- External Reserves Rise Further to N26.2bn
The country’s external reserves rose to $26.2bn on January 4, 2017, up from $25.8bn on December 30, 2016, the latest data from the Central Bank of Nigeria showed on Thursday.
The data also showed that the foreign exchange reserves ended last year with $25.84bn balance on December 30, 2016.
The foreign exchange reserves had risen to over four-month high of $25.7bn on December 28, up from $25.4bn on December 23.
The foreign exchange reserves have been rising in recent weeks following the gradual increase in oil price and production output.
In less than one week, the reserves rose by almost $300m from $25.084bn on December 16, 2016 to $25.361 on December 22.
However, currency and economic experts are not sure if the tiny upticks in the external reserves’ level are sustainable amid a falling naira and acute shortage of dollar in the foreign exchange markets and the economy.
Despite the staggering crash in the value of the naira against the United States dollar and other major foreign currencies last year, the CBN spent $4bn from the nation’s external reserves to defend the local currency in 12 months.
On December 22, 2015, the reserves stood $29.341bn. On December 22, 2016, the foreign exchange reserves stood at $25.361bn. This means that the external reserves were depleted by $4bn in 12 months.
The drop was estimated at 14 per cent. On December 31, 2015, the last day of the year, the external reserves stood at $29.069bn, compared to $25.84bn recorded on December 30, 2016.
The controversial defence of the naira by the CBN has come under severe criticism by economists, who believe that the forces of demand and supply should be allowed to determine the exchange rate of the naira, at least to a considerable level.
A senior associate in investment banking at Afrinvest, a research and investment firm, Mr. Ayodeji Ebo, said the gradual increase might only be sustainable if the oil price maintained its current level and there was a continuous ramp up in oil production.
Earlier, the reserves had fallen from $26bn on August 4, 2016 to $25.97bn on August 5 as the central bank stepped up dollar sales to boost liquidity at the interbank market and support the ailing naira.
The country’s fast-depleting reserves had recorded $23.89bn low on October 19.
At the end of November 2016, the reserves stood at $24.77bn, up from $23.95bn on October 31. The reserves have dropped by 15.9 per cent between 2015 and 2016.
An analyst at EY, Mr. Bisi Sanda, said there were indications that oil price and output would rise further this year.
He, however, said that the Federal Government needed to use this to the country’s advantage.
The Chief Executive Officer, Financial Derivatives Company Limited, Mr. Bismarck Rewane, said aside from the increases in oil price and output, the upticks in the external reserves could also be linked to the slowdown in the allocation of forex to the market by the CBN.
Ecobank Nigeria Received N50 billion 10-Year Bilateral Subordinated Loan
Ecobank Nigeria announced it has received N50 billion 10-year subordinated Loan.
Adenike Laoye, Group Head, Corporate Communications, Ecobank Nigeria, disclosed this in a statement released through the Nigerian Stock Exchange.
The statement read in part, “The bilateral funding provides stable medium-term liquidity to the balance sheet of Ecobank Nigeria and positively improved its balance sheet ratios, especially the capital adequacy ratio by circa 300 basis points.
“The transaction proceeds would be deployed to support Micro, Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (“MSMEs”) and Small Corporates.”
Niger Insurance to Sell Property Worth N15bn in Recapitalisation Move
Niger Insurance Plc said it is working on a plan to sell off N15 billion worth of real estate and investment property to boost its cash flow and meet the liquidity requirements of the insurance industry.
Mr. Edwin Egbiti, the Managing Director of the company disclosed this during the company’s 2019 annual general meetings held virtually in Lagos recently.
He said, “Subsequent to the requisite approvals of the board on behalf of shareholders, a number of the company’s real estate and investment property valued at N15bn have been put on sale in order to improve liquidity/cash flows, ensure reserve adequacy and improve solvency margins.
“We are encouraged by the progress made so far, and confident that both capital restructuring and recapitalisation efforts will be successful in line with National Insurance Commission’s regulatory timelines.”
It added that Niger Insurance recognised that its people were the company’s most critical assets without whom its goals and plans would remain elusive.
AMCON Takes Over Inducon Nigeria’s Assets Over N1.3 Billion Debt
The Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria has taken over the assets of Dr. John Abebe, the Chief Promoter of Inducon Nigeria Limited over N1.3 billion debt.
According to a statement signed by the Head, Corporate Communications Department, AMCON, Jude Nwauzor, and titled ‘N1.3bn debt: AMCON takes over assets of Inducon Nigeria Limited’ the decision followed the order of Honourable Justice Aikawa of the Federal High Court, Lagos.
“In compliance with the enforcement order, AMCON at the weekend took effective possession of the property situate at Plot12, Block 108, Lekki Peninsula Residential Scheme, Lagos, through its debt recovery agent – Ogunsola Shonibare L.P.
“The court also ordered that the bank accounts of the company and its directors, Dr. John Abebe, Mr Olawole Fatimilehin and Ademola Buraimoh, be frozen pending the final determination of the suit.”
The asset management corporation said the case of Dr. John Abebe and Inducon Nigeria Limited started shortly after the loan was procured by AMCON in 2011 during the first phase of Eligible Bank Asset purchases from the defunct FinBank, Now FCMB.
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