- Shell, ENI Ask Nigeria to Lift Forfeiture on OPL 24
A Federal High court in Abuja will hear on 27 February a plea by Shell and ENI to lift a temporary forfeiture to the Federal Government of OPL 245 oil block.
Shell and ENI want the order of forfeiture granted the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) discharged in a case now before the court.
Justice John Tsoho on Jan. 26, granted the order of interim forfeiture of Oil Prospecting Licence (OPL 245) to the Federal Government pending investigation and prosecution of suspects in the $1.1 billion Malabu Oil scam.
At the resumed hearing of the matter on Tuesday, the prosecuting counsel, Mr Johnson Ojogbane, informed the court that he was unable to respond to the two applications filed by the applicants on the matter.
Ojogbane said that his inability was, “due to circumstances beyond our control”.
He applied for an adjournment to enable the prosecution to respond so that the two applications could be taken on its merit.
Prof. Olaniwun Ajayi (SAN), counsel to Shell, told the court that he had filed two applications in respect of the matter.
Ajayi said the first application was seeking the discharge, dismissal or striking our of the order of forfeiture to the Federal Government which the court made pending the conclusion of the matter.
The second, he said, prayed for an order staying or suspending the effects of the interim order made by this court in favour of the EFCC directing that OPL 245 be managed by the Department of Petroleum Resources.
Ajayi said that the execution of the action by the EFCC constituted a gross abuse of office and court processess and that the process of procuring the ex parte order was unconstitutional and unlawful.
He said that the respondents misrepresented and surpressed material facts in obtaining the order, and urged the court to discharge the order in the interest of justice.
Ajayi reminded the court that the prosecution had said the matter was of urgent public interestme and wondered why the prosecution had failed to respond to an application filed over two weeks ago.
“Under Section 19 (2)(b and c) of the EFCC Act, the court is enjoined to give accelerated hearing and the Federal High Court Practice Direction 2013 also stresses the need for accelerated hearing of criminal matters brought before the court.”
He urged the court to give a short adjournment given the urgency of the matter and the public interest the respondents attached to it.
Counsel to ENI,Babatunde Fapohunda, who also filed the same application, urged the court to set aside its earlier order in the interest of justice.
Tosho adjourned the matter till Feb. 27 to hear the two pending applications.
The court had granted the order following an ex-parte motion filed by the EFCC through its counsel Ojogbane.
The court ordered that the property be managed by the Department of Petroluem Resources on behalf of the Federal Government, pending the conclusion of investigation and prosecution of all those involved.
The EFCC counsel in the motion noted that the investigation bordered on alleged acts of conspiracy, bribery, official corruption and money laundering.
NAN also reports that the EFCC had in December 2016, charged nine suspects, including the former Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr Mohammed Adoke, over the issue.
Adoke was accused of illegally transferring more than 800 million dollars purportedly meant for the purchase of the OPL 245 to Etete, Malabu Oil.
Global Oil Drops as Coronavirus Infections Rises in India and Other Nations
Oil prices declined on Monday during the Asian trading session amid rising concerns that the surge in coronavirus in India and other nations could force regulators to enforce stronger measures at curbing its spread and eventually affect economic activity and drag on demand for commodities like crude oil.
Brent crude oil, against which Nigerian oil is priced, declined by 22 cents or 0.33 percent to $66.55 per barrel at 8:19 am Nigerian time on Monday, following a 6 percent surge last week.
The US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) declined by 18 cents or 0.29 percent to $62.95 per barrel, after it gained 6.4 percent last week.
The decline was after India reported 261,500 new coronavirus infections on Sunday, taking the country’s total cases to almost 14.8 million, second to only the United States that has reported over 31 million coronavirus infections.
“With … a resurgence of virus cases in India and Japan, topside ambitions continue to run into walls of profit-taking,” said Stephen Innes, chief market strategist at Axi.
Businesses in Japan believed the world’s third-largest economy will experience a fourth round of coronavirus infections, with many bracing for an additional slow down in economic activity.
While Japan has had fewer COVID-19 cases when compared with other major economies, concerns about a new wave of infections are fast rising, according to responses in Reuters poll.
