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Ex-CBN Deputy Governor Appointed Fidelity Bank Chairman



Fidelity Bank
  • Ex-CBN Deputy Governor Appointed Fidelity Bank Chairman

A former Deputy Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr. Ernest Ebi, has been appointed as the Chairman-Designate of Fidelity Bank Plc.

Mr. Ernest Ebi

              Mr. Ernest Ebi

Ebi was the Deputy Governor, Policy and Corporate Services, CBN, for about 10 years from 1999 to 2009.

The lender, in a statement on Tuesday, said the development followed the retirement of the Chairman of the bank, Christopher Ezeh.

Eze, the lender said, had attained the retirement age for non-executive directors in line with the bank’s policy, having served the bank for 11 years.

Prior to working at the CBN, Ebi was the Deputy Managing Director/Chief Operating Officer of Diamond Bank Plc in 1998, having also served as Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of New Nigeria Bank Plc.

Also a former Executive Director, African Continental Bank, Ebi had held executive positions in various departments of International Merchant Bank, Nigeria between 1981 and 1993.

A fellow of the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria, he has participated in several management development courses both locally and overseas in the areas of strategic planning, financial and risk management, among others.

The bank said that the chairman-designate had also received executive education at leading international institutions including IMD Switzerland, Harvard Business School in the United States and Oxford-Said Business School in the United Kingdom.

The chairman-designate, the statement added, started his career in the US as an account technician with the National Association of Counties, Washington DC in 1976; and later worked at the Federal Savings & Loans Association Washington DC where he served as the assistant vice-president community, Federal Savings & loans Association.

The statement also said the board had approved the appointment of Mr. Charles Umolu and Mr. Kings C. Akuma as non- executive directors of the bank.

According to the lender, the appointments are subject to the approval of the Central Bank of Nigeria.

Akuma is currently the Managing Director of Hammakopp Consortium Limited (an affiliate of Nestoil Group Plc).

He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting (1984) from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka and an MBA from the University of Lagos.

Akuma, who is a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria, has hands-on extensive managerial experience in the oil and gas services operations, relationships, security and community management spanning over 10 years, according to the statement.

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.

Crude Oil

Oil Jumps to $67.70 as OPEC+ Extends Production Cuts




Oil Jumps to $67.70 as OPEC+ Extends Production Cuts

Brent crude oil, against which Nigerian oil is priced, rose to $67.70 per barrel on Thursday following the decision of OPEC and allies, known as OPEC+, to extend production cuts.

OPEC and allies are presently debating whether to restore as much as 1.5 million barrels per day of crude oil in April, according to people with the knowledge of the meeting.

Experts have said OPEC+ continuous production cuts could increase global inflationary pressure with the rising price of could oil. However, Saudi Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman said “I don’t think it will overheat.”

Last year “we suffered alone, we as OPEC+” and now “it’s about being vigilant and being careful,” he said.

Saudi minister added that the additional 1 million barrel-a-day voluntary production cut the kingdom introduced in February was now open-ended. Meaning, OPEC+ will be withholding 7 million barrels a day or 7 percent of global demand from the market– even as fuel consumption recovers in many nations.

Experts have started predicting $75 a barrel by April.

“We expect oil prices to rise toward $70 to $75 a barrel during April,” said Ann-Louise Hittle, vice president of macro oils at consultant Wood Mackenzie Ltd. “The risk is these higher prices will dampen the tentative global recovery. But the Saudi energy minister is adamant OPEC+ must watch for concrete signs of a demand rise before he moves on production.”

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Gold Hits Eight-Month Low as Global Optimism Grows Amid Rising Demand for Bitcoin



Gold Struggles Ahead of Economic Recovery as Bitcoin, New Gold, Surges

Global haven asset, gold, declined to the lowest in more than eight months on Tuesday as signs of global economic recovery became glaring with rising bond yields.

The price of the precious metal declined to $1,718 per ounce during London trading on Thursday, down from $2,072 it traded in August as more investors continue to cut down on their holdings of the metal.

The previous metal usually performs poorly with rising yields on other assets like bonds, especially given the fact that gold does not provide streams of interest payments. Investors have been jumping on US bonds ahead of President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion coronavirus stimulus package, expected to stoke stronger US price growth.

We see the rising bond yields as a sign of economic optimism, which has also prompted gold investors to sell some of their positions,” said Carsten Menke of Julius Baer.

Another analyst from Commerzbank, Carsten Fritsch, said that “gold’s reputation appears to have been tarnished considerably by the heavy losses of recent weeks, as evidenced by the ongoing outflows from gold ETFs”.

Experts at Investors King believed the growing demand for Bitcoin, now called the new gold, and other cryptocurrencies in recent months by institutional investors is hurting gold attractiveness.

In a recent report, analysts at Citigroup have started projecting mainstream acceptance for the unregulated dominant cryptocurrency, Bitcoin.

The price of Bitcoin has rallied by 60 percent to $52,000 this year alone. While Ethereum has risen by over 660 percent in 2021.


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Crude Oil

Oil Prices Extend Gains to $64.32 Ahead of OPEC+ Meeting




Oil Prices Rise to $64.32 Amid Expected Output Extension

Oil prices extended gains during the early hours of Thursday trading session amid the possibility that OPEC+ producers might not increase output at a key meeting scheduled for later in the day and the drop in U.S refining.

Brent crude oil, against which Nigeria oil is priced, gained 0.4 percent or 27 cents to $64.32 per barrel as at 7:32 am Nigerian time on Thursday. While the U.S West Texas Intermediate gained 19 cents or 0.3 percent to $61.47 a barrel.

“Prices hinge on Russia’s and Saudi Arabia’s preference to add more crude oil production,” said Stephen Innes, global market strategist at Axi. “Perhaps more interesting is the lack of U.S. shale response to the higher crude oil prices, which is favourable for higher prices.”

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and allies, together known as OPEC+, are looking to extend production cuts into April against expected output increase due to the fragile state of the global oil market.

Oil traders and businesses had been expecting the oil cartel to ease production by around 500,000 barrels per day since January 2021 but because of the coronavirus risk and rising global uncertainties, OPEC+ was forced to role-over production cuts until March. Experts now expect that this could be extended to April given the global situation.

“OPEC+ is currently meeting to discuss its current supply agreement. This raised the spectre of a rollover in supply cuts, which also buoyed the market,” ANZ said in a report.

Meanwhile, U.S crude oil inventories rose by more than a record 21 million barrels last week as refining plunged to a record-low amid Texas weather that knocked out power from homes.

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