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CBN to Resume Dollar sales to BDCs Next Week

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Naira Appreciates as Manufacturers Lament Forex Scarcity
  • CBN to Resume Dollar sales to BDCs Next Week

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) will resume sales of dollar proceeds of international money transfer (IMT) to bureaux de change (BDC) operators next week.

CBN Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, disclosed this during a meeting with executives of Association of Bureaux De Change Operators of Nigeria (ABCON).

ABCON President, Aminu Gwadabe, confirmed this, saying that the CBN governor also dismissed as untrue speculations that the apex bank would reintroduce mandatory caution deposit of N35 million.

CBN had returned the mandatory caution to BDCs last year following the cancellation of direct sales of dollars to them. It commenced the sale of dollar proceeds of IMT to BDCs in August last year as part of measures to boost dollar supply in the retail segment and also stem the depreciation of the Naira in the parallel market.

However, the sale was suspended last month due to the Christmas and New Year holidays.

Emefiele told ABCON executives that the apex bank will resume dollar sales to BDCs so as to ensure stability of the Naira exchange rate.

Gwadabe said the CBN governor also warned against speculation against the value of the Naira, assuring that the apex bank will not devalue the Naira contrary to predictions in some quarters. The CBN governor also asked BDCs to shun speculation and ensure compliance with all regulatory requirements.

Regulatory requirements

Gwadabe said the CBN governor commended efforts of the Association to publish weekly exchange rates for BDCs, in order to enhance transparency and confidence in the market.

The meeting with the ABCON executives was aimed at exploring measures to narrow the wide gap between the interbank exchange rate and the parallel market rate. The interbank exchange rate closed at N304.5 yesterday awhile the parallel market rate closed at N495 per dollar.

Recall that ABCON launched weekly exchange rate quote for BDCs as part of efforts to encourage Nigerians in Diaspora to patronise the official channels to remit their dollars.

Speaking at the launch, Gwadabe said the Association will also introduce full automation of BDC operations in Nigeria, saying about 2000 BDCs have already been enrolled in the online platform established for this purpose.

Gwadabe said that these measures were aimed at boosting confidence in the foreign exchange market and hence encourage Nigerians in diaspora to send their dollars through the official market. “It is believed that Nigerians in diaspora remitted about $35 billion into the country last year. We believe if all these dollars were remitted through the official channels, the naira will appreciate significantly, and the gap in exchange rates would be eliminated”, he said.

He noted that the challenge facing the nation’s exchange rate, especially the recently introduced flexible exchange rate regime is liquidity, adding that the solution is to ensure transparency via harmonisation of exchange rate, which would in turn boost confidence in the market and encourage dollar inflows.

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.

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Finance

Herbert Wigwe Wins Banker of the Year at African Banker Awards 2021

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Herbert Wigwe - Investors King

Herbert Wigwe, the Group Managing Director and the Chief Executive Officer of Access Bank Plc, has won African Banker of the Year at the just concluded African Banker Award 2021.

The CEO won for the second consecutive year following series of creative acquisitions and continental strategies deployed at deepening banking transactions in Africa.

Through his strategic move, Access Bank is now present in South Africa following its acquisition of Grobank. As a result of its rapid growth in the last decade, Access Bank has become one of the largest retail banks in Africa with over 40 million customers.

Below is a Complete List of African Banker Award Winners 

Sustainable bank of the year
Commercial International Bank (CIB) Egypt

Infrastructure deal of the year
Tanzania Standard Gauge Railway $1.46bn loan facility
Nedbank | Standard Chartered | TDB

Deal of the year – Equity
Privatisation of Afam Power Plc and Afam Three Fast Power Ltd
FBNQuest

Deal of the year – Debt
African Export-Import Bank, COVID-19 Support Facility
MUFG Bank, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group

Award for financial inclusion
Trust Merchant Bank, DRC

African Banker Icon
Charlie Robertson, Chief Economist, Renaissance Capital

Finance Minister of the year
H.E Mohammed Benchaâboun, Minister for Economy and Finance, Morocco

Award for Innovation for Financial Services
Bank of Industry, Government Enterprise Empowerment Programme

Energy deal of the year
Nkhotakota Solar Power Plant in Malawi / 7.5 MW Solar PV Power Plant in Burundi
African Trade Insurance Agency (ATI)