On Tuesday, April 20, 2020, Hong Kong will suspend all from India, Pakistan and the Philippines because of imported coronavirus infections, authorities stated in a statement released on Sunday.
India’s COVID-19 death rose by a record 1,501 to hit 177,150.
Global Markets Near Record Peaks and Will Get Stronger: deVere CEO
As the FTSE 100 hits 7,000 points for the first time since the Covid pandemic, global stock markets are poised to “get even stronger”, says the CEO of one of the world’s largest independent financial advisory and fintech organisations.
The observation from Nigel Green, the chief executive and founder of deVere Group, comes as London’s index jumped over the important threshold in early trading in London, gaining over 0.5% to 7024 points.
Mr Green notes: “London’s blue-chip index is up 40% since the worst lows of the pandemic.
“This landmark moment represents the wider optimistic sentiment gripping global markets which are near record peaks.
“We can expect global stock markets to get even stronger as investors look to seize the opportunities from economies reopening.
“They are looking towards economies rebounding in a post-pandemic era due to the monetary and fiscal stimulus, pent-up cash and demand, and strong corporate earnings.
“The current ultra-low interest rate environment and the under-performance of bonds will also act as a catalyst for stock markets.”
However, the CEO’s bullish comments also come with a warning.
“I would urge investors to proceed with caution as there are some headwinds on the horizon, including relations between the U.S. and China, the world’s two largest economies, which could be coming to a tipping point in coming weeks.
“As such, in order to capitalise on the opportunities and mitigate risks, investors must ensure proper portfolio diversification.”
Mr Green concludes: “A variety of factors are going to drive global stock markets. Investors will not want to miss out and should work with a good fund manager to judiciously top-up their portfolios.”
Refinitiv Expands Economic Data Coverage Across Africa
Building on its commitment to drive positive change through its data and insights, Refinitiv today announced the expansion of its economic data coverage of Africa. The new data set allows investment managers, central bankers, economists, and research teams to use Refinitiv Datasteam analytical data for detailed exploration of economic relationships and investment opportunities among data series covering the African continent.
Securing reliable, detailed, timely, locally sourced content has not been easy for economists who have in the past had to use international sources which often can take many months to update and opportunities to monitor the market can be missed. Because Africa is a diverse continent, economists and strategists need more timely access to country-specific data via national sources to create tailored business, policy, trading and investment strategies to meet specific goals.
Africa continues to develop critical infrastructure, telecommunications, digital technology and access to financial services for its 1.3bn people. The World Bank estimates that over 50% of African inhabitants will be under 25 by 2050. This presents substantial opportunities for investors who can spot important trends and make informed decisions based on robust and timely economic data.
Stuart Brown, Group Head of Enterprise Data Solutions, Refinitiv, said: “Africa’s growing, dynamic and fast evolving economies makes it a focal point for financial markets today and in the coming decades. As part of LSEG’s commitment to empowering the global markets with accurate and timely data, we are excited about making these unique datasets available via the Refinitiv Data Platform. Our economic data coverage of Africa will provide our customers with deeper and broader inputs for macroeconomic analyses and enable more effective investment strategies and economic research.”
Refinitiv Africa economic data coverage:
- Africa economics content comprises around 500,000 nationally sourced time series data covering 54 African nations
- Content is sourced from national statistical offices, central banks and other key national institutions
- The full breadth of economics categories in Datastream including national accounts, money and finance, prices, surveys, labor market, consumer, industry, government and external sectors
- International sources including OECD, World Bank, IMF, African Development Bank, Oxford Economics & more provide comparable data & forecasts across the continent
Refinitiv® Datastream® has global macroeconomics coverage to analyze virtually any macro environment, and better understand economic cycles to uncover trends and forecast market conditions. With over 14.2 million economic times series map trends, customers can validate ideas and identify opportunities using Refinitiv Datastream. Access its powerful charting tools, 9,000 pre-built chart templates and chart studies for commonly used valuation, performance, and technical and fundamental analysis.
Refinitiv continually grows available data – the China expansion in 2019 covered a unique combination of economic and financial indicators. Refinitiv plans to expand Southeast Asia covering Thailand, Vietnam, Philippines and Malaysia with delivery expected in 2021. This ensures that Refinitiv will have much needed emerging market economic content.
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