- Banking Stocks Drive N17bn Gain on Equities
Financial services (banking) stock, on Thursday, led the Nigerian Stock Exchange into a N17bn gain at the close of trading.
A total of 146.485 million shares worth N1.187bn exchanged hands in 3,013 deals.
The NSE market capitalisation appreciated to N9.045tn from N9.028tn, as the All-Share Index closed at 26,289.95 basis points from 26,240.45 basis points.
The bourse posted another positive close in Thursday’s session buoyed by late gains in the banking sector. Major bourses around the world traded firmly in the green following sustained confidence that President Trump’s policies would spur economic growth.
The banking sector rebounded after three consecutive sessions of losses owing to gains in Guaranty Trust Bank Plc and Zenith Bank Plc by 2.55 per cent and 0.98 per cent, respectively.
The oil and gas sector also closed higher after gains in Forte Oil Plc and Oando Plc by 10.25 per cent and 4.88 per cent, accordingly, outweighed declines in MRS Plc, Conoil Plc, Mobil Oil Nigeria Plc and Total Nigeria Plc by 9.74 per cent, 4.90 per cent, 4.94 per cent and 0.70 per cent, respectively.
While the industrial goods sector remained relatively unchanged, the consumer goods sector traded in the negative territory amid investors’ reaction to Guinness Nigeria Plc disappointing second half 2016 result. Guinness shares depreciated by five per cent coupled with losses in Nestle Nigeria Plc and Honeywell Flour Mill Plc by 1.33 per cent and 0.87 per cent, accordingly.
Market breadth remained positive with 24 advances and 19 declines.
On what would shape the next trading session, Vetiva Capital analysts, said, “Similar to the previous session, the positive close of the NSE ASI does not properly reflect the bearish sentiment that dominated Thursday’s trading hours. As such, we think the performance of the ASI could soften at week close.”
Meanwhile, the average bond yield advanced to 16.82 per cent, as the naira appreciated slightly.
The average money market rates at the close of trading activities stood at 5.88 per cent indicating a decline of 0.84 per cent from the average rate at Wednesday’s closing. The open buy-back and overnight rates settled at 5.50 per cent and 6.25 per cent, respectively.
In the secondary market for Treasury bills, weakened demand was witnessed across all tenors as yields trended northward on January 25, 2017 pegging the average Treasury bill yield for the day at 16.51 per cent. The one-month bill recorded the highest yield increase of 0.28 per cent.
Mixed sentiments pervaded the Federal Government bonds market. However, majority of the instruments recorded advancements in yield. The yields of the May-2018 and March-2024 bonds advanced significantly by 0.19 per cent and 0.22 per cent, accordingly. At the close of the day’s trades, average bond yield inched up marginally by 0.02 per cent to 16.82 per cent.
At the interbank foreign exchange market, the naira appreciated slightly by 0.08 per cent to close at N305.25 to the United States dollar. Also, the average forward quotes recorded in the day fell to N323.27/dollar. Parallel market rates, however, remained flat at N490/dollar.
FG to Earn N462 Billion from Electronic Money Transfer Levy in 2021 – World Bank
The World Bank has said the Federal Government of Nigeria will earn an estimated N462 billion from electronic money transfer levy in 2021.
The leading multilateral financial institution disclosed in its ‘Resilience through Reforms’ report.
The Federal Government had introduced a levy on electronic money transfer in the Finance Act 2020 to take advantage of the growing electronic transfer in the country and up revenue generation.
The electronic money transfer levy is a single one-off charge of N50 on electronic fund transfer in any deposit money bank or financial institution on any type of account on sums of N10,000 or more.
Akpan Ekpo, the Chairman of the Foundation for Economic Research and Training, who spoke in a telephone interview voiced his concerns on the levy.
He said, “The levy is remitted to the government, which is fine. But I think the savers, the people who use the transfer channels, are over-levied. You pay maintenance fee, transfer fee, and I think if this level of levying continues, it will discourage people from using electronic channels.
“Personally, I think the EMT levy should be out of the Finance Act. There is too much burden on the citizens, although the government is making great money from it. Let us hope they use the money wisely, but it shouldn’t have been put there in the first place.
“It is a law now; there is nothing that can be done about it. But I hope it is used wisely, and they would be transparent about how the money is being used.”
Akpan said the EMT levy would discourage individuals outside the formal banking net.
