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Insurers Groan as Forex Volatility, Climatic Change Skyrocket Claims



  • Insurers Groan as Forex Volatility, Climatic Change Skyrocket Claims

Insurance industry Operators have in the past two years been battling to keep head above waters owing to huge claims arising from twin problem of high exchange rate, which has seen the Nigerian commodity price index moving at geometric increase rate and the adverse effects of climatic change with its attendant risk of damages to lives and properties.

These combined with the adverse effects of the economic recession, have lured many people into looking at insurance claims as means to weather their storms through filing of fraudulent claims.

Chairman, Nigerian Insurers Association (NIA), Eddie Efekoha, recently expressed concern that underwriters in recent times, have been contending with the challenge of fake claims, stressing that to outsmart the fraudsters, operators now carry out proper investigation to ascertain genuine claims.

He however said despite the harsh economic times, operators must live up to their responsibilities in paying genuine claims, assuring that activities of claims fraudsters cannot deter insurers from settling claims of those who actually needed to be indemnified.

Other insurance managers, sharing their claims experience between 2016 and first quarter 2017, said since 2016, Nigerian insurers, have been exposed to high claims ratio due to uncontrollable social and environmental problems.

The insurers said their claims experience in 2016, more than doubled what it was in 2015 while what they have so far seen in the first quarter of 2017 is unspeakable.

Group Managing Director Royal Exchange Plc, Muktari Auwalu, corroborating what the NIA chairman said on the industry’s claims experience within the period, said by the nature of insurance business, which is periodic and is renewable on annual basis, the high exchange rate of Naira to dollar, has more than doubled what they spent in paying claims to their clients whose properties were damaged during the course of the year.

The NIA Chairman, narrating the operators’ claims experience during the year 2016, said during renewals in 2015,when premiums were paid, it was paid based on old Naira exchange rate to dollar which was N196.00 to a dollar but now claims are paid based on current exchange rate which is over N400.00 to a dollar.

He gave instance of third party motor insurance, saying the cost of repairing even the least damage on a vehicle has more than doubled because of high prices of motor spare parts adding that the same goes to other classes of business and claims emanating from them.

Muktari, said the year 2016, came with challenges of huge claims coming the way of the industry operators particularly as a result of negative impact of climatic change.

He said against the backdrop of the economic recession , premium generation has not really been a serious problem to insurers but huge claims experience coming their way particularly this year as a result of negative effects of climatic change.

The Royal Exchange boss, said: “In the year 2016, we envisaged a lot of claims coming our way due to climatic change. There has been heavy rain in the northern part of the country, before now, it has not been like that. With the climate change, there is heavy rain in the north this year .We have not seen that before in the north we have only seen it in the south so they are not prepared for it. So many houses have been affected, also, the terrorists activities have caused a lot of pipeline vandalism, the terrorists activities in the north, in form of Gboko Haram, many police, soldiers were killed, and these have group life cover, houses were damaged, all these brought a lot of claims to the industry in the current year. There are a lot of factors that have affected claims rate in this 2016”, he stated.

On the way forward for the industry, Muktari, said the most important thing is how to increase operators’ capacity of doing businesses so that the industry will have larger capacity to accommodate more risks instead of ceding huge risks outside the local market.

He said with improved capacity, operators can focus and reposition the industry so that they can retain more risk in the local market and with retention of more businesses locally, there will be creation of more jobs for the teeming population of Nigerian youths.

He said with improved capacity, there will also be rapid growth of the insurance industry, and there will be a lot of funds for shareholders to enjoy and the industry will become one of the greatest industry in Africa and part of the world in general.

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.

Crude Oil

Global Oil Drops as Coronavirus Infections Rises in India and Other Nations



Crude oil

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.

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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.”

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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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