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CBN Stops Forex Sale to BDCs, Cash Deposit Allowed

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The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has formally announced that it would no longer sell dollars to Bureau de Change (BDC) operators.

Since over 70 percent drop in the price of crude oil, which contributes the largest share of national Foreign Exchange Reserves, the country foreign earnings has dropped from US$3.2 billion to US $1 billion, which made it hard to meet the increasing demands for foreign exchange by domestic importers.

According to the apex bank, in 2005 when oil prices was US$50 a barrel, average import bill was N148.3 billion per month but in 2015 average import bill for the first nine months of 2015 alone was N917.6 billion per month, even at lower oil prices of US$32.60 as at today.

This has depleted foreign exchange reserves which stood at about US$37.3 billion as of June 2014, but currently around US$28.0 billion.

In order to avoid further depletion in the reserves, the central bank of Nigeria has decided to provide forex services for payments of school fees, BTA, PTA, and related expenses. Importation of petroleum products and matured letters of credit from commercial banks will be honoured.

Despite difficulties the bank is facing, some Bureau de Change (BDC) operators across the country are said to have become wholesale dealers in foreign exchange, selling to the tune of millions of dollars per transaction instead of the original directive to only serve retail-end users who need US$5,000 or less.

Thereafter, using fake documentations like BVNs, boarding passes, flight tickets and passport to render weekly returns to the CBN. These operators sell to ordinary Nigerians as high as N282 per dollar while CBN sells dollar at 197.

In spite of the financial burden being placed on the bank’s limited foreign exchange, the bank has decided to stop selling foreign exchange to bureau de changes operators. However, they can source for their foreign exchange from autonomous sources but should conform to the anti-money laundering laws.

People with ordinary domiciliary accounts can now deposit foreign currency cash into their accounts with effect from today, the report showed.

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and Investing.com, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.

Finance

Ghana/Kenya: Eurobonds to Decouple as Fiscal Challenges Come to Fore

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Ghana and Kenya, two of the sub-Saharan African sovereigns with the highest amount of outstanding Eurobonds, could see a widening of their risk premiums over 2021, according to a Senior Credit Analyst at Redd Intelligence, Mark Bohlund.

Faced with fiscal challenges, the two African nations are expected to return to the Eurobond market in the first quarter of 2021, but this time with bigger risk premiums as investors are expected to incorporate a higher likelihood of frontier-market issuers being pushed into debt restructuring.

Mark Bohlund said, “Ghana and Kenya are likely to return to the Eurobond market in 1Q21 but see a widening of their risk premiums over 2021 as investors incorporate a higher likelihood of frontier-market issuers being pushed into debt restructuring.”

With Ghana’s outstanding Eurobonds presently estimated at US$10.3 billion and Kenya’s outstanding Eurobonds put at US$6.1 billion, spreads on Ghana’s Eurobonds will increase over those of Kenya in 2021.

It is likely that spreads on Ghana’s eurobonds over those of Kenya will increase over 2021 as concerns rise over its weak fiscal position and high reliance on commercial overseas financing,” Bohlund stated.

Commenting on the countries’ fiscal positions, Bohlund said both countries are likely to post double-digit fiscal deficits this year, as contracting economies add to already faltering government revenue.

“With interest costs absorbing close to 50% of government revenue, Ghana will struggle to find sufficient cost- savings in other areas to reduce the fiscal deficit substantially in 2021.”

“In contrast to Kenya, Ghana has already cut back its capital expenditure to a bare minimum. The Bank of Ghana stepped up its purchases of government bonds sharply in September and we expect this to continue during 2021.

“In Kenya, part of the solution should be to encourage county governments to raise more revenue, but this will be challenging to implement before the August 2022 elections.

“Having shied away from bi- and multilateral creditors in favor of commercial borrowing, Ghana is likely to struggle to secure sufficient external financing in 2021. This makes increased central bank financing likely and poses downside risks to the cedi.

“Neither Ghana nor Kenya is likely to seek DSSI participation in 1H21 even if they deem that international bond issuance will not be possible.

“We have changed our view and now expect both Ghana and Kenya to issue Eurobonds in 1H21.

“Kenya is likely to continue to draw on funding from the IMF, the World Bank and other multilateral creditors, as well as bilateral financial support from China as the Standard Gauge Railway, continues to bleed funds.”

Bohlund added that the spreads between Ghana and Kenya Eurobonds are likely to widen further as a higher risk of a debt restructuring is priced into Ghanaian assets.

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Insider Dealing: Paul Miyonmide Gbededo Adds Another 612,326 Shares of Flour Mills to His Stake

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Paul Miyonmide Gbededo, the Group Managing Director, Flour Mills of Nigeria Plc bought an additional 612,326 shares of the company.

The management stated this in a disclosure statement sent to the Nigerian Stock Exchange on Monday.

The managing director purchased the shares at N27.75 per share on November 20, 2020 at the Nigerian Stock Exchange in Lagos, Nigeria. Meaning, Gbededo has invested another N16,992,046.5 into the company.

This was in addition to the 3,284,867 shares valued at N91,642,269 and 4,200,852 shares worth N117.62 million purchased by Gbededo earlier in the month of November. Bringing his recent purchases to 8,098,045 million shares worth N226,254,315.5. See the details of the latest transaction below.

 

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FCMB Reports 16.4 Percent Increase in Profit After Tax in Q3 2020

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FCMB Group Plc, one of the leading financial institutions in Nigeria, reported a 16.4 percent increase in profit after tax for the third quarter of the year.

In the unaudited financial statements released through the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), the lender’s profit before tax grew by 10.2 percent year-on-year to N4.8 billion while profit after tax increased by 16.4 percent to N4.2 billion.

FCBMB Group Plc expanded gross earnings by 4.8 percent to N48.3 billion during the period under review. Similarly, the bank’s net interest income rose by 30.03 percent year-on-year to N22.7 billion.

The strong performance continued across the board as net fee and commission income increased by 0.29 percent to N5.2 billion. Net trading income rose by 39.4 percent year-on-year to N1.82 billion.

Personnel expenses dropped by 7.9 percent to N6.9 billion during the quarter while general and administrative expenses declined by 7.52 percent year-on-year to N7.6 billion. Largely due to the COVID-19 lockdown.

Loans and advances to customers rose by 10.8 percent to N793.14 billion between December 2019 and September 2020. Total desposits from customers during the same period grew by 26.7 percent to N1.2 trillion.

The bank’s total assets increased by 22.12 percent to N2.04 trillion.

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