- Court Orders Bank to Take over Intercontinental Hotel over Alleged Debt
The Federal High Court in Lagos has ordered Skye Bank Plc to take over Intercontinental Hotel over an alleged debt.
It appointed a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Mr. Kunle Ogunba, as the hotel’s receiver-manager in order to preserve its assets.
The hotel, with 361 rooms, is on Plot 244 and 245 (now 52) Kofo Abayomi Street on Victoria Island in Lagos.
Justice Babs Kuewumi ordered Skye Bank Plc to take over and preserve the assets Milan Industries Limited (the defendant), particularly the hotel which is covered by a deed of legal mortgage, pending he hearing and determination of the plaintiff’s motion on notice.
The court also made an interim order granting judicial protection to Ogunba, who was appointed by the bank as the receiver-manager of the hotel by virture of a deed of appointment dated November 11, 2016 in furtherance of the legal mortgage.
Justice Kuewumi granted an interim injunction restraining the defendant and its agents from interfering with or obstructing Ogunba in the course of his performance of his duties as receiver-manager over the defendant’s charged assets and properties.
The judge held: “An order is hereby made restraining the defendant, its agents, servants and/or privies from withdrawing, interfering with, tampering, removing from jurisdiction of this court or otherwise dealing with the defendant’s funds in any bank or financial institution in Nigeria or outside Nigeria in view of the receivership status of the defendant pending the hearing and final determination of the motion on notice filed along herewith.”
The judge ordered all banks and financial institutions as well as other agencies contractually obligated to the Milan Industries to furnish the receiver with details of sums outstanding to the defendant’s credit.
Justice Kuewumi directed the Assistant Inspector-General of Police, Zone 2 and the Commandants of the Nigerian Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) or their agents where the defendant’s assets may be situated, to assist the receiver/manager in performing his duties.
“The plaintiff shall file an undertaking to indemnify the defendant should it turn out that this order ought not to have been made,” the judge added.
Skye Bank said it availed Milan Industries with facilities in the sum of $29.8million and N3.8billion for the construction of Intercontinental Hotel.
It also raised an overdraft facility of N500million “to urgently fund payments to contractors and importation of material required for completing the hotel project.”
As security, the defendant executed a deed of legal mortgage in favour of the bank in which it charged it charged the 361-room five star hotel.
“At the expiration f the tenure of the various facilities extended by the plaintiff, the defendant failed and/or neglected to liquidate the various facilities and same continues to accrue interest.
“The facilities availed the defendant have since matured and/or expired and the defendant has failed to liquidate same and failed to comply with various repayment plans of the principal and interest despite several magnanimities extended to it by the plaintiff,” the bank said.
It added it was left with no choice than to appoint a receiver/manager in line with the registered deed of legal mortgage.
“The balance of convenience in the instant suit is in favour of the plaintiff/applicant whose funds are taxpayers’ monies which ought to be accounted back to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN),” the bank added.
The case is adjourned to May 17.
Oil Jumps to $67.70 as OPEC+ Extends Production Cuts
Oil Jumps to $67.70 as OPEC+ Extends Production Cuts
Brent crude oil, against which Nigerian oil is priced, rose to $67.70 per barrel on Thursday following the decision of OPEC and allies, known as OPEC+, to extend production cuts.
OPEC and allies are presently debating whether to restore as much as 1.5 million barrels per day of crude oil in April, according to people with the knowledge of the meeting.
Experts have said OPEC+ continuous production cuts could increase global inflationary pressure with the rising price of could oil. However, Saudi Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman said “I don’t think it will overheat.”
Last year “we suffered alone, we as OPEC+” and now “it’s about being vigilant and being careful,” he said.
Saudi minister added that the additional 1 million barrel-a-day voluntary production cut the kingdom introduced in February was now open-ended. Meaning, OPEC+ will be withholding 7 million barrels a day or 7 percent of global demand from the market– even as fuel consumption recovers in many nations.
Experts have started predicting $75 a barrel by April.
“We expect oil prices to rise toward $70 to $75 a barrel during April,” said Ann-Louise Hittle, vice president of macro oils at consultant Wood Mackenzie Ltd. “The risk is these higher prices will dampen the tentative global recovery. But the Saudi energy minister is adamant OPEC+ must watch for concrete signs of a demand rise before he moves on production.”
Gold Hits Eight-Month Low as Global Optimism Grows Amid Rising Demand for Bitcoin
Gold Struggles Ahead of Economic Recovery as Bitcoin, New Gold, Surges
Global haven asset, gold, declined to the lowest in more than eight months on Tuesday as signs of global economic recovery became glaring with rising bond yields.
The price of the precious metal declined to $1,718 per ounce during London trading on Thursday, down from $2,072 it traded in August as more investors continue to cut down on their holdings of the metal.
The previous metal usually performs poorly with rising yields on other assets like bonds, especially given the fact that gold does not provide streams of interest payments. Investors have been jumping on US bonds ahead of President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion coronavirus stimulus package, expected to stoke stronger US price growth.
“We see the rising bond yields as a sign of economic optimism, which has also prompted gold investors to sell some of their positions,” said Carsten Menke of Julius Baer.
Another analyst from Commerzbank, Carsten Fritsch, said that “gold’s reputation appears to have been tarnished considerably by the heavy losses of recent weeks, as evidenced by the ongoing outflows from gold ETFs”.
Experts at Investors King believed the growing demand for Bitcoin, now called the new gold, and other cryptocurrencies in recent months by institutional investors is hurting gold attractiveness.
In a recent report, analysts at Citigroup have started projecting mainstream acceptance for the unregulated dominant cryptocurrency, Bitcoin.
The price of Bitcoin has rallied by 60 percent to $52,000 this year alone. While Ethereum has risen by over 660 percent in 2021.
Oil Prices Extend Gains to $64.32 Ahead of OPEC+ Meeting
Oil Prices Rise to $64.32 Amid Expected Output Extension
Oil prices extended gains during the early hours of Thursday trading session amid the possibility that OPEC+ producers might not increase output at a key meeting scheduled for later in the day and the drop in U.S refining.
Brent crude oil, against which Nigeria oil is priced, gained 0.4 percent or 27 cents to $64.32 per barrel as at 7:32 am Nigerian time on Thursday. While the U.S West Texas Intermediate gained 19 cents or 0.3 percent to $61.47 a barrel.
“Prices hinge on Russia’s and Saudi Arabia’s preference to add more crude oil production,” said Stephen Innes, global market strategist at Axi. “Perhaps more interesting is the lack of U.S. shale response to the higher crude oil prices, which is favourable for higher prices.”
The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and allies, together known as OPEC+, are looking to extend production cuts into April against expected output increase due to the fragile state of the global oil market.
Oil traders and businesses had been expecting the oil cartel to ease production by around 500,000 barrels per day since January 2021 but because of the coronavirus risk and rising global uncertainties, OPEC+ was forced to role-over production cuts until March. Experts now expect that this could be extended to April given the global situation.
“OPEC+ is currently meeting to discuss its current supply agreement. This raised the spectre of a rollover in supply cuts, which also buoyed the market,” ANZ said in a report.
Meanwhile, U.S crude oil inventories rose by more than a record 21 million barrels last week as refining plunged to a record-low amid Texas weather that knocked out power from homes.
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