The nation’s external reserves fell to $25.78bn as of August 16, down by 2.11 per cent from its level a month ago, the Central Bank of Nigeria data showed on Thursday.
This came just as the CBN stepped up dollar sales to boost interbank liquidity and support the local currency.
The central bank has been selling dollars almost daily on the interbank market to prop up the currency. The naira touched an all-time low of 365.25 per dollar on Thursday.
The foreign exchange reserves had fallen marginally to $26.20bn on July 28, down from $26.32 on July 22.
On May 28, the foreign exchange reserves stood at $26.42bn; it was down by 9.2 per cent year-on-year.
During the month of July, the reserves hovered between $26.3 and $26.4bn.
Similarly, the foreign exchange reserves oscillated between $26.3 and $26.4bn in June.
The reserves had stood at the $26.4bn between May 24 and 27, after dropping to $26.5bn from $26.6bn the same month.
Between May 31 and June 7, the external reserves stood at $26.3bn, before rising back to the $26.4bn mark on June 8, a level it maintained up until June 24. On June 27, it fell back to $26.36bn.
The CBN had last month lifted its 16-month-old currency controls and auctioned about $4bn on the spot and futures market to clear a backlog of dollar demand, to help boost interbank market trading.
The reserves had dropped by over 10 per cent from last year when they were at $29.7bn.
The global plunge in oil prices has caused the reserves to be depleting very fast. The development has forced the CBN to introduce foreign exchange controls, which were abandoned last month.
The external reserves have lost over $2bn this year.
The nation recorded a balance of payments deficit of 1.4 per cent in its Gross Domestic Product at the end of 2015, owing largely to its first current account deficit (three per cent of the GDP) in over a decade.
The nation’s external reserves had reduced by $6.7bn within a period of 21 months, the Minister of Budget and National Planning, Sen. Udo Udoma, said on March 23.
Otedola Moves to Sell Part of Geregu Power Plc to FEDA
Afreximbank to acquire part of Geregu Power plant
Billionaire Femi Otedola-owned energy company, Geregu Power Plc is in talks with the Fund for Export Development in Africa (FEDA) for the acquisition of part of the energy company.
The company stated in a statement signed by Akinleye Olagbende, Company Secretary and made available on the Nigerian Exchange Limited (NGX).
Geregu Power hereby notifies “Nigerian Exchange Limited (the Exchange) and the investing public of its discussions with the Fund for Export Development in Africa (FEDA) for the acquisition of a portion of Geregu Power Plc shares. FEDA is the impact development arm of the Africa Export and Import Bank (Afreximbank),” the company stated.
According to the energy firm, talks are presently ongoing and “where these talks progress to a more advanced stage, the company will notify the Exchange and the investing public in line with the rules of the Exchange.”
In October, Geregu Power listed 2.5 billion shares at N100 a unit on the Main Board of the NGX. This puts the company’s market value at N250 billion and also in a better position it to raise capital to bid for Geregu II as it is presently doing.
Speaking on the listing, the Chairman, Board of Directors, Mr. Femi Otedola, CON, said “the listing of the company was the actualization of a vision to bring world-class standards in governance sustainability, and business processes to the Company and the Nigerian electricity sector.”
He added that “listing on the Main Board of the Exchange will ensure that the long-term growth of the company is assured and its benefits will be passed on to our esteemed shareholders”.
Otedola is the largest shareholder in FirstBank and also holds a 99% stake in Amperion Power, the owner of the Geregu Power Plant.
Access Bank Acquires Indirect Stake in Sigma Pensions
Access Holdings on Friday announced it has completed the acquisition of an indirect equity stake in Sigma and the merger of its subsidiary, First Guarantee Pension Limited (FGPL) with Sigma.
According to the bank, following the sanction of the Scheme of Merger between Sigma and FGPL by the Federal High Court on December 1, 2022, FGPL has been dissolved without winding up leaving Sigma as the surviving entity, according to Access Holdings.
Commenting on the transaction, Dr Herbert Wigwe, Group Chief Executive of the Corporation, said “Following the successful completion of the merger, our plan is to leverage the synergies of these entities, as well as the Corporation’s expansive distribution network, strong risk management culture and best-in-class governance standards to create a formidable pension funds administration business.”
Dangote Group Dismisses Rumours of Plan to Rise Cement Price
Dangote Cement says no price increase
Africa’s leading cement producer, Dangote Cement Plc has dismissed the rumor that it plans to increase the price of its products.
The clarification became necessary following a recent publication that Dangote Cement plans a fresh increase.
Recently, there has been some publication (Not Investors King) about a potential increase in the price of cement. The publications noted that the increase will be a result of the high cost of fuel among other prevailing issues.
According to the Senior Manager, branding and communication, Dangote Industries Limited, Mr Sunday Esan, “Dangote Cement is not embarking on a price increase”, stating that the increase is mere speculation.
Meanwhile, Dangote Cement in the third quarter of 2022, recorded an increase in the overall volume of cement sales by 6.2 percent to 20.8 metric tons in the third quarter of 2022.
According to the company’s Chief Executive Officer, Michel Puchercos, this was achieved, despite the elevated inflation caused by a very volatile global environment.
Similarly, while speaking on the increase in the price of fuel, Puchercos said “to mitigate the impact of the significant increase in energy and AGO costs, we are strengthening our efforts to ramp up the usage of alternative fuels”.
“We are on track to commission our Alternative Fuel feed system at Obajana lines I and V, and Ibese line II in November. In addition, we are ramping up our investment in Compressed Natural Gas (CNG), to reduce our AGO usage,” he added.
Investors King understands that Dangote Cement is Africa’s leading cement producer with nearly 51.6Mta capacity across Africa. Although it has a few competitors which include BUA Cement, the company supplies most parts of Nigeria.
In addition, Dangote Cement has operations in 10 African countries.
Its production plant in Obajana, Kogi state, is the largest in Africa with 16.25Mta of capacity across five lines while the Ibese plant in Ogun state has four cement lines with a combined installed capacity of 12Mta.
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