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South African Rand Strengthened, Leading Gains Among Major

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South African Rand - Investors King

South African rand strengthened, leading gains among major and emerging-market currencies, and stocks and bonds rallied after South African President Jacob Zuma backtracked on this decision to appoint a little-known former small-town mayor as finance minister.

The currency advanced as much as 6.5 percent, the most since October 2008, after Zuma late on Sunday reappointed Pravin Gordhan to oversee the National Treasury. Yields on benchmark bonds fell from seven-year highs.

The 73-year-old leader roiled South African assets and sparked outrage on Dec. 9, when he fired Nhlanhla Nene and replaced him with lawmaker David van Rooyen. Gordhan, 66, was finance minister from 2009 to May 2014, when he was replaced by Nene, who until then was his deputy. Gordhan steered the economy through the first recession in 17 years, while fending off pressure from labor unions to increase spending.

“The markets will welcome back Gordhan,” John Cairns, a currency strategist at FirstRand Ltd.’s Rand Merchant Bank in Johannesburg, said in an e-mailed note. “He is a known entity, is his own man and did well when in the post previously. But it is certainly unreasonable to expect all of last week’s losses to be reversed. A huge amount of uncertainty has been created in the past few days.”

Market Moves

The rand gained 5.3 percent to 15.0959 per dollar at 10:16 a.m. in Johannesburg on Monday after falling to as much as 16.0543 on Friday, an all-time low. Yields on rand-denominated bonds due December 2026 declined 106 basis points to 9.29 percent. Rates on the securities last week jumped the most on record, while the currency sank almost 10 percent against the greenback.

South Africa’s benchmark stock index rallied as much as 2.2 percent, before paring gains to trade 0.8 percent up at 48,433.16. The gauge posted its worst week in a year in the five days through Friday, sliding into a so-called correction. The FTSE/JSE Africa Banks Index jumped the most since September 2001, adding 14 percent with FirstRand Ltd., RMB Holdings Ltd. and Barclays Africa Group Ltd. leading advances.

On Sunday, Zuma said “after receiving many representations to reconsider my decision” that Van Rooyen will instead head the cooperative governance ministry, under which local governments fall. Gordhan will ensure “adherence to the set expenditure ceiling while maintaining a stable trajectory of our debt portfolio, as set out in the February 2015 budget,” Zuma said in a statement.

Shock Appointment

The appointment of Van Rooyen followed less than a week after Fitch Ratings Ltd. downgraded the country’s debt to BBB-, the lowest investment-grade level, and Standard and Poor’s lowered its outlook to negative, putting Africa’s most-industrialized nation on course for junk status.

“Markets should rally back very strongly but I would not expect a total retracement with a permanent loss of trust in leadership even if we are in a better place,” Peter Attard Montalto, a London-based senior economist and strategist at Nomura International Plc, said in a note. “Better levels will also give people an opportunity, and liquidity, to exit in a way that wasn’t possible in the second half of last week.”

Bloomberg

Is the CEO/Founder of Investors King Limited. A proven foreign exchange research analyst and a published author on Yahoo Finance, Nasdaq, Entrepreneur.com, Investorplace, and many more. He has over two decades of experience in global financial markets.

Finance

Emefiele Meets President Buhari, Hinted on Revisiting Naira Withdrawal Limit

The House of Representatives has invited the CBN governor to brief the house about the new policy. 

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enaira wallet

The CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, stated yesterday that the apex bank would consider reviewing the new weekly cash withdrawal limits of N100,000 and N500,000 for individuals and corporate bank customers, while also clarifying that the new policy which will take effect from January 2023 is not targetted at any individual. 

Investors King had earlier reported that the House of Representatives has invited the CBN governor to brief the house about the new policy. 

During the plenary session yesterday, several lawmakers positioned that the new withdrawal policy is capable to hurt the economy, especially some Nigerians who still rely on cash transactions. 

Similarly, the Association of Mobile Money Operators of Nigerians argued that the policy is capable to get them out of business.

While speaking to journalists after a close-door meeting with President Buhari, Emefiele assured that the apex bank would not be rigid on the policy as it was not meant to hurt anybody but to strengthen the nation’s economy.

In addition, the CBN governor added that more than N1 trillion worth of old notes had been deposited to various commercial banks across the county by bank customers while adding that the CBN has distributed the new N200, N500, and N1,000 notes to banks for disbursement to their customers, ahead of the December 15, earlier scheduled for circulation of the new notes. 

