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CBN Moves to Sanction Banks Over Power Intervention Fund

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The Central Bank of Nigeria has unveiled sanctions grid to Deposit Money Banks participating in the disbursement of the N213bn Nigeria Electricity Market Stabilisation Facility, popularly called power sector intervention fund.

The sanctions were contained in a five-page circular posted on the CBN website on Monday.

The circular, dated September 1, 2016, was signed by the Director, Financial Policy and Regulation, CBN, Mr. Kevin Amugo.

For various offences that may be committed by the banks participating in the CBN-NEMSF programme, the sanctions range from a penalty of N0.5m to N10m fine and/or termination of the DMB’s participation as a mandate bank.

The infractions listed on the circular include: failure by the DMB to provide statement of accounts maintained by the electricity distribution companies to the refinancer/administrator; allowing revenue to be paid into a bank accounts different from the Feeder Collection Accounts; and allowing withdrawals or debits from the Feeder Collection Account by a non-Principal Collection Account.

The CBN had through the DMBs disbursed billions of naira from the N213bn power intervention fund to several power firms.

The funds were disbursed to DISCOS, GENCOS and other allied companies in the electricity value chain.

Earlier this year, some power firms were presented with cheques at the CBN office in Lagos.

Six companies, comprising three DISCOs and three GENCOs, had last year received N39bn cheque at the CBN corporate headquarters in Abuja.

The CBN Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, had during the event, reminded beneficiaries that the facility, which would be repaid within a 10-year period, was to enable them address challenges militating against electricity power generation and distribution.

He therefore urged them to ensure proper utilisation of the funds by investing in generation plant maintenance, transmission upgrades and distribution networks including transformers and better metering for end consumers among others.

Emefiele further expressed optimism that there would be major improvement in the generation and distribution of electricity in the country, even as he assured that the CBN would continue to make its interventions public to underscore the transparency involved in the process.

Te Chairman, Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, Dr. Sam Amadi, commended the CBN and the banking sector for supporting the reforms in the power sector.

According to him, the disbursement would unleash the efficiency in the electricity market.

The six companies that received cheques in various sums were the Enugu, Ibadan and Kano Electricity Distribution Companies as well as the Ughelli, Egbin and Geregu Electricity Generation Companies.

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.

Gold

Gold Gained Ahead of Joe Biden Inauguration 2021

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Gold

Gold Gained Ahead of Joe Biden Inauguration 2021

Gold price rose from one and a half month low on Tuesday ahead of President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration on Wednesday.

The precious metal, largely regarded as a haven asset by investors, edged up by 0.2 percent to $1,844.52 per ounce on Tuesday, up from $1,802.61 on Monday.

According to Michael McCarthy, the Chief Market Strategies, CMC Markets, the surged in gold price is a result of the projected drop in dollar value or uncertainty.

He said, “The key factor appears to be the (U.S.) currency.”

As expected, a change in administration comes with the change in economic policies, especially taking into consideration the peculiarities of the present situation. In fact, even though Biden, Janet Yellen and the rest of the new cabinet are expected to go all out on additional stimulus with the support of Democrats controlled Houses, economic uncertainties with rising COVID-19 cases and slow vaccine distribution remained a huge concern.

Also, the effectiveness of the vaccines can not be ascertained until wider rollout.

Still, which policy would be halted or sustained by the incoming administration remained a concern that has forced many investors to once again flee other assets for Gold ahead of tomorrow’s inauguration.

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Crude Oil

Crude Oil Holds Steady Above $55 Per Barrel on Tuesday

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Crude Oil Holds Steady Above $55 Per Barrel on Tuesday

Brent Crude oil, against which Nigerian crude oil is priced, rose from $54.46 per barrel on Monday to $55.27 per barrel as of 9:03 am Nigerian time on Tuesday.

Last week, Brent crude oil rose to 11 months high of $57.38 per barrel before pulling back on rising COVID-19 cases and lockdowns in key global economies like the United Kingdom, Euro-Area, China, etc.

While OPEC has left 2021 oil demand unchanged and President-elect Joe Biden has announced a $1.9 trillion stimulus package, experts are saying the rising number of new cases of COVID-19 amid poor vaccine distribution could drag on growth and demand for oil in 2021.

On Friday, Dan Yergin, vice-chairman at IHS Markit, said in addition to the stimulus package “There are two other things that are going with it … one is of course, vaccinations — in the sense that eventually this crisis is going to end, and maybe by the spring, lockdowns will be over.”

“The other thing is what Saudi Arabia did. This is the third time Saudi Arabia has made a sudden change in policy in less than a year, and this one was to announce (the) 1 million barrel a day cut — partly because they are worried about the impact of the surge in virus that’s occurring,” he said.

Also, the stimulus being injected into the United States economy could spur huge Shale production and disrupt OPEC and allies’ efforts at balancing the global oil market in 2021.

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Crude Oil

Crude Oil Pulled Back Despite Joe Biden Stimulus

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Crude Oil Pulled Back Despite Joe Biden Stimulus

Crude oil pulled back on Friday despite the $1.9 trillion stimulus package announced by U.S President-elect, Joe Biden.

Brent crude oil, against which Nigeria’s oil is priced, pulled back from $57.38 per barrel on Wednesday to $55.52 per barrel on Friday in spite of the huge stimulus package announced on Thursday.

On Thursday, OPEC, in its latest outlook for the year, said uncertainties remain high in 2021 with the number of COVID-19 new cases on the rise.

OPEC said, “Uncertainties remain high going forward with the main downside risks being issues related to COVID-19 containment measures and the impact of the pandemic on consumer behavior.”

“These will also include how many countries are adapting lockdown measures, and for how long. At the same time, quicker vaccination plans and a recovery in consumer confidence provide some upside optimism.”

Governments across Europe have announced tighter and longer coronavirus lockdowns, with vaccinations not expected to have a significant impact for the next few months.

The complex remains in pause mode, a development that should not be surprising given the magnitude of the oil price gains that have been developing for some 2-1/2 months,” Jim Ritterbusch, president of Ritterbusch and Associates, said.

Still, OPEC left its crude oil projections unchanged for the year. The oil cartel expected global oil demand to increase by 5.9 million barrels per day year on year to an average of 95.9 million per day in 2020.

But also OPEC expects a recent rally and stimulus to boost U.S. Shale crude oil production in the year, a projection Investors King experts expect to hurt OPEC strategy in 2021.

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