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Stock Market Grows N282bn as Economy Recedes

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NSE

The Nigerian Stock Exchange’s market capitalisation recorded a growth of N282bn at the close of trading on Thursday, one day into the country’s economic recession.

A total of 25 stocks appreciated in price, while 13 recorded price declines.

The NSE market capitalisation soared to N9.760tn from N9.478tn, while the NSE All-Share Index also closed at 28,419.92 basis points from 27,599.03 basis points.

The market traded on 229.225 million shares worth N2.117bn in 3,243 deals.

The highest index point attained in the course of trading was 28,419.92 basis points, while the lowest and average index points were 27,368.41 and 27,666.28 basis points respectively.

Dangote Cement Plc, CAP Plc, FCMB Group Plc, AIICO Insurance Plc and Wema Bank Plc emerged as the top five gainers.

The shares of Dangote Cement appreciated by N15.11 (8.59 per cent) to close at N191 from N175.89, while those of CAP closed at N31.57 from N30.09, gaining N1.48 (4.92 per cent).

FCMB share price also appreciated by N0.05 (4.90 per cent) to close at N1.07 from N1.02, while AIICO shares soared to N0.66 from N0.63, gaining N0.03 (4.76 per cent).

Wema bank shares also gained N0.03 (4.55 per cent) to close at N0.69 from N0.66.

Other gainers were Sterling Bank Plc, Fidson Plc, Trans-nationwide Express Plc, NPF Microfinance Bank Plc, Law Union and Rocks Insurance Plc, Fidelity bank Plc, amonmg others.

On the other hand, Caverton Offshore Support Group Plc, Tripple G Plc, Chellaram Plc, May and Baker Nigeria Plc, Cutix Plc, among others emerged as the top five losers.

The NSE had on Wednesday, appreciated by N36bn despite confirmation by the Nigerian Bureau of Statistics that the economy was in recession.

The equity market maintained positive momentum, appreciating by 0.39 per cent.

The NSE market capitalisation rose to N9.478tn from NN9.442tn, while the All-Share Index closed at 27,599.03 basis points from 27,493.12 basis points.

A total of 262.614 million shares valued at N4.881bn exchanged hands in 3,302 deals.

The second quarter 2016 Gross Domestic Product data showed a contraction of 2.06 per cent year-on-year (Q1 2016: -0.36 per cent). July headline inflation spiked to 17.1 per cent year-on-year from 16.5 per cent and unemployment rate jumped to 13.3 per cent from 12.1 per cent.

On the global scene, markets traded mixed as investors reacted to a slew of data from the Eurozone and looked forward to the key August United States non-farm payroll data due Friday.

Having lost in the previous session, the oil and gas and financial services sectors rebounded to lead advances, following gains on Seplat Petroleum Development Company Limited(+10.25 per cent), Oando Plc (0.61 per cent), Guaranty Trust Bank Plc (1.53 per cent), Ecobank Transnational Incorporated Plc (0.35 per cent) and FBN Holdings Plc (1.67 per cent).

The consumer goods and industrial goods sectors continued on an upward trend, albeit marginal, as 7UP Bottling Company Plc (9.38 per cent gains), Honeywell flour Mill Plc (five per cent loss), Dangote Cement Plc (0.22 per cent gain) and Julius Berger Nigeria Plc (9.71 per cent loss) traded mixed.

Market breadth turned negative with 19 advances and 21 declines.

Commenting on the performance, analysts at Vetiva Capital Management limited, in the firm’s daily market analysis, said, “We believe the economic data releases are not far away from market expectation, hence, the muted impact on market.

“Nonetheless, we believe investors would digest the numbers more cautiously, and think this could result in mixed trading pattern in the session ahead.”

Is the CEO/Founder of Investors King Limited. A proven foreign exchange research analyst and a published author on Yahoo Finance, Businessinsider, Nasdaq, Entrepreneur.com, Investorplace, and many more. He has over two decades of experience in global financial markets.

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Finance

SEC and CIMA Forge Alliance to Enhance Financial Reporting Standards

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In a bid to elevate financial reporting standards within Nigeria’s public institutions, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has announced a strategic partnership with the Chartered Institute of Management Accounting (CIMA).

This collaboration aims to enforce adherence to financial reporting regulations and foster a culture of transparency and accountability across various sectors.

Emomotimi Agama, the Acting Director General of the Securities and Exchange Commission, revealed this development during a recent meeting with a delegation from CIMA in Abuja.

Agama said the SEC ensures ethical financial practices and compliance with reporting standards mandated by law.

He stressed that the commission would vigilantly monitor adherence to these standards and impose penalties for any violations.

“It is a great time that you have come to Nigeria. SEC is saddled with the responsibility of making the initial decision of ensuring that what is right is done and transparency in reporting financial statements by public companies is ensured. It is now law to do so and there are consequences for breaking the law,” Agama remarked.

