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Naira Tumbles to 490 as Dollar Shortage Continues

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  • Naira Tumbles to 490 as Dollar Shortage Continues

The naira tumbled against the United States dollar to 490 on Monday from 487 on Friday, as acute shortage of the greenback continued to batter the economy and the country’s foreign exchange markets.

Before falling to 487 on Friday, the local currency had consecutively closed flat at 485 for four days last week.

The severe shortage of the dollar has put the naira under persistent pressure at both the official and parallel forex markets.

The global crash in the prices of crude oil, Nigeria’s main forex earner, has brought untold hardships to Nigerians.

Economic and financial experts said unless the lingering dollar supply problem was abated, the volatility in the exchange rate and the consequent economic challenges might be endless.

“The challenge with the forex market is still the supply issue; price (exchange rate) is determined by the interplay of demand and supply,” a currency analyst at Ecobank Nigeria, Mr. Kunle Ezun, had said.

According to the Managing Director, Cowry Asset Management Limited, Mr. Johnson Chukwu, the Federal Government needs to access an emergency lifeline of about $10bn from the International Monetary Fund to stabilise the exchange rate and restore investor confidence to the financial markets.

Economic and financial experts expect the naira to weaken further against the dollar as the Christmas holiday begins this week.

They also argued that the crackdown on the parallel market forex traders and the persistent scarcity of the greenback would make further weakening of the local currency inevitable.

The naira had, however, consistently closed around 305.5 a dollar at the official window since August.

A few weeks ago, the naira closed flat at 470 against the greenback over a period of over a week.

The naira had plunged to 470, down from 455 on the back of a fresh dollar shortage at the official and parallel forex markets.

Travelex and First Bank of Nigeria Limited commenced the sale of forex to Bureau De Change operators about two months ago after getting the Central Bank of Nigeria’s approval.

Some forex traders, however, said the scheme had failed to ease the biting dollar shortage in the country.

“What we get from Travelex is not sufficient,” one trader said, referring to the demand in the market.

The President, Association of Bureau De Change Operators, Alhaji Aminu Gwadabe, said the sale of dollars to the BDC operators had yet to cut across the country.

This, he said, was partly responsible for the grueling dollar scarcity.

“There are still logistics problems in selling forex to all the BDC operators; this is what is causing this relative scarcity,” he said.

The CBN had asked the International Money Transfer Operators to sell dollars directly to the BDC operators to boost liquidity and narrow the gulf between the parallel and official market rates.

Dollar shortages have caused many companies to halt operations and lay off workers, compounding an economic crisis exacerbated by the fall in global prices of oil, which accounts for over 70 per cent of Nigeria’s budget revenue.

The CBN has struggled to support the naira as the country’s external reserves continue to fall.

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.

Finance

FG Borrows N2.36 Trillion from Capital Market in 2020

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President Buhari

FG Borrows N2.36 Trillion from Capital Market in 2020

Mr. Oscar Onyema, the Chief Executive Officer, Nigerian Stock Exchange, said the Federal Government borrowed N2.36 trillion from the nation’s capital market in 2020.

The CEO disclosed this at the 2020 market recap/2021 outlook held on Tuesday.

He said the Federal Government issuances account for 92 percent of the total bond issued in the market in the year.

Onyema further explained that corporate organisations leveraged on low yield environment to expand and embark on debt refinancing, raising a total of N192 billion,

Capital-raising activities in the fixed income market increased significantly in 2020. The NSE’s bond market capitalisation rose by 35.52 per cent from N12.92tn in 2019 to N17.50tn,” he said.

Onyema noted that “The year 2020 was indeed a historic one for global capital markets. Facing buffeting headwinds, world markets saw sharp swings and steep losses, but largely remained resilient and orderly amid rising uncertainty.

“For The Exchange, renewed investor optimism coupled with improved economic conditions and low fixed income yields, propelled a year end bull run. Of 93 global equity indices tracked by Bloomberg, the NSE All Share Index emerged the best-performing index in the world, surpassing the S&P 500 (+16.26 per cent), Dow Jones Industrial Index (+7.25 per cent) and other global and African market indexes, to post a one-year return of +50.03 per cent.