It could be recalled that the Central Bank of Nigeria disclosed that naira redesign will help to address some prevailing fiscal issues which include excessive circulation of naira notes, counterfeiting, and terrorism. 

Emefiele explained that countries that have embraced digitization have gone cashless. He revealed that the president was happy with the policy 

“President Buhari was happy and said, we should carry on with our work, no need to fear, no need to bother about anybody,” he said. 

He said that the new policy of the apex bank was for the good and development of the Nigerian economy, adding, “We can only continue to appeal to Nigerians to please see this policy the way we have presented it”. 

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Finance

NNPC to Spend N1 Trillion on Road Projects Across Nigeria

NNPC release a sum of N621 billion to revamp selected roads across Nigeria through the Federal Government road infrastructure tax credit scheme.

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Mele Kyari - Investors King

The Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited stated that it has provided an additional N1 trillion to fund road projects across Nigeria.

This was disclosed by NNPC Chief Executive Officer, Mele Kyari in Lagos yesterday.

Investors King learnt that this new development is coming after NNPC release a sum of N621 billion to revamp selected roads across Nigeria through the Federal Government road infrastructure tax credit scheme.

It could be recalled that President Buhari had signed Executive Order 007 which allows companies and corporations to embark on public infrastructure projects as a Tax Credit against Future Income Tax. 

Speaking during a tour of roads in the North-central and South-west, along with the Chief Executive of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Muhammad Nami, and other top government officials from the ministry of works, Kyari noted that NNPC intervention will help to better the road network across the country. 

The NNPC boss said, “We are very happy about the state of this road development. We are very happy with this intervention across the country, not just in this place. We are doing 1,800km across the country. NNPC is taking another set of over N1tn of investments in road infrastructure in the country”. 

Some of the roads visited by Kyari include the reconstruction of Bida-Lambata road in the state, with a length 124.81km, and the Lagos-Badagry expressway along the Agbara junction and Nigeria/Benin border.

In addition, it is important to note that roads embarked upon by NNPC are roads that will directly or indirectly sustain a smooth supply and distribution of petroleum products across the country. 

Kyari noted that the project to tax initiative is a good policy that could help to accelerate road construction in Nigeria. 

“We believe that this tax credit system which Mr President has put in place is the game changer for our country. We believe that in the next 24 months, there will be a massive change to the entire road network in this country and this is why NNPC is your company and working for all of us,” he said. 

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Banking Sector

Ecobank Reports $401 Million Before Tax in Nine Months to September 2022

Revenue grew by 7% from $1.26 billion in recorded the same period of 2021 to $1.35 billion in the period under review.

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Ecobank - Investors King

Ecobank Group on Thursday reported a 7% increase in revenue for the nine months ended September 2022, the leading financial institution announced in its audited financial statement.

Revenue grew by 7% from $1.26 billion in recorded the same period of 2021 to $1.35 billion in the period under review.

The bank’s operating profit expanded by 12% to $593 million, up from $528 million filed in the corresponding period of 2021, Investors King reports.

Profit before tax rose to $401 million, a 14% increase from $352 million achieved in 2021. Profit paid to shareholders grew by 7% from $182 million to $196 million.

Gross loans and advances to customers increased 5% from $9.469 billion to $9.917 billion. Similarly, deposits from customers increased by declined by 2% to

Commenting on the bank’s performance, Ade Ayeyemi, CEO, Ecobank Group, said: “We continued to deliver on our strategic priorities and are on track to meet full-year targets despite the complex operating environment. Group-wide return on tangible equity reached a record 21%, and profit before tax increased by 14%, or 48% at constant currency (i.e., excluding currency movements).

“These results reflect the resilience, strong brand and diversification of our pan-African franchise. We saw decent client activity in consumer and wholesale payments, trade finance and foreign currency markets. Additionally,
despite inflationary pressures, we maintained a tight lid on costs, thereby improving our cost-to-income ratio to 56.3% from 58.3% in the previous year.

“The dampened economic outlook necessitated maintaining a sound balance sheet with adequate levels of liquidity and capital. As a result, our total capital adequacy ratio at 14.4% is well above our internal and minimum regulatory limits. Also, we hold sufficient gross impairment reserves that fully cover our non-performing loans. Moreover, we have fully repaid the five-year $400 million convertible debt we issued in September and October of 2017.

“Ecobankers have worked extremely hard to serve our customers’ financial needs, and I am proud of them. As always, we will passionately work towards realising our vision and remaining the bank that Africa and friends of Africa trust.”

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