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NSE: Stocks extend decline by N154bn



NSE: Stocks extend decline by N154bn

Trading activities on the floor of the Nigerian Stock Exchange yesterday witnessed another drop in share prices as bears sustained their grip following sell-off that have pervaded the market.

The local bourse recorded 11 gainers against 24 losers to begin trading on the negative route after independence celebration.

Consequently, the All-Share Index dipped 315.69 basis points or 1.14 per cent to close at 27,314.87 index points as against 27.630.56 recorded the previous trading session while market capitalisation of equities depreciated by N154 billion from N13.450 trillion the previous day to N13.296 trillion as market sentiment remained on the negative territory.

Meanwhile, a turnover of 175.7 million shares exchanged in 3,539 deals was recorded in the day’s trading.

The premium sub-sector was the most active (measured by turnover volume); with 47.5 million shares exchanged by investors in 1,436 deals.

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

Also, the banking sub-sector, boosted by activities in the shares of Fidelity Bank Plc and GTBank Plc, followed with a turnover of 36.2 million shares in 568 deals.

Further analysis of the day’s trading showed that in percentage terms, Neimeth Pharmaceuticals Plc topped the day’s gainers’ table with 10 per cent to close at 44 kobo per share while Continental Reinsurance Plc followed with 9.66 per cent to close at N2.27 per share. ABC Transport Plc added 8.82 per cent to close at 37 kobo per share.

On the flip side, Fidson Healthcare Plc led the losers with a drop of 10 per cent to close at N4.05 per share while Africa Prudential Plc shed 9.97 per cent to close at N3.52 per share.

ETI Plc trailed with 9.94 per cent to close at N7.25 per share.

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Lender shines at 2019 FMDQ Gold awards




tanbic IBTC Holdings PLC, a member of the Standard Bank Group, has won five awards at the 2019 edition of the FMDQ Gold Awards held recently in Lagos.

Stanbic IBTC Bank PLC, a subsidiary of Stanbic IBTC Holdings PLC, emerged the overall winner in the Secondary Market category, winning the “FMDQ Dealing Member of the Year” award, for the second year running. The company also won the award for ‘FMDQ FX Market Liquidity Provider’ of the year.     



Stanbic IBTC Capital Limited, another subsidiary of Stanbic IBTC Holdings, won the “FMDQ Capital Markets Securities Origination” award, thereby emerging the overall winner of the Primary Market category. The company also won the ‘FMDQ Registration Member (Quotations) Award.’



Stanbic IBTC Pension Managers Limited won the “Most Active Buy-side Participant in the Fixed Income Market” award.



Funso Akere, Chief Executive, Stanbic IBTC Capital, said the awards would further spur the company to continue providing excellent services across the financial services spectrum.



He said: “The five awards we have won will have a positive impact on our operations. This means raising the bar in terms of service delivery. It is a challenge to continually create innovative solutions for our clients. As long as we keep delivering innovative solutions to our clients, they will continue to engage us and we will continue to do transactions.”



He further expressed his appreciation to the clients of Stanbic IBTC, stressing that it was because of them that the company was winning awards. Akere also commended the effort of employees of Stanbic IBTC for putting their heart and soul in service delivery to the company’s clients. 



Samuel Ocheho, Head, Global Markets, Nigeria, at Stanbic IBTC Bank PLC described the awards as a testament to the culture of hard work at Stanbic IBTC.



He said: “This signifies that we are a top player in the foreign exchange market and in the secondary market for all money market products. It is a testimony to the hard work that we have been engaged in as an institution.”



The FMDQ Gold Awards, held annually, recognises stakeholders whose participation in the fixed income, foreign exchange and derivatives markets, have supported and fostered growth and development of these markets as well as the Nigerian economy. The inaugural edition was held in 2018.

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EIB boosts female entrepreneurs with $1.1bn




he European Investment Bank (EIB) has announced a $1.1 billion lending programme to help women entrepreneurs on the continent of Africa.