Speaking on product results for the year, the CEO said, “The Nigerian equities market got off to a strong start in 2020, returning 10.4 per cent by the eighth trading session. By October, the equities market entered a much-awaited bull run.

“Buoyed by the formal declaration of the US president-elect, unattractive fixed income yields and better-than-expected corporate earnings, the NSE ASI recovered from Q1’20, to close the year at 40,270.72 (+50.03 per cent) and erase losses of -14.90 per cent recorded in 2019.

“During its remarkable year end run, the ASI gained 6.23 per cent in a single trading session which triggered a 30-minute halt of trading on all stocks for the first time since the NSE Circuit Breaker was introduced in 2016 to safeguard market integrity in periods of extraordinary volatility.

“At the close of the year, the NSE’s equity market capitalisation was up by 62.42 per cent, from N12.97tn in 2019 to N21.06tn in 2020 while market turnover saw an uptick of 7.25 per cent, from N0.96tn in 2019 to N1.03Tn in 2020.

“Although Initial Public Offering activity was mute, the value of supplementary issues increased dramatically from 2019, rising by 851.37 per cent to N1.42tn, from N148.77bn.

“Also noteworthy is that for the second consecutive year, equity market transactions were dominated by domestic investors who accounted for 65.28 per cent of market turnover by value (retail: 44.98 per cent; institutional: 55.02 per cent) while foreign portfolio investors accounted for 34.72 per cent.”

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Airtel to Announce Financial Results for Nine Months Ended December 31, 2020 on 29 January 2021

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Airtel Financial Results

Airtel to Announce Financial Results for Nine Months Ended December 31, 2020 on 29 January 2021

Airtel Africa, one of the leading telecommunications companies in Africa, on Wednesday announced it will report its financial statements for the nine months ended December 31, 2020 on January 29, 2021.

The telecom giant disclosed in a statement signed by Simon O’Hara, Group Company Secretary.

The statement reads “Airtel Africa, a leading provider of telecommunications and mobile money services, with a presence in 14 countries across Africa, will announce its results for the nine months to 31 December 2020 on 29 January 2021.

“Management will host a conference call on the day of results for analysts and investors at 2:00pm GMT.

“Participants are requested to pre-register for the call by navigating to:
www.diamondpass.net/4467631

“Once registered, participants will receive a calendar invitation with the dial in details for the call.”

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Global Credit Rating Affirms Sovereign Trust Insurance A Rating

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Global Credit Rating Affirms Sovereign Trust Insurance A Rating

Global Credit Rating, an international rating agency based in South Africa, has affirmed Sovereign Trust Insurance Plc A rating in its latest report released for the month of December 2020.

In a statement released through the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), Global Credit Rating noted “that the Company has shown a great deal of consistency in her claims paying obligations to her numerous customers spread all over the country.

The Report further stated that “the listing of the Rights Issue in 2019 helped in increasing the Shareholders’ funds of the Company by 33.8%, to N7.8b by the end of the Financial year in 2019 as against the figure of N5.8b in 2018.

“Subsequently, by the third quarter of 2020, the Shareholders’ funds had increased to N8.2b which also translated to a 31% increase in the corresponding period of 2019 with a figure of N6.3b. In the Rating Agency’s opinion, Sovereign Trust Insurance Plc is strong in liquidity with more than adequate claims coverage that compares well to industry averages.

“The capital adequacy of the Underwriting Firm is considered strong according to the rating report and this is underpinned by the sizeable capital base catering for the quantum of insurance and market risks assumed. In this regard, the ratio of Shareholders’ funds to NEP, (Net Earned Premium) improved to 189.2% in the Q3 of 2020 as against 130.9% in the corresponding quarter of 2019.

In terms of peer-to-peer performance comparison, “Sovereign Trust Insurance Plc did very well when compared with other selected insurers in terms of Capital, Total Assets, Gross Premium Income (GPI) and Net Premium Income (NPI).”

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