Sarah Ghosh, the President of CIMA, echoed Agama’s sentiments, emphasizing inclusivity, sustainability, and innovation as the association’s core priorities.

Ghosh highlighted CIMA’s commitment to engaging with regulatory authorities to promote awareness of the association’s values and its potential to enhance financial reporting practices among public firms.

“CIMA is approaching more regulatory bodies to ensure that everyone is allowed to understand what the association stands for and its contribution to enhancing reporting on financial statements of public companies,” Ghosh declared.

The collaboration between SEC and CIMA signifies a proactive approach towards strengthening financial governance and fostering investor confidence in Nigeria’s capital market.

By leveraging CIMA’s expertise and SEC’s regulatory authority, the partnership aims to instill a culture of integrity and accountability in financial reporting processes, ultimately contributing to the country’s economic development.

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Banking Sector

Financial Institutions Racked Up N678m in Fines Last Year

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Retail banking

Financial institutions in Nigeria paid a total of N678 million in fines in the 2023 financial year, according to analysis of their various financial statements.

The analysis examined the annual reports of nine prominent financial groups, including FBN Holdings, Access Holdings, Guaranty Trust Holding Company, Zenith Bank Plc, United Bank for Africa Plc, Fidelity Bank, Wema Bank, Stanbic IBTC Holdings, and FCMB Group.

These reports provided insights into the fines imposed by various regulatory authorities, including the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the National Insurance Commission, and others.

Compared to the previous year, the total amount of fines paid by these institutions decreased significantly by 89.25% from N6.31 billion in 2022 to N678 million in 2023.

This decline reflects improved regulatory compliance among financial institutions and signals a positive trend toward greater adherence to established guidelines and standards.

Among the financial groups analyzed, Zenith Bank stood out for its increase in penalties compared to the previous year. While the bank had incurred no fines in 2022, it paid N21 million in penalties in 2023.

The penalties levied against Zenith Bank included fines for late rendition of CBN returns, unauthorized employment practices, outstanding auditor recommendations, and compliance checks on politically exposed persons.

Similarly, FBN Holdings reported a decrease in fines paid during the period, totaling N17.26 million compared to N26 million in the previous year.

The fines imposed on FBN Holdings were related to late submission of audited financial statements and non-compliance with regulatory reporting requirements.

Access Holdings also experienced a significant reduction in penalties, with fines decreasing from approximately N604 million in 2022 to N81.60 million in 2023.

Despite the decrease, Access Holdings incurred fines from various regulatory bodies, including the CBN, PenCom, and NGX RegCo, for infractions such as unauthorized advertising, data recapture sanctions, and late filing of financial statements.

Other financial institutions, such as GTCO, UBA Group, Fidelity Bank, Wema Bank, Stanbic IBTC Holdings, and FCMB Group, also reported fines for various regulatory violations, including breaches of transaction rules, late submission of reports, and non-compliance with industry regulations.

The significant decrease in fines paid by financial institutions in 2023 reflects the industry’s commitment to improving regulatory compliance and upholding best practices.

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Finance

Presidential Committee to Exempt 95% of Informal Sector from Taxes

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tax relief

The Presidential Fiscal Policy and Tax Reforms Committee (PFPTRC) has unveiled plans to exempt a significant portion of the informal sector from taxation.

Chaired by Taiwo Oyedele, the committee aims to alleviate the burden of multiple taxation on small businesses and low-income individuals while fostering economic growth.

The announcement came following the close-out retreat of the PFPTRC in Abuja, where Oyedele addressed reporters over the weekend.

He said the committee is committed to easing the tax burden, particularly for those operating within the informal sector that constitutes a substantial portion of Nigeria’s economy.

Under the proposed reforms, approximately 95% of the informal sector would be granted tax exemptions, sparing them from obligations such as income tax and value-added tax (VAT).

Oyedele stressed the importance of supporting individuals in the informal sector and recognizing their efforts to earn a legitimate living and their contribution to economic development.

The decision was informed by extensive deliberations and data analysis with the committee advocating for a fairer and more equitable tax system.

Oyedele highlighted that individuals earning up to N25 million annually would be exempted from various taxes, aligning with the committee’s commitment to relieving financial pressure on small businesses and low-income earners.

Moreover, the committee emphasized the need for tax reforms to address the prevailing issue of multiple taxation, which disproportionately affects small businesses and the vulnerable population.

By exempting the majority of the informal sector from taxation, the committee aims to stimulate economic growth and promote entrepreneurship.

The proposal for tax reforms is expected to be submitted to the National Assembly by the third quarter of this year, following consultations with the private sector and internal approvals.

The reforms encompass a broad range of measures, including executive orders, regulations, and constitutional amendments, aimed at creating a more conducive environment for business and investment.

In addition to tax exemptions, the committee plans to introduce executive orders and regulations to streamline tax processes and enhance compliance. This includes a new withholding tax regulation exempting small businesses from certain tax obligations, pending ministerial approval.

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