EIB Vice President, Ambroise Fayolle, also revealed that the bank had signed three further agreements to boost sustainable development on the continent.


But the major deal is what the EIB has dubbed SheInvest. The EIB expects the gender-lending initiative to allow women to play a more active role in economies.


“This initiative aims to promote female entrepreneurship,” said Fayolle, noting that female entrepreneurs will also gain business skills from the initiative.



He explained that the financing will promote gender investment related to climate change and is part of broader European engagement to provide targeted support for new investment that supports increased female economic participation in Africa.


The announcement was made at the Africa Investment Forum in Johannesburg, where hundreds of investors, development partners and wealth funds have gathered from November 11 to 13 for the continent’s premier marketplace.


The EIB is the lending arm of the European Union. The EIB has supported investment in Africa for more than 50 years.




Last year, it provided a record 3.3 billion to African countries, with more than half the funds being pumped into the private sector.



As one of the largest providers of climate finance, the investment bank has also struck a deal with Guinea-based telecommunications provider, IPT PowerTech Group, which will see the company abandon fossil fuels for cleaner sources of power such as solar and wind.



Mohamed Al Habbal, Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at IPT PowerTech Group, says the move to renewable sources of energy such as solar power will help the company reduce its carbon footprint. Habbal estimates that thousands jobs will be created as a result of this deal.



A further deal that was signed on the first day of the second Africa Investment Forum, will see African Trade Insurance increase its membership in Western and Southern Africa. This increased insurance coverage is expected to attract more investment to the continent.



In Southern Africa the EIB confirmed a new lending programme to support access to finance by entrepreneurs across Malawi and confirmed a new scheme to finance smallholders in the country to be launched early next year.



Patricia Hamisi, a Senior Manager at Malawi’s FDH Bank, says the money will help the bank enhance its long-term credit to small businesses owned by women. “The agreement comes with technical assistance which will help the bank enhance its trade financing,” said Hamisi.

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Stakeholders fret over insecurity at anchorage area




takeholders have entertained fear that the removal of the Secured Anchorage Area (SAA) by the  Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) may lead to insecurity on Nigerian waters.


SAA is a place where vessels can anchor safely from the threat of pirate attack and it is currently manned by OMS Limited for Nigerian Navy.


However, NPA said that it had become imperative to dislodge the company from manning the area because of the cost of doing business at the seaports and threat to national security.


The authority said that the security of the country’s waterways was the statutory responsibility of the Nigerian Navy, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) and Marine Police, which must all ensure a safe and secure Nigeria territorial waters.



Worried by the decision of NPA, freight forwarders under the umbrella of the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF)  had said that dismantling the SAA might send a wrong signal to shipping companies using the nation’s ports.



Speaking on behalf of the freight forwarders, the President of the association,  Mr Increase Uche, said that government should investigate and take necessary action on SAA.



Uche noted the position of the association was to ensure that nation waters is well secured.



He said:  “It may interest you to know that a container of cargos leaving Nigeria to Europe or even Far East pays less than $1, 000, while import into Nigeria from South Africa costs as much as $2,000. If it is going to Eastern ports in Nigeria it will cost $3,000.



“Do you know why that of the eastern port is high; it is because vessels stayed up to 4 weeks at anchorage before accessing the berth.

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BIS: Cross-border bank claims hit $31trn




Most new lending to NBFIs was directed towards a few financial centres




he Bank for International Settlements (BIS) has released its latest Locational Banking Statistics (LBS), which show  that global cross-border bank claims rose by $365 billion during the second quarter of 2019, to reach $31 trillion by end-June.


According to the BIS, the annual growth rate of global cross-border bank claims, which averaged around zero per cent since the great financial crisis, reached a post-crisis high of six per cent.



