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Malaysia’s GDP growth Beats Expectations

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Malaysia’s economy rose more than expected in the quarter ending December, after exports surges due to weaker Ringgit in 2015.

Gross domestic product growth increased at a 5 percent annual rate in 2015, down from 6 percent recorded in 2014, but better than 4.9 percent economists expected.

“The economy grew 1.5 per cent quarter-on-quarter in the final three months of the year, up from 0.7 per cent in the September quarter and ahead of forecasts for 1.2 per cent.

That took the year-on-year rate in the December quarter to 4.5 per cent. Although that was a decline from the 4.7 per cent pace in the September quarter, it beat expectations for 4.1 per cent growth,” according to Financial Time.

“Manufacturing and services are still doing OK,” Rahul Bajoria, a Singapore-based economist at Barclays Plc, said before the announcement. “It is not growing at the same pace as was say, back in 2014, but it’s not slowing down as dramatically as one would think it would with all the headwinds that are there.”

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.

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Economy

Inflation and Forex Mismanagement Drive Petrol Truck Prices from N7M to N25M

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The Chairman of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria in the Satellite Depot branch, Akin Akinrinade, has raised an alarm over the rising cost of petrol trucks in Nigeria.

According to Akinrinade, the cost of a petrol truck has surged from N7 million in May to an astonishing N25 million at present, attributed to inflation induced by poorly managed foreign exchange rates.

Akinrinade pointed out that the forex mismanagement has significantly impacted the landing cost of premium motor spirit (PMS), commonly known as petrol, consequently leading to a surge in pump prices.

The unstable business environment, coupled with the astronomical rise in expenses, has created challenges for marketers in the downstream oil sector.

Mele Kyari, the Group Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL), highlighted in October 2023 that foreign exchange challenges have hindered private companies from importing petroleum products.

As a result, the NNPCL has become the exclusive importer of petrol.

The decision to limit private entities from importing fuel comes after President Bola Tinubu’s initiatives aimed at deregulating the fuel market.

Initially, the plan was to allow private companies to import fuel starting June 2023, aligning with efforts to balance the market after removing petrol subsidies.

The ripple effects of the soaring petrol costs are already evident, with commercial transporters increasing fares, and private car owners seeking fuel-saving alternatives.

As Christmas approaches, the surge in demand for interstate travel is expected to further elevate costs, posing financial challenges for many Nigerians amidst stagnant income levels.

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Nigeria’s Presidential CNG Initiative Allocates N100bn for CNG Buses and EV Adoption

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The Presidential Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) Initiative has allocated N100 billion to expedite the deployment of CNG buses nationwide, according to a statement released on Wednesday.

The initiative, designed to catalyze an Auto-gas and Electric Vehicle (EV) revolution in mass transit and transportation, aims to enhance sustainability and cost-effectiveness.

The statement revealed that the fund would be instrumental in supporting the adoption of auto-gas and electric vehicles, signaling a commitment to a more sustainable and economical future in the transportation sector.

The Presidential CNG Initiative plans to leverage over 11,500 CNG and electric-fueled vehicles, along with the deployment of 55,000 conversion kits.

This strategic approach is intended to reduce transportation costs for Nigerians and mitigate the challenges posed by the rising cost of living.

Under the Renewed Hope Agenda, the Presidential CNG Initiative is dedicated to realizing the President’s vision, guided by its steering committee led by FIRS Chairman Zacch Adedeji.

The statement highlighted recent achievements, including strategic technical partnerships and the ongoing commissioning of CNG Conversion centers in key states such as Lagos, Abuja, Kaduna, Ogun, and Rivers.

Several more centers are slated for commissioning in the coming weeks, reflecting the initiative’s momentum and commitment to achieving its objectives.

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Nigeria’s Power Transformation: 53 Projects Worth N122bn on Track for May 2024 Completion

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The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), in collaboration with the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) and power distribution companies, is set to complete 53 power projects by May next year.

Valued at N122 billion, these projects aim to add over 1,000 megawatts to TCN’s wheeling capacity.

During a recent tour of three ongoing projects in Lagos, TCN’s Programme Coordinator, Mathew Ajibade, assured that the projects were not abandoned, refuting speculations.

He confirmed that work is progressing smoothly and is expected to be completed by May 2024, as initially planned.

Assistant Director/Head of Infrastructure Finance Office at the CBN, Tumba Tijani, highlighted the CBN’s support for the power sector, revealing that the bank released a loan at a 9% interest rate in August last year for the projects.

The funding, part of the Nigeria Electricity Market Stabilisation Facility-3, amounts to N122,289,344 and aims to address transmission/distribution bottlenecks, enhance supply to end-users, and unlock unutilized generation capacity.

Tijani disclosed that N85.43 billion has been disbursed into the Advance Payment Guarantee account of the 53 contractors responsible for executing the projects.

The comprehensive project list includes the delivery of power transformers, re-conductoring existing transmission lines, upgrading existing substations, and constructing 33KV line bays.

The initiative reflects a concerted effort to enhance Nigeria’s power infrastructure and meet growing energy demands.

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