Asian stocks fell slightly for the first time in four days as campaign for the U.K. referendum enters its final day.
The MSCI Asia Pacific Index fell 0.3 percent to 129.37 as of 9:03 a.m. in Tokyo, while Japan’s Topix Index plunged 0.6 percent, after Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen told the U.S senate during Tuesday’s testimony that she wants the economy to be on a favourable path before hiking interest rates. A tone that most analysts said has pushed rates increase to next year.
While some economists put the probability that the U.K. will leave the European Union at about one to four, few others like Mathew Sherwood, a head of investment strategy at Perpetual Ltd. in Sydney, which manages about $21 billion have said “a lot of people think this means that exit now won’t happen, hence, markets have become somewhat complacent about Brexit risk as the outcome remains highly uncertain and the predictive power of U.K. polls is highly questionable.”
It’s been a stormy year for Asia-Pacific investors, with the regional gauge falling 14 percent at the start of the year through February, after China cut its growth outlook amid falling in oil prices and weak exports. The index later rallied 19 percent through this year’s peak in April before retreating again, the gauge is now down 1.7 percent in 2016 through Tuesday.
South Korea’s Kospi index surged 0.1 percent. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index and New Zealand’s S&P/NZX 50 Index each plunged 0.2 percent.
Financial markets remain on edge ahead of Thursday’s referendum, amid concern a vote to leave the EU could fuel global instability.
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Nigeria’s Presidential CNG Initiative Allocates N100bn for CNG Buses and EV Adoption
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.
Nigeria’s Power Transformation: 53 Projects Worth N122bn on Track for May 2024 Completion
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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