Specifically, the data shows the $190 billion expansion in claims on non-banks accounted for more than a half of the overall quarterly increase in global cross-border claims. This, in turn, was mostly driven by claims on Non-Bank Financial Institutions (NBFIs), which increased by $172 billion, resulting in an annual growth rate of 13 per cent.



The figures indicate that majority of this new lending to NBFIs was directed towards a few financial centres, such as the Cayman Islands ($37 billion), the United Kingdom ($34 billion) and Luxembourg ($24 billion).



“The latest increase in lending to NBFIs is part of a longer trend. Over the past five years, cross-border claims on that sector have grown at an average annual pace of 7per cent (compared with 1per cent  for claims on all sectors), reaching $7 trillion at mid-2019. The BIS consolidated banking statistics (CBS) reveal that the surge in lending to NBFIs over the past few years was mainly driven by Canadian, French, Japanese, UK and US banks,” the report stated.



It further stated that claims on borrowers located in advanced economies expanded at a rapid pace, adding that the claims grew at an annual rate of seven per cent, which took their outstanding stock to $21 trillion at end-June 2019.



The BIS said this was primarily driven by claims on the United Kingdom (+$67 billion), France (+$65 billion), and Germany (+$61 billion), noting that by contrast, claims on the United States declined by $30 billion.


Similarly, the bank stated that lending to offshore financial centres (OFCs) remained strong, adding that it grew at six per cent  year over year and stood at $5 trillion as of end-June 2019, mostly to the benefit of NBFIs.



It disclosed that lenders reported large increases in their claims on the Cayman Islands (+$45 billion), Jersey (+$9 billion) and Hong Kong SAR (+$8 billion).



In the same vein, the reported stated that “cross-border claims on emerging market and developing economies rose by $43 billion during Q2 2019. As a result, their annual growth rate increased slightly (from two per cent at end-March to four per cent at end-June), but still remained considerably below its recent peak of nine per cent at end-2017. The outstanding stock stood at $4.1 trillion at end-June 2019.”



The BIS is an international financial institution owned by the world’s central banks which was established, according to the founders, to “foster international monetary and financial cooperation and serve as a bank for central banks.”

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ACI Worldwide extends partnership with Cardtronics




CI Worldwide, a provider of real-time electronic payment and banking solutions, has announced that it is extending its long-term relationship with Automated Teller Machine  (ATM) operator, Cardtronics.


Cardtronics is modernising its offerings for merchants and financial service providers through ACI’s UP Retail Payments solution, an integrated platform for all payment channels, according to a statement.


“As the global consumer financial services industry continues its evolution, we are poised for continued growth, as we not only help our merchant and financial services partners better serve their customers, but also drive more profitability for these partners,” Stuart Mackinnon, CIO and executive vice president of global operations and technology at Cardtronics, said in the release.


“And this growth will be supported by ACI’s flexible and scalable UP Retail Payments solution,” he added.



“Cardtronics has long delivered industry-leading reliability and services to its many thousands of global customers, which are now challenged more than ever to drive innovation and growth,” Ruth Fornell, executive vice president at ACI Worldwide, said in the release.



UP Retail Payments is based on the Universal Payments Framework and built on open service-oriented architecture for robust payments orchestration. The solution delivers 24/7 secure payment capabilities and is currently used by eight of the world’s top 10 banks, according to the release.

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Nigerian soybean oil market value hits N353.1bn




Nigeria has become the largest producer of soya beans in sub-Saharan Africa




alue of Nigerian soybean oil seed in global market reached N353.1billion ($967. 5million) between January 2018 and October 2019.

Currently, the global price of the oil is $450 per tonne as at November 2019.



Already, soybean oil has become the major ingredient in the production of chicken feed across the country as poultry farmers now depend on it to feed their birds.



Data by Index Mundi, a global trade portal, revealed that the country had produced 2.15 million tonnes of the oil seed.



Findings by New Telegraph revealed that the importation of soybeans by Nigeria had come down to zero because of huge investments in production of the beans through the anchor borrower scheme introduced by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).



