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BDCs Seek FX Rate Review, Increased Allocation



Forex Weekly Outlook October 31-November 4
  • BDCs Seek FX Rate Review, Increased Allocation

The Association of Bureaux de Change Operators of Nigeria (ABCON) has called on the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to review the margin allowed to sell to customers from N2 to N10 and also increase foreign exchange (FX) allocation given to the sub-sector weekly.

The acting President, ABCON, Alhaji Aminu Gwadabe said this at an emergency meeting with Managing Directors/Chief Executive Officers of BDCs in Lagos yesterday.

However, Gwadabe and other operators at the meeting applauded the central bank for its improvement in supply, which saw BDCs receive $20,000 last week. But they argued the margin they are allowed to sell to end users at N2 was too small.

Gwadabe said: “We have told the regulators that margin is small. The margin of N2 is too small the CBN should review that margin to at least N10 per dollar.”

Furthermore speaking on the side-lines, he added: “The BDCs from the resolution have resolved to ensure that the challenge spike and volatility in the foreign exchange market. We would corporate with the central bank as we always do so that we narrow the gap between the parallel market and the also the official market.

“We are looking at a very acceptable target. There are lots of pressure from the IMF who says our naira is overvalued and also pressure from speculators, black market operators and people who carry hot money. “We are looking at a very acceptable margin between the official and the parallel rate at max it shouldn’t be more than five per cent.”

He also urged operators to abide by the rules and regulations of the association so as not to embarrass ABCON.

“We also advise the CBN to at least be accepting utilisation documents that comes from the association so that they can verify the documents our members are using to ensure that erring members are also being sanctioned from the market.

“On the issue of the BDC office where N450 million was found, we have done investigation and the thing is still under the security purview.

“But we can assure you that our investigation is on-going, we have identified the characters involve and we are going to write them to invite them. The reason we call this meeting is to say that we condemn it in entirety.

“If you are a member and you are found with N500 mill that is total abuse of the Know-Your-Customer policy. It is a total abuse of the cash transfer report, it is total abuse of the suspicious transaction report and that is the message we have told our members that they must respect those compliances.”

Also he said the association in collaboration with the Nigerian Interbank Settlement System (NIBBS) was working on a platform which would register end-users real-time to avoid infringements.

“Sometimes it is difficult to know that an end-user has used that passport. They so perfect it that even if you put stamp, they can go and clean it and represent it to you to buy dollars. So what we are doing with NIBBS is that there is a platform that they have developed whereby all the passport that buys dollars will be stored on that platform.

“So a BDC will just go into that platform and impute the passport number and it will show if that passport has been used by a particular bank or BDC.”

Furthermore, he said: “Since the CBN resumed selling dollars to BDCs, the market has gained more liquidity and naira strengthened to a large extent. The foreign exchange speculators have suffered major losses because of the role of genuine BDCs in helping the CBN to put them under sever check.

“I want to thank you for the success we have recorded even as I tell you that greater challenges lie ahead. We must confront these challenges together and with integrity and commitment to professional and regulatory guidelines.”

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.


CBN Freezes Another 194 Accounts of firms, BDCs, Others



Godwin Emefile

The Central Bank of Nigeria on Thursday said it got orders from the Federal High Court, Abuja division, to freeze 194 bank accounts belonging to firms and Bureaux de Change to enable it to conduct investigations into suspicious activities.

It disclosed this on Thursday in three separate documents on its website.

In one of the documents, the CBN said it got an order to freeze 60 bank accounts of Bluebeam Capital Limited.

The accounts were domiciled in 13 different banks, the CBN as the plaintiff stated.

Bluebeam, as the respondent had eight accounts each in Access Bank and Keystone Bank; seven each in First Bank and Ecobank; five each in UBA and GTBank; four each in Fidelity Bank, FCMB and Sterling Bank; three accounts in Polaris Bank; two each in Wema Bank and Heritage Bank; and one in Providus Bank.

In another document, the CBN said it got an order to freeze 84 accounts in 17 banks.

The third document revealed that the banking regulator had the court order to freeze 50 accounts domiciled in different banks.

The motions exparte which were signed on different dates sought the orders of the court to direct the banks to freeze all other bank accounts of the defendants for a period of 180 days, pending the outcome of investigation and inquiry being conducted by the CBN.

In the document signed by the Presiding Judge, A.R. Mohammed, the court empowered the CBN to direct the banks to freeze all the bank accounts for a period of 45 days only, pending the outcome of the investigation.

It added that the order may be extended upon good reasons shown.