Agriculture deal of the year
USD 400m Revolving Trade Finance Facility in favour of ETC Group
African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank)

African SME Bank of the Year
Ecobank

Best Regional Bank in Africa
North: Attijariwafa Bank, Morocco
West: Banque de Développement du Mali
East: Equity Bank, Kenya
Central: BGFI, Gabon
Southern: Mozabanco, Mozambique

Investment Bank of the Year
ABSA

Central Bank Governor of the Year
H.E. Lesetja Kganyago, Governor Reserve Bank of South Africa

Lifetime Achievement
Felix Bikpo

African Bank of the Year
Standard Bank Group

African Banker of the Year
Herbert Wigwe, Group CEO, Access Bank

For more on the African Banker Awards, please visit: www.africanbankerawards.comAfr

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Banking Sector

Innovation and Resilience Common Themes Amongst Winners of African Banker Awards 2021

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African Banker Awards 2021 - Investors King

Winners of the 2021 edition of the African Banker Awards were announced today at a virtual awards ceremony. The Awards, since 2013, are held during the Annual meetings of the African Development Bank, the event’s High patron, which are taking place also virtually between 23rd and 25th June.

The Awards have become the most respected and recognised industry event celebrating African banking achievements. The organisers this year put an emphasis to recognise and reward institutions that contributed to the real economy which has suffered from the impact of Covid-19 as well as contributed to women empowerment on the continent.

Herbert Wigwe won for the second consecutive year African Banker of the Year. Access Bank is now present in South Africa following its acquisition of Grobank. As a result of its rapid growth the last decade, Access Bank has become one of the largest retail banks in Africa with over 40 million customers.

Morocco’s Minister of Economy and Finance, Mohammed Benchaâboun, won Finance Minister of the Year. He was recognised for the exceptional work of his ministry which coordinated an exemplary response to the economic impact from the crisis, helping to protect both lives and livelihoods. The fiscal stimulus provided has cushioned the impact of the pandemic. The ministry managed to crowd in both public and private sector resources that were used to support the most needy.

Lesetja Kganyago, Governor of the Reserve Bank of South Africa, was awarded the Central Bank Governor of the year. Under his leadership, the Reserve Bank has managed to act decisively but also, the Committee noted, in a measured way, managing both upside and downside risk.

Felix Bikpo earned the Life Achievement Award for his long and distinguished career. When asked for his outlook on the future of the continent, he remained upbeat saying technological developments and also the human capabilities that we have developed in Africa are cause for optimism.

Charlie Robertson, chief economist at international investment bank Renaissance Capital won the African Banker icon category. In his remarks he noted that it was important to drive up savings rates to help spur greater investments on the continent, if Africa is to replicate the Asian miracle.

Omar Ben Yedder, Group Publisher of African Banker said: “I was really impressed by the entries this year. It showed that the banking sector is healthy and resilient which will be critical if it is to support the economic recovery post-COVID. What will be fundamental to our recovery is the support of the real economy, especially SMEs, and also a focus on more equity investments and investments in general. For that, as our African Banker Icon suggested, we will also need to increase our savings rate across the continent. If I had one comment on the winners, it was dominated by men this year. However I should add that the institutions that were recognised in our ceremony all had strong gender programmes, both in terms of supporting women-led businesses but also strong programmes to promote women and have women leaders within their organisations.”

This year the Awards were sponsored by the African Guarantee Fund, Bank of Industry (Nigeria), Banque du Développement du Mali and technology partner TagPay.

THE 2021 AFRICAN BANKER AWARD WINNERS 

Sustainable bank of the year
Commercial International Bank (CIB) Egypt

Infrastructure deal of the year
Tanzania Standard Gauge Railway $1.46bn loan facility
Nedbank | Standard Chartered | TDB

Deal of the year – Equity
Privatisation of Afam Power Plc and Afam Three Fast Power Ltd
FBNQuest

Deal of the year – Debt
African Export-Import Bank, COVID-19 Support Facility
MUFG Bank, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group

Award for financial inclusion
Trust Merchant Bank, DRC

African Banker Icon
Charlie Robertson, Chief Economist, Renaissance Capital

Finance Minister of the year
H.E Mohammed Benchaâboun, Minister for Economy and Finance, Morocco

