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Fidelity Bank CEO Explains Borrowers’ Limited, Access to Long-term Loans

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Fidelity Bank

The Managing Director/CEO, Fidelity Bank Plc, Nnamdi Okonkwo has said the short term nature of banks deposits is one of the major reasons borrowers cannot access long-term loans in Nigeria.

Speaking at the 2016 annual conference of the Finance Correspondents Association of Nigeria (FICAN) in Lagos, at the weekend, Okonkwo said although banks would want the economy to grow by lending to farmers and other productive sectors of the economy, they are constrained by the nature of their deposits.

According to him, banks deposits are mainly short-term in nature and lending such funds to customers for long-term can lead to asset mismatch. He disclosed that many banks collapsed in the past because of assets mismatch.

“When there is a run in the system, the owners of the short term funds will come for their money and you have to pay them. And if you pay them, the people you gave long-term loans cannot pay up. Then you begin to have distress in the system,” Okonkwo stated.

Speaking on the theme: ‘Nigeria Beyond Oil: Financing Options for Non-Oil Exports’, he said: “A whole lot of people do not realize that banks’ business is to buy and sell money. So, I come to the market to purchase my raw material, which is cash and my finished goods are also cash. Every other thing banks do are added services. Banks get a lot of bashing for not lending long-term. Then I ask you, if as a banker, I know that secret place, where I can find long-term funds, we will be the number one bank in Nigeria today, because I can lend long-term.”

Okonkwo noted that most depositors who have huge amounts to save, invest in short term basis and collect huge interest on such deposits.

“I want borrow N100 million, then bring me one depositor who will place N100 million with me at 10 per cent and I will lend at 15 per cent. Remember that in calculating those 10 per cent of N100 million, what you have actually given me is N75 million because N25 million will be placed with the CBN as Cash Reserve Ratio (CRR). And for me to access N5 million out of the N25 million CRR cash, I have to lend the money for use in industrial production. Then what are your risk assessment criteria if the industrial sector you want to lend to is fighting for breath, “ he asked.

Okonkwo added apart from the CRR, the bank has to also pay five per cent of the N100 million initial deposit to Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) premium.

The Fidelity Bank boss also listed lack of right framework as discouraging local banks from lending long term to Small and Medium Scale Enterprises(SMEs). Okonkwo equally decried the problem of lack of infrastructure, such as lack of power, adding that his bank with about 248 branches generate private electricity to power its operations, the level of power that can serve many cities.

He said the Nigerian Export Import Bank (NEXIM Bank) and his bank are taking measures to enhance non-oil export and create wealth for Nigerians. Both lenders, he said, want exporters to explore opportunities presented by the N500 billion non-oil Export Stimulation Facility as well as the expansion of the export credit Re-discounting and Refinancing Facilities (RRF) to develop the economy, stimulate their operations, and create jobs for the people.

According to him, Fidelity Bank is always at the forefront of financial services solutions and lending, stressing that supporting SMEs goes beyond funding.

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.

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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Crude Oil

OPEC Says Uncertainties Remain High in 2021

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OPEC Says Uncertainties Remain High in 2021

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) on Thursday said global uncertainties remained high going forward in 2021 but kept its oil demand forecast unchanged.

In the cartel’s latest oil outlook for 2021, oil demand is expected to increase by 5.9 million barrels per day year on year to 95.9 million barrels per day. The prediction was unchanged from December’s assessment.

However, OPEC and allies, 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.

Crude oil rose to $57 per barrel this week after incoming US President Joe Biden announced it would inject $1.9 trillion stimulus into the world’s largest economy.

But the recent rally in the commodity and stimulus announcement is expected to boost US crude oil output and disrupt OPEC+ production cuts strategy for the year.

The 2021 supply outlook is now slightly more optimistic for U.S. shale with oil prices increasing, and output is expected to recover more in the second half of 2021,” OPEC said.

Still, OPEC, in its forecast “assumes a healthy recovery in economic activities including industrial production, an improving labour market and higher vehicle sales than in 2020.”

“Accordingly, oil demand is anticipated to rise steadily this year supported primarily by transportation and industrial fuels,” the group said.

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Crude Oil

Brent Crude Oil Rose to $56.25 Per Barrel

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Brent Crude Oil Rose to $56.25 Per Barrel

Oil price surged following the declaration of Joe Biden as the President-elect of the United States of America last week after Trump’s mob invaded Capitol to disrupt a joint Senate session.

Also, the large drop in US crude inventories helped support crude oil price to over 11 months despite the second wave of COVID-19 crushing the world from Asia to Europe to America.

Brent crude oil, against which Nigerian Crude oil is priced, rose to $56.25 per barrel on Friday before pulling back to $55.422 per barrel on Monday during the London trading session.

Experts attributed the pullback to the rising number of COVID-19 cases in Asia with about 11 million people already locked down in Hebei province in China.

Covid hot spots flaring again in Asia, with 11 million people (in) lockdowns in China Hebei province… along with a touch of FED policy uncertainty has triggered some profit taking out of the gates this morning,” Stephen Innes, chief global market strategist at Axi, said in a note on Monday.

China, the world’s largest importer of crude oil, has joined the United Kingdom and others declaring full or partial lockdown to curb the second wave of COVID-19.

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