Any person aggrieved by this order could apply to the court to have the order set aside, discharged or have the order reviewed upon good reasons without waiting for the 45 days to lapse, the document stated.

The CBN on Wednesday disclosed it got an order to freeze 11 bank accounts to enable it conduct investigations into suspicious activities.

It had listed the names of the defendants/respondents as Albert Austin Ugochukwu with two bank accounts; Belfour Energy & Allied Services; Belfour Oil and Gas Limited with three bank accounts; Circle Flow Integrated Services; Kacynaus Reality Nigeria Limited with three bank accounts; and Tasmara Integrated Services.

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Banking Sector

Insider Dealing: Henry Oroh, An Executive Director of Zenith Bank, Acquires N46.982 Million Worth of Zenith Bank Shares



Henry Oroh

Henry Oro, an executive director of Zenith Bank Plc, has dumped N46.982 million on shares of Zenith Bank, according to the latest filing with the Nigerian Stock Exchange.

The executive director purchased Zenith Bank’s shares of 724,527 on April 1st, 2021 at N22.05 each or N15.976 million.

On April 6th, Oroh added 612,573 shares at N22 a unit and another 400,000 units at N21.90 per share.

On the same day, he purchased another 400,000 units at N21.90 a share. Bringing aggregate purchase on April 6th to 1,412,573 at an average price of N21.95 a unit or N31.006 million.

Henry Oroh has spent a total of N46.982 million on Zenith shares in April.

Henry Oroh was appointed as Zenith Bank’s executive director on September 1st, 2019 and holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting from the University of Benin, Edo State and an MBA from the Lagos State University as well as an LLB Degree from the University of London.

He is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) and an honorary member of the Chartered Institute of Bankers (CIBN), Nigeria.

He has over two decades of banking experience. He began his banking career in 1992 at Citibank where he served for seven (7) years in Operations, Treasury and Marketing.

He joined Zenith Bank in February 1999 and has worked in various Groups and Departments within the Zenith Group Office. His expertise spans Operations, Information Technology, Treasury, Marketing, including the Manufacturing, Food and Beverages, Pharmaceuticals, Oil and Gas, Public Sector, Consumer, as well as Corporate Banking and Business Development.

In April 2012, he was seconded to Zenith Bank Ghana Limited as an Executive Director and became the Managing Director/ Chief Executive in February 2016, where he successfully spearheaded the phenomenal growth of the Zenith Brand both within the Ghana market and the West African sub-region.

Henry has attended several Leadership Programmes and Executive Management Courses at the Harvard Business School, Columbia Business School, New York, University of Chicago, University of Pennsylvania, HEC Paris, JP Morgan Chase, UK and the Lagos Business School.

He comes to the Board of Zenith Bank Plc with strong competencies in Credit & Marketing, Operations, Information Technology, Treasury and impressive Leadership skills.

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Banking Sector

Access Bank Lagos City Marathon Adopts Virtual Audience For 10km Runners



In a bid to ensure the health and safety of all runners and essential service workers amid the global COVID-19 pandemic, the title sponsors of the Access Bank Lagos City Marathon, Access Bank PLC, has announced that the Lagos City Marathon will be held virtually for interested 10km runners this year.

The marathon, scheduled for April 10, 2021 can only accommodate 300 runners in line with the guidelines provided by the World Health Organisation (WHO), World Athletics and the Lagos State Ministry of Health.

Speaking on the development, Access Bank’s Executive Director of Retail Banking, Victor Etuokwu said, “Our primary consideration is the health and safety of participants, attendees and staff that will be a part of the Lagos City Marathon. This is why we decided to have an exclusive virtual event – that allows participants from all over the world to run the race wherever they are.

‘’While we regret that we can’t host the live 10km race and fanfare that have become synonymous with the Access Bank Lagos City Marathon, we continue to stand with the other sponsors to preserve public health as we look forward to hosting a successful marathon. We implore all well-meaning Lagosians to please adhere to the movement guidelines put in place by the Lagos State Government to ensure that the marathon fulfills its purpose of positively placing Lagos and indeed the whole of Africa on the global map,” he concluded.

Though audience participation may have changed, the organisers have also announced that the race route will largely remain the same. Runners will begin the race from the National Stadium, Surulere, opposite Teslim Balogun Stadium and finish at the Eko Atlantic City, Victoria Island.

Now in its sixth edition, the Silver – Labelled Access Bank Lagos City Marathon has featured over 200,000 registered athletes from over 12 participating countries collectively covering a distance of 42,000 kilometers.

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