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Finance

Stock Market Closes Flat as 22 Stocks Appreciate

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Nigerian Exchange Limited - Investors King

The Nigeria Stock Exchange closed flat on Wednesday after a 0.02 per cent gain. Market capitalisation rose marginally by N1bn to close at N9.691tn from N9.690tn recorded on Tuesday.

The All-Share Index also closed at 28,214.57 basis points from 28,209.93 basis points.

A total of 3.095 billion stocks valued at N6.24bn exchanged hands in 2,815 deals.

The highest index point attained in the course of trading was 28,214.57 basis points, while the lowest and average index points were 27,725.40 and 27,969.66 basis points respectively.

Conoil Plc, PZ Cussons Plc, Oando Plc, Wema Bank Plc and May and Baker Nigeria Plc emerged as the top five gainers. Conoil shares appreciated by N3.91 (10.11 per cent) to close at N42.60 from N38.69.

The share price of PZ Cussons appreciated by N0.90 (4.98 per cent) to close at N18.97 from 18.07, while that of Oando posted a N0.26 (4.87 per cent) gain to close at N5.60 from N5.34.

The shares of Wema Bank Plc closed at N0.65 from N0.62, appreciating by N0.03 (4.84 per cent), while May and Baker recorded a gain of N0.04 (4.30 per cent) on its share price to close at N0.97 from N0.93.

Other gainers were Cutix Plc, Cadbury Nigeria Plc, MRS Plc, Diamond Bank Plc, Stanbic IBTC Holdings Plc, Zenith Bank Plc, Continental Reinsurance Plc, Eterna Plc, Champion Breweries Plc, FBN Holdings Plc and Custodian and Allied Plc.

Total Nigeria Plc, African Prudential Registrars Plc, Union Bank of Nigeria Plc, United Bank of Africa Plc, Unilever Nigeria Plc and Nestle Nigeria Plc also emerged as gainers.

From the NSE data, 22 stocks recorded gains, while 13 stocks depreciated.

Leading the losers’ chart were Neimeth International Pharmaceutical Plc, Guinness Nigeria Plc, ETranzact International Plc,  Paints and Coatings Manufacturers  Nigeria Plc and Skye Bank Plc.

The shares of Neimeth depreciated by N0.10 (9.26 per cent) to close at N0.98 from N1.08, while the share price of Guinness plunged to N93 from N100, losing N7 (seven per cent).

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

Federal Government Clears $120m Debt to Gas Companies Amid Nigeria’s Power Crisis

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Gas-Pipeline

Amidst Nigeria’s persistent power crisis, the Federal Government has taken a pivotal step forward by clearing a significant portion of its debt to gas companies.

A sum of $120 million has been paid out of the country’s $1.3 billion indebtedness to gas suppliers, offering a glimmer of hope for improved energy stability across the nation.

The Minister of Power, Chief Adebayo Adelabu, underscored the critical role of gas in power generation and highlighted how the mounting debts had severely hampered gas supply to electricity-generating companies, exacerbating the country’s electricity shortfall.

Nigeria heavily relies on thermal power plants fueled by gas for over 70% of its electricity needs, making the timely settlement of gas debts paramount for enhancing power generation capacity and addressing the nation’s energy deficit.

Addressing delegates at the 7th Nigeria International Energy Summit in Abuja, the Director of the Decade of Gas Secretariat, Ed Ubong, expressed optimism about the government’s progress in offsetting its financial obligations to gas producers.

He emphasized the importance of aligning gas and power sectors to foster sustainable energy solutions.

As Nigeria grapples with the multifaceted challenges plaguing its energy landscape, the government’s commitment to settling outstanding gas debts marks a pivotal stride towards revitalizing the country’s power infrastructure and ensuring reliable electricity access for its citizens.

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Finance

Nigeria Insurance Corporation Reimburses Depositors of 179 Closed Microfinance and Four Mortgage Banks

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Retail banking

The Nigeria Insurance Corporation (NDIC) has announced the successful reimbursement of depositors affected by the closure of 179 microfinance banks and four mortgage banks across the country.

The reassuring news came during the 45th Kaduna International Trade Fair, where NDIC’s Managing Director, Dr. Bello Hassan, explained the corporation’s unwavering commitment to safeguarding depositors’ funds amidst financial uncertainties.

Dr. Hassan, represented by Hauwa Gambo, the NDIC’s Deputy Director of Communication, highlighted the corporation’s proactive measures in protecting the interests of depositors.

The introduction of the Single Customer View framework has expedited the process of reimbursing depositors of liquidated banks, ensuring swift and transparent transactions.

The corporation’s collaboration with the judiciary has yielded positive results, facilitating the speedy prosecution of failed insured banks and resolving long-standing cases of bank liquidations like Fortune and Triumph Banks.

This concerted effort has significantly enhanced the debt recovery rate, enabling NDIC to declare full liquidation dividends to uninsured depositors of over 20 deposit money banks.

Furthermore, NDIC has embraced digital remote payment strategies, streamlining electronic funds transfers to verified depositors’ alternate bank accounts.

The introduction of the ‘Deposit Tracer’ initiative in partnership with mobile operators aims to address apathy among depositors with small balances, providing accessible avenues for claiming funds trapped in closed banks.

The initiatives underscore NDIC’s proactive stance in safeguarding depositors’ interests and ensuring financial stability in Nigeria’s banking sector.

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Banking Sector

85.51 Million Nigerian Bank Customers Face Withdrawal Freeze Over NIN, BVN Deadline

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First Bank

As the March 1 deadline looms, an estimated 85.51 million Nigerian bank customers are facing the possibility of frozen accounts due to their failure to link their National Identification Numbers (NINs) and/or Bank Verification Numbers (BVNs) to their accounts.

Recent findings reveal the potential scale of the impending banking crisis.

Data from the Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System (NIBSS) indicates that Nigeria had approximately 146 million active individual bank customers as of December 2022.

However, by January 26, 2024, only 60.49 million BVNs were recorded on the NIBSS portal, leaving a significant portion unlinked.

Meanwhile, about 104 million NINs had been issued by December 2023, highlighting the disparity between NIN issuance and BVN linkage.

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) had earlier issued directives to banks, mandating them to restrict transactions on accounts lacking linked NINs and BVNs, with effect from March 1, 2024.

Any accounts found non-compliant risk being designated as ‘Post no Debit,’ rendering them unable to process further transactions.

Responding to the impending crisis, the Director-General of the National Identification Management Commission (NIMC), Abisoye Coker-Odusote, emphasized the need for the revalidation of Front-End Partners (FEPs) to ensure the integrity of the identity database.

She underscored the importance of NIN registration and urged collaboration with various stakeholders to expedite the process.

The Executive Vice Chairman/CEO of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Dr. Aminu Maida, reiterated the significance of linking NINs to SIM cards to enhance national security.

Telecom subscribers were urged to comply with the NIN-SIM linkage directive to avoid service disruptions.

Meanwhile, financial service providers like Opay have issued reminders of the impending restrictions, urging customers to comply with the linkage requirements.

Amidst concerns, some customers contemplate transferring funds to compliant accounts to avoid potential financial setbacks.

As the deadline approaches, stakeholders are intensifying efforts to mitigate the impact of the impending banking crisis on millions of Nigerians.

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