples of N1,000.

 

 

The savings bond issuance is expected to help finance the nation’s budget deficit.

 

 

It is also part of Federal Government’s programme targeted at low income earners,  to encourage savings and also earn more income (interest), compared to their savings accounts with banks.

 

Backed by the full faith and credit of the Federal Government of Nigeria, the bond, among several objectives, is purposed to deepen the national savings culture, provide opportunity to all citizens irrespective of income level to contribute to national development, enable all citizens participate in and benefit from the favorable returns available in the capital market and more importantly diversify funding sources for the government.

 

 

The savings bond put Nigeria in the league of sovereigns like Sweden, Thailand, Slovenia, Indonesia, United States, and United Kingdom with savings bonds.

 

 

Benefits of savings bond

 

 

A former Executive Director, Capital Market Division of NSE, Mr. Haruna Jalo-Waziri, said: “NSE retail bond market was launched in 2012 with the aim of providing retail investors access to high quality debt instruments, as well as afford them portfolio diversification opportunities in an efficient and reliable way.

 

 

“The launch of the Federal Government National Savings Bonds is consistent with the NSE’s commitment to grow domestic investor participation in the Nigerian capital market, and it is our pleasure to have worked with the DMO and the dealing member community to deliver yet another innovative product that will foster financial inclusion in Nigeria.

 

 

“After the offer closes, the bond will be listed on the NSE and can be traded on our retail bonds market. DMO accredited distribution agents and the government broker will provide liquidity by continuously making two-way quotes throughout the trading session”

 

“With an estimated population in excess of 150 million, if the targeted audience successfully offtake this product, we shall be seeing yet another paradigm shift where ordinary Nigerians irrespective of their income levels can pool resources to boost government’s effort to mobilize domestic capital required to fund priority sectors of the economy and ultimately serve as a catalyst for economic growth.

 

 

“The launch of this savings bond offer is coming on the back of recent innovative capital market instruments deployed by the Federal Government, having listed the first FX denominated bonds, Eurobond on local bourses,” he said.

 

 

Last line

 

 

The growth of investment business in any nation largely depends on economic development hence the need for the authorities to intensify efforts on infrastructural development to enhance citizens’ standard of living.

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Oil and gas investors lose N91bn in stocks

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Oil and gas investors lose N91bn in stocks

 

APATHY

Escalation in trade dispute between the US and China has set off warning signals for oil-producing countries like Nigeria

 

 

S

hareholders in oil and gas companies quoted on the main board of the nation’s stock market recorded a loss of about N91.409 billion in 10 months (between January and October 2019) following sell offs that have persisted in equity market.

 

 

Available statistics show that the oil and gas sub-sector recorded a loss of N91.409 billion or 34.26 per cent to close at N175.354 billion in market capitalisation on October  31, 2019 as against opening figure of N266.763 billion at the beginning of trading on January 2.

 

 

The sub-sector has continued to witness persistent sell pressure as the price of crude dropped following upset in financial sector and increasing trade dispute between the U.S and China.

 

 

Reacting to the development, senior analyst at FXTM, Lukman Otunuga, said that another escalation in the trade dispute had punished crude oil prices and set off warning signals for oil-producing countries like Nigeria.

 

 

He noted that at the same time, Nigeria’s GDP slowed down to 1.94 per cent in the second quarter from 2.1 per cent in the first quarter, following the trend seen in several economies such as Germany and the UK.

 

 

“It is becoming quite clear that as long as oil dependence remains one of Nigeria’s biggest risks, this will continue weighing heavily on the economy for the rest of 2019. While the GDP data should nudge the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to cut interest rates for the second time this year in September in an effort to stimulate growth, this is a temporary fix to a bigger problem

 

 

“Persistent trade dispute between the world’s two largest economies is set to fuel fears over a global slowdown or even recession. Oil prices declined on the basis that a decelerating global growth may result in lower demand for the commodity Nigeria relies on for 90 per cent of its export earnings.

 

 

“In the context of a trade dispute, tariffs are like bombs exploding on trading relationships, supply deals and eventually on company profits.

 

 

“Trade tensions also remain a direct threat to Nigeria’s economy. The risk factors are escalating along with the probability that the world may see an economic slowdown in the short-to-medium term.

 

 

“Under the current circumstances, there are three main challenges Nigeria must navigate. They are China’s slowdown, lower oil prices, and the need for fast and adaptive monetary policy to handle local and external shocks.

 

 

“The prospect of high debt levels to China amid lower oil prices is something that must not be overlooked.

 

 

“At the time of writing, Oil benchmarks come under continuous pressure from demand-side concerns, including recession fears stemming from trade disputes.

 

 

“The money from Oil sales is the lifeblood of the Nigerian economy. In the worst-case scenario, if Oil prices start drifting lower there could be unwelcome consequences such as even slower GDP growth, job losses, sovereign debt defaults, less money in the fiscal budget for development, and constrained consumer spending.

 

 

“Reduced crude Oil sales would affect government revenues and reserves, meaning the capacity to fund projects will be weakened. Stock markets together with investor sentiment domestically and externally would be impacted and possibly even trigger capital outflows,” he said.

 

 

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AfDB, Reuters foundation partner on workshop

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AfDB, Reuters foundation partner on workshop

T

he African Development Bank (AfDB), in collaboration with the Thomson Reuters Foundation, at the weekend, hosted the second edition of its reporting workshop for African journalists  in Pretoria.

 

 

“Let’s work together in creative ways to ensure accountability in our countries, and build a new Africa for future generations,” Victor Oladokun, the bank’s Director of Communication and External Relations, said in a presentation at the programme.

 

“Permit me to say it is not all doom and gloom. Together, we need to tell the stories of some of the positive developments taking place on our continent and of a resurgent Africa,” Oladokun told participants.

 

 

The workshop was attended by journalists from 21 southern and eastern African countries.  The programme offered them specialised reporting knowledge and skills focusing on impact development placing people at the center of the continent’s development narrative.

 

 

The three-day programme delivers on a pledge that AfDB President Akinwumi Adesina made at the bank’s annual meetings last year in Busan, South Korea, where he promised to provide development training to journalists.

 

 

As part of the rigorous course, trainees visited Ekurhuleni East TVET College in Germiston, Gauteng Province, where the bank‘s support has impacted 200 students, instructors and Small Medium and Micro Enterprise (SMMEs) in the local community. This has led to improved performance of students and productivity for SMMEs.

 

 

The AfDB’s High 5 priorities sharpen the focus and adapt the global agenda and the Paris Climate Agreement to the Agenda 2063 for Africa developed by the African Union.

 

 

The High 5s target inclusive growth and a transition to green growth through five priorities to improve the quality of life for the people of Africa.

 

 

The Thomson Reuters Foundation promotes impartial, independent evidence-based reporting.

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