In 2018, the country produced 1.05million tonnes of the beans, while a total of 1.10million tonnes was produced in the last 10 months from the 1.29 million tonnes production harvested between 2018 and 2019.



The local tonnage of the beans has made the country become the largest producer of the beans in sub-Saharan Africa.



Findings also show that Olam, an agro- business company, emerged as the largest buyer of Nigerian soybean from local farmers and traders.


The company had created an export market for the country’s beans and it accounts for the bulk of soybean export because of the surplus to domestic needs.



Prior to 2016, there was no export market for the bean.  The sudden rise in the local production has led to a crash in its importation.



Data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) revealed that a total of N14.2 billion soybeans were exported in the last one year, following 60 per cent increase in production.


In the past, the country was only able to produce 731,000 tonns between 2015 and 2016.



Before the huge production, statistic by the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA)’s shipping position revealed that the country imported some 825,000 tonnes of the beans from United States between 2015 and 2017 as infant food manufacturers in the country depended on the beans as alternative to cow milk because of its high nutritional value.



In 2017, the country took delivery of some 47, 476 metric tonnes through the Lagos Port Complex in Apapa.



Within the period, MV Noro Shanghai and MV Marina L. berthed with 30,476 metric tonnes and 17,000 metric tonnes of soybeans respectively.



Also, it imported 275,000 tonnes annually in 2015. Between 2014 and 2013 the country imported 121, 000 tonnes and 100,000 tonnes respectively to support local demand.



Meanwhile, the Poultry Association of Nigeria (PAN) had complained that the beans price had skyrocketed and the commodity had disappeared from the market.


It explained that SALMA Oil Mills in Kano, Grand Cereals in Jos, ECWA Feeds in Jos, AFCOT Oil Seed Processors now depended on the commodity for their production.



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US curbs: Huawei to give staff $286m bonus



US curbs: Huawei to give staff $286m bonus

Chinese telecoms giant Huawei Technologies said on Tuesday it will hand out 2 billion yuan ($286 million) in cash rewards to staff working to help it weather a U.S. trade blacklisting.

The world’s largest telecoms equipment provider has said it has been trying to find alternatives to U.S. hardware after the United States all but banned it in May from doing business with American firms, disrupting its ability to source key parts, reports Reuters.

The cash is a mark of recognition for work in the face of U.S. pressure, Huawei’s human resources department said in a notice to staff seen by Reuters. It will also double pay this month for almost all its 190,000 workers, a company spokesman said.

The cash rewards will likely go to research and development teams and those working to shift the company’s supply chains away from the United States, the spokesman said.

Details of Huawei’s plan were first reported by the South China Morning Post on Tuesday.

Many in the U.S. government believe that Huawei’s equipment, particularly its 5G networks, pose a security risk, because of the company’s allegedly close ties to the Chinese government. Huawei has denied the Chinese government plays any role in its operations.

Although granted reprieves from much of the U.S. exclusion, Huawei had been working to find alternatives after it witnessed the crippling effect of U.S. sanctions on its smaller Chinese rival ZTE Corp (000063.SZ) in early 2017.

The company is also the world’s second largest maker of smartphones and a surge in shipments of devices helped it to report a 27% rise in third-quarter revenue last month.

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South African Airways may cut more than 900 jobs



South African Airways may cut more than 900 jobs

South Africa’s struggling state-owned airline South African Airways (SAA) could cut more than 900 jobs as it restructures to stem severe financial losses, the airline said in a statement.

SAA said it had started consultations with its more than 5,000 staff and was talking to labour unions.

The airline has not made an annual profit since 2011 and is grappling with severe funding difficulties and an inefficient and ageing fleet of airplanes, reports Reuters.

South African officials have been searching for an investor to take a stake in the airline, but their efforts have so far been unsuccessful.

“We urgently need to address the ongoing loss-making position that has subsisted over the past years. That is why we are undergoing a restructuring,” said SAA acting-Chief Executive Zuks Ramasia.