Award for Innovation for Financial Services
Bank of Industry, Government Enterprise Empowerment Programme

Energy deal of the year
Nkhotakota Solar Power Plant in Malawi / 7.5 MW Solar PV Power Plant in Burundi
African Trade Insurance Agency (ATI)

Agriculture deal of the year
USD 400m Revolving Trade Finance Facility in favour of ETC Group
African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank)

African SME Bank of the Year
Ecobank

Best Regional Bank in Africa
North: Attijariwafa Bank, Morocco
West: Banque de Développement du Mali
East: Equity Bank, Kenya
Central: BGFI, Gabon
Southern: Mozabanco, Mozambique

Investment Bank of the Year
ABSA

Central Bank Governor of the Year
H.E. Lesetja Kganyago, Governor Reserve Bank of South Africa

Lifetime Achievement
Felix Bikpo

African Bank of the Year
Standard Bank Group

African Banker of the Year
Herbert Wigwe, Group CEO, Access Bank

For more on the African Banker Awards, please visit: www.africanbankerawards.com

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Banking Sector

Standard Bank Group to Bring Together Over 600 delegates in Search For Africa’s Next Phase of Growth

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Standard Bank Group is bringing together international investors, policymakers and top African corporates to look ahead to the opportunities in a growing Africa. The 11th Africa Investors’ Conference (AIC), held in collaboration with ICBC Standard Bank, is being held over 5 days from 21-25 June.

Standard Bank Group has partnered with Microsoft to power the conference’s virtual format, using the Teams platform to host over 3,000 meetings between African corporates and institutional investors over the five-day period. Attendees will hear a keynote address from Samer Abu-Ltaif, Corporate Vice President and President, Microsoft MEA, on why Africa’s speedy adoption of tech will help to drive growth on the continent.

Continuing on from the successful approach pioneered at last year’s conference, the virtual format enables record numbers of individuals to participate. In 2020, a total of over 2,800 meetings which attracted over 40 corporates were facilitated. This year is set to be the biggest yet, with at least 25 percent more African corporates confirmed to attend.

Further enhanced by the attendance of some of Africa’s leading policymakers and speakers from prominent organisations in Africa and globally, the agenda-setting conference provides a virtual platform for equity investors such as AIG, Jefferies and JP Morgan to meet in select groups and identify investment opportunities with some of the continent’s most successful corporates, including Nampak, MTN, Anglo American Platform, Liberty Holdings and many more.

Key insights will be delivered during the conference’s flagship plenary sessions which will feature His Excellency, the Vice President of Ghana, Mahamudu Bawumia, Dr. Vera Songwe, UN Under-Secretary-General and Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Africa, Lesetja Kganyago, Governor, South African Reserve Bank and Standard Bank Group CEO Sim Tshabalala.

With the impact of the COVID-19 crisis in mind, this year’s conference is distinctly forward looking, and will track the opportunities on offer to investors and corporates under the themes of Africa’s People, Progress and Potential. Topics to be covered will range from digital infrastructure, sustainable technology advances, the African Continental Free-Trade Area (AfCFTA), specific opportunities within Mozambique, Ghana and South Africa, as well as economic overviews for many African countries.

The policymaker country sessions will cover the latest monetary and fiscal policy reforms while the thought-leadership sessions will cover countries, sectors, current issues and trends to showcase the opportunity for investment and growth across Africa.

“Despite the trying and unique circumstances last year, we were able to bring together a wealth of policymakers, corporates and investors committed to the long-term prosperity of Africa. We are confident of similarly strong engagement this year and looking forward to facilitating productive conversations regarding the investment opportunities across the continent,” says Kenny Fihla, CEO of Wholesale Clients, Standard Bank Group.

The conference will highlight the rapid acceleration of Africa’s fintech capabilities. Managing Director of Zeepay, Andrew Takyi-Appiah, and Tony van den Berge, Managing Director EMEA Emerging Markets, Amazon Web Services, will deliver insights on the technological growth of Ghana and South Africa.

This year’s event is the first since the ratification of the AfCFTA. Representatives from Standard Bank Group, the United Nations and leading African corporates will join a session analysing the transformative effect the AfCFTA will have on intra-Africa trade and the long-term prosperity of the continent.

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