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CBN Raises Forex Supply to Manufacturers

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In an effort to contain the scarcity of foreign exchange that is affecting the real sector of the economy, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has increased dollar supply to manufacturers in the country, according to the President of Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), Mr. Frank Jacobs.

Equally, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), in its financial and operations report for February, “confirmed that it would in partnership with the CBN provide up to $200 million for oil marketers to enable them meet their fuel import allocations in the second quarter of this year.”

This came as Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo said yesterday that the federal government was looking at ways to boost the real economy by reducing lending rates to single digit.

His statement further addressed the concerns expressed by the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) over the recent rate hike by the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) from 11 per cent to 12 per cent and the Cash Reserve Ratio (CRR) from 20 per cent to 22.5 per cent by the central bank.

Furthermore, he said the federal government was looking at means to encourage local production and would ban certain imports in the near future.

He added: “In the case of low interest rate lending to the real sector, this has remained a major problem for many in the real sector, especially those in the agricultural sector, because of the bank lending rates of over 25 per cent in some cases.

“In order to promote agriculture and diversify properly and support industry, there is no question that we need to be moving towards a single digit interest rate. The plan is to move towards the single digit interest rate.”

“In terms of diversification, the way forward requires that we move from reliance on crude oil to the production of petroleum products. By this I mean instead of merely extracting and exporting crude oil, Nigeria must now take full advantage of its petroleum sector and its entire value chain.

“It would also require making full use of our natural gas resources domestically and abroad and of course it requires that we fully implement laws and regulations in the oil sector so as to fully utilise its abundant forward and backward leakages.

“It is for this reason that the federal government would be prioritising the adoption and execution of the national oil and gas master plan this year.”

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

First Bank, GTBank, UBA, Others Generate N133.92 Billion from Electronic Payment in Nine Months

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Rising investment in financial technologies and the growing adoption of electronic payments have earned 12 Nigerian banks a total sum of N133.92 billion in the first nine months of the year.

Billions spent in ensuring that bank customers have access to their funds and can perform financial transactions 24 hours a day paid off during the COVID-19 lockdown as many customers were able to maintain social distancing by carrying out financial transactions on numerous digital platforms.

Some of the electronic platforms banks generated revenue from in the first nine months were Automated Teller Machine transactions, USSD, online transfer, electronic bills payments, Remita, Point of Sale payments and agency banking, among others.

While some of the twelve banks were Access Bank Plc, First Bank of Nigeria Plc, First City Monument Bank Plc, Fidelity Bank Plc, Guaranty Trust Bank Plc, United Bank for Africa Plc and Sterling Bank Plc.

The other five were Jaiz Bank Plc, Union Bank of Nigeria Plc, Wema Bank Plc, Unity Bank Plc and Stanbic IBTC Plc.

A breakdown of the banks’ unaudited financial statements showed Access Bank’s revenue from electronic payments rose by 105 percent to N38.80 billion in the period under review, up from N18.96 billion posted in the same period of 2019.

First Bank’s electronic payment revenue stood at N34.59 billion, representing an increase of 0.5 percent over the N34.42 billion recorded in the corresponding period of 2019.

Similarly, fees and commissions FCMB earned from digital payments in the first nine months amounted to N6.62 billion, a 17 percent contraction from the N7.98 billion earned in the same period of 2019.

Jaiz Bank posted a 24 percent contraction on its electronic payment earnings from N406.65 million in 2019 to N309.55 million in the same period in 2020.

Also, Stanbic IBTC’s electronic earnings dropped by 15 percent from N2.49 billion posted in 2019 to N2.12 billion in 2020.

Fidelity Bank’s e-payments revenue contracted by 34 percent in the first nine months of the year to N1.74 billion, down from N2.63 billion in 2019. While GTBank posted a 26 percent decline in electronic banking income to N8.21 billion in the period under review, below N11.04 billion earned in the same period of 2019.

Union Bank Plc realised N5.34 billion from electronic payments charges in the first three quarters of the year. Meaning, the bank’s electronic payments decline by 5 percent to N5.6 billion.

For Sterling Bank Plc, electronic products earned the bank N4.31 billion in the very first nine months of 2020, again a reduction of 16 percent from N5.11 billion posted in the same period of 2019.

UBA Plc, Unity Bank and Wema Bank Plc generated N26.71 billion, N1.74 billion and N2.02 billion from electronic payment income, respectively.

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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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Finance

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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