He said, “With the EMT levy, more people are discouraged from using the banks and its services. A lot of Nigerians sell in rural areas, and are outside the financial system net.
“With the EMT, more people are further excluded. There really was no need to introduce the EMT; it will discourage those who are not already in the formal banking sector from even coming into it. It is likely to further deepen the financial exclusion of many Nigerians.”
Hope PSBANK Collaborates With FG To Create 100 Jobs In Each Local Government
Hope Payment Service Bank, a subsidiary of Unified Payment Services Limited and Nigeria’s premier digital bank is collaborating with the Federal Government through the Ministry of Labour and Productivity to create jobs for no fewer than 77,400 people across the country.
The employment opportunity is part of the exit strategy of the Federal Government’s Special Public Works Programme being executed alongside the bank by empowering 100 Nigerians in each of the 774 local governments.
Speaking at the official kick-off of the collaboration, the Managing Director, Hope Payment Service Bank, Mr. Ayotunde Kuponiyi noted that the digital bank serves as an enabling platform that would interface with 77,400 beneficiaries selected from the Special Works Programme of the FG to exit them into self-employment.
Kuponiyi stressed that the focus of the collaboration is geared towards empowering beneficiaries through the agency banking platform in carrying out financial services such as account opening, bills payments, fund transfer, cash in/cash for Nigerians while they earn commission in return with just the use of their smartphones.
According to him, this initiative comes at no cost to the beneficiaries as they can use their phones to carry out agency banking activities for which they earn commissions on each activity carried out. “Once on board, these beneficiaries will become HOPE PSBANK agents. They will undergo training on the various activities by the bank at no cost to them”, he added.
“We are very excited about this collaboration with the Ministry, which is in line with the thrust of the social objectives of Hope Payment Service Bank – poverty reduction through financial inclusion and diffusion of digital financial services”, he said.
Airtel Partners AXA Mansard, Unveils Mobile Health Insurance via USSD
Airtel Nigeria and AXA Mansard, have entered a strategic partnership to deepen access, participation and enrolment in health insurance for more Nigerians.
The partnership by Airtel and AXA Mansard is in response to the Federal Government’s goal, through the National Health Insurance Scheme, to provide easy access to healthcare for all Nigerians by leveraging on the USSD channel, an easy-to-use and interactive platform.
By dialing the shortcode, *987*7#, Airtel customers can now conveniently enroll for affordable and robust health insurance plans from AXA Mansard, with access to over 1,000 hospitals nationwide for quality healthcare services.
Commenting on Airtel’s partnership with AXA Mansard on the Mobile Health Insurance, the Head Mobile Financial Services, Airtel Nigeria, Muyiwa Ebitanmi, said the mobile health insurance initiative demonstrates Airtel’s commitment to providing innovative and relevant solutions that will empower more Nigerians to conveniently access best-in-class health insurance value offerings.
“Airtel Nigeria is always exploring innovative ways and platforms that will make life easier, more meaningful and more enjoyable for Nigerians. With this initiative, we are not just delivering bespoke health insurance services to the doorstep of more people, we are also leading a quiet revolution that will drive and deepen health insurance inclusion by removing the many barriers that have hitherto excluded many well-meaning Nigerians from participating in the sector.”
Speaking about the Mobile Health Insurance initiative, the Head, Emerging Customers and Digital Partnerships Group at AXA Mansard, Mr. Alfred Egbai, stated that “our research has shown the value and importance of having a health insurance plan to the public especially for the emerging customers in the country, but for many reasons, the uptake of insurance products has been low”.
He continued, “In order to mitigate these challenges and satisfy the health needs of the retail consumer whilst also encouraging the uptake of health insurance in the country, we have partnered with Airtel Nigeria to provide a solution that gives users a convenient way to purchase and manage their AXA Mansard micro-insurance plans.”
Malaria Cover, Inpatient, Outpatient, Specialist medical consultations, Immunizations, Family planning, Ambulance services, Dental care and more are some of the covers provided in the AXA Mansard Health plans.
“The challenges to the implementation of health insurance schemes hitherto include a low level of awareness, affordability, ineffective distribution systems and inefficient payment models.
“The partnership between Airtel Nigeria and AXA Mansard is aimed at solving these challenges and assisting Nigerians to access a viable Health Insurance Scheme,” he said
Airtel Nigeria, as a socially responsible organization, will continue to partner with industry leaders to bring products and services that will touch the lives of its subscribers in very positive ways.
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