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Terminal Operators Fret over Concession Agreement Review

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Nigerian ports authority
  • Terminal Operators Fret over Concession Agreement Review

Terminal operator operators in the nation’s seaports are afraid they may loss out in the imminent review of the port concession agreement they signed with the Federal Government over a decade ago.

The idea of the review which was muted during the administration of Dr. Goodluck Jonathan was given impetus with the advent of President Mohammadu Buhari’s administration about two years ago.

Managing Director, Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Ms. Hadiza Bala Usman had shortly after taking over the reins of administration from her predecessor, Alhaji Habib Abdullahi said that the 10-year old port concession exercise is due for review.

According to Usman who is regarded as a neophyte in the maritime industry in some quarters stated that the review will broadly examine all facets of the terms of the port concession engagement.

The NPA Managing Director revealed that the review would cover areas like financing models and the concession environment.

She hinged the review of the concession agreement on the need to adjust according to the vagaries of the nation’s economy.

“As the nation’s economic climate changes, there was need to adjust”, she said.

In order to ensure that no stone is left unturned she said other agencies of government relevant to the exercise shall be fully involved in the concession review.

Her words: “We would reach out to the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC) and they would be part of the review”.

Check revealed that at the conclusion of the concession review, some of the concessionaires that might have not performed creditably since they signed the concession agreement might be compelled to relinquish the terminals they are presently operating.

Already, fear have gripped some of the concessionaires as they were said not to have meet up with the provisions of the agreement they signed with the Federal Government through the management of the NPA.

An impeccable source close to one of the concessionaires said that their fear is not on their performance as he argued that they have done well going by the prevailing circumstances they found themselves.

According to the source, their greatest fear is that some people close to the corridors of power, especially in the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) have position themselves to take over the terminals from the terminal operators. So it is not about performance. It is about taking over the terminals from the concessionaires by all means. Many politicians have their eyes on the nation’s seaports. They are angling to take over the terminals for their own selfish interests. Remember, preparations for the 2019 has started in earnest. Many of them are looking for the funds to fulfil their ambitions.

He maintained that the concessionaires have not done badly if the assessment is based solely on their performance in line with the provisions of the agreement.

He also argued that the review of the concession agreement should be holistic as the agreement has components for all parties involved pointing out that there are roles and responsibilities for the concessionaires just as there are roles and responsibilities for the government.

“Unfortunately, most people are only focusing on the aspects of the terminal operators alone. They totally ignore the areas that have to do with the government. They deliberately close their eyes to the roles and responsibilities of the government which are clearly stated in the concession agreement. Check it. It is written there black and white but no one talks about it. For instance, what about the common users services which strictly fall under the purview of the government? Has government done well? Of course, it has not. That is the one million naira question begging for answer.

“In order to get a true picture of how the concession has fared in the last ten years, the proposed review must be comprehensive. We must not look at one aspect and leave out the other. We must take a critical look at all the aspects militating against its successful implementation in the last ten years.

Otherwise, the review will be dead on arrival and we will not be able to make a headway as far as the sustainable development of the nation’s seaports is concern”, he said.

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.

Markets

Global Markets Near Record Peaks and Will Get Stronger: deVere CEO

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Stocks

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.”

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Markets

Refinitiv Expands Economic Data Coverage Across Africa

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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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Crude Oil

Oil Rises on Drawdown in U.S. Oil Stocks, OPEC Demand Outlook

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Oil 1

Oil prices rose in early trade on Wednesday, adding to overnight gains, after industry data showed U.S. oil inventories declined more than expected and OPEC raised its outlook for oil demand.

Brent crude futures rose 28 cents, or 0.4%, to $63.95 a barrel at 0057 GMT, after climbing 39 cents on Tuesday.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures similarly climbed 28 cents, or 0.5%, to $60.46 a barrel, adding to Tuesday’s rise of 48 cents.

Oil price gains over the past week have been underpinned by signs of a strong economic recovery in China and the United States, but have been capped by concerns over stalled vaccine rollouts worldwide and soaring COVID-19 infections in India and Brazil.

Nevertheless, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) tweaked up its forecast on Tuesday for world oil demand growth this year, now expecting demand to rise by 5.95 million barrels per day (bpd) in 2021, up by 70,000 bpd from its forecast last month. It is banking on the pandemic to subside and travel curbs to be eased.

“It was a welcome prognosis by the market, which had been fretting about the impact the ongoing pandemic was having on demand,” ANZ Research analysts said in a note.

Further supporting the market on Wednesday, sources said data from the American Petroleum Institute showed crude stocks fell by 3.6 million barrels in the week ended April 9, compared with estimates for a decline of about 2.9 million barrels from analysts polled by Reuters.

Traders are waiting to see if official inventory data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) on Wednesday matches that view.

Market gains are being capped on concerns about increased oil production in the United States and rising supply from Iran at a time when OPEC and its allies, together called OPEC+, are set to bring on more supply from May.

“They may have to contend with rising U.S. supply,” ANZ analysts said.

EIA said this week oil output from seven major shale formations is expected to rise by 13,000 bpd in May to 7.61 million bpd.

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