“No final decision will be taken until the consultation process is concluded. However, it is estimated that approximately 944 employees may be affected.”

In a dramatic fall from grace over the past decade, SAA has lost its place as Africa’s biggest airline and a symbol of patriotic pride to become a source of frustration for taxpayers.

Analysts have long said its workforce should be cut to bring it in line with regional competitors.

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ICT / e-World

US state attorneys general meet to discuss Google antitrust probe



US state attorneys general meet to discuss Google antitrust probe

State attorneys general are meeting on Monday in Colorado to discuss their probe into whether Google’s business practices break antitrust law, according to two sources knowledgeable about the meeting.

Perhaps about a dozen states were expected to send representatives to the meeting, one of the sources said.

The gathering was expected to be similar to one held in New York in October, where state and federal enforcers from the Justice Department and Federal Trade Commission discussed their probe of Facebook (FB.O), reports Reuters.

The probe of Google, a unit of Alphabet Inc (GOOGL.O), is being led by the Texas attorney general’s office. That office did not respond to a request for comment, and a spokesman for the Colorado attorney general’s office declined comment.

Google had no comment about the meeting in Colorado but pointed to a blog post from September in which an executive, Kent Walker, said that the company has “always worked constructively with regulators and will continue to do so.”

Texas sent the search and advertising giant a subpoena on Sept. 9 asking for information about its online digital advertising business, which generates most of Google’s revenue and where Google is a dominant player.

Google faces two other major inquiries – a U.S. Justice Department investigation and a probe by the House of Representatives Judiciary Committee – both of which have broad reviews of the big internet companies underway.

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Boeing: 737 MAX should resume commercial flights in Jan; shares jump



Boeing: 737 MAX should resume commercial flights in Jan; shares jump

Boeing Co on Monday said it expected U.S. regulators to approve the return to commercial service of its grounded 737 MAX jet in the coming weeks, and its shares jumped as investors grew more hopeful the planemaker had addressed software problems at the heart of two fatal crashes.

Boeing said it expected the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to issue an order approving the plane’s return to service next month, but added it now expected commercial service to resume in January. Boeing shares rose 5% on the company’s outlook.

As recently as last week, Boeing said it expected flights could resume by the end of December. On Monday, the company said it was possible that resumption of MAX deliveries to airline customers could begin in December but said getting approval for training changes would take more time, reports Reuters.

American Airlines and Southwest Airlines said Friday they were pushing back resumption of 737 MAX flights until early March. Major airlines have said they will need at least a month to complete training and install revised software before flights can resume.

“We expect the Max to be certified, airworthiness directive issued, ungrounded in mid-December. We expect pilot training requirements to be approved in January,” said Boeing spokesman Gordon Johndroe.

He added that “our airline customers will need more time to return their fleets to service and to train all 737 pilots, therefore they have announced schedule updates into March.”

The FAA reiterated that the agency has “set no timeframe for when the work will be completed.”

Last week, Reuters reported that U.S. and European regulators had not been able to complete a software documentation audit because of significant gaps and substandard documents. The FAA must complete that audit before a key certification test flight can be scheduled.

“We are taking the time to answer all of their questions,” Boeing said Monday. “We’re providing detailed documentation, had them fly in the simulators, and helped them understand our logic and the design for the new procedures, software and proposed training material to ensure that they are completely satisfied as to the airplane’s safety.”

Boeing also said it has completed one of five milestones needed: a multi-day eCab simulator evaluation with the FAA to ensure the software system performs as intended even if there is a system failure.

On Friday, the FAA told U.S. lawmakers a preliminary review by a blue-ribbon panel found Boeing’s design changes to a key safety system to be safe and compliant with regulations.

The next step will be a multi-day simulator session with airline pilots from the around the world.

The FAA said previously it will need 30 days from the time of the certification flight before it could unground the plane and flights could resume.

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