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Naira Hits 418/dollar as Forex Scarcity Lingers

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The naira plunged to 418 against the dollar at the parallel market on Tuesday as scarcity of foreign exchange continued to weigh on the official interbank and black market.

The local currency, which closed at 414 against the greenback on Monday, traded at 415 in Lagos, 417 in Abuja and 418 in Kano, foreign exchange dealers said.

Foreign exchange analysts believe the lingering scarcity of forex has been exacerbated by the banning of eight commercial banks from the forex market by the Central Bank of Nigeria.

The CBN last week Tuesday banned nine lenders from forex transactions for failing to remit the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation’s $2.334bn into the Treasury Single Account.

The United Bank for Africa Plc, one of the nine lenders, was later re-admitted after it remitted its share of the funds to the TSA.

A day after the CBN banned the nine banks from the forex market, the local currency depreciated to 402/dollar, down from 397 it closed against the greenback on Tuesday.

The local currency has continued to depreciate gradually. Forex dealers maintained that the demand pressure on the dollar, mounted by summer travellers and parents paying schools fees of their children studying overseas ahead of resumption in September, was exacerbated by the CBN’s forex ban on the nine lenders.

The naira, which hit a fresh record low since the CBN floated the currency on the official interbank market in June, first touched 400/dollar at the black market this month.

Meanwhile, the CBN sold around $1.5m at the interbank forex market on Tuesday to support the local currency and ensure the closing rate stabilised, Reuters reported, quoting currency traders.

The naira closed at 305.50 to the dollar on the interbank market, same level it had traded since last week, having touched 325.50 a dollar intraday, but gained after the CBN’s intervention.

Traders said the naira had consistently closed around 305.5 to the dollar since August 22, an indication that the CBN was concerned about a particular price range for the local currency.

On Monday, the forex market registered $327m worth of trades, about six times more than its usual volume.

This included a single $270m transaction at 345 naira per dollar, by foreign investors buying local currency bonds.

Average trading is around $50m a day on normal days; it may reach $100m on days the CBN intervenes in the currency market.

According to traders, dollar shortage remains a major concern in the market even with the daily intervention by the central bank and a pocket of flows from offshore investors.

The naira traded at a fresh record low of 418 to the dollar on the black market, against 414 a dollar on Monday, traders said.

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

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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Stanbic IBTC Obtains Approvals, License to Establish Life Insurance Subsidiary

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Stanbic IBTC Holdings Plc on Friday announced that it has obtained all required Regulatory Approvals and a license from the National Insurance Commission to establish a wholly-owned Life Insurance subsidiary, Stanbic IBTC Insurance Limited (SIIL).

In a statement signed by Chidi Okezi, Company Secretary, Stanbic IBTC and released on Friday, the bank said “The establishment of this new subsidiary essentially complements the bouquet of product offerings by Stanbic IBTC as it continues its goal of being the leading end-to-end financial solutions provider in Nigeria. In this regard, SIIL will aim to facilitate long term insurance for already financially included individuals and will seek to become the preferred Insurer in the Life Insurance Business.

“Stanbic IBTC Holdings PLC, a member of Standard Bank Group, is a full-service financial services group with a clear focus on three main business pillars – Corporate and Investment Banking, Personal and Business Banking and Wealth Management. The group’s largest shareholder is the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), the world’s largest bank, with a 20.1% shareholding. In addition, Standard Bank Group and ICBC share a strategic partnership that facilitates trade deals between Africa, China and select emerging markets. Standard Bank Group is the largest African financial institution by assets. It is rooted in Africa with strategic representation in 21 countries on the African continent.

“Standard Bank has been in operation for over 158 years and is focused on building first-class, on-the-ground financial services institutions in chosen countries in Africa; and connecting selected emerging markets to Africa by applying sector expertise, particularly in natural resources, power and infrastructure.”

 

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