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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.”

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.

Banking Sector

FINANCIAL LITERACY: Unity Bank Kick-Starts One Minute Genius 2.0

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Unity bank

In its drive to boost financial literacy among students in primary and secondary schools across the nation, Nigerian lender, Unity Bank Plc has flagged off Season 2 of its pioneer educational gameplay, the One Minute Genius, OMG.

The OMG 2.0 gameplay, which kicked off on May 3, 2021, on the Unity Bank’s Website is an expanded version of the maiden edition to be played virtually.

Over 200 winners will emerge at the end of the 25-day contest. To win prizes in any of the categories, participating students can play the virtual game from Monday to Friday between 8 AM – 6 PM.

The One Minute Genius (OMG) is an initiative that underscores Unity Bank’s commitment to the development of the next generation, as it seeks to connect with their aspirations and reinforce the importance of education as a vehicle to empower the Nigerian child. Children and students between the ages of 6 –17 years can participate in the game.

According to the Divisional Head, Retail/SME & E-business, Unity Bank Plc, Mr. Olufunwa Akinmade, the idea is to enable the participants to improve their intelligence quotient and unleash the genius in them.

Mr. Olufunwa further explained that the game will be played as a blend of quizzes containing spelling Bee and Arithmetic questions. “The children that answer the questions correctly within the one-minute stipulated timeframe will be rewarded with cash prizes”, he quips.

Throwing more light on the initiative, Mr. Olufunwa said, “the Bank has decided to continue investing in the gameplay because it is pleased with the impact which the previous editions of the contest had created being a vehicle for reinvigorating the values of education through gamification and fun”.

Still speaking, Mr, Olufunwa stated: “Unity Bank remains committed to playing a critical role in advancing learning for a better society by developing the minds of our children. And this virtual, participatory learning and reward contest has proved quite effective in achieving the goals of motivating the students towards subject mastery using a branch of reinforcement model”

He added: “On the heels of COVID-19 pandemic, which has impacted negatively on the education sector in Nigeria by disrupted learning, an activity such as the OMG provides a veritable opportunity to boost learning, even as all stakeholders continue to make deliberate efforts to cater to the needs of our future generation.

“We hope that parents and guardians will encourage their wards with every support needed to enable the students to explore the opportunity that this provides.”

Recall that the 2o20 edition of the OMG attracted massive interests from across Nigeria, producing no fewer than 120 winners who coasted home with millions of naira in cash rewards.

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Finance

FG Borrowed $5.9B To Fight COVID-19 and Implement Budget – Minister of Finance

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Zainab Ahmed

The federal government borrowed about $5.9 billion in 2020, to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic and implement its budget. The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, revealed this yesterday.

A statement issued by her Special Adviser, Media and Communications, Mr. Yunusa Abdullahi, yesterday, indicated that the minister told the Collaborative Africa Budget Reform Initiative (CABRI) General Assembly during a webinar, that the federal government had to move quickly to save the economy.

Speaking on Nigeria’s fiscal response – short term interventions and impact on public finances, as an immediate fiscal response, Mrs. Ahmed said: “We did the following: Procured a $3.4 billion loan from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and about $2.5 billion in local currency from the domestic capital market to support the 2020 budget implementation), among others.”

She noted that the government then packaged a N500 billion for COVID-19 Crisis Intervention Fund in the 2020 revised budget, as part of a N2.3 trillion Economic Sustainability Plan.

Mrs. Ahmed said that the government had begun the process of moving the economy away from its primary dependence on oil for revenues and foreign exchange, and making steady gains in addressing infrastructure and human capital challenges before the pandemic hit the global economy.

With COVID-19, Nigeria’s Bonny Light crude oil price fell from a peak of US$72.2 per barrel on January 7, 2020 to below US$20 by April 2020.

She said, “In effect, the US$57 crude oil price benchmark approved in the 2020 budget became unrealistic triggering the need to adjust the following variables: reduction of crude oil benchmark price from US$57 per barrel to US$28 per barrel; reduction of daily crude oil production benchmark from 2.18 million barrels per day (mbpd) to 1.9 mbpd; adjustment of the official exchange rate to N360/US$1 from N305/$.”

Mrs. Ahmed revealed that part of the federal government Supplementary Budget on COVID-19 would be spent on the procurement of 29. 588 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

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Banking Sector

Union Bank CEO, Godson Chukwuemeka Okonkwo Acquires 2.4 Million Shares in the Bank Ahead of Acquisition

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Union bank - Investors King

The Chief Executive Officer, Union Bank Plc, Godson Chukwuemeka Okonkwo, has purchased 2,431,917 ordinary shares of the bank, according to the latest disclosure filing from the lender.

The CEO acquired the 2,431,917 shares of Union Bank at N4.90 per share on Thursday 6th May 2021 from the floor of the Nigerian Exchange Ltd.

Okonkwo’s N11.916 million investment was after Investors King reported a possible acquisition of the bank by Zenith Bank or Access Bank following sources cited by Bloomberg.

Bloomberg said, “Atlas Mara Limited, the London Stock Exchange-listed pan-African banking group started by Mr. Bob Diamond has received a number of approaches for its 49.97 per cent holding in Lagos-based Union Bank of Nigeria.”

It also stated that Atlas Mara received interests from Nigerian and Middle Eastern lenders for its remaining assets on the continent, according to Bloomberg sources.

The sources claimed the banks in talks with Atlas Mara asked not to be identified as talks are private. But they mentioned Nigeria’s Zenith Bank Plc, Access Bank Plc and Morocco’s Attijariwafa Bank as some of the banks that have so far expressed interests in acquiring Union Bank.

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